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  #1  
Old 03-01-2017, 04:50 PM
AHill AHill is offline
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Default Who Makes Martins Better than Martin?

This was mentioned in another thread, but I'd like some opinions. Specifically who makes a better D-28 or HD-35 type of dreadnought?

By better, I mean more consistent sound from guitar to guitar, and better quality in build. I am specifically interested in spruce / EIR tonewoods. I like the sound of that combination. Cost is secondary, but given an HD-35 MAP is $3229 or thereabouts, I'd like the answers to be in the $3000-4000K range. I'm not looking to spend $6K+ on a new guitar. I'm also not looking for a dread that sounds like a Taylor. I'm looking for a dread that sounds more like what the a good Martin D-28 or D-35 sounds like. Flat picking or strumming would be the main style of play.

And, yes, I know I can just buy a Martin. Just wanting to open up my options for consideration.
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Last edited by AHill; 03-01-2017 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Edited to add my definition of better.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:00 PM
PiousDevil PiousDevil is offline
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Answers will be Collings, Huss & Dalton, Santa Cruz
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:02 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Define "better."

There are some small shop operations like Collings and the Santa Cruz Guitar Company that make guitars directly inspired by Martins. Huss and Dalton does much the same thing. But as finely crafted as their guitars are, there's no guarantee that they'll be "better" than the Martin models that inspired them. And because those smaller firms can't achieve the same economies of scale that a larger outfit like Martin can, you'll usually pay significantly more for their guitars than you generally will for the equivalent Martins.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:03 PM
AHill AHill is offline
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Originally Posted by PiousDevil View Post
Answers will be Collings, Huss & Dalton, Santa Cruz
I'm curious that Collings is on the list. A recent thread compared Collings to Santa Cruz and the general feeling was Collings had more of a modern, almost Taylor kind of sound to them. The consensus was they are superb guitars, but just different in sound than Martins.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:04 PM
lodi_55 lodi_55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHill View Post
This was mentioned in another thread, but I'd like some opinions. Specifically who makes a better D-28 or HD-35 type of dreadnought?
Can you define what you mean by "better"? Doing somight help get you get more meaningful responses
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:04 PM
Bowie Bowie is offline
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This is bound to get heated... But, IMO, there's quite a few small builders. Among more recognizable names, SCGC, Collings, Bourgeois, H&D, etc.

"Better" is really a relative term obviously but I feel that if you want a high-end instrument within the general Martin style, there's offerings I personally like better once you get past 3k range or so. Just my feelings. Many will disagree. Nothing will satisfy them like I Martin made guitar. That's OK. We can all respect each other's opinions. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about who makes the most accurate clone here.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:09 PM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Define "better."

There are some small shop operations like Collings and the Santa Cruz Guitar Company that make guitars directly inspired by Martins. Huss and Dalton does much the same thing. But as finely crafted as their guitars are, there's no guarantee that they'll be "better" than the Martin models that inspired them. And because those smaller firms can't achieve the same economies of scale that a larger outfit like Martin can, you'll usually pay significantly more for their guitars than you generally will for the equivalent Martins.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
I've played numerous guitars from both makers and I've yet to come across a dud from Huss and Dalton. Can't say the same about Martin, unless we're talking about the ones that come from the custom shop - Authentics and Golden Eras. Now we're comparing the top of the line Martins to the H&D's, both of which are incredible and priced accordingly.

Of course this is all subjective, but I would venture a guess that the educated ear would be able to hear the differences.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:24 PM
zmf zmf is offline
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Are you asking who makes a good rosewood dread?

Are you asking who else makes a rosewood dread that sounds like a Martin?

Are you asking who makes a good rosewood dread that is easier to play for your style of playing, whatever that may be?

What are you asking?
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:27 PM
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drplayer drplayer is offline
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The answer is no one...that would be impossible, as only Martin makes Martins. Someone may build a guitar you like better, maybe even one that is Martin-esque in construction, and similar in voice; but, that doesn't make it a better Martin, only a good "fill in brand here". Maybe the question should be, who makes a great Martin copy?
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:34 PM
Bowie Bowie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drplayer View Post
The answer is no one...that would be impossible, as only Martin makes Martins. Someone may build a guitar you like better, maybe even one that is Martin-esque in construction, and similar in voice; but, that doesn't make it a better Martin, only a good "fill in brand here". Maybe the question should be, who makes a great Martin copy?
That's missing the point though. No one will ask "what tastes more like a lemon than a lemon". That's just turning it into a trick question. There is such thing as a "Martin-style" guitar, and many feel that others have done that style better than the originator. Nor is it unreasonable to say there's builders who have made a "better Strat" than Fender.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:35 PM
chas5131 chas5131 is offline
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Martin Custom
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:40 PM
ewalling ewalling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Define "better."
Superior!
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:41 PM
Authentic Authentic is offline
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First you'll get the "nobody makes a better Martin than Martin" guys.

Then you got the "insert boutique $4,000 brands" guys.

Then you got the "insert name of obscure independent luthier whose guitars are the best I've ever played and he lives in my town and you should try his guitars" guys.

Then you got the "argue over the definition of what is a Martin" guys.

Then you got the "I will never buy another Martin again after insert random bad experience" guys.

Then you got the 11+ pages of arguing and the thread is closed for having veered too much off topic from original question.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:44 PM
ewalling ewalling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Authentic View Post
First you'll get the "nobody makes a better Martin than Martin" guys.

Then you got the "insert boutique $4,000 brands" guys.

Then you got the "insert name of obscure independent luthier whose guitars are the best I've ever played and he lives in my town and you should try his guitars" guys.

Then you got the "argue over the definition of what is a Martin" guys.

Then you got the "I will never buy another Martin again after insert random bad experience" guys.

Then you got the 11+ pages of arguing and the thread is closed for having veered too much off topic from original question.
That's a bit cynical for 23 posts, isn't it?

What are you going to be like when you've got a couple thousand on the clock?!
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:47 PM
hovishead hovishead is offline
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Maton tried. But they left out the r. And even if they hadn't they'd still have spelled it wrong.
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