Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: I had...
Response To:
Re: I had... ()

david weaver
I kind of like the peghead style, but it wouldn't be a guitar for a newbie or a kid - the corners of the peghead might come off. A closer look at the peghead sort of outs it as gibson proportions.

I talked to george about that listing after I found it and said "that doesn't look like a Martin to me, and it doesn't look prewar martin, or martin at all - it looks like a slope shouldered gibson early american style in some elements and with a gibson pip and hear at the end of the fingerboard"

He said the same, basically that it has nothing to do with martin, that it's mostly slope shouldered gibson, except 12 fret (I don't know what the J-45 is), and the style is turn of the century (I guessed older and wrong).

The brazilian is actually flatsawn because that's what he was able to get a hold of when he was in college in 1960s (it's from slices off of the outside of a log as the mill was truing the log itself).

I think george would've used red spruce on a martin copy, but he probably didn't make many as he doesn't like the way they look since they're not tapered much above and below the waist - I think he called the "square looking". It sounds like he made this guitar for himself or for another order and then traded it to this guy (I can't remember what he got in exchange) and I joked with him and said "I can't believe you stuck the guy for $8k on such a plain looking guitar" and he was certain that it was probably half of that back then.

So, it's more or less a 12 fret uniquely styled gibson jumbo.

You're right about people slavishly copying martins, but I think now that we have the internet that it's gotten even worse. People get used to D-28s and HD-28s and they want everything to look identical, even if the logo on the peghead is different, and martin seems to tolerate people copying their plain peghead whereas fender and Gibson don't tolerate it at all (or want to get paid in license fees). Not sure if george would've used red spruce on a martin copy, but the only guitars of his that I've seen (other than really odd custom stuff) are in the proportion of J-45s and SJ-200s.

I'd bet that 95% of the makers making martin type guitars would sell fewer guitars if they used their own peghead design, no matter how good the guitars were. Collings has carved out their own niche, but their pegheads are barely different than gibsons - they took the same general idea but call it a parted hair instead of an open book (and most of their martin style guitars still have the martin style slab square peghead).

I wouldn't want to be a maker now. The market gets younger each year, less educated in terms of what they're buying, and cheaper. 10 years ago, ukes were going to save the string instrument world, and this past year, fender and gibson started making it apparent that they're trying to push acoustic guitars to women as those two things are, I guess, the only part of the market growing. The buyers now want to be ed sheeran (i don't know the female equivalent) instead of chet atkins or carol kaye.

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