Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

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tateharmann
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by tateharmann » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:50 am

Another lovely...'Imperial' brand: https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/2012/ ... r.html?m=1

Sounds an awful lot like a classical guitar to me :)
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

Marshall Dixon
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by Marshall Dixon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:24 am

The appointments are interesting - ladder braced - one piece birch back and sides - maple neck - radiused fingerboard - spruce top. All without cracking since 1895. The sound was full bodied and clear. He mentions playing with the pads of the fingers. Aquila Nylgut strings. Just lovely.

The one thing that guitars of this era seem to have in common are simple three ringed 'rosettes'. In keeping with factory production methods. Good to see them taken care of.

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tateharmann
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by tateharmann » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:49 pm

Yea that one piece back is insteresting! A lot of these instruments I've been looking at have around a 63 cm scale length too. That coupled with the radiused fingerboard should make them comfortable to play (given the action is correct). I really like the simplicity of the rosettes - the simpler the better in my book haha!

Here's some of the repertoire from the period. This is played on a much older Martin that's more like Stauffer/Viennese than anything else, but it's gut strings and pads of the fingers only. An arrangement of 'Sweet Marie' done by Charles de Janon:


Youtube
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

Marshall Dixon
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by Marshall Dixon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:06 pm

63 cm is really close to the 24.9 inch 'Martin short scale.' I've used that on several steel string guitars and a 635 mm scale (25 inch) on a nylon. The sound characteristics were negligible but you can certainly feel the difference.

I'm loving checking these guitars out. That last one you posted lead to several other examples. Robbie O'brian had an old Martin he redid that was meant for gut but had steel strings on it when he got it. He mentions that and the impression I got is the silk and steel is light enough to be safe and it looked to be what he strung it with.

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tateharmann
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by tateharmann » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:36 pm

Yea I'm playing on a 640 mm scale length Torres-esque guitar at the moment. I've never regretted going down to the 640. I'm actually thinking that my next guitar would be 630 or less - that was a factor that lead me to this search. I like digging these instruments up too! I found a couple other interesting threads:

Washburn - http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/foru ... p?t=352223
Bay State - http://acousticguitarforum.com/forums/s ... p?t=236012

Now right from Bay State's info comes this quote:
Bay State guitars from that era are known for their fine wood and intricate inlays and bridges although Bay State also constructed plain unadorned instruments. All guitars were gut string since, of course, steel strings were not widely known or used until the 1920’s. Of course, the guitars did not have truss rods or reinforcements of any kind in the neck.
And from a random person this quote on the Washburns:
All Washburn standard models up to 1915 were built for gut strings. If you want to PM me the serial number off the top of the headstock I may be able to give you a year of manufacture Warren.
And, I think you're right, most of these folks that still want to use steel strings are using silk and steel. There's a reference to an extra light set of steel made by Thomastik-Infeld branded as 'plectrum' strings that pull even less tension than most silk and steel sets :)
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:24 pm

sxedio wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:21 pm
Aren't the early martin designs similar to the viennese Staufer etc. designs? So maybe you can get away with any austrian or german make of that era, or a modern Staufer replica? ...
CF Martin worked in the Staufer company before emigrating, so yes that's how he learned to make them.

I often wonder whether that typical Staufer-Martin headstock influenced the design of another iconic brand, Fender?
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

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tateharmann
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by tateharmann » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:55 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:24 pm
I often wonder whether that typical Staufer-Martin headstock influenced the design of another iconic brand, Fender?
That'd be funny!
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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tateharmann
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by tateharmann » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:58 am

Up till now I thought I'd have to get an instrument made before 1900 to get a gut string compatible one...now after doing some research, it seems that many guitars well into the teens and some in the twenties were still being built for gut. That's assuming that one could find a guitar in it's original condition without bracing mods done for steel strings. Check this out from Martin's site:
Although Martin didn’t make any mention of building guitars for steel strings until the early 1920s, a few were made on special order starting as early as 1900. About a dozen 0 and 00 models made for steel strings show up in the sales ledgers covering the first decade of the new century, and all were Style 21 and higher, including some pearl-bordered models. The real push for steel strings, however, came in the late ‘teens, and by then it was the less-expensive mahogany models that were given the new stringing.
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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sxedio
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by sxedio » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:36 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:24 pm
I often wonder whether that typical Staufer-Martin headstock influenced the design of another iconic brand, Fender?
I think Fender pretty much copied it from the earlier design, not sure if you can find definite proof somewhere.
(Gr) (En) (very little Fr)

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tateharmann
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Re: Turn of last century Martin North American Contemporaries

Post by tateharmann » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:03 pm

I just discovered another one: Peter Benson. As it turns out...he built guitars right here in my backyard! A Swedish immigrant who built guitars in Minneapolis, MN USA. Crazy. See here: http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/kids/guitars.html
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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