Martin owners enjoy a sunny day in Nazareth

Nazareth, PA (August 5, 2008) -- Martin Guitars hosted the Martin Owners Club Annual Event on the grounds of their Factory/Headquarters in Nazareth Pennsylvania, this past Friday, August 1. It was a beautiful, sunny day, which set a perfect backdrop for the yearly gathering of Martin enthusiasts who come from around the globe to take part in the festivities.

Fishman clinic
Martin owners find some shade beneath the tents for a Fishman clinic

Martin opened their doors and their grounds to the 1000-plus acoustic guitar fans that came to revel in the company’s rich musical history and be among their favorite guitars and the dedicated people who own them. The event featured factory and museum tours, live music performances, various educational clinics and was highlighted by an address to the M.O.C. members by Christian F. Martin IV.

Chris Martin IV speakingDuring his speech, Mr. Martin touched on a wide range of topics from the sustainable and responsible forestry of tonewoods to his first guitar lesson. Interestingly, the one comment that got the most applause from the crowd was the announcement that he and his family have no intention of selling the business -- not surprising considering the loyalty and passion this crowd has for his family’s guitars. Mr. Martin also reiterated his company’s commitment to producing some of the finest acoustic instruments in the world and not necessarily branching out into other areas like electric guitars or fingerstyle classical acoustics. “We’ve tried some of those things in the past, but have only had varying degrees of success selling them,” said Martin. He went on to say how amazed he was that people came from as far away as they did to make this festival. “This is a terrific event and we are thrilled that you all could make it,” said Martin.

post office in martinThis gathering was particularly special since Martin is celebrating its 175th Anniversary this year. To commemorate this anniversary, they had Robert Goetzl, the artist who created the official Martin 175th Anniversary painting, signing postcards of the painting in the lobby of the factory. They also arranged to have the USPS set up an honorary post office branch in the lobby so attendees could buy postage and then have the post card postage canceled with a special USPS-Martin rubber stamp.

With the wonderful weather, Martin’s generous hospitality and a big helping of the Martin Owners Club’s favorite brand of guitars, it seemed like everyone in attendance got what they came for.

3 Guitarists playing Martins
Attendees got on stage to play together during the open mic jam session that ended the day

For more information:
C.F. Martin Guitars
Martin Owners Club

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less