New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

The new Martin Authentic series guitars seem to get rave reviews. I’m talking about models being made today by Martin, such as the D28 Authentic 1937, or the 1941 model. Designed to replicate the actual specs of models produced in such years.
Of course, not being USA based myself, I have never played one. They are quite expensive for your average Martin dealer near me to stock.

So I thought I’d reach out here to see if you’ve ever played one? Or heard one in person?

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

I have played the Authentic Martins. They resemble the constructs of the famed "pre-WW2 Martins with lighter bracing and a non adjustable truss rod.

I use a Martin D-18GE that I feel sounds the same or better with similar constructs for less of an investment, but has an adjustable truss rod and the same tone wood. Mine is the nest new Martin I have ever played.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Thanks Charlie.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Honestly, the business model of Martin and the like these days is to sell well made instruments to the baby boom generation that grew up coveting them. I don’t doubt anything with their name on it isn’t a fine instrument, but in all probability your money might well have more firepower elsewhere.

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Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

There are definitely arguments for these "replica" instruments, so long as they don’t include fake wear marks to suggest that they really are that old ( this seems to be particularly popular in the electric guitar market )…..!
When the guitar boom came in in the ’60s’ Martin threw out a lot of the refinements in their production line to speed things up and cash in, so both the older models, and their replicas, should definitely be more sensitive and responsive. A real model of the era, wear and all, should be the best-sounding instrument, if you can afford it and can take on any maintenance issues it may have, as it has matured and developed.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Just an additional note, the Authentic series price reflects the assumption that a neck reset will occur at Martin’s expense given their life time warrantee to the original owner. On the GE model there is an adjustable truss rod.

I hear a lot of praise for Eastman and Recording King guitars these days. Also, the 12 fret 00 and 000 model types are popular because of how comfortable they are as compared to a 14 fret dreadnought size.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

The presence or absence of an adjustable truss rod has no influence on the need for a neck reset. A truss rod adjusts the amount of relief in the neck. A neck reset is done to adjust the angle of the neck relative to the body, and may become necessary because the wood of the body can be deformed slightly by a long time under tension. I’d say it’s typical for a steel strung acoustic guitar to need a reset after 20-25 years. Tweaking the truss rod won’t fix the issue.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

You can hear it from Chris Martin why the Authentic is priced accordingly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7UtKDmtDu0


Here is a link to understand why I said what I did regarding truss rods and neck resetting. Essentially, " Truss rods are devices installed in the neck to help stabilize and control the straightness of the neck along its length." http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/GenSetup/TrussRods/TrussRodAdj/tradj.html

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Yes, I know that’s what a truss rod is for. "the straightness of the neck along its length" is another way of saying "the amount of relief in the neck".
There may well be extra maintenance work needed on the Authentics because there is no adjustable truss rod.
But that is nothing to do with the whether a guitar needs a neck reset, which is a procedure to change the neck/body angle and is equally likely to be required on guitars with and without adjustable truss rods.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Perhaps I need to stop and ask, how would you accomplish what an adjustable truss rod provides without taking the neck off and resetting the angle?

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

There are various ways to tackle neck relief issues with no adjustable truss.
You can take the frets off, plane the fret board to the required profile and refret. Or you can replace the fretboard. I’ve never seen it done, but I believe some luthiers have a heated press which they clamp the neck in and heat up. Sometimes compression fretting (fitting replacement frets with a wider tang) can have an effect. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

The point I’m trying to get across is that taking the neck off and resetting the angle does not accomplish what an adjustable truss rod provides. It changes the neck/body angle, not the straightness of the neck.

As the article you linked to says: "I think the second most important piece of misinformation is that a truss rod will prevent the eventual need for resetting the neck. I’ll be dealing with the neck reset issue in future articles, so for now I’ll just say that a truss rod has absolutely no effect on neck angle."

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

From the Frets link, "Truss rods are devices installed in the neck to help stabilize and control the straightness of the neck along its length. " This directly contradicts your statement, "It changes the neck/body angle, not the straightness of the neck.".

Now go back and read what I wrote, "Just an additional note, the Authentic series price reflects the assumption that a neck reset will occur at Martin’s expense given their life time warrantee to the original owner. On the GE model there is an adjustable truss rod. ". Now watch the video at 3 minutes.

You’ve assumed a lot from nothing. I trust this will clear the matter up. You can have the last word. 🙂

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

I will rephrase what I wrote so it cannot be misinterpreted:
The point I’m trying to get across is that taking the neck off and resetting the angle does not accomplish what an adjustable truss rod provides. Taking the neck off and resetting the angle changes the neck/body angle, not the straightness of the neck.

So: Neck reset changes neck/body angle. Truss rod adjusts the straightness of the neck.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Interesting choice of label, "Authentic". Not "Vintage", or "Classic", or "Pre-War Reissue". I guess I’ll now have to refer to my 45-year-old D28 as "Inauthentic." Who knew?

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

There’s already been a "Vintage" series, Matt, so they couldn’t use that. Yours, I would suggest, is "original".

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

So, these are Martin’s modern copies of old Martin guitars?
They are new, not vintage but authentic modern Martin guitars.

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Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

That’s right, allan21.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

I have a couple of friends that swear by their Martins. They’ve both switched to Taylors. I ditched my Martin for a Washburn and then switched to a Taylor. There’s a pattern here… ;^)

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

I have found that Taylors are the Ford of guitars, reliable, well-behaved and unfussy.
They are great if you’re looking for a generic middle of the road guitar sound, quite lush but controllable.

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Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Furch / stonebridge guitars are great guitars too. Czech guitar company

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Martin makes a quality instrument and you can find used versions for reasonable prices. Martin also has a "Martin" sound, especially in the Dreadnought size that may or may not suit your needs if you are playing backup. The thin pick John Doyle style doesn’t bring out the full tonal qualities of a large Martin guitar and as a rule Martins are not set up as well for this style.
Martins are fine guitars, I own two (a 1976 HD-28 and a 1953 00-18) and think that they are making the best guitars in their history, but you need to play others to see if the playability suits you. There are plenty of good guitars out there and the rule for me is to buy the instrument that calls out.
Martin specialty guitars (they have the letters after the size number) have really impressed me, especially when played with thicker picks that bring out the full tone. So have some Collings, Taylors, Blueridge, Gibsons, etc. but all are different from one another. You will find the one you love and stay with it (but you have to play them first.)

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

I would not call Taylors reliable or well-behaved. They are very susceptible to changes in humidity. I have had several students who had issues with the top splitting or shrinking even though they were humidified - one was told by an official Taylor repairman that unless you keep a hygrometer in the case and it shows at least 50% humidity that Taylor would not honor their warranty.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Mikeyes makes a lot of fair and un-polemical points. tl;dr - buy the guitar that calls to you. If you are young, amortize the price across decades of enjoyment; If you are old, you deserve to treat yourself, and could always leave it to your kids.

The decades since 1980 have presented a golden age of excellent guitars whether handmade from an individual craftsman or from a larger manufacturer. I think Martin quality has also improved since the early 1970s. I figure that their "vintage", "authentic" or "endorsed" models are mostly marketing labels, but I appreciate a beautiful, well made guitar, so I don’t blame anyone else who finds that appealing.

I’d like to hear mikeyes opinion about his 1970’s HD-28 and its life-changes. That model was Martin’s first effort at returning to the lighter, 1940s bracing. In my experience/opinion Martin Guitars tonal quality improves dramatically about 50 years into their life. My 1960s Martin OOO started clean but a bit tight, and has aged into warm and resonant…

But it is not as resonant as a couple of 1950s OO’s that I have heard, which were simply extraordinary.

Regarding neck reset. My OOO was setup with fairly low action for medium weight strings about 1980, and it has been completely stable ever since. Un-humidified in a dry climate. Maybe the action would lift slightly if I humidified it, but I figure variable humidity is worse than dry-but-stable.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Thanks guys. And an interesting debate on truss rods!! I actually have a 2015 Taylor 614ce ( recently revoiced) and it I’d really special. I have a want for the perfect dread to accompany it. I think the new 41 Authentic is it. I play a lot of folk, rock and pick some lead trad solo.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Always amusing when the original subject matter of a post gets hijacked!

While I haven’t played an Authentic model, I do think that Martin have set a benchmark for quality in steel- string acoustic guitars. Personally I like them a lot, and some of their high-end models are amazing. However, buying a brand new guitar with the associated price premium should always be weighed up against the possibility of acquiring a quality used model. These are usually "played-in" and provide a level of sound quality that you can only guess at when acquiring a new guitar (due to the fact that guitar tops (spruce in particular) only develop their full tonal beauty after years of playing.

The last time I bought a new guitar was in 2000, and that was a Fender Stratocaster!

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

As an instrument maker/repairer I have mixed feelings about Martins. Like all manufacturers they make instruments in a range of qualities. Their high end stuff is still good, but their cheaper models are at best mediocre (there are very good reasons why Taylor have superseded them as the go-to workhorse for gigging musicians), and any of their models that use the composite ebony substitute I would avoid like the plague, the stuff doesn’t hold glue - bridges, fingerboards and even bindings pop off at the slightest knock.

As for vintage re-issues, why would you want to ignore 80 years of guitar development? It’s a sales gimmick. For decades Martin have been trading on a reputation that they built in the ’30s and ’40s when they had very little competition, this is just another way to exploit that reputation. If you are thinking of buying one of these instruments just because you like the look and it sounds OK compared with other instruments, that’s fine. But if you think it’s going to give you the sound of an authentic ’30s Martin, forget it. The sound of a guitar doesn’t come from the design or styling, it comes from the skill of the craftsman who voices the soundboard, and unless you can bring those craftsmen back from the dead you are not going to get an authentic ’30s Martin sound.

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Reality check:

C F Martin IV has never built guitars.

My suggestion… buy pre 1984.

I have owned 14 Martins since 1961.

The last 8 from 2000.

5 of the 8 developed serious defects early on.

All were returned to Martin for correction..
2 of the 8 were destroyed by Martin as unrepairable .
The question here is: why did you send them out ?

The 3 that were destroyed.. all custom shop and wretchedly defective.
One spent 22 moths in their care and 2 weeks in mine
1 spent 1 hour in my care then back to them
1 spent 2 days with me and back to them.

Because of their mis handling of these problems , I will never own another new Martin and no used Martin after 1984.

This is a company that makes money and guitars are incidental. Worst customer service in the guitar biz I have encountered….absolutely awful.

And I designed the CEO-5 and CFM IV took credit for it.. yes their is documented proof.

Former business management and customer service instructor.. ( Mercedes-Benz of No America, BMW of No. America, Volvo Motors of America etc. )

Re: New Martin Authentic Series Acoustic Guitars-have you played one or heard one?

Why would you continue to buy these guitars if 5 of 8 were defective?

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