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The success of the first Paul Simon Martin Limited Edition guitar (introduced in 1997) has prompted a second collaboration between the singer/songwriter and the Martin Guitar Company. The new Paul Simon signature edition, the PS2, is a more economically priced model than its popular predecessor. This is in keeping with Paul's wish to design a guitar that would be more affordable and accessible to as many players as possible. Through its special appointments, the guitar also celebrates Paul's affinity for exploring world wide musical languages, colors and rhythms.
From his early "folk years," Paul Simon has been a universal musical traveler, student and collaborator. His music reflects many ethnic and cultural influences and, throughout his career, Martin guitars have played important part in Paul's music. On Wednesday Morning 3 AM (Simon and Garfunkel's first Columbia album), Paul used a D-18 that fit perfectly with the duo's folk-based repertoire. On their follow-up album, Sounds Of Silence, the power of Paul's Dreadnought combined with his masterful jazz/blues approach made Davy Graham's "Anji" the instrumental highlight of the album.
Paul later switched to a D-35 S for recording and concert work. In recent years, he has gravitated to smaller bodied instruments, such as the Martin 000, which he specified for the PS2 Martin signature edition guitar. The size, tone and scale of the 000 are particularly well-suited for fingerstyle guitarists who want a balanced yet strong sound.
The PS2 features a body of solid, select East Indian rosewood and a top of premium Sitka spruce with scalloped "hybrid" bracing. A style 45 rosette is tastefully inlayed with a ring of colorful blue Paua shell; a style 45 multi-colored mosaic joins the two piece back. The guitar is bound in tortoise color with simple style 18 inlay lines. Highly polished lacquer (with aging toner) gives the body a mellow, vintage appearance.
Unlike his first signature model, Paul has specified a short scale, "Modified V" 14-fret neck for his new edition. This shorter scale allows for a more fluid, expressive tone, particularly in bending notes. The neck is crafted of genuine mahogany and features the traditional Martin diamond volute. The solid square-tapered headstock is faced with polished African ebony and inlaid with a green malachite and blue lapis reconstituted stone "World" inlay centered under the Martin gold foil "script" logo. Ebony is also utilized for the fingerboard with long-point "diamond & squares" position markers of blue Paua shell. Paul Simon's signature is inlaid in white pearl between the 19th and 20th frets.
Other features include ramped ebony belly bridge, style 42 end & bridge pins (black with pearl dots), and genuine bone nut & saddle. Each guitar will be numbered in sequence and personally signed by Paul Simon and C.F. Martin IV. A Martin #630 hardshell case is included with each guitar.
A critic once noted, "Paul Simon could create magic out of thin air should he wish; his talent is that immense, that extraordinary." We at Martin Guitars, of course, are delighted that he chose to create some of that magic with two signature instruments that bear our name and his.