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Maury's Blog

Sunday, March 03 2019
Brenden Hackett of Martin Guitar talks Modern Deluxe Martins

Brenden Hackett stopped by for a visit with some of the new 2019 Martin guitars in tow, from Martin’s brand-new Modern Deluxe Series. In this video you will learn more about each specification that’s sets the special guitars apart, both on the outside and on the inside, as Brenden answers Maury’s searching questions, as only he can. You’ll also learn which future Modern Deluxe model Brenden would like to see introduced first! 

As we sat down in front of the video camera for an impromptu chat, Brenden shared with us his unique perspective on why these guitars represent a major step up from the Standard Series of professional level instruments, and a major step forward in progressive tone-production technologies. 

The heart of the stately old home is its kitchen. That is the terrific analogy Brenden came up with when comparing the OM-28 Modern Deluxe to other Martin OM-28 models, like the Standard OM-28, the OM-28 Authentic 1931, and actual vintage OMs. 

The OM-28 Modern Deluxe has the successful, time-tested design similar to a stately old home, but one which has had a modern kitchen installed with advanced technology. And the cutting-edge technology deep inside a Modern Deluxe Series guitar includes a titanium truss rod that’s lighter than steel but super-strong, and fully adjustable, unlike the support used in vintage guitar necks.

A “carbon fiber sandwich” bridge plate with torrefied Adirondack spruce at its core offers many years of stability while imparting less tonal damping than a traditional maple bridge plate.

EVO gold fretwire

Amazing amorphous Liquidmetal® bridge pins absorb almost none of the energy passing from the strings to the bridge plate and braces.

A combination of Vintage Tone System Adirondack bracing attached via natural protein glue to a Vintage Tone System Sitka spruce top brings the serious upgrade of torrefied spruce top and braces to the Modern Deluxe Series.  

The current Modern Deluxe models released at Winter NAMM, in January 2019, are the D-28 Modern Deluxe, the D-18 Modern Deluxe, the OM-28 Modern Deluxe, and the 000-28 Modern Deluxe

So, there is currently a choice between a rosewood Dreadnought and mahogany Dreadnought, and two rosewood Auditorium-size instruments, one with the long-scale Orchestra Model design and the other with the short-scale design of a traditional 000. Each takes advantage of the same Modern Deluxe features that make these new Modern Deluxe models distinctively different among Martins and very special compared to all other acoustic guitars on the market.

Stylized script inlay & open-back gold tuners

As our old friend Dick Boak was fond of putting it, “It all comes down to tone, tone, tone.” And as awesome as these new guitars look, it is their tone that will be fueling their popularity. In Brenden’s words, “You get this thing in your hand … and it’s an incredible tone. It rings… (Boy does it ring!) There’s great sustain, wonderful clarity, and balance.”

Few people know more about Martin tone than Brenden Hackett, after years spent deep in the heart of the Martin factory, inside their special sound room, where the Research and Development Department test out everything from new guitar strings, to comparing saddle materials, to top-secret projects, and testing out the latest prototypes of new Martin guitars. 

Brenden has gone on to apply his trained ear and all the practical knowledge throughout his career at Martin Guitar, and now in his current position as Sales Rep for the territory that includes Maury’s Music.

We are sure glad to have Brenden as our Martin Rep! And his analogy of the stately old home with the modern kitchen applies equally well to the aesthetics seen on the outside of all the Modern Deluxe Models. Just one look is all it takes to see how the tasteful appearance of these new Martins is both upscale and timeless. 

Flamed European maple bindings add a touch of boutique mystique, as do the appointments on the neck and headstock. Gold-color Waverly tuners, in the vintage open-back style, are set off perfectly by the gold-colored frets that are harder & sturdier than typical Martin frets. And the high-color abalone fret markers in the vintage Diamonds and Squares pattern is matched with a 1930’s style script logo that is inlaid into the high-gloss faceplate with equally colorful abalone. Stunning! Even the side dots on the jet black ebony fretboard are made of abalone!

Liquidmetal bridgepins

And as awesome as these Modern Deluxe models sound and look, they are wonderfully comfortable to play, thanks to Martin’s new Vintage Deluxe neck profile. 

The shape is a close replication of a very special Martin guitar residing in the Martin Museum, a priceless 1930 OM-45 Deluxe, which was also used to make the OM-45 Deluxe Authentic 1930 model. But the Modern Deluxe version has a little less mass behind the upper most frets to provide an even more comfortable grasp for the modern guitarist. 

But the real secret is its asymmetrical shape, so the apex at the back of the Genuine Mahogany neck starts out slightly off center and drifts toward the center as the player’s hand moved up the neck.

Flamed maple binding

It is hard to describe, other than to state yet again how it is extremely comfortable in the hand, whether one is playing the Dreadnought or 000 versions, which have Martin’s sleek High Performance Taper of the Standard Series Martins, or if they are playing the OM-28 Modern Deluxe, which has the Standard Taper like the OM-28 Authentic 1931. (We wanted to point that out, as Brenden happened to be holding the OM-28 Modern Deluxe in the video when he mentioned the High Performance Taper, and it actually isn’t used on that specific model.)

But regardless of which Modern Deluxe models you play, we know you will find them all exceptionally comfortable, with amazing balance in terms of their physical weight and the sound of their clear, ringing tone. And some of that beautiful tone is on display in this video, in an excerpt from the fun jam Brenden and Maury enjoyed at the end of their conversation.

We couldn’t be happier with these new Martin Modern Deluxe Series guitars. And we will be putting up more videos about them soon! Some of them featuring our favorite, Spoon, as soon as he can tear himself away from New York City and pay us a visit.

Posted by: Maury- Maury's Music AT 01:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Maury, Find a D18GE and set the new D18MD up directly against it!!!
Posted by Craig Rantz on 03/05/2019 - 07:55 PM
I've always loved MARTIN GUITARS I'am the farther of a deceased NYPD Officer. I just retired and haven't played in a long time but I would like to start again , It would be great to have a Martin to play on. But you guys know what they cost. I live upstate ny my address is 17 poplar St Cornwall ny 12518 (347) 583-3915 if you would like to contact me.
Posted by Michael DAMICO on 04/28/2020 - 09:41 AM

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