12/28/06: My new guitar:

It's an M-18VME Custom, made by the C. F. Martin custom shop.
It was commissioned by Guitar Showcase in San Jose working with Joe McNamar's regional sales rep.

It's gorgeous and it has a great tone --
strong projection, very bright highs and a growling bass.

Click here for larger close-up shot


I'd been guitar shopping for the past few months, and I've been to several fine guitar shops from Seattle to
Laguna Beach before I fell hard for this one.  I played it for an hour, then handed it back to the salesman who
returned it to the glass case where they keep their high-end acoustics.  A little later I just had to check it out
some more, and this time it never went back into the showcase. 



Here it is alongside my OM-35.


 Petey, the dachshund puppy, joins the photo shoot. Petey likes Martin Guitars.



Petey sniffs the ebony tuning knobs.  This photo also shows the McKinney-Elliot Capo that stores above the nut when not in use.


 The top is Adirondack Spruce, with scalloped bracing.  The sound hole rosette
is inlayed with abalone shell (style-45) rosette.




The East Indian rosewood headplate is inlaid with an abalone torch, and the
tuning machines are fitted with ebony knobs.  The nut is bone,  1-11/16" wide.



Another shot of the top.  You can see the microphone from the factory-installed Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend
dual-pickup system which also includes a piezo-electric pickup under the bone saddle.   I installed the same
system last year on my Martin OM-35, and I really like its versatility and sound.



The back and sides are flame maple, stained to match the Spanish cedar neck.




The body binding is tortoise-shell colored, which I tried to show in these 2 photographs.



Here are some inside views:

2006 serial number
(Photoshopped for privacy)



Update 1/30/007:  I've now slotted the bridge and installed snakewood pins.


(Click to enlarge)



Update 5/5/007:  Today I added a buffalo horn/abalone strap button to hold my new Sully Strap:

Strap Button 



Here's an "X-ray vision" photo of the bracing pattern,
 taken with internal flash lighting:

Jay Keller,
December 29, 2006

See our family's other musical instruments here

For more dog pictures, as well as a bunch of other stuff, visit my home page at www.jaykeller.com

(Woodworking, beekeeping, photography, cooking, music, dachshunds, more...)

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Last revision 8/26/007