Martin Guitar launches virtual Custom Shop online

These are Elvis' Martin guitars. But you can design your own
These are Elvis' Martin guitars. But you can design your own

What's better than having your own Gibson Custom Shop guitar? Having your own Gibson Custom Shop guitar that you designed while still in your pajamas, of course!

C.F. Martin & Co. has launched a new online application enabling consumers to create their own one-of-a-kind acoustic guitar, through the acclaimed Martin Custom Shop. If there is cache surrounding the prestigious Martin Guitar, it's because the company has the reputation for producing instruments of unparalleled quality. This latest innovation puts the Custom Shop program directly into the hands of every guitar player that has ever dreamed of creating their own signature edition model guitar -- and that would include us.

Located on the Martin Guitar website, the new user-friendly program is a fun and easy way to try almost limitless ideas for creating a unique custom Martin guitar. The application is graphic based, allowing buyers to immediately preview choices while providing detailed specifications and approximate suggested retail pricing.

The detailed steps at the online Custom Shop begin by choosing the shape and size of the guitar. Built in many different sizes and shapes, with different materials, all produce a different tone, some subtle, some dramatically different. Consumers will be able to choose the body style, orientation (right or left handed) and scale length.

Next is selecting tone woods (top, back and sides). A diverse array of premium tone woods, from exotic to traditional, are available. Each has its own unique character, color, figure, texture and tonal qualities. Martin then expertly applies the finish (sunburst, natural or toned "vintage" lacquers) to protect the wood, enhance the sound and further customize the instrument visually. Consumers are able to choose their own wood, shape, headstock, tuning machines, decal, inlays, bindings and fingerboard.

Finally, there's the matter of executing the delicate and complex bindings and inlays. Buyers will be able to customize nearly everything from the headplate, fingerboard, pickguard and bridge to the back and sides. Once completed, consumers can print out their custom order that outlines all the essential, unique specifications and virtual mock-ups of their guitar, then bring it to their nearest authorized Martin dealer for a quotation on the instrument. It is said that it takes between four to eight months from time of initiation for a Custom Martin model to be delivered.

Which reminds us...we have to start thinking of shapes.

The MusicRadar team

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