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  #1  
Old 04-06-2007, 05:26 PM
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Smile HPL guitars!!! I'm buying and eating crow!!

Less than a year ago, I posted critism about Martin using High Pressure Laminates. I didn't go for their guitars using man-made materials priced similar to competitors that were all wood. It seemed "Anti-Martin".

Well now two guitars later I'm eating "crow". My first Martin, a 000-16SGT has a Micarta fretboard and bridge. Components are very well done and excellant quality. The second and on hold, a Little Martin LXM, played like butter and sounded better and fuller than it's size. The setup on it was better than my 000. The (3) LXMs I've heard and played were all superb.

I also played a OOXCE, it was OK. The setup was off but it was decent. I think some imports would give it a good run.

Anyway it seems the HPL Martins have a niche because the material is so stable and the laminated necks are probly stable as well.

With this I'll say.....I.....was.....wrong.

But I'm still not a Martin Fan.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:20 PM
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Laminates if done nicely and creatively can really make a guitar....
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:44 PM
cominghome419 cominghome419 is offline
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Im still pretty pleased with my 000X1, which has a solid top. It doesnt quite have the depth of solid wood, but its still a great sounding guitar, and I do prefer it to many solid guitars (Taylor, Takamine, Breedlove, Blueridge) Ive played.

Glad to see you comin around. I know HPL doesnt sound like a good idea, but I think Martin has done great with it.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:53 PM
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My 000X1 does not have the tone of my 814 but I can play it without reservation at the jam sessions. Also, since the back is HPL I didn't even hesitate when I had the idea to add a big, yellow vinyl "HOWDY!" to the back of the guitar (that's quite a hit with the crowd, BTW).
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:27 AM
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HPL=

Formica=

Warite=

Plastic

I Think

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Old 04-07-2007, 01:04 PM
mishmannah mishmannah is offline
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I have a friend who owns a Martin Dread with HPL back and sides, and it is surprisingly lively, with a wide tonal palette.
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Old 04-07-2007, 01:13 PM
JoeInLex JoeInLex is offline
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Folks,

HPL guitars are seemingly well designed and built. The materials are more resilient than wood and will suffer much less from exposure to temperature and humidity extremes. I think that they are, for the price, nice travel guitars that ALMOST sound like the typical Martin sound.

I personally enjoy the 00CXAE for its size, comfort, and durability.

One thing though, it seems that opposed to having an HPL, Micarta, etc. composite material throughout, Martin decided to use real wood bracing internally...... Makes me curious as to why. You would think that the HPL material would be sufficiently strong to do without the internal bracing and te the needed sound gotten from tinkering with the HPL.

I think that Martin made a pretty nice decision in coming out with such good quality guitars within the price range.
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Old 04-07-2007, 01:39 PM
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Default Bracing is needed

JoeInLex, You bring up a good point and I am by no means an expert, but I think bracing is needed if the top is the proper thickness to vibrate. I too am curious about their use of spruce braces on their X series guitar. My guess the spruce is cheap, available, and works well without having to "completely" re-invent the wheel.
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Old 04-07-2007, 01:43 PM
FourT6and2 FourT6and2 is offline
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I tried a few out and I wasn't too happy with the sound: very bright, brittle, metallic, and harsh.
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turp View Post
The second and on hold, a Little Martin LXM, played like butter and sounded better and fuller than it's size. The setup on it was better than my 000. The (3) LXMs I've heard and played were all superb.
Turp -

Did you happen to test drive the LX1 at the same time? Curious if there's any difference in sound, with the LX1's spruce top (HPL sides/back) vs. the LXM's all HPL, all the time.
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:03 PM
Rod Neep Rod Neep is offline
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I bought a Martin HPL guitar (DXK2) as a "take it anywhere" guitar. In order to get the "decent" sound that would be the most satisfying I went for the dreadnought size. That turned out to be a good move. Now, it isn't a D-28 Marquis, but it is surprisingly satisfactory for the purpose for which I bought it.... places with high humidity and temperature. One of its surprising assets is the sustain.... it rings on for years. Not as "mature" sounding as a D-28 and variants of course, but pretty decent, and with plenty of bass response too.



and here in the heat and humidity on the beach and jungle of Malaysia a few weeks ago.



Rod
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cominghome419 View Post
Im still pretty pleased with my 000X1, which has a solid top. It doesnt quite have the depth of solid wood, but its still a great sounding guitar, and I do prefer it to many solid guitars (Taylor, Takamine, Breedlove, Blueridge) Ive played.

Glad to see you comin around. I know HPL doesnt sound like a good idea, but I think Martin has done great with it.
I have a Martin 000X1. Great little guitar. I put a K & K mini in it. Really great sound plugged into my Roland amp.
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:33 PM
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Laminates are the way to go for a guitar you want to throw in the car to go to the beach, camping, whatever. I take mine to work every day and play on my lunchhour in my truck. The best part of a spruce top laminate is that they are loud which is what you need when playing in an environment with a lot of background noise like my local pool.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2007, 08:15 PM
JoeInLex JoeInLex is offline
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Agree fully concerning where these guitars can be taken and used. One of the primary reasons why I purchased another guitar that I own, a CA X performer, is the terrific realization that the guitar can pretty much survive a flood at 120 degrees. No other guitar gives me the sense of overall satisfaction when traveling except my 00CXAE. Yes it is not the best sounding guitar, but let me tell you, the overall package, to me at least, is wonderful. Can't complain. I love the look on friends faces when I tell them about the guitar and the Martin X series in general. I love that look of "you spent how much on a countertop guitar?" Then I let them play it and the consensus has been, except for one friend who admits to being a 'purist', that its a really nice guitar.

Of course, everyone has their own opinions with respect to guitars. I personally also find Ovation guitars beautiful in their design and engineering.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2007, 08:19 PM
RiffD RiffD is offline
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I'm curious, for those of you mention guitars that aren't billed as "travel" guitars, whether you manage to get these into overhead bins or how you deal with the logistics from point A to B.

Personally, in my hunt for a travel guitar, I'm dismissing anything that isn't a bit reduced and could *easily* fit in overheads. All factors about HPL or durability aside, it comes down (for me) to being able to drag it along on biz trips and not fight to get in on the plane.
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