THE GOLDEN THREAD: ELECTRONICS

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What do you think of when you hear acoustic/electric mentioned in guitar specifications? Years ago, you may have thought of that slightly quacky sound that is often associated with older piezo pickups or maybe that feedback that you may have ran into when standing in front of a microphone on stage.

Up until just a few years ago you probably would have been spot on with those thoughts, but today that way of thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth! In fact, today's electronic systems offer a very natural sound while giving the volume you need to be heard amongst the banjo players and drummers of the world without that annoying feedback of a microphone.

I have been fortunate enough to be included in many electronic system sound tests and have been able to play almost every electronic system we have offered over the past twelve years. With that in mind, I want to delve into a few of the most popular electronic systems we get requests for in the Custom Shop.

Our most requested system is the Fishman Matrix Infinity system. This system is one of our least invasive options that offers a very natural sound with the added convenience of volume/tone control on the inside edge of the sound hole for easy adjustment during your performance.

We also have a version of the Fishman Matrix with an added bridge plate transducer that will help bring out some more of the body warmth and percussive sounds that some players may want. This system is called the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance. This has an added enhance knob in the soundhole which will adjust the level of the bridge plate transducer signal.

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We also receive a lot of requests for the Martin Thinline Gold Plus which is another non-invasive system that has a very natural sound but doesn’t have the volume/tone knob; this is a great option for someone who prefers to adjust volume & tone from the amplifier/board they are plugged into.

Sticking with the lesser invasive options we offer; for the player that uses a preamp to adjust their tone and drive their signal to the PA, we offer the passive Martin Thinline 332. This system is very similar tonally to the Thinline Gold Plus but isn’t powered so it requires the use of an out board preamp.

This is just a sample of the electronic systems we offer in the Martin Custom Shop. If you are interested in adding electronics to an existing Martin Guitar model or building a completely custom guitar, please contact your favorite Martin Guitar dealer and they will help you order the guitar of your dreams!


As a twelve year employee of Martin Guitar, Jimmie has had a love for what he does since day 1.  He started his career working on X-series instruments.  Because of his enthusiasm, he moved on to final inspection and learned everything from polishing, to running the Plek machines, to all other aspects of final setup.  Jimmie spent a few years in customer service because he’s so gosh-darn friendly! Now-a-days, Jimmie spends his time as a custom shop administrator where he helps people build their dream guitars.  He’s a guitar nerd but also a true music fan and listens to everything from the Beatles to Black Label Society to Brad Paisley. 

Topics: The Golden Thread

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