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more... GearGear HistoryJuly 2008Martin

175...and Counting: Martin's 175th Anniversary


Martin''s 175th Anniversary For example, there are more than 20 binding options alone. There are more than 25 unique rosettes, not including design options submitted by customers involving pearl inlay. With so many customizable features available, it is essential that we are all using the same terms. The design tool allows for us to be speaking the same language with our customers by allowing them to choose options graphically instead of trying to name them alone. There are many more options available than are visible on the web design tool.

All custom orders are still placed by an authorized dealer, and customers can still work directly with their dealers without ever logging on to our site.

Are there plans to flush out the additional options online?
New options have been planned from the inception. We simply chose the most popular options first, but we will be adding many more as we go forward, including sunbursts, top toners, 12-fret models and cutaway options. Our plan is to continue to add new and interesting options as we develop them.

Are these just the pre-planned changes or are you taking suggestions from customers?
We are responding to customer feedback as well – the input from our customers has been excellent!

It seems that an acoustic custom shop would be a lot more labor-intensive than an electric one; how is this feasible for such a large company?
The process of building a custom acoustic is very labor-intensive. Parts and components are processed and compiled in our machining area, and travel through our standard production line through the finishing process. All final assembly, neck fitting, bridge gluing and setup is performed in the custom shop exclusively. We employ eight of our most experienced craftspeople in the custom shop itself, along with three highly skilled designers who can offer assistance to our dealers and customers.

Martin''s 175th Anniversary So what exactly is the process when a player has picked all of their options and is ready to order their guitar?
The first thing to do is to take your virtual spec sheet to an authorized dealer. The dealer will place a quote contract request with us based on your spec sheet. Once created, we will return the spec sheet to the dealer, who will review all specs and options with the customer. Once all the specs and options are agreed upon, both parties return the signed quote to us and we will begin the build process. It generally takes about four to six months to complete a custom, depending on the complexity of the project.

There are a lot of options for smaller, high-end custom shops where one guy makes the guitar from start to finish. What does this option offer over those shops?

Martin has a long history of successful guitar design and innovation. Having 175 years of experience to draw from allows us to offer more flexibility and more options than any other guitar manufacturer. From simple to complex, we offer the ability to customize virtually any base model on our price list, utilizing the finest materials.

Nazareth, Pennsylvania
is at or near the top of any guitar player’s list of Cooperstown-type destinations for a road trip. Just ask anyone who has made the journey – Martin’s factory and museum provide a full day of learning and drooling that every picker must experience.

The factory tour is almost overwhelming with its start-to-finish, up-close look at how every Martin guitar is made. Artisans do their thing right in front of you using tools and techniques that have been passed down for generations, as well as modern methods/technology that keep the company at the forefront of quality guitar craftsmanship.

The museum includes priceless artifacts and famous guitars that will quickly drain your digital camera’s memory card: the 1,000,000th Martin, one of the earliest Martins ever made, the best sounding Martin known to man, you name it. To give you a taste, we’ve produced a number of videos from our recent trip there.

Click here to watch!

C.F. Martin & Company
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