Martins are terribly expensive guitars, though. I don't own one.
Anyway, we toured the finishing factory. It was a one hour tour and with my health issues I was a whipped by the time we finished.
What we saw was how a guitar is made.
|This is the exterior of the Martin Guitar Company. It says "established in 1833" on the front there.|
|This cutout shows you the parts of the guitar - the top assembly, anyway.|
|Before a piece of wood is cut into the well-known guitar shape, it is thoroughly checked both by laser and visual inspections for blemishes or thin spots. Wood that does not meet quality standards is not used.|
|This is a display of how they bind the sides together, using clothespins, after the wood has been shaped in a days-long process.|
|Lots of guitars. They try to put out nearly 200 guitars a day.|
|This is what a guitar looks like without the neck, polish, or decoration.|
|Our tour guide explained how the fret boards are placed on the guitar necks.|
|This man was inspecting the guitar for quality. The guitars are checked at every step.|
|These are guitar necks, which will be fixed to a guitar body. Some are fixed with machines; others by hand. The ones done by hand can take about an hour to place properly. These, of course, are custom guitars and expensive.|
|A display showing the guitar and how it is put together.|
|Guitars that have been stained and polished await additional work.|
|I like the sunbursts. (The reddish looking ones).|
|The factory was huge. It took us over an hour to tour it.|
|This robot polishes guitar bodies to a high sheen.|
The guitars made in Mexico have an "X" in the model number and range from $429 to $879 and up. The guitar *I* would like to have (if I could find one to play first) is an OO-18 Authentic 1931 made of genuine mahogany that looks to be about the same size as the small cheaper guitar that I played. The OO-18 has a price tag of (gulp) $7,499. So there is a big difference in price between an "X" guitar and a non-X Martin guitar.
A Martin Dreadnought D-455 Authentic 1936 made of Brazilian rosewood sells for (big gulp) $59,999. And custom guitars sell for much more than that. I suspect noted musicians routinely come in there and pay $100,000+ for specialized instruments.
More on guitars tomorrow. They also had a museum, and I will show pictures from that.
Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 468th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.