This one’s got a stately majesty about it that makes you sit up straight. The notes simply glisten. The aging process that they’ve put this brand new Martin through seems to have added a piano-like focus to the overtones. It’s gone from a lush forest into a dense jungle that’s a joy to lose yourself in.
Martin picked out an Adirondack top that was characteristic of the first years of the OM model. The story goes that they eventually stopped using Adirondack Red Spruce as their default topwood due to difficulty procuring enough “clean-looking”, symmetrical pieces. It wasn’t until later that someone discovered the desirable tonal characteristics that this particular species had to offer. It is the stiffest of the spruces with a high velocity of sound and more overtone content that its cousin, Sitka. With this guitar, they picked a piece that isn’t just clean, but stunning. The grain is straight and even as they come and the top has a pale glow.
Flip it around and you’ll find a stunning set of Madagascar rosewood that will make you want to hang it up backwards. Tight grained towards the center and wide spiraled near the sides. A deep, rich, reddish brown. It reflects a whole dazzling array of overtones and harmonics, too.
It’s got a full, vintage neck feel that you adapt to quickly as well as other subtle, but totally charming appointments. The headstock appears slightly hand-cut with a cap of more of that beautiful Madagascar and has been Intentionally left blank. The logo and a diamond are on the back.
It plays very easily, but there’s so much going on harmonically that you’ll find yourself slowing down anyway. It’s bass notes hang just long enough for you to think you’re not alone. The highs confirm this suspicion. Old, wise tone birth from modern hands and minds. It’s uncanny.
The OM-28 Authentic 1931 shares Martin’s incredibly significant 14-fret neck Orchestra model innovation with its lengthened 25.4” scale and 1 ¾” neck width. Madagascar rosewood back and sides and Adirondack spruce with Martin’s new Vintage Tone System (VTS) are used to replicate the aged appearance and tonality of the 1931 original. All other appointments and processes, including hide glue construction, hand shaping and assembly, and tucked under bridge plate and bracing, are completely faithful.
The new Martin Vintage Tone System (VTS) uses a unique recipe that is based on the historic torrefaction system. The VTS acts much like a time machine in which Martin can target certain time periods and age the top/braces to that era. This focused method allows Martin’s craftsmen and women to recreate not only the pleasing visual aesthetics of a vintage guitar, but also reproduce the special tones previously reserved for vintage instruments.
• Construction: Solid Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint - Hide Glue
• Body Size: 000-14 Fret
• Top: Solid Adirondack Spruce with VTS
• Rosette: Style 28 (Authentic 1921/31)
• Top Bracing Pattern: OM-28 Authentic 1931
• Top Braces: VTS Adirondack Spruce 5/16" with 1/4" Tone Bars Circa 1931
• Back Material: Solid Madagascar Rosewood
• Back Purfling: Style 28 Zig-Zag (Authentic)
• Side Material: Solid Madagascar Rosewood
• Endpiece: Grained Ivoroid (Narrow 1931 Shape)
• Endpiece Inlay: Madagascar Rosewood with Maple Fiber
• Binding: Grained Ivoroid
• Top Inlay Style: Fine Herringbone
• Back Inlay: Madagascar Rosewood with Maple Fiber
• Neck Material: Solid Mahogany
• Neck Shape: Authentic 1931 Barrel and Heel
• Nut Material: Bone
• Headstock: Solid/Diamond/1931 Taper
• Headplate: Solid Madagascar Rosewood
• Heelcap: Grained Ivoroid
• Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony
• Scale Length: 25.4"
• Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1-3/4"
• Fingerboard Width at 12TH Fret: 2-1/4"
• Fingerboard Position Inlays: Diamond & Squares - Short Pattern Golden Era
• Finish Back and Sides: Vintage Gloss
• Finish Top: Vintage Gloss
• Finish Neck: Vintage Gloss
• Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony
• Bridge Style: Authentic Style Belly with Long Saddle
• Bridge String Spacing: 2-5/16"
• Saddle: 16" Radius/Long Bone
• Tuning Machines: Waverly Nickel with Butterbean Buttons
• Recommended Strings: Martin SP Lifespan Phosphor Bronze Medium Gauge (MSP7200)
• Bridge and End Pins: Ivory Colored Poly with Black Dots
• Pickguard: Delmar Tortoise Color
• Case: 533V Harptone