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Old 07-21-2016, 11:59 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 7,353
Default NGD: Martin D-28 Marquis (pics added to post #1):

UPDATE: The Collings guitar I originally purchased did not work out for me. I exchanged it for a new Martin D-28 Marquis.

My shopping criteria:

Used or New
C.F. Martin
Pre war scalloped bracing
Red Spruce
Madagascar rosewood
Big (full spectrum) tone!
Dreadnought shape
1-3/4" nut width
Slim neck
Factory pickup system

What I bought:

C.F. Martin
Pre war scalloped bracing
Red Spruce
Big (full spectrum) tone!
Dreadnought shape
1-3/4" nut width
Modified V
K&K Ultra Pure Active System

Basically, I've played a lot of dreads the past few weeks. I picked the one that acoustically sounded the best to me.

I bought a 2016 Martin D-28 Marquis. I'm updating the thread as I make minor modifications and get the pickup sorted out.

UPDATE: I installed, and will subsequently remove, the Lyric internal microphone. While it is a very nice system, it is not a good fit for this model. The mid range with the red spruce top on this guitar seems to be too present through the Lyric. There is no way to EQ this on the guitar's preamp, which is an important feature for quick sound check situations.

I was deciding between the redesigned K&K UltraPure system and the Trance Amulet M system. After scouring the installation manuals and watching demos of both systems, I decided on the K&K solution. I've installed these many times and the results are good and predictable. I expect the sensors to be permanent and the internal preamp replaceable as they miniaturize and improve the design. With these well tested SBTs and their internally applied XLR Prue preamp, I expect to get great tone. I had the mini in my HD28V and used the external XLR preamp and it was great. I just don't want to use the belt pack or pedals any more.

I'll have 3 band EQ, phase and a low batt indicator too.

I've had a chance to play the guitar with the Lyric system installed and it did not degrade the tone one bit. This system should be no different.

UPDATE 2: I installed the K&K UltraPure system. It sounded terrific. But the unit did not physically fit well with the bracing around the sound hole. So, I looked at a number of internal preamp options from K&K, D-TAR, Mi-Si, and Schatten. Ultimately, I read some of the threads regarding the D-TAR multi-source system and decided to mod it to work with the installed K&K. The results are even better than the UltraPure. The mic gives it the extra "air" that pickups can't reproduce. When I run the pickup system through the TC Play Acoustic pedal, the available reverb, chorus, and body rez effects add some beauty to the tone.

Read about it here:

Other than the pickup, the modifications will be minimal. I've had a strap button installed on the heel. Unfortunately, I don't really care for the tuning machines. There is considerable slop with the gears, where small/fine turns the peg with not result in immediate turning of the gear. I am installing the redesigned Grover Sta Tites 18:1 in nickel. I considered Waverlies, which I like, but I had a great experience with the Grovers on my last guitar. Evidently, the were designed in consultation with SCGC. They are less than 1/3 the cost of Waverlies.

UPDATE: The Grover Sta-Tites are nice, but stick a little. I decided to try the following 18:1 open back tuners from the Larrivee Company.

The pics below were taken by the store. I will provide my own soon. Thanks to the guys at CME who were very accommodating. Their prices are reasonable, and it's great to have such a huge selection to put your hands on before you buy.

C.F. Martin & Taylor Guitars
LR Baggs Lyric & Taylor ES2 Pickups
Bose & HK Audio Amplification

"Lift your head and smile at trouble." "You'll find happiness someday."

Last edited by martingitdave; 09-07-2016 at 08:48 AM.
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