NGD: Mahogany Martin Edition

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by TedEH, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    It's a Martin D-15M!

    My birthday recently passed, as well as Xmas, etc., so this time of year is usually my "lets buy myself something nice" time. :lol: I've been digging around for a new acoustic for a while, so I finally pulled the trigger on the Martin I've been talking about in another thread. Martin won't ship here in the winter, but they had one in stock at an L&M in Toronto, so that's the one I ended up with.

    It basically does all the things I wanted in an acoustic - it's easier to play than the one I had. I get along really great with the neck shape. It's less nasally/boxy sounding that the old one. It's still got lots of low end. In store I wouldn't have described it as "bright" but it's definitely brighter than the previous acoustic I had. I suppose a good way to describe it is that the previous one I owned was very forward - in your face, bold, hard not to hear it - whereas this guitar sort of sounds like you took the general idea of the previous acoustic, scooped out the nasally/boxy part of the sound, and compressed it into a more personal kind of sound. Something about the mahogany makes the sound very "personal" in the sense that the body resonates a lot instead of projecting everything forward - it sort of feels like you're enveloped in the sound instead of it being projected ahead of you. You could sit quietly in a room full of people and play quietly to yourself with this, as opposed to some guitars that would just be loud and obnoxious. A side effect is that it's a bit less dynamic, but in kind of a good way. Playing some light finger style stuff is very audible, but digging in or strumming hard isn't obnoxiously loud.

    Balanced is a great word for this guitar. It's like you took the sound of an acoustic in my head and processed it already. You hear every string clearly - there's lots of low end but not in a way that overpowers the rest of the sound.

    The only downside - the action (same as pretty much any Martin I've ever tried) is a bit high out of the box. It's not so high that it bothers me, but I know it could be improved upon. L&M offers one free setup any time you buy another guitar, but I think the adjustments I'd want are outside of what I'd trust a box store to do. I plan on waiting a bit and if I decide I still want the action changed, I'll bring it to a tech that I trust.

    If I find some time, I'll record some clips, maybe in comparison to the previous acoustic I had.

    I didn't have time to get out a good camera and take good/fancy photos, but here it is in front of a pile of other instruments:

    guitars.jpg
     
  2. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Congrats man.

    Yeah like you say, it def doesn't project like something like a spruce top. I think it sounds woody. It's kinda its own thing both in sound and looks I think.
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    During my trying-all-the-acoustics shopping adventure, I concluded that I'd also like to own a Taylor some day. This guitar feels like the antithesis of a Taylor though, and that's a part of what I like about it. I still have my previous acoustic if I ever really need that in-your-face projection.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Niiiiiice, man! That thing looks great. I can't wait to hear how it tracks!
     
  5. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    Gotta love a Martin, congrats!
     
  6. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    A good acoustic is a great time. Enjoy many years with it!
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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  8. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Congrats, man. I know you put a lot of time into researching this one.
     
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  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    On really shitty earbuds, that sounds nice and clear and full. :yesway:
     
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  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Sometimes I've noticed that "shitty earbuds" can make stuff sound good cause they cut out all the low end where things start to get sketchy haha.
     
  11. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    I wish more did that...my Bose bluetooth speaker breaks up from heavy bass buzz, when what I want when it's fully cranked is volume.
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    An interesting observation I made the other day from this clip - if I focus on it, I can pretty clearly hear a really high octave of the notes being played. It's something that didn't exist within the sound (harmonic content?) of the previous acoustic, or at least not in such a clear way.
     
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I bump this thread for another quick track using this guitar:
    https://soundcloud.com/somethingunnamed/dissolve-acoustic

    No other instruments, just some good ol' janky playing and singing.

    A story to go with the track if anyone cares:
    I've been doing these sort of "holiday jams" every year where I'll use a bunch of my holiday time in December/January to write and record a bunch of tunes quickly. I'll take whatever amount of time I've got off and produce as much as I can manage in that time. Typically it ends up being about 3 songs, of varying quality, and mixed pretty roughly - but they are written and recorded all on the spot, avoiding using any material I already had come up with. This particular song is one that I liked from the first time I did this.
    A strange element that almost kind of makes me sad is that the original track - the one I originally put weeks into, played, tracked, mixed everything, etc - seems to be less popular than this random one-off thing I did to kill some time, despite being janky and full of mistakes. I shared this a while back in some other circles and someone somewhere has been listening to it a couple of times a day (according to soundcloud). None of my other tracks have gotten that kind of play. Seems like someone likes my acoustic stuff but few like the full-band stuff..... oh well, I guess. It's something. I'll take it.
     
  14. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    It sounds nice.

    I got interested, so I went and listened to the original version. While it, too, is really good, after playing both a few times, I think I also prefer the acoustic version.

    Time for an opinion piece absolutely noone asked for!

    While it's obvious more effort went into the full mix one, the acoustic version feels more sincere, to me. It might be because the majority of what I listen to is ultra-produced metal, and also because I've learned a lot about the recording techniques that go into that sort of music.

    The acoustic version is, as you said, janky, full of mistakes, and ... well, real. Or at least, realistic. It feels as if I can be safe in the knowledge you didn't record it half speed, quad-tracking the guitars, quantizing the drums and adding midi sweep arpeggios.

    And this doesn't take any sincerity away from the artists that do all these things in the interest of the song, nor does it diminish their music. I won't be switching away from listening to ultra produced tech-death any time soon, but this sort of thing is a stark contrast, and as such, memorable.

    Of course, "singer-songwriter" stuff has a significantly broader appeal, so that also probably helps the play numbers.

    As an aside, this is what has been driving my interest in classical guitar. Even though I know there's a fair amount of post-production, it still feels a lot closer to the romantic ideal of just the musician, their instrument, and their message. A weird sort of personal escapism, I guess?




    Boy this sure is a thing I typed in 2 am after 3 cans of monster huh
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Haha, I can appreciate that take on it. I kinda want to put together this kind of stuff into a set and do acoustic shows. Gonna do it someday.
     
  16. fps

    fps Kit

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    The song's better in the acoustic format. Guitar sounds great!
     
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  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Apparently I need to just become just an acoustic performer, cause this one track is the only one I've got consistent plays from. That consistent pattern of being played almost daily has kept going. I'll take it.
     
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  18. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    It's a good song, so you might as well toss a few more like it online and see how it goes IMO
     
  19. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    ...which is crazy to me, because I thought "We're Alright" was fuckin' awesome.
     
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  20. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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