Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a million and a half

guitars that is...

C.F. Martin Guitars founded in 1833, is the grand-daddy of acoustic guitars, and their designs have been the model that almost all others either copy or react against. Located in Nazareth, PA, they are a factory now, producing something like 500 guitars a week. Even their limited edition guitars far outnumber the production of an individual luthier or small shop. Still, they do build some wonderful guitars and many of the most sought after guitars were constructed by the craftspeople of C.F. Martin. Go to any gathering of acoustic guitarists and you're bound to see scores of Martins and virtually ever acoustic player either has owned a Martin at one point or other or wants to. I've had three or four through the years. I have played a few that were astoundingly good - particularly an 0017H which I think was built in the '20's and a pre-war D28 - beautiful, beautiful guitars... It is hard for me to imagine a company that has been producing essentially the same product for over 170 years and which has had such a seminal influence in its industry as had Martin.

As you can see in the photo above, they're working on serial number 1,500,000 which is slated to debut at the January NAMM show in LA. The photo, by the way, comes from Harvey Leach, a very talented guitar builder who also does inlay work for Martin and a number of other guitar companies. Click here to see some of his inlay work. This guitar is just amazing. He was contracted, along with scrimshaw master Bob Hergert to do the inlay on number 1.5 million. He can't show us any more until Martin releases photos.

Congratulations to all the folk at C.F. Martin! And to Harvey Leach for being a part of this project.

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