A neck reset in progress at Martin’s Customer Repair Department.

Chris Martin taps Martin Guitar’s top tech Dave Regec for the expert edge on how to maintain your acoustic guitar—and when to take it to a pro.

For this installment of Acoustic Soundboard, I decided to recap some common but important repairs and prevention tips for your guitar. Dave Regec, Manager of Customer Repair at Martin Guitars, and the rest of Martin’s techs often need to divine the source of a guitar’s ailment before they can get to work. “Although we can hardly know the life history of every guitar, we’re still tasked with unraveling the mystery of why each guitar has encountered an issue,” he says. “It’s kind of a ‘whodunit’ mystery that my team needs to solve.” Here are Dave’s thoughts on the most common issues.

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John Monteleone wanted to build archtops that would intrigue flattop acoustic players. He succeeded by softening the metallic treble of his guitars and introducing a high-end that was fatter and thicker tonally.

Photo by Rod Franklin

In an exclusive interview with Premier Guitar, the Stradivari of archtop lutherie reflects on a lifelong synthesis of art and guitars, while discussing the new film that documents his journey.

Woody Mann loved John Monteleone’s guitars so much, he thought there should be a movie about them.

After years of playing Monteleone’s legendary archtop guitars, Mann, the great fingerstyle player who died in January 2022, pitched his filmmaker friend Trevor Laurence on a documentary following Monteleone’s work. Laurence agreed, and when Mann shared the idea with Monteleone, the luthier had just one condition.

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John Bohlinger plays “Grandpa,” Kurt Cobain’s 1953 D-18 that resides in the Martin Guitar 1833 Shop and Museum.

Energy is in everything. Something came over me while playing historical instruments in the Martin Guitar Museum.

When I’m filming gear demo videos, I rarely know what I’m going to play. I just pick up whatever instrument I’m handed and try to feel where it wants to go. Sometimes I get no direction, but sometimes, gear is truly inspiring—like music or emotion falls right out. I find this true particularly with old guitars. You might feel some vibe attached to the instrument that affects what and how you play. I realize this sounds like a hippie/pseudo-spiritual platitude, but we’re living in amazing times. The Nobel Prize was just awarded to a trio of quantum physicists for their experiments with quantum entanglement, what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” Mainstream science now sounds like magic, so let’s suspend our disbelief for a minute and consider that there’s more to our world than what’s on the surface.

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