Among the several new products announced for 2014, Martin has a few that will be of special interest to bluegrass guitar pickers.
Of particular note is a new model in their Authentic series, the D-28 Authentic 1937. Like the others in this series, this vintage reproduction was designed to be an exact replica through careful examination and measurement of the “real thing,” including the use of digital imaging technology.
The one difference is that this new guitar uses Madagascar rosewood, where the originals used Brazilian. Martin believes that the characteristics of this African wood are nearly identical, grown in a similar latitude, as regards both tone and structural integrity. The Brazilian timber is all but unobtainable in today’s market, unless it was cut and exported before 1992.
Otherwise, the specs for the 1937 are as close to identical as modern luthiery can manage. The top is Adirondack red spruce, with forward shifted hand-scalloped X-bracing, mahogany 14-fret neck, and all the expected D-28 appointments.
All this for only $8499 (list).
Full specs and additional photos can be found on the Martin web site.
Other new models with bluegrass appeal are the 000-18 Retro ($3399) and the D-35E Retro ($4499).
All the new guitars will debut at the 2014 Winter NAMM show this week.