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Martin 00L Earth
 
A guitar built to raise awareness about climate change.
June 14, 2021
 

Even though the amount of resources used by guitar makers is relatively small when compared to other industries that process wood, creating a smaller footprint and becoming increasingly sustainable is on most manufacturer’s minds these days. Martin Guitars has long been at the forefront of exploring alternatives to traditional tonewoods, using sustainably harvested materials, and building models with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood, but they’ve never made as bold a statement about these efforts as with the release of the 00L Earth guitar earlier this year. The guitar made a splash when Martin introduced it at last January’s virtual NAMM show, and I enjoyed discussing it with Martin’s Vice President of Product Design, Fred Greene, in a Peghead Nation Facebook Live event at the time. So, I was happy when Martin recently sent us the guitar to check out, which I did in the Peghead Nation video studio.

The 00L Earth’s most distinguishing feature is an “earth” painting, originally created by artist Robert Goetzl and applied to the top using a special ink-jet printing process. Martin has used this technology on several other models in the past (including the D-BOAK), and the result allows for incredible detail and color. Not as obvious, but even more important, is that all the woods used on the guitar are FSC certified and there is no plastic used anywhere on the instrument. Specifically, the back and sides are made from sapele, the top is Sitka spruce, the fingerboard and bridge are ebony, and the binding is maple. The 00L Earth even comes in a gigbag made of sustainable hemp. The 00L Earth is built in the familiar Martin fashion, meaning it has superb fit and finish and a very high standard of craftsmanship.

Although I did marvel at the guitar’s appearance for a while, when I played the 00L Earth, I was immediately impressed by the sound and playability. The short scale and great setup make the instrument easy to play, and it offered a rich, balanced, and dynamic tonality. The guitar might have a touch more midrange presence than traditional Martin 00s, which I’ve noticed with other Martin models (such as the CEO-7) built with a slope-shoulder body. This gives the 00L Earth a tonality that works particularly well for fingerpicking blues, or when a bit of assertiveness is desired. 

Clearly, the 00L Earth is a unique guitar that makes an important statement. But Martin managed to pull these efforts off while creating a great sounding and playing instrument. If you get a chance to check one out, I’d recommend you go beyond merely taking a look and give it a strum!

SPECS:14-fret slope-shouldered 00 body. Solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped X-bracing. Sapele back and sides. Select hardwood neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. 24.9-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₃₂-inch string spacing at the saddle. Open-gear Grover tuning machines. All FSC-certified woods. Made in USA. $2,249 (street). Martinguitar.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com