The Standard Series Martins absorbed many of the structural and cosmetic features of the Vintage Series instruments, the major exceptions relating to the neck shape, fretboard taper and corresponding string spacing. Some models moved to the High Performance neck before others, starting around 2016. S meant “Special” in the 1950s. Modern day 00, 000, 0000 depth is actually more like 4-1/16″ after final sanding, but the official Martin spec remains 4-1/8″. Is it possible that it may mean special as in special order? Because the OM and the 14-fret 000 share the same body size, there is often confusion about how their modern examples differ and why. A: Some styles have gone extinct. But remember, the C for Classical models and the G for Gut String models were all 12-fret guitars that did not get the S suffix. After a couple of limited edition CEO models that combined Martin’s original slope shoulder dreadnought shape with a 14-fret neck, he decided to put the elongated slope shoulder shape on a short-scale 14-fret 00, creating a smallish guitar with a slightly larger sound chamber than the normal 00, increasing bass response. A total of 50 were made for Martin’s sporadic Guitar of the Month editions (plus an additional 10 made for export.). Help? All 14-fret Martins went to a narrower 1-11/16″ neck in 1939 and the company stopped using scalloped bracing in 1944 (Actually this was transitional, as 1945 Martins have what is now called tapered bracing.). This may be due to the fact it was not offered in a 14-fret version after they converted their entire line to the Orchestra Model design, and it remained only 12-fret Martin regularly available, until small numbers of 12-fret guitars started being produced in the Folk Boom of the 1960s. Is my R-18 round hole from 1933 a Rosewood wood? It stood for Grand Auditorium and at times is referred to as the 0000, or Quadruple Oh/Naught. Thank you very much for the very comprehensive answer. If guitars could achieve sainthood, his one would do it! If so, what has replaced it? Thanks for that. May you please help me with this Martin guitar I just bought 2nd hand? I also have access to the database that can look up specific serial numbers from those days. I know why Martin uses them, but in a world demanding instant gratification, I’d still prefer a naturally aged spruce top any day…. I’ve read “slope shoulder” in a few places; however I personally settled on “slothead” a few years back, but since realized a D45S, for example, has a solid peghead. D = Dreadnought (similar to Gibson’s Jumbo size.) Available in Black Smoke and Whiskey Sunset motifs, in short-scale sizes 12-fret 00, 14-fret 000, and long-scale Slope Shoulder Dreadnought. By the early 1970s, production dropped to below 20 made per year. And the later HD-16R LSH, also “Large Sound Hole.”, As for the D-45S you mention as having a “solid peghead”, I assume you mean the D-45S Authentic 1936. But it has also been used on limited edition baritone models, designed with a longer neck for lower tunings. Martin has been shaping the sound of acoustic music for nearly two centuries, and offers a wide array of guitar body shapes and sizes to create the perfect guitar for you. What is the “R” for? Introduced January 2020. It provides a little more room down by the nut where the wrist is at its most awardee angles, but only widens 5/8″ by the time it reaches the 12th fret, more like an electric guitar than an acoustic guitar from previous eras. And starting in 1952 the numbers for the 0-18 typically exceeded 600 made per year, with a slight drop off here and there until 1970, the last regular year of production, when they made 400. But many people have guitars made with “slab cut” wood that never develop any cracks etc. Vintage Style 17 was similar to modern Style 15, being all-mahogany with very little trim, stain finish, rosewood fingerboard and bridge depending upon year of production. This is a modern invention to denote a 14-fret guitar that a Martin dealer ordered with custom specifications in size D, 00, et al. It led to the creation of the Vintage Series instruments. Previous Standard Series models made with 14-fret necks had a 1-11/16” Low Profile Neck with 2-1/8” string spacing, except OMs, which had a 1-3/4” Low Profile Neck with 2-1/4” string spacing, and the 000-42, which had a short-scale 1-3/4” Modified V neck, similar to the Eric Clapton models*. I was having lunch with Tim Teel of Martin Guitars recently when the topic came up and he said there are often times when such indicators do not pan out, when it comes to wood the thinks will be great or a dud and the opposite proves to be the case. These guitars were similar to today’s Style 15, which only existed as the 0-15 starting in 1940. The new design featured a 14-fret neck and a body braced exclusively for steel strings. All Style 16 models are acoustic-electric instruments with Fishman electronics. At its introduction, the M had the widest Martin top, matched with sides having the depth of an OM. Thank you! Does it really impact the tone or just more like for cosmetic purpose. Now, there are those who feel certain visual clues can denote good tone, but it is certainly not reliable. Read More at: Martin’s 000 vs. OM, What’s the Diff? Martin shifted their own focus toward steel strings during the early twentieth century, but other than their Hawaiian-style guitars meant for playing with a steel slide, they did not design guitars specifically for steel strings until the OM, which first appeared in the 1930 catalog. The SP version of Style 16 had the fancier trim of a pearl rosette, a Style 45 back strip, gold tuners, and snowflake and notched diamond-laden fingerboard and bridge made from solid ebony. Vintage Series and Golden Era/Marquis Series instruments are now retired, but still frequently seen on the used guitar market. Starting in 1969 Martin answered the call for guitars made in the tradition of the original OM-stamped guitars, with sporadic special editions. A semi-gloss finish 14-fret 0-17 and 00-17 appeared in 1930s, the 0 not lasting long. OMs are recognized today by their small, roundish pick guard, often called a “tear drop,” even though the original OMs from the 1930s switched to the longer Martin pick guard about six months into production. Your father’s 0-18 was built in 1951. Martin – click here for ALL Martin reviews, Howard Emerson: The Wall Talks – CD Review, George Barnes – the first electric guitarist, Review with Video of Modern Deluxe Models Here, https://reverb.com/item/717915-martin-sp-000-16-c16re-acoustic-guitar-w-pickup-2004-aged-amber, Limited to D-18 MD and D-18E MD (acoustic-electric version with Fishman Aura HD Blend pickup system.). In 1995/6 the 16s were changed to the Mortise and Tenon neck joint and Hybrid A-frame bracing. Bracing, neck profile? Thank you very much! I am working on the revision of this page right this very minute, in fact. Essentially it had the specs of the later D-28V from the Vintage Series, which included forward shifted, scalloped bracing, a 1-11/16″ V neck, grained ivoroid bindings, and the Diamond & Squares fretboard pattern. The S models from before the war include the 00-17 S that Maybelle Carter used on the first Carter Family records, which has an oversized pickguard, at a time when 17s usually didn’t have any pickguard. Not listed are seldom made Styles 25 and 37 that featured Hawaiian koa back and sides, and Styles 60 and 68 with maple back and sides. There are many factors that come into play when choosing your perfect guitar, and size is most definitely one of them. It has a 17” wide lower bout, the widest flat top Martin has ever made. Today, Standard Series 28 models with the H also get the 1930’s style Zig-Zag back strip, while those without the H get the later Style 28 back strip. On this page you touch on the “S” designation as meaning “standard” body style from when 12 fret, slop shoulder was the standard for a dread. It has never meant “Slotted Headstock” nor “Sloped Shoulders,” despite uninformed claims to that effect. (Not including various special edition, limited edition, artist signature edition instruments that exist out there with the S for Standard designation.). All Standard Series six-string Martins now have the High Performance Neck. The High Performance taper conforms with what is now the industry standard used by many American guitarmakers.// https://reverb.com/item/717915-martin-sp-000-16-c16re-acoustic-guitar-w-pickup-2004-aged-amber. But that is a very small sample size and could be entirely coincidental. Technical difficulties have kept me from putting up much content so far this year, but that is being resolved. And this S for Standard body size has only been used for the D size and 000 size, except for the Vintage Series, with models ending in VS, e.g. I am posting here because someone named Kevin tried to post here a while ago with questions about an unusual custom Martin design. The Grand Jumbo has only been around a few years. Depending on the exact year, the Custom 15 can be found with closed gear tuners like those on the product D-28 of the day, or with open back butterbean tuners of the later Vintage Series guitars. Many makers converted their guitars just by adding a high nut and saddle. So when they needed a larger size, Martin used Size 0 starting in 1854. But after about two years they dropped the redundant R and M from the model names of the Vintage Series instruments. As mentioned above, the “S” at the end of model names like D-28VS stands for the “Standard” body design, meaning the traditional 12-fret Martins with slope-shoulder bodies, as opposed to the 14-fret “Orchestra Model” design introduced in 1930. The answer may be 1977, when they M-38 appeared. Hi, so I was kind of confused what the the difference between higher grade rosewood(41) vs highest grade rosewood(42 & 45) assuming same model and body size? And they fit well in group playing, as the guitars’ punchy notes could cut through an ensemble without upstaging other instruments. S = Unique asymmetrical size. This is partly because modern guitars are made with thicker wood and finishes to withstand the rigors required of a lifetime warranty. The 14-fret 000s made in the first months of 1934 are identical to the OMs made in 1933. It is also Martin’s first 13-fret design and has an asymmetrical body shape with an internal cubic area between an OM and a GP. And those 28s must be well on there way at 23 years old! Thanks for all of your detailed info.
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