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Closest Clarence D-18?
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freddairy



Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:12 am    Post subject: Closest Clarence D-18? Reply with quote

What do you guys think of the current Martin crop is closest to the 50s D-18s Clarence used in the mid 60s?

I've got a D-18GE that I love. But I'm assuming the prewar bracing and adi top make it quite a different guitar than a 50s D-18.

I'm looking at the D-18 CW specs right now and that too has the adi top and wide nut width like the GE. So that's out.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they're all the same from 40's to now ...sitka top, 2 1/8 bridge pin spacing and narrow nut.
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Matt



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 182
Location: St Louis, MO

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 50's D-18 would have had non-scalloped/rear shifted bracing. To my knowledge you can't get a current production model with that bracing style.
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt wrote:
The 50's D-18 would have had non-scalloped/rear shifted bracing. To my knowledge you can't get a current production model with that bracing style.


The new Dan Tyminski D-28 has that bracing...but it's not a D-18. I think it's modeled after Dan's 1946 D-28?... It is odd that Martin ignored the 50's era D-18 to replicate. Most of the fuss is on replicating pre-war Martin designs...Golden Era, Authentic etc.. The Clrence D-18CW should have been a 50's D-18 clone
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

D-18CW is a culmination: ..mahogany from D-18 ..ebony board & bridge from the Noble/Whitebook/1935 D-28 ...wide neck, open back tuners, adirondack top and pre-war bracing from the 1935 D-28 . . .it's quite a best, I love it. Very Happy
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
non-scalloped/rear shifted bracing.


It is my understanding that non-scalloped/rear shifted bracing is now universally called standard bracing. Martin went away from the pre war forward shifted scalloped bracing after they started to have stability problems after the war. Maybe they got a little bit too aggressive. Whatever the reason, unless your guitar is pre war spec (forward shifted scalloped), it is standard X bracing (non-scalloped or scalloped/rear shifted bracing). Confused me until a couple of builders straightened me out.
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a very ugly '58 D-18 for awhile that just absolutely nailed the Clarence Tone. Every time I played it, it reminded me of "33 Instrumentals". I eventually sold it because my modified D-28 was just a better guitar. Meat 'n Potatoes had it for awhile and then it went overseas.

In a modern guitar...a standard D-18, then replace the tuners with lighter ones. Or find a 70's for a good price, have me or someone else fix the 70's problems, and you can come really close to that sound.

Before:


After:
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a quick clip of a 70's D-18 that I just finished. I'm playing with the round edge of a 1.2 mm Clayton Ultem (I normally use the pointy end) to try to get more "Clarence" tone. And I'm by no means saying this IS "Clarence" tone, just saying, have a listen to what a modified 70's D-18 can sound like. Recorded into an Edirol R9 sitting on my desk.

I'll leave these up for a week or two, then delete them. Feel free to grab 'em.

http://www.bryankimsey.com/test/D18_Billy_a.mp3
http://www.bryankimsey.com/test/D18_Billy_b.mp3
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bryan...

What's the neck profile like on a 50's D-18's?

As far as bracing goes...they are just like modern standard D-18's ?

Thanks...Brian
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
Hi Bryan...

What's the neck profile like on a 50's D-18's?

As far as bracing goes...they are just like modern standard D-18's ?


Handmade and highly variable. For the most part, kind of a chunky V. More meat on the shoulder than a modern D-18 V with a more rounded V. Early 60's seem to have even chunkier necks.

Pretty much, yes. You get hide glue prior to '65, T bars in the neck prior to '67. Brazilian RW bridge and f/b prior to '69.

All in all, I think late 50's-early 60's D-18's are my favorites.
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there's nothing in Martin's catalog..either standard or limited edition...that meets these '50's specs right?
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
And there's nothing in Martin's catalog..either standard or limited edition...that meets these '50's specs right?

Standard D-18 should be the same today as it was in 1940 right? ...except for neck profiles: thick in 30's, thin in forties, slightly thicker in 50s and 60's, and after that, back to thin, unless you get a D-18V.
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freddairy



Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great responses everyone. I've got a D-18GE and I'm saving for a 2nd guitar. Original intention was to get a hd28v. But I'm thinking a 2nd 18 would be a cheaper option. There's something physically wrong with the Standard Series D-18. For some reason that does not jive with me. What do you think about the D-18V. With the sitka top would it get me closer to the 50s tone? What do you think?
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard series D-18 is also a Sitka top... D-18V is like a D-18GE except for the D-18V's sitka top...GE has Adirondack as you know...the bracing pattern is the same on the GE and V...neck slightly narrower on the V but they have the same profile....
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the bracing the same between a 50's and modern D-18? Yes, if you look at the basic specs, but there are many variables. First and foremost is that in the 50's, almost everything was still done by human hands. That can't be said today. Having been lucky enough to have watched many of these 30's through 70's guitars taken apart for repair, I find that the bracing in the old ones appear to be better finished to the touch than the new ones. Also, during the 50's, standard tops were most certainly tapped and tuned in the build process, so each guitar was more of an individual instrument than they are today.

Today's guitars are far more consistent among themselves than in the past as CNC machines and computers automate the process, eliminating the human element and variables, which for some is part of the problem. Then there is that hide glue thing.......

I love the discussions about getting a modern guitar built up to the same specs and sound of the guitar built much earlier. One has to remember that the 50's built guitar has one distinct advantage.....it's 60 years old. That's part of why it sounds so good. Did it sound that good in the 50's? How can we tell.... All audio recording color the sound, so we only know what the recorded media sounds like. So what we are doing today is trying to reproduce in the modern guitar what we hear out of recordings of the 40 to 70 year olds when they were new..... Yipes

When compared live against the real thing, some custom builders can nail it, reproducing the build process and the sound of the oldies. Many standard guitar companies get very close, but it's really an unfair comparison. Fifty years from now, they will be talking about reproducing the sound of those great high end guitars from the early 2000's. Sometimes this is like chasing your tail……………..
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