Standard, not signature models, no electronics. Just a guitar! I'd love to get a dread but my arthritic shoulder can't reach around, so I'm aiming at a smaller model. Martin, well that's just a given ;-)
I flatpick and fingerpick, but the arthritis is going to eliminate fingerpicking soon enough. The two models are nearly identical; both have Sitka spruce tops, for example. The primary difference are the sides/backs: the 18 uses mahogany and the 28 rosewood. I'd love to play them side-by-side, but I can't find a store in the NYC metro area that carries both.
So, here are some questions: 1. Does anyone have experience with both models? 2. How about the woods in question -- is anyone a proponent of one or the other (or better, have a nuanced argument about the pros and cons of each)? 3. Is there another Martin model I should be looking at? 4. Although I wrote above that the Martin is "a given," I really am open suggestions of comparable makes. 5. Other sites, resources, forums I should consult? 6. Is there a guitar store in the North Jersey/NYC area where I could possibly try both?
I'm in no hurry -- this guitar is going to last me a while. Thanks in advance!
I've heard great examples of both. I've found the 000 series to be comfortable, because they are a little less deep than a dread, but almost the same width. Another option, is to find a 12-fret 00. Your arm will fall even lower in a more comfortable position, yet the longer 12 fret body has as much or more volume than a standard 000. Mahogany vs rosewood is a personal choice. Try Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island. They always have a huge selection of Martins, and should certainly bracket all sizes, shapes and woods.
That is a good point about the 00. If arthritis is becoming an issue you may also want to consider a guitar with the shorter 24.9 scale instead of the dreadnought scale. The scale of all martin models is available on their website.Also check out Elderly instruments website they have all kinds of new and used 000's and 00's.
Thanks all for your replies. The clips from Maury's are really very helpful. Still I'll likely end up going down to Staten Island to try them myself. I'm certain now that I have to listen to the tonewoods themselves, side-by-side. And to hold an 00 and 000 again, side-by-side. The salesperson at a place like Mando Brothers is likely to have had experience with various kinds of arthritis before and will be able to give me advice. I've only been there once, but I remember it as something of a shrine to acoustic music. Maybe while I'm there I can try out some mandolins and open-backs!
I have both D-28 and D-18. The '28 is a "standard", the18" is V model. I think your question is refereing to the differenced in tonal quality between the two? My '28 is a very strong, attack like guitar. When strumming, although there is a chord produced it's like a blend of 6 notes, again attacking. It is great for both lead or rythmn. The guitar is EXTREMELY loud, which maybe a direct result of it's age, happening gradually over the years so I really didn't notice it. I tend to use it more when I want volume or allot of projection. The'18 on the other hand is a very well balanced, when strummed almost orchestral, melodic rythm sound, yet has great across the board tone, highs to lows, so it is also a great lead guitar. In my experience, my two guitars, the mahaony has a richer, rythmic tone , where the rosewood is more attack, take no prisoners sounding. This is actually backwards from allot of claims but is the best I can desribe the two I own. Am looking forward to hearing other posts from some that play both rosewood and mahagony guitars. I will say I will always own one of each.