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Martin D-18 Short Scale
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Yesterday I played a new Martin D-18 short scale at Acoustic Vibes Music in Tempe AZ. I previously had not heard of a short scale D-18 and learned that this is a new model.

To say the least, I was impressed. Without a doubt it was one of the best sounding new D-18s I have ever come across. If I was in the market for a D-18 there is little doubt I would have taken this one home. It had everything you would expect, loud, punchy and clear tone. Dare I say Collingsesque? Also the guitar was, in my opinion, way above average on appearance. The back and sides were flawless as was the sitka top. In fact the top is some of the finest sitka I have seen, with silking from binding to binding.

I could go on but I think you get the picture. If anyone is interested in a new D-18 this one is surely worth serious consideration.

Full disclosure--I have no vested interested in Martin guitars or Acoustic Vibes music. Just a fellow forumite sharing what I think is a rare find.

PWE
 
Posts: 166 | Location: Bremerton, Washington | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm just trying to figure out why anyone would want a 14 fret dreadnaught with a short scale ???

Ideas ?


Ol'Andy
An aged limey picker upon 12 fret Collingses etc.

"Walkin' on water 'cos I never learned to swim - lookin' for the holy grail" (thanks SE)
 
Posts: 2266 | Location: West Sussex | Registered: November 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Andy, In answer to your question. Decades of Gibson J35/45/50 are short scale. One of my favorite players is Russ Barenberg, who plays a maple '40s Gibson J45 (among other things). Tony Rice also had his last SC made shorter scale, 25" I believe. Norman Blake says he prefers that scale, & does use some 14 fret Gibsons.
 
Posts: 2462 | Registered: February 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Holiday:
Andy, In answer to your question. Decades of Gibson J35/45/50 are short scale. One of my favorite players is Russ Barenberg, who plays a maple '40s Gibson J45 (among other things). Tony Rice also had his last SC made shorter scale, 25" I believe. Norman Blake says he prefers that scale, & does use some 14 fret Gibsons.
all of the above Doc


Kopp K-35
Collings D-1A
1987 Squier MIJ Telecaster
1994 MIK/Samick Epiphone Les Paul
 
Posts: 994 | Location: Stark county Ohio | Registered: December 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, I do understand that many Gibsons Js are short scale, and many archtops are also. 14fret 000 Martins are short scale and I can understand that many prefer them - esp. for finger-style or light rhythm accompaniment etc. I get that. I own short scale archtops and an L-1 replica etc.

I know you'll all beat me up but to me a D18 is a big hairy arsed ax for powerful flat picking ..... but that is just my choice.

I would rather like a 00 ss and a Gibson style 12 fret Roy Smeck style but ...personally .. not SS dread.

However -if it is what the OP wants and Martin makes them - all are happy.

I would merely,respectfully, and hopefully politely - ask what benefit the marriage of a hog dread body and a short scale neck provides.


Ol'Andy
An aged limey picker upon 12 fret Collingses etc.

"Walkin' on water 'cos I never learned to swim - lookin' for the holy grail" (thanks SE)
 
Posts: 2266 | Location: West Sussex | Registered: November 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Andy, Another answer for you, hot off the press as it were, some semblance of the voice of Bill Collings as spoken by the oracle Jim Baggett....the world does need to tighten its belt, or shall we say shorten its scale:
from the Facebook page of Collings guitars only moments ago:
"The pre-war era of American flattop guitar making has come to be known as "golden" for a reason. Lauded for its short but brilliant periods of construction innovation, the years from 1930-1942 were filled with new instrument runs that featured bracing, fret access and body dimension changes that would define the features and sounds of the modern acoustic guitar. Emerging out of our fascination with this era of guitar making history, Collings is proud to introduce the CJ-35. Available with a mahogany back and slope-shouldered body, this new variation of our CJ model incorporates a non-scalloped bracing configuration featuring three tone bars and a short 24 7/8" scale length. This new design provides the CJ-35 with a beautiful balance of deep piano-like bass and powerful full-bodied highs, complimented by a focused dynamic range for exceptionally even note projection. As a result, the CJ-35 is one of our most versatile large-bodied guitars, well suited to both fingerstyle and strumming techniques. — Introducing the New Collings CJ35 (15 photos)"

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Doc Holiday,
 
Posts: 2462 | Registered: February 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Holiday:
Andy, Another answer for you, hot off the press as it were, some semblance of the voice of Bill Collings as spoken by the oracle Jim Baggett....the world does need to tighten its belt, or shall we say shorten its scale:
from the Facebook page of Collings guitars only moments ago:
"The pre-war era of American flattop guitar making has come to be known as "golden" for a reason. Lauded for its short but brilliant periods of construction innovation, the years from 1930-1942 were filled with new instrument runs that featured bracing, fret access and body dimension changes that would define the features and sounds of the modern acoustic guitar. Emerging out of our fascination with this era of guitar making history, Collings is proud to introduce the CJ-35. Available with a mahogany back and slope-shouldered body, this new variation of our CJ model incorporates a non-scalloped bracing configuration featuring three tone bars and a short 24 7/8" scale length. This new design provides the CJ-35 with a beautiful balance of deep piano-like bass and powerful full-bodied highs, complimented by a focused dynamic range for exceptionally even note projection. As a result, the CJ-35 is one of our most versatile large-bodied guitars, well suited to both fingerstyle and strumming techniques. — Introducing the New Collings CJ35 (15 photos)"


I'm more of an OM guy, but, man, that is one fabulous guitar, regardless of the 5/8" shorter scale. Can't wait to see one.


Allan Cook
Austin
 
Posts: 175 | Location: Austin | Registered: August 14, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember seeing/hearing the first two at the Gathering 2 years ago, with Jim B's original to compare. When I was in Austin 2 months ago, Bill told me they'd really tweaked a few things & gave me a real big grin. I'd say we have a winner there.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Doc Holiday,
 
Posts: 2462 | Registered: February 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have played the Martin D-18 SS and enjoyed it greatly. It has a smooth and detailed sound and is easier on the fingers because of the short scale. Unfortunately, it has not been a great seller.

I have not played a Collings CJ-35. I am sure it is a nice guitar. However, I think that it is a bit overpriced.
 
Posts: 120 | Registered: May 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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People get way too hung up on the short scale vs. long scale stuff. Why have a short scale dread? Because they sound good and they're easier to play. You don't have to have a long scale to flatpick a guitar. Doc mentioned Russ Barenberg, one of my favorites. Listen to Joe Newberry play rhythm. That's powerful stuff!

I happen to have a hog/adi 25" dread. That's the standard scale that Rockbridge uses on all their guitars. I believe that standard scale is now available via special order. When you hear it you don't think, "That sounds good for a short scale guitar." I just plain sounds good. And it's a bit easier on the left hand.

I'm looking forward to playing a CJ-35 one of these days. That has everything I love in a guitar!
 
Posts: 516 | Location: Venice, CA | Registered: May 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Makes you wonder why Marti didn't try that in the thirties. They went from OM to 000, and you'd think it mighta made them wonder what a D with similar treatment might sound. Took 'em a while. I've no doubt the CJ35 is a great guitar. I'm glad Jim and Bill cooked that up. tom
 
Posts: 9040 | Registered: June 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sonoman:
Makes you wonder why Marti didn't try that in the thirties. They went from OM to 000, and you'd think it mighta made them wonder what a D with similar treatment might sound. Took 'em a while. I've no doubt the CJ35 is a great guitar. I'm glad Jim and Bill cooked that up. tom


Might I suggest that Martin didn't do so in the thirties because they were aiming large flat-tops at the dance band market and short scale (I presume) would not have given them the maximum projection/power necessary. Anyway - the arch-top took the guitarists seat on the bandstand and other attempts to meet their needs - resonators and flat-tops found other markets.

The Dreadnaught (deformed at the behest of Perry Bechtel - a dance band banjo player!)found its home in string bands which developed into the louder and more robust bluegrass styles.

The shorter scale Gibson stylings (I suspect) found their place in softer country, blues and folk styles.

Obviously there was considerable crossover. - anyone can play any type of music on any type of guitar they choose (thinking Willie's classical and Rev Gary Davis on his J200) I personally consider the dread primarily a flat-picked/plectrum style guitar, and I am very wary of short scale for flat-picking from my experience with a 12 fret slope Custom made for me by another well known luthier which turned out to be a failure.

YMMIVC (Your mileage may inevitably vary considerably).


Ol'Andy
An aged limey picker upon 12 fret Collingses etc.

"Walkin' on water 'cos I never learned to swim - lookin' for the holy grail" (thanks SE)
 
Posts: 2266 | Location: West Sussex | Registered: November 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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