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Old 09-24-2013, 01:45 PM
psychojohn psychojohn is offline
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Default Whats so special about d-45

Recently watched a Martin workshop on their new retro series. Now I knew the D-28 was the standard against which other dreads were compared but in their retro series the price of their d-45 is more than twice the price of their HD-28 and their orchestra model (around $8000.00 for the 45). I am assuming it has something to do with the history of the d-45, but was wondering about what makes it (not the retro series version necessarily, but the original) so special that a repro would demand such a higher price than its brothers and sisters.

john
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:51 PM
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John, although the 45 series features Martins highest grade wood sets, for the most part you are paying for the inlay work.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:52 PM
GibbyPrague GibbyPrague is offline
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So what makes you think is the difference ?
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:54 PM
scottishrogue scottishrogue is offline
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Cool What is so Special About a D-45?

I think they're mostly for people that need a special guitar to round out their vast collection. I'm sure they sound pretty good, but not much better than my D-35. Don't really know, however, because a D-45 is probably not in my future. Too much bling!

Glen
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:58 PM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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Some folks will say 40 series are just 28's with "bling", I like to call those folks ....wrong!! And it seems like the folks who believe that never are owners, and the folks who do own them just smile.

I have owned a lot of Martins, including 42/45 series. They sound different than 28's, I play 28's and 45's every day. 45's cost more because they use the highest wood grades (even higher than 42's), and with the amount of inlay they are very labor intense, and everything is Martin's "best of the best".

You can buy a Ford for $20K and the same model loaded close to $40K, no different with guitars.

In my personal experinece 42/45 Martins are outstanding guitars, worth it to me, everyone needs to decide for themselves................
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:07 PM
psychojohn psychojohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GibbyPrague View Post
So what makes you think is the difference ?
The $8000.00 retro sticker price compared to $3600-4000 for the others in the line. During the workshop, they also referred to it's special heritage and I didn't know what that was referring to.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:45 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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John, part of the mystery for many is why these guitars should cost so much more. Nowadays there's a laminated abalone shell product called "Ablam" that makes trimming guitars out with copious amounts of shell inlay cheaper, faster and infinitely easier.

So thanks to Ablam it's not at all difficult to find guitars selling for under a thousand dollars that have lots of abalone trim.

But the Martin D-45's price reflects the extra amount of time and highly skilled labor it takes to inlay abalone around the edges of a guitar the old-fashioned way, with lots of tiny rectangles of shell hand cut and inlaid. It's very labor intensive to do it that way, hence the added cost.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:50 PM
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If you went to the factory and saw how it was done, you would not be wondering about the cost. A quality build with lots of hand work takes time to do right. In the business world time = money.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:52 PM
billgennaro billgennaro is offline
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i may be wrong, but i believe Martin procures their 40 series wood from a different supplier than they use for their other guitars. if that's the case, the wood is probably considered, by Martin, to be superior in more ways than just cosmetic. someone correct me if i don't have that right.

on a personal note, i was never a "big" fan of Martin guitars. i like them and think they are good, but not great (in general, and, of course, just MHO). however, the 5 or 6 45's that i have auditioned appeared to be a cut above. they were really, really good sounding and playing instruments.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
John, part of the mystery for many is why these guitars should cost so much more. Nowadays there's a laminated abalone shell product called "Ablam" that makes trimming guitars out with copious amounts of shell inlay cheaper, faster and infinitely easier.

So thanks to Ablam it's not at all difficult to find guitars selling for under a thousand dollars that have lots of abalone trim.

But the Martin D-45's price reflects the extra amount of time and highly skilled labor it takes to inlay abalone around the edges of a guitar the old-fashioned way, with lots of tiny rectangles of shell hand cut and inlaid. It's very labor intensive to do it that way, hence the added cost.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
Wade, Martin has been using Ablam since 2005.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:00 PM
grachi grachi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
i may be wrong, but i believe Martin procures their 40 series wood from a different supplier than they use for their other guitars. if that's the case, the wood is probably considered, by Martin, to be superior in more ways than just cosmetic. someone correct me if i don't have that right.

on a personal note, i was never a "big" fan of Martin guitars. i like them and think they are good, but not great (in general). however, the 5 or 6 45's that i have auditioned appeared to be a cut above. they were really, really good sounding and playing instruments.
nope, you have that right. The wood is superior on these guitars. Anyone who says otherwise, well, you would need your hearing checked I'm sorry
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:01 PM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
John, part of the mystery for many is why these guitars should cost so much more. Nowadays there's a laminated abalone shell product called "Ablam" that makes trimming guitars out with copious amounts of shell inlay cheaper, faster and infinitely easier.

So thanks to Ablam it's not at all difficult to find guitars selling for under a thousand dollars that have lots of abalone trim.

But the Martin D-45's price reflects the extra amount of time and highly skilled labor it takes to inlay abalone around the edges of a guitar the old-fashioned way, with lots of tiny rectangles of shell hand cut and inlaid. It's very labor intensive to do it that way, hence the added cost.

Hope that makes sense.



Wade Hampton Miller
What Wade said. The "abalone" on a few of the performing artist models I have/had is nice and I'm sure Ablam. But when you compare to a 42 or 45 in natural light the difference in fire and color in the purfling is significant, and is hundreds (or more) pieces hand cut and inlaid and very labor intensive.

I also believe there are different grades of Ablam when it is used, based on guitar series.

The difference in Retro pricing for a 28 and 45 is really in line with standard pricing differences for a 28 and 45, Retros are standard models with the latest Fishman electronics.

Even though Martins in general are very good at holding resale value, 42/45's are rock solid in that department, they're just not a lot of them and very desireable to Martin lovers.............
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:21 PM
MICHAEL MYERS MICHAEL MYERS is offline
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I've owned a D-45 but prefer the 28 I have now. I do believe the 40 series sound different (I've had a D-42 as well) to the 28s. I think the scalloped 28s are boomier while the 40s are more balanced. Perhaps there is more to abalone than folk think, or perhaps not.

I think the D-45 is a bit of a rip off however. Unless you find one that really really blows you away I think they vary just as much as your average 28, but they do sound different (in my experience anyway).
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:28 PM
psychojohn psychojohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdcat View Post
If you went to the factory and saw how it was done, you would not be wondering about the cost. A quality build with lots of hand work takes time to do right. In the business world time = money.
Grew up in Emmaus PA, about a 45 minute drive from Nazareth, home of Martin guitars and Mario Andretti. Never saw either of them and now I'm down south. Wish I had. One of my childhood friend's dad worked at Martin when I was growing up and now he does too.

Thanks for all your responses. Not sure if I'll ever own a 45, but given the lovely tone of my DCPA1, I'd love to hear and play one someday.

thanks

John
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:17 PM
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I have heard some folk say that the abalone around the face of the guitar increases the stiffness at the edge which impacts the tone... sounds far fetched to me...

Quote:
Wade, Martin has been using Ablam since 2005.
So, Ted, are you saying that they've used Ablam on the 45's since '05? If so, that does reduce labor time on those guitars significantly.
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