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How Good is a Martin D16GT?


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I'm just more of a "Martin" kinda guy, so my opinion would be biased. Kwakatak has a D-16GT (I think) and I'm pretty sure he'd rather have an MMV or HD-MMV. I like the looks of all three of those models, but as far as sound and playability, I don't see a big difference between them and the DM that I have. I'm not too crazy about the satin finish on my DM, but if you can find one, and you like satin, you might wanna give 'em a try. I've got SP4100s on it, and it sounds great to me. If you can find one used, I'm sure you could save a few quid.

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I thought the D16GT had a micarta fretboard?

 

Martin used to spec Micarta in the earlier versions, but today specs Martin Richlite. Both are laminated layers of various materials, paper, canvas, fiber glass, etc bonded under pressure and heat with phenolic resin. It's anybodies guess as to what which substrate Martin uses. Richlite is FSC certified.

 

A friend has the D16GT. Fine sounding guitar.

 

Clif

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I chose my D-16GT over a Larrivee D-03 and Yamaha LL6. Taylor dreads never entered the equation; I prefer the GA and especially the GS bodies. I wanted something that could handle heavy strumming and never imagined that I'd have ended up with a mahogany guitar. Like Opa said, I'd have gone with a MMV if I could've swung the couple extra hundred $$$ but when compared to my preferred HD-35 at the local mom & pop shop I found that I liked the strong fundamental. THe only things that I've had to gripe about are the feel of the fingerboard, the bridge's sharp edges and the tendency of the Spanish cedar neck to ding way too easily. Still, with mediums and a bone saddle upgrade I found that it's a very versatile guitar suitable for everything from heavy strumming to even fingerpicking if you have no problems with the standard 1-11/16" wide nut.

 

BTW, they smell great too! :)

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^ FWIW Martin bridges also come in ebony and rosewood too. I once heard of a D-16GT owner having the bridge replaced with a black ebony bridge because of the "feel"

 

Another thing I don't like are the Ping tuners with chrome mini buttons. My Larriv

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  • 8 years later...
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On 4/4/2011 at 5:23 PM, Glenn F said:

Thomann.de lists the D16GT for

Zombie Alert!

curious as to why my price quote has vanished into the ether. Anyways, I sent the 000-17SM back, and bought a D-16GT. For some reason, a few popped up new at a few shops here. Must've been in the back of the distributor's warehouse. The shops are unapologetically asking €1,900, but I got it around €500 cheaper. 

After 5 guitars, I found the One. Full, rich Martin tone, even slightly louder than my D-28.

BTW, Richlite is Micarta.

Edited by Glenn F
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I am still skepical of it. It doesn't feel like wood to me, more like glass. I expect my views on it will evolve to the point of indifference, which is a good thing. I've noticed very small anomalies, like the odd sounding finger squeak.

The top is not AAA spruce, but that's unimportant. The back is one solid piece of mahogany. Opening the case is aroma therapy.  EDIT: and this is why I could never love a composite guitar.

The sound, though...big, beautiful, clear resonant bass, strong mids, nice highs... all Martin. Sustain is great. Fairly lightly built.  And the contrast in tone to my D-28 was obvious to both my wife and I, yet they both sound unmistakably 'Martin.' 

I expect there's only a handful of these around Europe, these days.

Edited by Glenn F
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4 hours ago, Glenn F said:

. . . BTW, Richlite is Micarta.

 

1 hour ago, daddymack said:

well...not exactly, but very similar principles and processes...both owe their existence to the inventor of Bakelite, Mr. Baekeland...back around 1909, IIRC

^ True dat. Richlite is closer to Formica than to Micarta, although all three are based on similar principles.

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Jeez. Zombie thread and I just noticed I never finished my thought. 
 

anyhoo, after 10 years I still have the same D-16GT which has taken some hard knocks but the bridge hasn’t budged and the fretboard still feels like new and virtually identical to the touch to my Larrivee’s genuine ebony fingerboard. In fact, the Larri’s ebony bridge is pretty much in the same condition as new so I’d say whatever Martin popped out of the injection model way back when is just as good to the real McCoy IMHO. 

As for price, I haven’t taken notice. I still haven’t upgraded to a higher end Martin and likely won’t. In its current condition I figure I’d be lucky to get $400 for my 2009 D-16GT given that the top has a hairline crack from an impact. Oh well, it’s never been a collector’s item; low end guitars are meant to be played hard and put away wet IMO. 

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Getting it back from the luthier on Tuesday. Also had to give him my OM -21 for a bit of a tune-up. Unless there's something very wrong with the guitar, it isn't going anywhere.

things I didn't like about the 000-17SM:

the shaded gloss finish;

the evaluation of 'near mint' did not coincide with mine;

it had nothing special about the tone. A Martin has to be more than 'ok.' The RK ROS-16 I had sounded (but didn't play) better.

From the end of August to the 19th of November, I was in the frenzy of 'the hunt.' By the time the 16GT arrived, I wasn't expecting much, but then I strummed my first chord, and my whole body just completely relaxed and my face lit up with a smile. The hunt was over. It was either that, or the Lemon Haze....😎

P1150275.jpg

P1150278.jpg

Edited by Glenn F
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