New Martin Retro Series Guitars - NAMM 2014
Martin expands the Retro Series with two new models, the 000-18E Retro and the D-35E Retro, on display at the 2014 NAMM Show.
Mark Twain's 1835 Martin Guitar
Valued at Over $15 million
The Retro Series is interesting because it applies guitar modeling technology to acoustic guitars. Martin and Fishman worked together to infuse the sound of real vintage instruments into production line guitars. The resulting guitars combine vintage sound and appeal with modern playability.
Martin D-35E Retro
This guitar mimics the build and design of a 1967 vintage D-35 "donor" guitar, and replicates the donor's mic'ed sound via electronic audio imaging. The result is a new guitar with an old soul, with a tone that is described as resonant, balanced and projective.
The guitar features traditional dreadnought tone woods, with a certified European solid-spruce soundboard supported by East Indian rosewood back and sides. Thin 1/4" width bracings are used to improve resonance without sacrificing durability. Visual appointments include ivoroid bindings, a three-piece back and a black pickguard.
The guitar's vintage look and sound is then mixed with Martin's "High Performance Neck taper" that gives it improved playability and comfortable action. It has a solid ebony 20-fret fingerboard with a scale length of 25.4" and nut width of 1.75".
Giving the guitar it's authentic vintage plugged-in sound is the Fishman F1 Aura Plus Retro electronics. It is voiced to match the recorded sound of the 1967 vintage D-35, and has enough flexibility should you need to shape your tone further. The Martin D-35E Retro has an MSRP of $4,499.
Martin 000-18E Retro
The donor guitar for this new model is a 1940 14-fret 000-18 guitar from the Martin Museum collection. It mimics the build of the original guitar with a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides.
The guitar has a shorter 24.9" scale length, 1.75" nut width and a 20-fret solid black ebony fingerbaord. The same Fishman F1 Aura Plus Retro system is built into this guitar, voiced to match the recorded sound of the '40s era donor instrument. Martin describes the tone as clear and expressive, with the same tonal integrity of the mahogany auditorium guitars from the pre-war era. The MSRP for the new Martin 000-18E Retro is $3,399.
Martin 000-18E Retro
The new Retro Series guitars will be on display at Booth 5454 Hall B, along with other new Martin guitar models. They will also be streaming live from their booth everyday from 12pm to 2pm PST. Visit Martin Guitars for more information.
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There's no denying that pickups play a major role when it comes to electric guitar tone. By simply replacing your pickups, you can substantially change your tone for the better.