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  #16  
Old 03-06-2018, 01:21 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
My understanding is that the D-45 has scalloped bracing and the D-28 has non scalloped bracing. Wouldn't that make a bigger difference in tone than appointments would?
If the bracing is different, yes, absolutely.


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  #17  
Old 03-06-2018, 01:58 PM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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This is from One Man's Guitar (about the 000-42 Marquis):

I subscribe to the opinion that inlaying the edge of a guitar’s top with dense, abalone shell results in an increased complexity to the voice that is often described as an added shimmer or jangle. It simply isn’t present in guitars inlaid with wooden herringbone or thin plastic lines. All one has to do to experience this is play a Clapton 28 and a 000-42 side by side. The only difference is the pearl inlay. If they then play another model made in Style 42 side by side with its counterpart in Style 28 or 35 they will find the same tonal qualities present in both 42s and find them equally different from those non-pearled guitars. But when comparing pearly Martins, the differences are heard from the different spruces. Where the Standard 000-42 has a wonderfully warm ring, that is a marriage of the smoky, Indian rosewood undertone and the beefy harmonic overtones of Sitka spruce, the extra clarity brought into the soundscape by the highly-reflective Adirondack on the 000-42 Marquis is truly breathtaking in how it accentuates the undertone swells while showing off that extra, pearly essence.

So there are those who hear a difference. It is admittedly difficult to differentiate between the better grades of wood and any preferential treatment from the builders, but to insist there is no difference seems no more reasonable than to insist there is.
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2018, 02:07 PM
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Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
My understanding is that the D-45 has scalloped bracing and the D-28 has non scalloped bracing. Wouldn't that make a bigger difference in tone than appointments would?
Yes, of course, but the HD-28 and the D-45 have the same bracing, top wood, back and sides wood, etc. I haven't played a ton of D-45's, maybe 5 ever, but they sound different to me than the HD-28. Could just be memory or other subjective nonsense influencing that opinion though.
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2018, 02:19 PM
Humbuster Humbuster is offline
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My personal experience is that Ambertone finish on Martin standard and custom shop instruments significantly enhances tonal properties. Much more so than “bling”.

YMMV.
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cotten View Post
I am not convinced that these appointments improve the volume and clarity. However, that leaves out another important aspect of an instrument, the way it looks. If your appreciation of guitar art is limited to volume and clarity alone, to me that is like choosing a spouse for the way he/she cooks or cleans. Such things are important, no doubt, but there is more to be considered. The way a guitar or a spouse looks is important to some people, and not so important to others. Your choice.

cotten
To go with the wife analogy, assuming you're looking for a life partner who understands you, has a similar world view, life goals, etc and overall complements your existence I think most of us who have committed to a marriage with someone would agree those are the most valuable qualities. I guess you could ralate the function of guitar to those things and kind of like the perfect pairing, a great guitar's primary function in your life is it's playability and tone NOT HOW IT LOOKS. I'm actually pretty conservative and old school in many ways but to that regard, I think reducing a wife's primary function to cooking and cleaning even just to use as a guitar's function analogy is kind of offensive.

To carry on with the tone and playability being the principle attributes of an instrument and to address the OPs question, I'll parrot what others have said, the ornamentation which can cost you thousands even tens of thousands (see Martin D100) give you nothing as a musician. Perhaps like those shallow enough to secure a trophy wife (predominately for her appearance) it fills some some huge insecurity holes the musician might have or maybe it's a prop (see next paragraph). Maybe it buys you some confidence on stage. If you need that and have the money, go for it. Keep in mind that although some of the very best players do have guitars like the D45 in their arsenal, most play with professional grade, but rather humble instruments.

The actor-musician Gene Autry was an exception and the one who started and inspired future over-ornament acoustic guitars. With the cameras often rolling, I'd argue that he was using the guitar as much a stage prop as an instrument; a tradition followed by such great entertainers as Elvis in the late 60s and I'd say carrying over into the 70s and 80s with the solid body electric guitars of flamboyant rock acts like KISS, et al. The utility of the bling is to draw attention to yourself in any way possible. Either through shock value or decadence, their function between performer and audience is the same.

If that's the act you're going for then a $8000 or even $100,000 guitar might be the right tool. Another use is simply bragging rights. If you just want to show off (and let's be honest those who have do like to flaunt it, a giant collection of wealthy man's toys are really no good unless you have someone to covet them) these type of instruments may also be your bag... I feel the same way about many luxury products. I can't really get inside the mindset of someone who would spend $30,000 on a piece of jewelry and I see over ornament, luxury guitars as sort of the same thing. If I had several million in the bank my view on this would probably be different so to each their own.
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Last edited by Rmz76; 03-07-2018 at 08:45 AM.
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  #21  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:01 PM
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Bling makes the D 45 sound much better just like a red car is always faster.
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  #22  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:15 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I understand and accept that there are people who sincerely believe that adding abalone trim around the top of a guitar changes the sound. I’m convinced that this is an elaborate rationalization, because the way that Martin guitars are constructed those top outer edges are some of the most acoustically deadened spots on the guitars. It’s theoretically possible that you could construct a guitar where adding shell around the edges of the top changes the tone, but not with Martin’s construction methods.


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  #23  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:29 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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One important detail that folks who believe that abalone trim changes the sound always leave out is that the method used to achieve that inlay has been radically simplified in recent years: my 000-42, built in 1988, has dozens of tiny little abalone chunks inlaid side by side all around the edge of the guitar’s top. Yet nowadays Martin isn’t using hand-cut abalone any longer, but is using a processed abalone laminate called “Abalam.”

The Lord only knows how many fussy little pieces of hand-cut shell went into older D-45’s trim. But these days a Martin D-45 requires a mere eleven strips of Abalam.

So how about it, you folks who believe that shell inlaid around the top of a guitar affect the sound: how does a hand-cut shell D-45 compare in tone to a recent one trimmed with a mere eleven strips of laminated abalone? If shell trim affects the sound of a guitar, whether it’s dozens of hand-cut solid shell or a few strips of what amounts to abalone plywood surely must make a difference, too!

So which sounds “better”: hand-cut chunks of shell or Abalam?

Just curious....


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  #24  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:34 PM
Alex W Alex W is offline
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Nothing that I know about guitar construction, which is admittedly from books by Cumpiano, Benedetto, and some others, would lead me to believe that the ornamentation improves the sound. It is reasonable to say that the best woods are allotted to the fanciest models. You wouldn't want to go to the expense and effort to fancy up a guitar with a ho him spruce top.

I own a D-41 and it doesn't sound any better than my brother's HD-28. They both sound great
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  #25  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:41 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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A person might try harder to play a bit better, and be more mindful of the guitar, when he plays an expensive guitar that he bought mainly for show.

Thus, subconsciously, D-45 appointments would improve the sound quality of a guitar and clarity would improve.

Not much heavy rock or out-of-control strumming with a D-45.
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  #26  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:54 PM
jwellsy jwellsy is offline
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IMHO the D35 sounds better than the D45. I believe that's due to the 3 piece back bling of the D35 helps emphasize the bass range which I prefer.
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  #27  
Old 03-06-2018, 03:56 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFox View Post
Thoughts ??
I am convinced that D-45 appointments improve the volume and clarity of an instrument versus a "standard" model.
Should adding 42/45 appointments be taken into consideration for "Voicing" of a custom build ?
42/45 "appointments" include higher (cosmetically) graded wood as well as the bling. Only if the higher grade wood improves the volume and clarity of the guitar over a Martin Standard Series will it be better. The bling does nothing.
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  #28  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:02 PM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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The bling makes them open up faster, and we all agree that an opened up guitar sounds, well, opened up.
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  #29  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:02 PM
hatefulsob hatefulsob is offline
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I just posted in a different thread about Jimmy D’Aquisto saying that he thought pretty much that anything other than wood on a guitar is detrimental to tone. He built what his clients asked for, but did not personally approve of binding, inlays or adjustable truss rods. I like pretty guitars, not so mush gaudy bling.
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  #30  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:05 PM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFox View Post
Thoughts ??
I am convinced that D-45 appointments improve the volume and clarity of an instrument versus a "standard" model.
Based on what?
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