Martin Retro Series Unveiled at Summer NAMM 2012
2012 Summer NAMM witnessed the unveiling of Martin Guitar Retro Series, guitars based on classic Martin designs from the '30s and '40s.
The Retro Series have four models: D-45E Retro, D-18E Retro, HD-28E Retro and OM-28E, all featuring traditional non-cutaway bodies with modern electronics.
The basis for the series was taken from some of the best instruments at the Martin Museum. C.F. Martin & Co. picked 4 special guitars from their collection, a 1942 D-45, a 1941 D028, a 1937 D-18 and a 1934 000-28(long-scale) on loan from Vintage Instruments. The designers wanted to capture the tonal characteristics of these museum guitars and transfer them into their modern counterparts with the help of specially voiced electronics.
Fishman worked with Martin Guitar to develop the electronic foundation of the Retro Series, they designed a vintage-conditioned pickup system that closely mimics the sound of the museum guitars. To make the sound more vintage correct, they also got the help of Bill VornDick, a Grammy Award winning producer. They used his Mountainside Studios in Nashville for the development process, he allowed them to utilize his rare collection of vintage and boutique microphones - many of which were used back in the '30s. The resulting electronic voice of the special Fishman F1 Aura is a combination of museum quality guitars and vintage microphones.
All the four Retro Series models will feature the special Fishman F1 Aura + electronics system, with its intuitive "Easy Mode" and three pre-blended mic/pickup presets as well as the all the in-depth controls and tweakability in "Performance mode".
The Retro Series is designed to have vintage looks while maintaining modern playability, made possible by Martin's High Performance Neck taper and modified low oval profile. Another common denominator for the series is their Solid Sitka Spruce tops supported by standard X scalloped bracing.
The flagship model and the most aesthetically decorated of the four is the D-45E Retro. It features hand inlaid pearl and solid East Indian rosewood back and sides as well as other premium tonewoods. It has a list price of $11,999. D-18E Retro is the stripped down version of the D-45E Retro, but with mahogany back and sides, the MSRP is at $3,399. The OM-28E Retro, valued at $4,499 features the orchestra shape, and is ideal for fingerstyle players. Finally the HD-28E Retro is a modern re-make of the old herringbone dreadnought design, Martin lists its price to be at $4,499.
Check out the official video from C.F. Martin & Co.
For more information and for the complete specifications of each guitar, you can head over to Martin Guitar.
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