Martin Guitars surprised visitors to NAMM by showing an ‘aged’ introduction – the Martin Custom Dreadnought. Controversially, the guitar (which will retail for a whisker under $10,000 in the USA) has been aged to resemble a 1930s Martin Dreadnought, with wear induced on all the points where a guitar from that era will have seen a lot of use, and a lacquer applied which is around half the depth of that applied to a new version. In a video produced to explain the new introduction, Martin admits this launch may divide potential customers but, as they point out, not everyone has 40 years left to wait till their guitar resembles the new Custom!
Less likely to cause controversy among Martin aficionados were the D-16E and the DC-16E, Dreadnoughts with a 000 depth, featuring Sitka spruce tops and sycamore back and sides. They feature silver binding and heelcap, an ebony bridge and a silver bound ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl diamonds and squares inlay and come equipped with Fishman Matrix VT Enhance electronics.
Finally, yet another unexpected arrival was a cutaway Orchestra Model with a Sitka spruce top paired with cherry back and sides, the OMC-16E. A timely introduction in view of the controversy raging over CITES woods, this is an FSC Certified model and features a modified low oval neck with high performance taper, simple dovetail neck joint, silver binding and heelcap, bone nut and Tusq saddle, ebony bridge, a silver bound ebony fingerboard with diamonds and squares inlaid in mother-of-pearl and Fishman Matrix VT Enhance electronics.