THE GOLDEN THREAD: WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR A CUSTOM MARTIN GUITAR

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Our team has the pleasure of working with clients from all corners of the world from all stations of life.  From pro musicians, to studio hounds, to blue-collar enthusiasts.  It doesn’t seem to matter if their venue is the big hall downtown or the living room.  There seems to be a critical window when we see interest in a Custom Shop creation begin to gain momentum.

We collaborate on designs for dealers wishing to differentiate themselves from the market at large.  Favorite features among their staff and regionally popular influences often drive their motivation.  We work closely with others who wish to incorporate interesting bits of our diverse design history into their instrument.  We may even take a walk through our expertly curated museum to gain inspiration for in-house designed creations. 

Then there’s the most important design of all- yours.

Despite the countless combinations of materials, construction, shape and size we’re still presented with special requests that have never shown up in the hands of any player.  Sure the occasional Brazilian Rosewood with pearl dripping off every corner gets commissioned, but the bread-&-butter of our work are what we refer to as “player preferences”.  A simple change or two that can affect the comfort / playability or offer a desired shift of the instruments sonic potential.  It’s surprising that most of our clients have a base level of familiarity to begin with (I.e.  000-18) and they know what they’d do to make it their one-of-a-kind like a wider neck and braces that might help to open up the top for finger-style.  Now more than ever our work comes from someone excited to learn that they can get simply what they want.

Thankfully you don’t have to be a Martin historian or have nerd-like ninja-knowledge of our construction strategy to make that simple change.  This is the best time in history to get anything you’d rather have.  It happens every day- your prescription for glasses is just a little different from mine.  It’s possible to trace your feet to have custom shoes or orthotics made.  Pick some material, provide a few key measurements and PRESTO- I’m wearing clothes that fit my awkward frame like a super model.  Your house, your car, your computer, your phone, your dinner tonight . . . you’re making choices every day that customize the world around you.  You’re the dreamer. . . You’re the designer . . . someone else might be hammering out the details back in the shop, but you’re calling the shots.   

From the first guitar you ever picked up to the one you just put down, there’s a good chance the voices in your head are describing your custom.  Check with your Martin authorized dealer. They know that “one-of-a-kind” is what we do.

The inspiration always comes down to passion and enthusiasm.  And we build “one-of-a-kind” . . . one at a time . . . all the time.   


Scott Sasser is a gear-o-holic.  When he’s not buried in spreadsheets & collaborating with our clients on special products & programs as Custom Shop Director, he unwinds by building custom audiophile headphones and restoring vintage drums. . . or just trying to leave it all behind on a motorcycle.  With a musician’s background and a specialized MI history, 2017 marks Scott’s 9th anniversary with Martin Guitar.  If the iPod’s playing, there is a good chance he’s listening to Elbow or Nada Surf.

Topics: The Golden Thread

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