Dreadnought Junior Wins "Best Buy" Title & 5 Stars

The newly released Dreadnought Junior was named a "Best Buy" from Total Guitar and given 5 stars by the magazine. The feature will appear in the August 2015 issue of Total Guitar.

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The Dreadnought Junior is reduced to approximately 15/16" of the full Martin 14-fret Dreadnought dimension with a 24" scale length. The top is constructed of solid Sitka spruce while the back and sides are book matched from sapele and Richlite. The Dreadnought Junior comes equipped with Fishman's Sonitone sound reinforcement system, SP Lifespan Strings, and a nylon gig bag.

To learn more about the Dreadnought Junior, click here.

To test drive the Dreadnought Junior at your local authorized Martin dealer, click here.

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Martin Monday: The 00-15E Retro

The 00-15E Retro is a newly released Martin Guitar model.

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The 00-15E Retro is the first 00-14 fret instrument in the Retro Series family. This acoustic-electric model features a solid mahogany top, back, and sides. The top has a distinctive 15-style burst. The 00-15E Retro comes equipped with SP Lifespan strings and a Fishman F1 Aura+ electronics.

You can learn more about the 00-15E Retro here.

You can find an authorized Martin dealer near you here.

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Rave Reviews Keep Coming For Jason Isbell

Martin Ambassador Jason Isbell released his new album "Something More Than Free" on July 17th to rave reviews!

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USA Today gave the album four out of four stars and hailed it as the album of the week. Rolling Stone followed suit by giving it four out of five stars calling it "a master class in songwriting from an artist who's never sounded more confident." On NPR Music, rock critic Ken Tucker said "Isbell's lyrics reward a close listen." And that's not all!  Praising reviews of "Something More Than Free" were also found in The New York Times and American Songwriter.

To purchase Martin Ambassador Jason Isbell's album "Something More Than Free" click here. You can also find out how to win a signed Martin D-18 by Jason Isbell here.


 

Jason Isbell's Martin guitar of choice is the D-42.

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Martin Monday: The D-28

The D-28 is known as the "dreadnought by which all others are judged."

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The model's back and sides are constructed of East Indian Rosewood. The top is made of Sitka spruce and has a mahogany neck. The D-28 is a must have acoustic thanks to its massive bass response. The guitar is strung with SP Lifespan strings for a rich tone. You'll be in good company when playing the D-28. Jimmy Page, Martin Ambassador Del McCoury, and Martin Ambassador Colbie Caillat all count on the D-28 when performing.

To discover more information about the D-28, click here.

Find an authorized Martin dealer to try the D-28 here

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#SometimesMartinsAreFree

We've put Martin Ambassador Jason Isbell in indie stores across America! Purchase the new record Something More Than Free and take a picture of yourself with Jason. Make sure to post to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, tagging @JasonIsbell and @MartinGuitar with the hashtag #SometimesMartinsAreFree. At the end of the contest, the most fun and creative picture will be chosen to win a signed D-18 Martin Guitar by Jason Isbell.

You can find a list of participating record stores here.

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The #SometimesMartinsAreFree contest begins on July 17th, 2015 and will end on August 7th, 2015. Purchase of record is not required. Winner will be announced August 10th, 2015.

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The Martin Guitar House In Zambia

Martin Guitar is honored to share the exciting news about the Martin Guitar House in Zambia.

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The Martin Guitar House was built by the Nature Conservancy in Africa. The house was named after Martin Guitar to celebrate our partnership with the Nature Conservancy in Africa in helping to #SaveElephants. Martin Guitar is a founding partner of the #SaveElephants campaign.

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The Martin Guitar House is a duplex that will house a Nature Conservancy in Africa local director, two rangers, and their families. The purpose of the Martin Guitar House is to put rangers in the most important areas to protect elephants and keep top-notch ranger talent. Many rangers have to live far away from their families for weeks at a time or in bad living conditions. By building the Martin Guitar House, the Nature Conservancy in Africa is increasing morale, increasing retention, and ensuring rangers are where they need to be to protect elephants.

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To learn more about #SaveElephants, click here.

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Best In Show-The GPCRSGT

We are ecstatic to share that the GPCRSGT has won Best In Show at the 2015 Summer NAMM Show!

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GPCRSGT stands for Grand Performance Cutaway Road Series Gloss Top. The GPCRSGT is the first Grand Performance body size in the popular Road Series. The model was released by Martin Guitar in the spring of 2015 during Musikmesse.  It features sapele back and sides along with Fishman Sonitone electronics. The guitar comes strung with SP Lifespan which guarantee longer string life.

To learn more about the Best in Show GPCRSGT, click here.

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Martin Ambassadors Announce New Albums

New music is coming from five Martin Ambassadors very soon. Get the all details below and make sure to preorder your copies.

  • Jason Isbell- "Something More Than Free"
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  • Martin Ambassador Jason Isbell will release "Something More Than Free" on July 17th. The new album is already receiving rave reviews and is the perfect follow up to "Southeastern." You can preorder Jason Isbell's newest album here.
  • Jason Isbell's Martin guitar of choice is the D-41 Special (discontinued). Comparable to the D-42.

  • Samantha Crain- "Under Branch & Torn & Tree"

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  • Martin Ambassador Samantha Crain will release "Under Branch & Torn & Tree" on July 17th. Samantha is currently on tour promoting the new album. You can find a full list of tour dates here and preorder the latest album here.
  • Samantha Crain's Martin guitar of choice is the 00-15M.

 

  • Donavon Frankenreiter- "The Heart" 
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  • Martin Ambassador Donavon Frankenreiter will release his new album on August 4th. The new album will feature Donavon's latest single "Big Wave." You can preorder "The Heart" here.
  • Donavon Frankenreiter's Martin guitar of choice is the D-28 Authentic 1941.

  • Gabrielle Aplin- "Light Up The Dark"
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  • Martin Ambassador Gabrielle Aplin will release her sophomore album on September 18th. You can listen to the album's title and opening track here. You can also preorder "Light Up The Dark" here.
  • Gabrielle Aplin's Martin guitar of choice is the 000-15M

  • Thomas Rhett- "Tangled Up"
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  • Martin Ambassador Thomas Rhett will release his much anticipated, sophomore album on September 25th. The album's cover will be chosen by fans at ThomasRhett.com. You can preorder "Tangled Up" here.
  • Thomas Rhett's Martin guitar of choice is the HD-16R Adirondack

 

 

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Martin Monday: 2015 Summer New Models

Martin Guitar will release six new models at the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tennessee. The NAMM Show will take place July 9th through July 11th. 

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Discover 6 of the new models below:

  • HD-35 CFM IV 60th-a unique 14-fret Dreadnought model celebrating Chairman & CEO Chris Martin IV’s 60th birthday. The exclusive guitar is being made in a small batch of 60, and features a European spruce top with Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS) and herringbone pearl inlay. 
  • D12-35 50th Anniversary- a limited edition model is being introduced at Summer NAMM. The commemorative guitar is a 12-string, solid head stock Dreadnought limited to a quantity of 183, the amount of the first 1965 production run. 
  • 00-15E Retrothe first 00-14 fret instrument in the successful Retro Series product family. This acoustic-electric, non-cutaway model features a solid mahogany top, back and sides and the top is finished with a visually distinctive 15-style burst.
  • CS-D41-15- a 14 fret, non-cutaway Dreadnought. The CS-D41-15 features a Sitka spruce top with Martin’s new Vintage Tone System (VTS). The East Indian rosewood back and sides beautifully showcase a unique ribbon inlay of cocobolo and flamed mahogany.
  • LE-Cowboy-2015- a 000-12 fret with a Sitka spruce top finished with Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS). The top is inlaid with a multi-color rope design, and the back and sides are made of goncalo alves. 
  • SS-0041-15The 2015 Summer NAMM Show Special has an Adirondack spruce top with Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS) and finished with a gorgeous cinnamon teardrop burst. 

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You can view all of the 2015 Summer New Models here.

You can also watch the product videos for the 2015 Summer New Models here.

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Ask Michael: Wood Purchasing

Michael Dickinson will address where Martin Guitar purchases its wood from in the first edition of Ask Michael. Do you have questions you'd like Michael to answer? Comment on this blog post for the chance to have your question answered.


 

Martin Guitar purchases its wood from all over the world. It is my job as the Exotic, Alternative, and Sustainable Wood Sourcing Specialist to travel in the deepest, darkest jungles of the world to make sure we get the wood we need to build guitars. The most important aspect of this is making sure the wood was harvested legally.

As far as Martin guitars are concerned, the four main species we use are: Sitka Spruce, Mahogany, Rosewood, and Ebony. Sitka Spruce comes from the northwestern parts of the USA and Canada. Check out this picture of me in Oregon standing next to a 350 year old tree.

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For reference, I am 6'6".

We also use Adirondack spruce that comes from the east coast of the USA and Canada.

Our Mahogany comes from an FSC certified forest in Guatemala that surrounds the Mayan ruins. In making this biosphere a working forest we are adding value to the forest, keeping illegal loggers at bay, helping local villages, and protecting the magnificent ancient Mayan ruins.

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They knew I was coming, so they built me a throne.

Check out some of the pictures I took from my wood purchasing adventures.

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Here are logs I picked to be cut into lumber.

The lumber pictured above will be turned into guitar parts in Nazareth, PA. Mahogany and cedar are used for necks, backs, sides, kerfing, tops, and the occasional brace. While East Indian Rosewood is cut into backs, sides, fingerboards, and bridge blanks in India.

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The logs are lined up and the sawmill owners bid against each other. The logs are sold at government auctions. Nothing is cut and everything is lightening damaged, windblown, or naturally fallen.

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We check the color of the wood by hitting it with a hatchet. The particular log above was a deep, dark purple. I think it would be perfect for a D-45.

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Ebony comes from the congo basin area of Africa. They are huge, HUGE trees! The one pictured above is at least 200 feet tall.

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Ebony is an odd tree. When the wood is young it is white. But as the tree ages, the wood turns black. Most trees do not change color so drastically. Ebony is used for fingerboards, bridges, head plates, and end pins.

We do use woods from other parts of the world, including several species from the USA. If you have any more questions let me know. Or if you have any wood you would like to see on a guitar, let me know-my bags are always packed and I'm always willing to travel!

 


Michael Dickinson is a 24-year veteran of Martin Guitar. Michael has worked in numerous departments , such as the Sawmill and Customer Service, and is the current buyer of exotic, alternative, and sustainable woods. Ask Michael is a bi-monthly column that will appear on the Martin Guitar blog.
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