Kind of return of an old friend

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Larry Mal
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Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Larry Mal » Sun May 26, 2019 12:37 pm

In 1995 or whatever I got together the money and got my first real acoustic, a nice Martin D-1 that they were making in those days. It was a ton of money to me at the time, I was working like sixty, seventy hours a week in the kitchen and it still seemed to take me forever to get it out of layaway.

But when I did, I absolutely fell in love with it, and I played it all the time from that point on. I look back on a lot of wonderful days having done nothing more than laid around playing this guitar, and it, along with my Japanese Jazzmaster and my G&L L-1000 became the three instruments that I never would let go and that formed the core three of instruments that I felt I needed. Other things came and went, some arguably "better", but I never bonded with them like I did those three. You probably know how it is.

Anyway, some years ago I got some other acoustics that I preferred to the Martin, and I laid the Martin up. I guess eighteen years of playing the same guitar I wanted a change, and I forgot about the Martin. Then I let a friend borrow if for half a year or so, and when I got it back from her I put it up again, then one day I pulled it out and was like, I don't remember the action being this high on the guitar, man, this sucks.

But what was happening was that the neck was pulling away from the body, you could have put a quarter in between the neck and the rear bout of where it was pulling away.

So, I pulled the strings off, and put it away again, wondering if I would need a full neck reset, wondering if I would pay that much if I did.

I finally got around to taking it into the show, and lo and behold, I only needed the neck pulled off a little bit and then glued back down. This model uses a mortise and tenon technique to attach the neck to the body, instead of the more elaborate dovetail, this was one of the ways that Martin saved money on this entry level model (this guitar was sold for under $1k and was the cheapest Martin at the time).

This also means that the neck is bolted on and glued, the bolt holds the neck on while the glue sets. This also means that Martin used a different bracing pattern than their traditional X bracing, something called "A bracing", which you can read about here.

It's always been a very lively sounding and good sounding guitar- with the exception of when I cracked the top, which killed the sound, but it came back after I had it repaired. I've certainly been rough with this guitar.

But, it sounds great, and I am going to treat it to a new bone saddle and bridge pins. It very much has that Martin sound, which is making me wonder why I don't own more Martins and thats's a dangerous thing...

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Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by kapepper » Mon May 27, 2019 11:17 am

Very Nice! Congratulations!

I also have fond memories of me first Martin, a Martin dm, very entry level but for me iT was me first real Good sounding Guitar

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Larry Mal
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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Larry Mal » Mon May 27, 2019 12:50 pm

I'm debating putting this in Nashville tuning.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Larry Mal » Mon May 27, 2019 1:25 pm

Actually, I know I'm going to do it, I ordered a set of high strung strings, but I don't know if I'll want to keep the guitar in that style forever, but it has been a long time since I had a guitar strung up Nashville style.

And frankly, I've been playing this Martin and some of my newer Gibsons, and it just does not quite hang with them. It's a good sounding guitar, but not quite as good as what I've later bought for myself.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Vanderfuzz » Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 1:25 pm
Actually, I know I'm going to do it, I ordered a set of high strung strings, but I don't know if I'll want to keep the guitar in that style forever, but it has been a long time since I had a guitar strung up Nashville style.

And frankly, I've been playing this Martin and some of my newer Gibsons, and it just does not quite hang with them. It's a good sounding guitar, but not quite as good as what I've later bought for myself.
Yeah, you should definitely string it up Nashville style. Once I got my D-18 Golden Era, I strung up my old Yamaha in Nashville. After a few moves, it ended up banished to a back closet at my parents house in Nashville (oddly enough). I was just there this past weekend, and that old guitar was a blast to play, after receiving a little TLC (slight truss tweak, ample amounts of retuning).

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Larry Mal
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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Larry Mal » Mon May 27, 2019 7:20 pm

Yeah, I used to have a Wechter Nashville guitar, a custom designed guitar just for that tuning. I never loved that guitar.

But I did like the sound and the idea of it. I'll try out my old Martin in that tuning and see how I feel about it, maybe it'll be great for recording and if so, I'll get a new nut on there dedicated for it.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by JVG » Mon May 27, 2019 10:42 pm

Nice guitar, despite not being left-handed :P

I'm not familiar with Nashville tuning - I know what it is, but have never played a guitar strung this way. Does it sound good on its own, or is it solely used for accompaniment or thickening up a recorded sound?

Curious.
J.

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Larry Mal
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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Larry Mal » Tue May 28, 2019 4:25 am

I would imagine that it's almost always used to double up other guitar parts, but I seem to recall that on the Pink Floyd song "Hey You" there is an unaccompanied guitar that is pretty much a solo Nashville tuned guitar- I think he used an unwound 1st E string, though.

I thought that it would be cool on its own, but I never used it as that for any music I ever did, so I guess that maybe it wasn't that cool after all. But, I think that it might be cool again potentially so I guess I haven't quite given up on the whole idea, either.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by jthomas » Tue May 28, 2019 5:24 am

Congrats, Larry. If you feel the urge, you might try the Martin Monel Retro strings. They are really wonderful.

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Larry Mal
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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by Larry Mal » Tue May 28, 2019 5:47 am

I hear a lot of good things about those... I've been using the John Pearse 80/20s and really enjoying those, how do the Monel's compare if you've had a chance to use both?
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by jthomas » Tue May 28, 2019 11:48 am

I used to swear by the Pearse Silk and Phosphor bronze (510L) on my Ovation Balladeer (original owner bought around 1974). That was after playing Martin Silk and Steels for years. The Pearse Silk and Phosphor bronze don't really have any silk core to em. I spoke with the company once a long time ago when I had a bad high E out of the box and they said that they just "play like silk." (Not a deal breaker)

I got a Crafter acoustic electric and didn't like the Pearse strings on it. Dunno why. Just not right, somehow. The Martin Retros are great on it. Clean, solid full mid-range tone. I don't much like the tone of many bronze strings, I'm not sure how to describe it... the ring? Anyway- that may be what you are looking for. The Martin Retros don't have that.

Cheers.

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Re: Kind of return of an old friend

Post by amplituden » Tue May 28, 2019 12:01 pm

Cool story! Great to keep those old friends close around.

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