Musikmesse 2011: Martin unveils OMM John Renbourn Custom Artist Edition

Unique orchestra model honouring a fingerstyle legend

Musikmesse 2011 Press Release: One of the world's most brilliant fingerstyle guitarists, John Renbourn has dazzled, confounded and inspired, whether solo, paired with Bert Jansch or Stefan Grossman or as a member of Pentangle, and he continues to create music of uncommon beauty and depth.

Joining forces with C. F. Martin & Co. - which originated the orchestra model in 1929 - to create the Martin OMM John Renbourn Custom Artist Edition is the natural culmination of a lifelong quest.

"I am over the moon about this guitar," Renbourn commented. "The goal is to combine the best of American and European lutherie: a guitar that has design features that recall the European influence on early Martins, but with all the innovative qualities that Martin has developed since. My own priority is simple - I am after the very best tonal quality and balance."

On both objectives, the Martin OMM John Renbourn Custom Artist Edition succeeds spectacularly. This beauty begins with a classic Martin design and exceptional solid premium tonewoods.

Martin's OM design, with its 15" body and long (25.4") scale, is the ultimate fingerstyle guitar; revered for its balance and projection. The back and sides are rare Madagascar rosewood, similar in appearance and sound to the now-endangered Brazilian rosewood.

The top is Italian alpine spruce, prized for its clarity and dynamic range, and features 1/4" scalloped bracing for exceptional responsiveness. The neck is carved from genuine mahogany.

While the neck's 1 3/4" width at the nut - with a low profile shape for playing comfort - is an original Martin OM design element, the diamond volute and slotted headstock with square slots are reminiscent of guitars from the late 19th and early 20th century.

The tuners are like-wise vintage inspired: Golden Age nickel tuners with ivoroid buttons and engraved plates.

In contrast, the ebony headplate and fingerboard show- case Martin inlay artistry at its best. The polished headstock features a richly detailed unicorn inlay in abalone pearl, gold and white mother of pearl, and Micarta. The finger- board provides the "canvas" for unique mother of pearl pentangle (five-pointed star) position markers at the third, fifth (2), seventh, ninth, twelfth (2), fifteenth and seventeen frets.

Additional vintage-inspired features complete the Martin OMM John Renbourn Custom Artist Edition. The ebony pyramid bridge is fitted with plain ebony bridge pins; the endpin likewise is plain ebony.

Fine herringbone purfling and delicate black/white line purfling encircle the top and back, respectively, each protected by grained ivoroid binding. The endpiece is also grained ivoroid, framed by fine black/white inlay.

The nut and compensated saddle are crafted from genuine bone. True to fingerstyle - and early Martin - tradition, the guitar comes without a pickguard. Aging toner on the top adds to the vintage-style patina.

The body showcases Martin's flawless polished gloss lacquer finish, while the neck receives a satin finish.

Guitars may be ordered with a sunburst top and factory-installed electronics at additional cost; left-handed instruments can be ordered with no additional charge.

Delivered in a Geib™-style hardshell case, each Martin OMM John Renbourn Custom Artist Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by John Renbourn and numbered in sequence.

Martin website.


Information taken from official press release, for more visit Martin

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