CF Martin has announced two new guitars in their highly-touted Authentic Series for 2016. This series was created by taking representative vintage guitars from their museum, or from trusted collectors, and studying their dimensions in great detail using CAT scanner designed for examining antiques and artifacts at the Smithsonian Institution.
All of the authentic are meant to replicate the dimensions, materials, and the construction techniques in use at the time the original guitars were made. The guitar market has responded with great enthusiasm for these models, despite the higher price Martin has placed on the Authentic Series, owing to the greater degree of hand work required, and the liability of the Martin lifetime warranty.
New this year are the 000-42 Authentic 1939, and the 00-18 Authentic 1931. Both are smaller body styles than the dreadnaught series, most popular with bluegrass artists, though many players find this style to offer greater balance, especially in the studio.
The 1931 00-18 Authentic is, as the name suggests, an exact copy of one Martin made 85 years ago. Like all the Authentics, it is constructed using hide glue, a dove tail neck joint, and their new Vintage Tone System where the woods are heat treated to synthesize the effect of time and “fine tune” the response of the top and braces.
Likewise, the 1939 000-42 Authentic copies a highly ornate model from the same year. Madagascar rosewood is substituted for the Brazilian used in ’39, due to its unavailability in today’s market, with the style 42 abalone inlay around the top and sound hole.
Full details on body, bracing, and neck dimensions can be found on the Martin site, along with the other Authenic models.
The 00-18 Authentic 1939 carries a retail price of $7499, and the 000-42 1939 $14,999.