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Martin CS-Bluegrass-16
 
Martin custom-shop tribute to bluegrass guitar legends.
August 29, 2016

 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Martin’s dreadnought design, and the company is celebrating the milestone with several limited-edition instruments. One particularly interesting release is the CS-Bluegrass-16, which is inspired by Clarence White’s famous 1935 D-28, owned and played for the last 40 years or so by Tony Rice.

Built in Martin’s custom shop, the CS-Bluegrass-16 features meticulous craftsmanship and first-rate materials. Martin chose Guatemalan rosewood instead of the endangered Brazilian rosewood that would have been used on vintage D-28s. The wood on the guitar Martin sent us to check out looked beautiful, with rich coloring and straight grain, not unlike that of a vintage Brazilian rosewood instrument. The guitar also has an Adirondack spruce top treated with Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VST) thermo-curing process. Hide glue is used throughout, and the instrument is finished with Martin’s ultrathin Vintage Gloss finish.

Like the Clarence White/Tony Rice guitar, the CS-Bluegrass-16 features an enlarged soundhole, white neck binding, and a “dalmation” pickguard. It also has a relatively wide neck that measures 1¾ inches at the nut, matched with string spacing of 2⁵/₃₂ inches at the saddle.

The CS-Bluegrass-16 is a powerful guitar. Incredibly loud, the guitar would have no problem being heard in a bluegrass band or other situation where acoustic volume is important. But the instrument isn’t all about brute force; its excellent dynamic range also allows it to sound sweet when picked softly, and its sound has a lot of complexity no matter how it’s played. The CS-Bluegrass-16 is limited to 100 instruments, so its owners will form an exclusive club. But until they’re all sold, try to find a Martin dealer with one in stock so you can experience the sound and playability of the company’s latest interpretation of a hot-rodded dreadnought.

SPECS: 14-fret dreadnought body. Solid Adirondack spruce top with Vintage Tone System treatment. Forward-shifted, scalloped X-bracing. Solid Guatemalan rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck with dovetail joint. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. Hide glue construction. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₃₂-inch string spacing at saddle. Waverly tuning machines. Made in the USA. $7.999 (list). 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
 
 
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