Monday, June 06, 2005


G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) is a dangerous and expensive addiction. I’ve battled it (unsuccessfully) for several years.

It’s interesting – and almost satisfying – to watch the affliction infest others.

David and I have been getting together for the last few months and jamming. He originally appeared with a red acoustic guitar of unknown origin.

A couple of months later, he bought a Fender acoustic from someone that advertised it for sale on Craigslist. It was a good deal, despite the fact that he spent an additional $75 or so getting it set up.

He was pleased with the new guitar, as unlike the red guitar, it stayed in tune for much longer periods (he later discovered that humidity – or the lack thereof – was one of the reasons the red guitar didn’t stay in tune.)

Flash forward about three months and I get an email from him that reads:

I have my eye on a martin, and wanted to ask your advice on something. This martin does not have a glossy finish on it, so it smells like a carpentry shop. I know it will pick up scratches real easy. My question is, does this make it less stable of a guitar? Is it more likely to warp in severe weather? Or is this a cosmetic thing that won't necessarily affect sound?

He included a link to a page on Martin’s website that didn’t work; it loaded a page that basically was blank, but had the letters D-28 as part of the title, so I assumed he was looking at a D-28.

So I sent this reply:

The link seemed a little broken; it was labelled a D-28, but none of the details came up for some reason. Is that the model you are thinking of getting? The beat up old Martin I have is a 1970 D-28. They last a long time if a little care is taken with them (a guy in Allison Kraus's band Union Station plays a 1930's D-28.)

I don't know about the relative merit's of finishes, but the finish on these will withstand most normal wear and tear.

There's a thread at the Martin Guitar forum about the finish on these guitars; actually the thread is about a rumor that martin was changing the finish – which turned out to be untrue - but there's some interesting info there..

Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll take a stab at them. The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (not affiliated with Martin Co.) can be a good source of info!

I also included a link to the thread, but that is now gone as ezBoard was hacked and lost a lot of messages. Ahh, the joys of the Internet; we managed to exchange broken links with one another!

I didn’t hear from him until next week, when he showed up with a new guitar case. Turns out he bought a 000CX1E which he bought at Guitar Center. We did some searching and couldn’t even find the model on the Martin website (they had a black version only.)

Turns out he traded in the Fender.

“You traded it in? But you just got it!”
“Yeah, but it had a buzz. Only I could hear it but it drove me nuts.”

I could understand. I have a guitar with a winter buzz. Despite humidifying it, during winter months it develops a faint little buzz that I find annoying. Can’t do a thing with it other than wait until the spring.

Others might get rid of it, but then I’d just be tempted to buy something else.

David’s new guitar is a nice little box. It’s a cutaway with built-in electronics. Wonder why it was discontinued.

I can't help wondering though; how long until the next purchase?

We ended up getting dinner at the Bollywood Café, and while waiting walked down to The Music Emporium. We didn’t stay lone; I didn’t want to expose David or myself to too much temptation. They have some great guitars, including one I have had my eye on for a while. If it was half the price I’d buy it in an instant; isn’t that always the way?

I wonder if they’d take a trade-in.

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