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Martin Electric Guitars

Exotic Pilgrams From Nazareth
 
Exotic Pilgrams From Nazareth

Mention the subject of American acoustic guitars and one of the first names that will undoubtedly pop into your head will be C.F. Martin. Not that there aren’t many other estimable names, but Martin, by virtue of its longevity since 1833 and incredible quality remains the standard by which almost all steel-stringed acoustics are judged. A pretty impressive achievement.

Bring up the topic of electrics, and Martin is hardly the first name of recall. The term “electrics” is not meant to include the company’s many fine acoustic-electric guitars, many sporting top-notch electronics (which ultimately remain acoustic beasts), but rather electric guitars meant for country chicken pickin’ or raunchy rock and roll. However, beginning in the early ’60s, Martin has launched periodic forays into the electric guitar marketplace with some very interesting, if commercially unsuccessful, results (which explains why the Martin name doesn’t come immediately to mind). Most coverage of the Martin brand is focused, quite rightly, on their substantial acoustic achievements. For this essay, however, let’s take an alternative view and look at the company’s various electric guitars, its thinline hollowbodies and later solidbodies.

The primary starting point for information about Martin guitars is, of course, Martin Guitars: A History by Mike Longworth, one-time pearl inlaying ace and former company historian (4 Maples Press, Minisink Hills, PA). Longworth’s book chronicles the company’s history in very personal terms and provides wonderfully rich detail about Martin’s many guitars through the ages. It should be an essential part of any Martin lover’s library.

Fifties flattop electrics
Martin actually got into the electric guitar business in the late ’50s when it started slapping DeArmond pickups onto some of its acoustic guitars yielding the D-18E, D-28E and OO-18E. These pickups were the DeArmond humbuckers with chrome sides and a black center in a trapezoidal hole, large pole pieces along one side and smaller poles along the other. Prototypes of the D-18E began in 1958 and in 1959 production began on it plus the D-28E and OO-18E.
The D-18E was a mahogany dreadnought with the neck pickup and a second bridge pickup. The typical Martin pickguard had the front point cut off and a notch in back to make room for the pickups rings. A three-way toggle was mounted on the upper treble bout. Controls included one volume and two tones, with the big plastic knobs. D-18Es are the rarest of these early Martin electrics, lasting only from the ’58 prototypes through 1959. These began with prototype #163746. Around 858 of these were produced.

The D-28E was essentially the same as the D-18E except for a rosewood body, gold-finished pickups and Grover Roto-matic tuners. D-28Es lasted from 1959 through 1964. These were the most common, with around 3,083 produced.

The OO-18E was basically the small-bodied OO-18 acoustic with mahogany back and sides, spruce top, and the ring-mounted DeArmond tucked right at the end of the fingerboard. These featured one tone and one volume control, with large two-tone plastic knobs situated down on the lower treble bout. The first prototype was serial number 166839. OO-18Es were produced from 1959 to 1964. Around 1,526 of these were produced.

These first Martins were fairly clumsy pilgrimages into electricity, but it’s important to know about them because they could easily be construed as having been modified by owners when, in fact, they are quite Kosher.

F Troop
Martin’s first truly electric guitars were the Style F thinline archtops which began in prototype stage in 1961 and entered production in 1962. The F Series consisted of three models, the F-50, F-55 and F-65, all with bodies slightly less than 2″ thick and made of maple plywood with bound tops. All three had shapes roughly reminiscent of the dreadnought that made Martin famous, though slightly exaggerated with a wider lower bout. The cutaways were fairly wide and radical, cutting out at almost a right angle from the neck. The glued in necks had unbound 20-fret rosewood fingerboards, dot inlays and the typical squarish Martin three-and-three headstock. Necks joined the body at the 14th fret. Each bore an elevated pickguard and had a distinctive moveable adjustable bridge made of clear plexiglass.

The F-50 was the bottom of the line, a single cutaway with a single DeArmond humbucker pickup, like those on the previous acoustic hybrids, in the neck position. Controls were one volume and one tone control mounted along the edge of the lower treble bout, with black, chrome-topped knobs. This had a trapeze tailpiece with a sort of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari “M” cutout of the center. This was finished in a brown to yellow two-tone sunburst. The first prototype bore the serial number 179828. 1,165 F-50s were built from the middle of 1962 to the spring of 1965.

The F-55 was identical to the F-50 except for the addition of a bridge DeArmond humbucker, plus the attendant three-way toggle on the cutaway horn and a second set of volume and tone knobs flanking the treble f-hole. The F-55, too, had a Martin “M” trapeze tail. This series began with guitar #279831. Some 1,700 F-55s were made from mid-’62 to the summer of 1965.

The F-65 was the top of the line with two equal cutaways. Other than the bookmatched cutaways, this was the same as the two-pickup F-55, with the addition of a Bigsby-made Martin vibrato in which the stylized “M” had become a similar “V” shape. Probably the strangest feature of the F-65 was the fact that the heel of the neck did not change from the single-cutaway models, creating a sort of thick chunk of body extending up to the 14th fret. The first F-65 was #179834. 1,825 F-65s were made from 1962 to the summer of ’65.

Mike Longworth’s book shows at least three guitar amplifiers carrying the Martin name from the early ’60s. Who made them is unknown… most certainly it wasn’t Martin. In 1961 Martin marketed a pair of combos, the Model 110T and Model 112T. Both had top rear-mounted controls and a very groovy geometrical grillcloths in a sort of M.C. Escher pattern. Presumably the 110 featured a 10″ speaker, while the 112 had a 12″. The “T” suggests a tremolo circuit. In 1962 Martin offered a very cool #700 portable amplifier, a unit ensconced in a leather carrying case, presumably battery-powered.

Sporty GTs
The Martin F Series bit the dust in mid-’65, to be supplanted by the somewhat updated, nattier GT Series of bound archtop hollowbody electrics. The first few prototypes were dubbed the XTE Series and produced in 1965. The guitars were renamed the GT Series and swung into production in the beginning of 1966. The GT Series consisted basically of two models, the GT-70 and GT-75. These were thinlines with two f-holes, a 15th fret neck joint (actually more frets were clear of the body), bound 22-fret rosewood fingerboards, dot inlays, and new, bound, wide-flared three-and-three headstocks with a concave curve in the pointed crown.

The GT-70 was a re-styled two-pickup, single-cutaway recalling the F-55s. The cutaway retained the wide horizontal angle of before, however the upper bass bout received a more graceful treatment, with a slight inward curve as it met the neck at the 16th fret. The controls were the same as before; the elevated pickguard had become a large white affair, the tailpiece was the V-notched Bigsby. Pickups remained our familiar DeArmond humbuckers. Gone were the plastic bridges in favor of metal adjustable finetune variety. Finishes were either burgundy or black. The first prototype serial number was 203803. Around 1,450 of these were made between January of 1966 and October of 1968.

The GT-75 was a re-tooled two-pickup, double-cutaway F-65 with the same appointments as the GT-70. The major change was moving the heel forward to the body juncture, eliminating the awkward body extension of the F-65. The first prototype serial number was #204108. 1,555 GT-75s were built from January ’66 to October ’68.

Mike Longworth also records at least three 12-string versions of the GT-75 (#218391, #218405, #218411). These had extended headstocks without the flared top, and the M trapeze tailpiece.

The F Series Martin electrics were before my awareness of the diversity of the guitar universe, but I recall the appearance of the GTs, which got to stores in Wisconsin in the summer of ’67. I recall admiring the cool shapes and burgundy finish, although I’ve never been a fan of DeArmond pickups and, rightly or wrongly, always considered them a weakness. As already indicated, the GT Series was hardly a winner and fell victim to the general guitar malaise that swept the world guitar markets in around 1968. The same guitar bust that did in Valco/Kay and a host of Japanese guitarmakers did in Martin’s archtop electrics.

Longworth also illustrates yet another Martin amplifier offered in 1966, the SS-140. Again, little is known of this, except it’s a huge monster tower with a pair of side handles to help you hoist it. Both the appearance and prefix suggest it was solid state. The 140 might suggest the output wattage. It’s highly unlikely Martin only offered this one model, so there are probably a few other OEM Martin amps floating around.

Japanese Martins
Martin’s first era of flirtation with electrics ended with its GTs, and, in terms of American production, wouldn’t resume until a decade later. However, in 1970 Martin joined the growing list of American manufacturers to begin importing guitars made in Japan, introducing its Sigma series. In around 1973, Martin, like competitors Guild and Gibson, began importing a line of Sigma solidbody electrics made in Japan by Tokai.

Like virtually all Japanese-made guitars from that era, Martin Sigma solidbodies were basically copies of other American models. Martin Sigmas employed slightly different headstock designs, unlike many copies carrying Japanese brand names, but essentially these are similar to most other of these early copies.

In 1974 Martin Sigma electrics included two SGs, a Tele and a Fender bass. The SBG2-6 was pretty much a straightforward SG copy with a bolt-on neck, center-peaked three-and-three head, block inlays, large pickguard, twin humbuckers, finetune bridge, and stop tailpiece, in cherry. The SBG2-9 was pretty cool, with a natural-finished plywood body, white pickguard, rosewood fingerboard with white block inlays, gold hardware and Bigsby. The SBF2-6 was a Tele with rosewood fingerboard, three-and-three head, block inlays, neck humbucker and bridge single-coil. The SBB2-8 was the bass, with natural finished body, three-and-three head, rosewood ‘board, block inlays, white ‘guard, and two humbucking pickups.

Martin’s Sigma electrics fared hardly better than its own electric guitar designs of the ’60s. After little more than a year, the electrics were dropped from the Sigma line. The Japanese companies’ own replicas, of course, did swimmingly well.

Rock solids
Martin’s re-entry into electric manufacturing is related to the association of Richard (Dick) Boak with the C.F. Martin company. Dick Boak, with dreams of being a luthier and constantly working on guitar projects on his own, joined Martin in 1976 as a draftsman. In 1977 Boak was assigned to the project of designing an electric guitar for Martin. This resulted in the development of the E-18, EM-18 and EB-18 guitars and bass. The first prototypes of this new electric guitar series were produced in 1978, ten years after the demise of the GT-70/75, and production commenced in 1979 with guitar serial number 1000.

The new Martin electrics were offset double cutaway guitars which, in terms of shape, fall very loosely into a Stratocaster category. The cutaways are a bit wider and shallower than a Strat, both pointing away from the body. The horns are much more rounded than a Strat. Like a Strat, the waist is slightly offset, and the lower bout has a slightly asymmetrical slant to it. The bodies were initially built of hard maple and rosewood laminates that imitate the look of neck-through guitars popular at the time, but actually have neck pockets with glued-in mahogany necks. These had unbound 22-fret rosewood fingerboards, dot inlays and a distinctive three-and-three variation on the old Stauffer/Viennese headstock which may have originally inspired Leo Fender’s Strat creation with script CFM logo decal. (Prior to developing the Strat, Fender visited the Martin factory and was shown some of the old Stauffer/Martins with the round-hooked Eastern European headstock shape.) These all featured chrome Sperzel tuners, brass nuts, twin humbuckers, threeway selects, two volume and two tones with chrome dome knobs, and a Leo Quan Badass bridge.

The E-18 and EM-18 were basically the same guitar differing only in electronics. The E-18 featured two DiMarzio humbucking pickups, a DiMarzio PAF at the neck and a DiMarzio Super Distortion at the bridge. In addition to the regular controls, the E-18 had mini-toggle phase switch. Production of the E-18 began in April of ’79 and about 5,307 (about 1,320 a year) were made until the guitar ended in early 1982.

The EM-18 came with either a pair of Mighty Mite humbuckers or a pair of DiMarzios. It was otherwise the same as the E-18 with the addition of a three-way mini-toggle coil selector switch which allowed a choice of both or either coil on the lead pickup. This arrangement allowed for a rather remarkable variety of tones, by the way. EM-18 production began in 1979 and some 1,375 were made until the guitar ended in February 1982.

The EB-18 was a bass version with a 33.825″ scale. According to Longworth, early versions had a single DiMarzio “One” pickup and Grover Titan tuners, while later basses had a DiMarzio “G” pickup and Schaller pickups. Expect to find various combinations of those. Longworth also mentions the possibility that some might have Mighty Mite pickups, but this is uncertain. EB-18 production began in ’79 and about 5,226 (about 1,300 a year) were made until the guitar ended in early 1982.

According to Longworth, Martin began to use built-in Schaller Straploks beginning with guitar #2085. However, the example shown here is #1034, the thirty-fourth made if #1000 was indeed the first, and it has the Schaller Straploks, which are original. Pot dates are late 1978, confirming that it’s probably one of the early examples. The serial number on #1034, by the way, was printed on a piece of tape in the cavity under the neck pickup. The control cavity had “EM-18″ stamped in it.

These guitars came with rectangular molded plastic cases.

The #1034 EM-18 illustrated has the impressed or branded Martin logo burned into the back of the headstock. According to Longworth, the Martin trademark began to be burned into the back at the neck joint beginning with #2377.

Again according to Longworth, early 18 Series instruments had brass-plated steel covers on the control panel, whereas later versions had black plastic.

Finally, according to Longworth, the earliest examples of these instruments had laminated bodies made of maple, rosewood and mahogany. A second series was made with a combination of maple and rosewood. A third series was made with maple and walnut. The #1034 EM-18 shown here appears to be very early yet has maple and rosewood, so it’s not clear if materials are indicators of chronology or simply the vicissitudes of fate (or the woodshop, as the case may be).

Despite what appears now to a somewhat dated design (all the quasi-organic shapes inspired by Alembic at the time are tough to love with the passage of time), Martin’s 18 Series electrics are actually quite comfortable and yield a versatile number of useful sounds. The neck profile is quite round, not unlike many acoustics, but very easy to play. The frets are small and squarish, which makes them a bit awkward for blues-style bending.

Martin’s 18 Series didn’t turn the heads of the electric guitar world even though more than 15,000 guitars and basses were produced in three years and these models bit the dust in 1982.

Plus ten
In 1980, however, Martin had hired another guitarmaker, one John Marshall. Marshall had studied lutherie with Eric Schulte whose base of operation was in the far western Main Line suburbs of Philadelphia around Frazer, PA. Schulte himself had worked with the legendary Sam Koontz, who was responsible for Harptone and some Standel guitars, as well as his own. After learning the tricks of the trade from Schulte, Marshall became involved in the ill-fated Renaissance guitar company of Malvern, PA, just up the road from Frazer. Renaissance, you’ll recall, made those exotic plexiglass guitars and basses in around 1979 (plus a later series in 1980 designed by John Dragonetti). These were designed by John Marshall. Marshall left Renaissance to join Martin, where he was hired to work on the electric guitars which would become Martin’s 28 Series.

As suggested by the numerical designation, Martin’s 28 Series was essentially an upgrade or refinement of the earlier 18 Series. Martin typically indicates fancier materials and appointments with a higher number (a D-28 is fancier dreadnought than a D-18, etc.). These consisted of one guitar, the E-28, and one bass, the EB-28. The first prototypes appeared in June of 1980; production began in January of 1981.

Essentially the 28s looked very similar to the E/EM/EB-18s. They had the same offset double cutaway body outline and the modified Viennese three-and-three headstock. Instead of maple laminate bodies with glued-in necks, the 28s had mahogany bodies and necks in a neck-through-body design. The basically slab bodies of the E-18 had gained a carved top, with a deep contour in the upper waist. The brass nut had become a Micarta nut. Fingerboards were now ebony. Finishes were sunburst.

The E-28 guitar now sported a two-octave fingerboard and a Schaller adjustable bridge/tailpiece assembly, in chrome. Pickups were twin active humbuckers specially designed for Martin by Seymour Duncan. The straplocking system was also by Schaller, as were the tuners. Controls included two volumes for each pickup plus a master volume and master tone (all with black knobs sort of like those found on Rickenbackers), a three-way select, a phase switch and an active circuit bypass switch. The headstock had an ebony veneer. The cover on the control cavity was made of black Boltaron.

The EB-28 bass was very similar to the guitar in appointments and controls. It had a 22-fret ebony fingerboard, 33.825″ scale, a DiMarzio P-style neck pickup and a DiMarzio J-style pickup at the bridge. It, too, carried a Schaller bridge and Schaller M-4 tuners. Around 4,854 each of these 28 Series guitars and basses were built between January 1981 and February 1982.

For better or worse, by 1982 the taste for natural-finished, neck-through guitars with lots of switches and active electronics had begun to move on. On the horizon were the brief affair with weird-shaped “heavy metal” guitars and the impending first Strat-mania and the rise of Superstrats which would pretty much define the remainder of the decade. 1982, and the 18 and 28 Series, marked the end of Martin’s direct manufacture of electric solidbody guitars.

Like a bumble bee
However, Martin did not completely abandon the marketing of solidbody electrics. In 1985, coincident with the dramatic increase in quality among Korean manufacturers, Martin unveiled its Stinger line of solidbody electrics made on the peninsula south of the DMZ.

As with most other imported Martin products, Stinger guitars were made in Korea and shipped to the Martin factory for a final inspection and set-up before being sent on to dealers. Essentially, Martin Stingers are well-made entry level guitars pretty much following conventional lines of the marketplace.

Martin never actually produced Stinger catalogs, so a detailed accounting is pretty difficult. However, there were four basic Stinger body styles, a fairly conventional Strat shape, a Strat-style with an arched top, a Tele and a Fender-style bass. These came in a variety of finish and pickup configuration options. Headstocks were a kind of modified Strat-style six-in-line, with a pointed throat and slightly hooked nose, with a painted triangular Stinger logo running under the strings. All had bolt-on maple necks. Guitars had a 25.4″ scale, while the basses were 34″ers.

The core of this early Stinger line can be seen in an undated flyer which could be anywhere from around 1986 to ’88. Strat-style guitars included the SWG, SGV and SSX. The arched-top Strats were the SSL-1, SSL-10 and SSL-20. The Tele was the STX, and the basses were the SBX and SBL-10.

The principal difference among the Strats was in finish options. All had 21-fret maple necks, three single-coil pickups, volume and two tone controls, and five-way select. The SWG came in yer basic red or black, with maple ‘board and chrome hardware. These had traditional non-locking vibratos. The SGV was offered in red with white graphics. The SSX was the dusey, with purple burst (white outside, purple in center), tiara turquoise, blue pearl, metallic white, black and candy apple red finish options, with… with matching colored maple fingerboard and (that’s and) matching chrome hardware.

Sources other than the flyer do not mention all the fingerboard and hardware color options. Since few of these show up on the market, I suspect these fancy Stingers are quite rare.

The STX “Tele” was pretty much a copy with a humbucker at the bridge and a single-coil at the neck. This had volume and tone, three-way select and a mini-toggle coil-tap on the ‘bucker. Fingerboard was rosewood, while hardware was black chrome. Finish options included cream, metallic red, purple burst and black.

The arched top Strats all had maple necks, rosewood ‘boards, black hardware, Floyd Rose licensed locking vibrato systems, and slight finish variations. The SSL-1 had a single humbucker with a volume control that had a push-pull coil tap. This could be had in metallic black, purple burst, white pearl, red pearl, and pink fire. The neck on the early SSL-1 is described in different sources as having a stain finish or as having an oil finish; there’s probably a clue to dating sequence here, but I don’t know the answer.

The SSL-10 offered the humbucker/single/single arrangement, with one volume and two tones, five-way select and mini-toggle coil tap. Substitute candy apple red and blue pearl for the red pearl and pink fire options.

The SSL-20 had two humbuckers, three-way select and push-pull coil tap. This came in the same finishes as the SSL-1 minus the pink fire. Darn.

The basses followed a similar pattern. The SBX sported one split-coil pickup, volume, tone and black, candy apple red, white pearl and gun metal finishes, with matching colored maple fingerboards and colored chrome hardware.

The SBL-10 offered a split neck pickup and single-coil bridge pickup, with two volumes, master tone, three-way select, cream, black, white, and black pearl finish option, with matching maple ‘board and hardware.

By the Fall of 1988 the Stinger line, as reflected in a November price list, had rearranged slightly. Still around were the SWG ($281), SGV ($294), SSX ($308), and STX ($330) guitars and the SBX ($337) and SBL-10 ($367) basses, the black SSX and SBX now available in lefty versions (add $15). Essentially these were unchanged in options.

New was the SSX-N ($347), basically the three single-coil SSX with an ash body and natural finish, set off with black hardware and a fixed bridge/tail assembly.

The arched top Strats were still available, but now with new names and details. Gone were the one-pickup SSL-1 and twin humbucker SSL-20.

The SSL-10 had become the SSX-10 ($387), with humbucker/single/single pickups, pretty much the same. This came with jumbo frets, a satin-finished neck and a 14 degree backward pitch on the head. The rosewood ‘board now sported the “wave” or triangular wave inlays popular on Kramers, Charvels and Jacksons of the period. No mention is made of vibrato, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a tradition-style unit. Colors were now Carrera midnight blue, metallic black, purple burst, dark red, white pearl and blue pearl, all with chrome hardware.

New was the SSX-10L ($451), a deluxe SSX-10, adding a Whammy Bar II Floyd Rose licensed vibrato system and black hardware. Colors were Carrera midnight blue, dark red, white pearl and metallic black.

Two other totally new guitars debuted in November of ’88, the ST-3 ($225) and ST-4 ($235). These were both Strats, with maple necks, rosewood fingerboards, volume and two tones, five-way select, chrome hardware, SAT non-locking vibrato, in black, white or red with graphics. The ST-3 had three single-coils, whereas the ST-4 had a ‘bucker and two singles. Cases or gig bags were extra.

These guitars appear to have lasted through 1989 or so. In 1990 the Stinger line shrank dramatically. Three guitars and two basses were listed in the Guitar World 1990-91 Guitar Buyer’s Guide. The three guitars in ’90 were the SSX, SPX and SSL. These were basically Strats (gone were the arched tops). The SSX now had three single-coils and fixed bridge/tailpiece. The SPX offered two humbuckers with a coil tap switch. The SSL had one humbucker and one single-coil, with a tap on the ‘bucker, and a traditional vibrato.

Basses were the SBL and SBL-105. The SBL was a P-bass with split-coil and single-coil pickups, rosewood ‘board, and black hardware. The SBL-105 was a five-string version of the SBL.

These last Stingers apparently hung around for a year or so. In the Guitar World 1992-93 Guitar Buyer’s Guide only one Stinger guitar was listed, the ST-2, an inexpensive Strat with three single-coil pickups. No basses were listed.

In around 1988 Martin introduced a line of Stinger amps and effects pedals. Amps included the FX-1 (10 watts, 8″ speaker, “Tube Synth” distortion circuit, $152), the FX-1R (15 watts, 8″ speaker, Tube Synth, spring reverb, $220), FX-3B (15 watts, 10″ speaker, compression, separate pre-amp and master volume controls, 3-band EQ, $189), FX-3C (30 watts, 12″ speaker, Tube Synth, chorus, $299), and the FX-3RC (65 watts, 12″ speaker, Tube Synth, chorus, reverb, effects loop, $379).

In the Spring of 1989 Martin added the FX-1R Mini-Stack (15 watts, 10″ speaker, Tube Synth, reverb, $369) and the FX-6B bass amp (60 watts, 15″ speaker, separate pre-amp and master volume controls, 3-band EQ, $469).

Effects pedals included the TS-5 Tube Stack (distortion, $77.50), DI-10 Distortion ($65.95), CO-20 Compressor ($73.50), OD-30 Overdrive ($65.95), FL-60 Flanger ($95.95), CH-70 Stereo Chorus ($90.50), DE-80 Analog Delay ($173.95), and DD-90 Digital Delay ($189.50).

The Stinger amps and effects lasted only a little over a year or so.

And that’s about that. After ’93 Martin Stingers, like their previous Martin-brand cousins, started drifting off into solidbody byways of guitar history. The Stinger ST-2, basic fulcrum-vibrato Strats with pickguards and three single-coils, in black, red, and white, and the now ubiquitous droopy pointy headstock, was still listed in the 1996 Martin catalog, but these were pale reflections of the peak years.

It must be said, by the way, that these Stingers were not bad guitars, setting up and playing well, with a decent, hefty feel. But they never really caught on, like the rest of their Martin cousins, bringing to an end for the time being, at least the sporadic story of Martin electric guitars.

Why Martin electric guitars have never been more popular isn’t too hard to figure out. Martin, whose expertise has always been in top-notch acoustics, never really put a lot of effort into marketing its electrics. They were always well made, and, especially in the necks, clearly “Martins.” In the final analysis, however, it probably comes down to being victims of the success of their acoustic brothers, and players have just never seemed to warm up to the idea of Martin “electric” guitars. For the savvy collector with a taste for quality and relative rarity, Martin electrics remain excellent and attainable prizes.



Thanks to C.F. Martin Company and Dick Boak for helping with this story and providing photos from its archives.

By the way, I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank collector and one of VG’s earliest subscribers Jim Dulfer for invaluable help in an ongoing research effort, providing access to his truly impressive paper collection and photographs of some of his instruments. These catalogs are filling in many, many holes in information. You will be reaping the benefits in upcoming “Different Strummer” columns in both information and illustrations, as well as in upcoming book project. Thanks to Jim from guitar fans everywhere!



1963 Martin F-65 in a cool sunburst with a pair of DeArmond’s and a Martin Bigsby

This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’96 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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