The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:02 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,756
Default NGD: Brondel "The 42" OM

Truth be told, I have been eyeing this guitar since I first saw Laurent's build photos, where he built both a style 42 and style 45 side by side. Laurent deviated from his normal build style, which he does from time to time, to build a replica of a 1929 Martin OM-42. He doesn't do a perfect facsimile from a construction standpoint, as he does make some adjustments (bolt on neck, for example) that help modernize the guitar. The tonal goal, however, is to achieve that Golden Era Martin sound.

I've always been curious about Laurent's take on this sound. He's made a handful of these guitars in his career, but I've never had a chance to play one. There are so many builders attempting to either nail that old sound or at least do an interpretation of that sound, it can get a little tedious to think about playing yet another Martin OM adaptation. That being said, any time Laurent undertakes a project, I get interested because he, well, doesn't mess around.

For the style 42, he used top grade red spruce and Brazilian rosewood. There's a little "character" in the top that I really like. The shell work is incredibly detailed and impressive, but it was the woods and construction that drew me in.

Body Style: Martin OM, mostly style 42
Top: Adirondack spruce
Back and Sides: Brazilian rosewood
Nut: 1 3/4"
Saddle: 2 3/8"
Neck: Honduran mahogany with carbon fiber rods (no adjustable rod)
Fretboard: Ebony
Bridge: Pyramid, ebony
Finish: Nitrocellulose (not his usual oil varnish)
Case: Hoffee

My only hesitation in getting this guitar was the possibility of duplicating my Circa OM, which has a red spruce top and Madagascar rosewood back and sides. However, John has been adapting that old Martin sound and using a taller X brace. The result is a guitar that emphasizes the mids more, along with volume and projection. John isn't building 1929 Martin OM clones, per se. He's adapted those old Martin paradigms into his own thing (an "evolved traditionalist" to steal a phrase from Bob Berger).

Laurent wanted to use the true vintage formula for sound, to the best of his ability, and I felt like there would be a lot of room for differentiation so I took a chance (though you're never really taking a chance with Laurent's work).

This OM is a complete masterpiece. I have a played a number of 1930 OMs. They vary quite a bit, tonally. But Laurent's is the closest I've ever heard anyone come to achieving that sound. I would, in fact, say that he's absolutely nailed it. There's one 1930 OM at Schoenberg now (maybe it's still there) that has a particular deep bass. It's that guitar I'm thinking about.

I should emphasizing that nailing the sound of a vintage instrument isn't of particular importance to me. A good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of how close it may come to the vintage guitar it intends to copy. I've never really been very interested in totally duplicating the old Martin sound, though I do like it.

This guitar is explosively loud. Sound wants to reach right out off the soundboard and slap the listener hard across the face. Who's your daddy? This OM is your daddy! The tone is very rich and reverby and, while it is punchy, it really just envelops the player in sound. Mids are slightly scooped and the bass is cavernous with a huge soundscape. Trebles are sweet and authoritative, just like they should be. Where the Circa OM is more mids-focused and punchy, this OM has more overall breadth in its sound and tends to envelop rather than punch. It is a dream of a guitar, truly.

It captures that Golden Era ideal of a very light build that is extremely responsive, very loud, very resonant, has tons of headroom, and blooms with complexity. It is a firing breathing tone dragon. I cannot imagine someone building a more inspired version of a 1929 Martin. Different perhaps, but not better. This guitar shoots right to the top of the list of the best of the best of the best.

I love my other Brondels just as much, though they are different. But I do hope Laurent will continue to produce some more Martin inspired guitars. This one, by every conceivable measure, is a masterpiece.

I'll skip over the fit and finish comments. It's a Brondel.





























Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-25-2019, 03:03 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,756
Default





















Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:26 PM
jt1 jt1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,431
Default

At the recent Artisan show, I was privileged to play this gorgeous example of functional art. As good as guitars get.

This said, I did encounter one player who didn't seem particularly impressed with the instrument:

__________________
John
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:38 PM
Mr. Paul's Avatar
Mr. Paul Mr. Paul is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Sangre de Cristo mountains
Posts: 1,823
Default

I am in awe of this guitar. The photos are really well done too.
__________________
Paul
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado ...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-25-2019, 05:32 PM
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: An Exit Off the Turnpike in New Jersey
Posts: 3,755
Default

Played it...great guitar! Congrats x 2...
__________________
Acoustic Flat Tops by: Bashkin | Blanchard | Brondel | Buscarino | Chasson | Franklin | Klepper | Sexauer
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:09 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 33,648
Default

Justin, Congrats on the Brondel. It looks like an exceptional guitar and based on the builder and your review I'm sure it is.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:11 PM
Haasome's Avatar
Haasome Haasome is offline
Charter Picker
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 8,285
Default

That — sure is special!
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:33 PM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bakersfield!!!
Posts: 1,310
Default

Beautiful guitar. I hope to play it.

Your pics or Laurentís?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:35 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,756
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Sarad View Post
Beautiful guitar. I hope to play it.

Your pics or Laurentís?
Those are Lauren't pics. You can tell when pics are my pics because they're crappy.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:36 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,756
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jt1 View Post
At the recent Artisan show, I was privileged to play this gorgeous example of functional art. As good as guitars get.

This said, I did encounter one player who didn't seem particularly impressed with the instrument:

I don't know what's with that guy. He's always slagging builders.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:46 PM
TomB'sox's Avatar
TomB'sox TomB'sox is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Upstate Ny via Minnesota, soon heading to Texas
Posts: 6,685
Default

Louder than your Maple I played in Tx????
__________________
PS. I love guitars!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:13 PM
AlanHw's Avatar
AlanHw AlanHw is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Seoul, Korea
Posts: 259
Default

Hope to get a chance to try a Prewar Martin Inspired Brondel.
I bet this one is another superb sounding guitar!

In late 1929, Martin built eleven 000-28s, but these were the prototype OM28s.
In the first batch, six with a pyramid bridge and non-pickguard,
and the next five with a pyramid bridge and teardrop pickguard.

Assuming these proto OMs were the inspiration of your OM42.

I am curious if Laurent also built this one as his lateral arched top or not~
Probably not for this one, eh?

Again Congrats, Juston!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:30 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,756
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHw View Post
Hope to get a chance to try a Prewar Martin Inspired Brondel.
I bet this one is another superb sounding guitar!

In late 1929, Martin built eleven 000-28s, but these were the prototype OM28s.
In the first batch, six with a pyramid bridge and non-pickguard,
and the next five with a pyramid bridge and teardrop pickguard.

Assuming these proto OMs were the inspiration of your OM42.

I am curious if Laurent also built this one as his lateral arched top or not~
Probably not for this one, eh?

Again Congrats, Juston!
No lateral arch on this one. Itís pure Martin style. Thanks for the kind words.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:32 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,756
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
Louder than your Maple I played in Tx????
As loud, for sure. Hard to say which is louder because they have kind of a different sound. But all Circa and Brondel guitars are pretty much universally loud like that maple guitar, give or take, which is one of the reasons I like them.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:05 PM
Diamondave's Avatar
Diamondave Diamondave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Venice CA
Posts: 2,298
Default

I've got blisters on my fingers! Sing it... go Brondel
__________________
onedayatatime
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=