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Martin SWOMGT Reviews
Name: Kevin
Date: January 25, 2012
Review: Martin SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Great sound, crisp and clear through all ranges. Excellent sustain. I like all of the special SW finishes; tortoise bindings and headstock, gold tuners, and the solid cherry with matte finish is wonderful.

Dislikes: There is a very slight buzz on the 2nd string near the 4th fret when I play a certain way. Guess I'll need a setup someday. Also the rear strap peg doesn't completely fit into the hole. (??)

Additional Comments: Comes with an upgraded plastic molded case which is super sturdy and will last forever. Nice "Martin" sign molded into the top of the case.

Comment from Maury's Music: If the above poster would have purchased this guitar from Maury's Music, it never would have shipped with a string buzz.
Date: 1/20/2012
Review: Marti  SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Beautiful aged toner, tort trim sets it apart. Very balanced tone across all strings. Neck is so easy to play, similar to a Taylor neck. Construction is flawless.

Dislikes: I miss the smell of rosewood.

Additional Comments: If you want an extremely high quality OM style guitar with that Martin tone...this is it.

Name: Victor
Date: 7-1-11
Review: Martin SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: This is my first Martin guitar and I love it!  It's something I have longed to have but could never afford, a Martin, solid wood and with Martin's trademark understated, tastefully elegant design.

My ex wife owns a 1970s Martin D-35, (I think I miss it more than her!)  I learned to play on that Martin and was used to the dred's boomy bass, something the SWOMGT does not share, it's more of a finger picker's guitar.

Like the D-35, made to address the shortage of sustainable Brazilian Rosewood by using a 3-piece back, the SWOMGT carries on that tradition of sustainability.

The SWO's cherry wood has a nice red coloration and the spruce top shows some areas where the grain is interrupted by swirls and a hint of branching, but it is reclaimed "diaper" wood, after all, and the figure adds interest and doesn't affect the sound or tone.  I wouldn't call it a flaw, rather a reminder that the top was once a tree and the irregularities connect with it's nature.  In a word, this Martin feels organic.

My SWOMGT is a fingerpicker's dream, pretty well balanced, but the low E is slightly "mushy."  In the future I plan on switching out the saddle and nut for bone and we'll see how that affects bottom end tone.

One of my favorite things about this guitar is the use of tortise appointments, it's a decidedly "red" guitar and the gold tuners blend well with the overall "look."  The red tortoise headstock laminate with the raised gold foil Martin logo looks very classy and tends to set the guitar apart from the usual Martin wood laminates or solid headstocks.

I've only had it for three days and already it's becoming a go-to guitar and feels comfortable.  I usually play nylon string classicals and this guitar has the same feel as my Pimentel and Guild classical git-boxes.

I really believe that the SWOMGT will be one of Martin's "sleeper" guitars.  When I played it at the music store, I tried a bunch of other Martins, Gibsone and Taylors.  I kept coming back to the little SWOMGT and couldn't put it down.  It went out the door used and well-cared for by it's previous owner (built in 2003) for a very good price of $999.  Not bad for a Martin using sustainable woods that aren't what you normally see on a guitar.  To think, this baby could have been made into pulp as disposable baby diapers!  What a shame that would have been.

Dislikes: The SWOMGT has a slightly "mushy" low E string, but I haven't re-strung it yet.  I'll try using the light Phosphor-bronze strings Martin suggest and see how she sounds.  Otherwise it's a great guitar and I don't have to live with the nagging feeling that some rare, un-sustainable, and expensive wood was used to build it.  Like it's D-35 ancestor, the SWOMGT is a guitar built with an eye for the future and is an interesting Martin variant.

Additional Comments: Definitely a keeper guitar. This one will stay with me.


Forum username: poweg
Date: 2/10/10
Review: Martin SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: The Martin OM size and weight is perfect. You just don't want to put it put it down. The tone/volume of this guitar is well balanced and has a little punch when pushed. Tonally its between Rosewood and Mahagony. Very pleasing. The fit and finish is typical Martin, no flaws. The combination of the Cherry, Katalox fingerboard and Bridge along with the gold tuners is conservative but striking. This is a players guitar. I use it for fingerstyle and light strumming.

Dislikes: I would like just a touch more width at the nut. The Case is not the quality that should be associated with Martin. It has a little problem with closing up square. The result is the latches require a little coaxing to close.

Additional Comments: I have several other guitars including a D-42, but this is the one I always pick up!

Name: Frank Correnti
Date: 7/28/09
Review: Martin SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: I've had this instrument about 3 yrs and it just keeps getting better!  Mostly the tone is to my liking but interestingly it seems to be getting clearer also.  Can you believe gold tuners?  I can't remember the last time I had to tune.

Dislikes: The neck is about 1/16 too wide for me, so I have to work.  I've found too narrow is more of a problem.
Additional Comments: The case seems just fine. Very solid and luxurious, which is what a fine instrument needs. I try to keep it hydrated.
Forum username: RickRN
Date: 8/06/08
Review: SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: size,tone,appointments,eco-friendly,versatility,volume

Dislikes: none

Additional Comments: Loud for it's size,plays very well,fingerpicks or strummed very well. nice subtle but classy look.

Forum username:  TonyQ
Date:  1/20/08
Review:  Martin SWOMGT
Rating:  4 - Highly recommend it

Like about the Martin SWOMGT:  I've had mine for less than a month.  I love it.  My other guitar is a D18V, she's big and loud but the SWOMGT is like a sweet little girl sitting and singing on my knee.  What I enjoy most is the response across all strings using bare fingers, light plectrum or metal finger picks.  It's an intimate guitar, not loud but one to be tuely enjoyed.

Dislikes:  The case is a shocker, it's buckled and the latches aren't square.  I haven't re-strung yet but the tuner or peg on the G string seem a bit touchy and uneven.  That might be from the factory stringing.

Additional Comments:  It's great value.

Name:  steve
Date:  November, 11, 2007
Review:  Martin SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT:  4 - Highly recommend it

Like about the SWOMGT:  Did a lot of shopping around before I chose this guitar. Was the cheapest new Martin I could find that didn't have those terrible artificial fretboards. Guitar plays beautifully. Very even sound across all six strings. Wonderful fretboard, creamy tone. Holds tune very well (don't know what the fuss is with the tuning pegs from these other guys). Lovely sweet spot around the seventh fret - whole body hums and resonates. Great clear and warm tones higher up the neck. Absolutely whips the Taylors I tried. Very unique sound. This guitar really stood out against all the others I tried in several shops. As soon as I played it, I and the other two listeners (both with 15 plus years experience) I brought along to consult pricked up their ears.

Dislike about the Martin SWOMGT:  Haven't used in the studio yet, so can't comment on performance. Quality of new Martin stuff is very uneven. While travelling, I came across another SWOMGT in Singapore - terrible sound by comparison to mine. I also played some other Martin models while looking for this one in Australia that were expensive but awful guitars.

The only problem I have found with the SWOMGT is that, being a small bodied guitar, it disappears when you are jamming with more than one other guitar. This may partially be a function of it's smooth tone. I tend to play pretty hard, and this guitar doesn't perform well when it is being thrashed. Quite inaudible when jamming with bass and drums unamplified. Horses for courses, really, it's not exactly a jumbo body superbird...That said, give some thought to where you are going to enoy playing it most. It may not be that versatile.
Forum username:  banjo56
Date:  11/03/06
Review:  Martin SWOMGT
Rating you give the Martin SWOMGT:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin SWOMGT:  This guitar plays like butter and the tone is crisp, clear, and mellow.  The music sounded so good on this guitar...I didn't realize that I was that good of a sounds great with any style.  I'm primarily bluegrass but my son constantly steals it for his smooth jazz gigs.  GREATTTT Guitar!!!!

Dislike about the Martin SWOMGT:  The molded Martin Guitar case is pathetic.  Hard to close...though I suppose it does protect the instrument.  Never figured why Martin would promote such lousy cases for such great instruments!  Easily the best guitar I've ever played.

UMGF username:  Ttown85
Date:  2/24/06
Review:  Martin SWOMGT

Liked about the Martin SWOMGT:  All solid wood guitar that is environmentally friendly. Love the Katalox fingerboard and bridge, it is somewhat like a cross between rosewood and ebony. Love the tortoise veneer on the headstock. Also really like the ageing top toner and did I mention the Tone? Some people compare it to maple, others say it's a cross between rosewood and mahogany, I say it is like cherry; that is it has its own qualities. Its projection is probably similar to maple but not its tone, the tone has an excellent mid-range with a crisp base and smooth highs as well.

Disliked about the Martin SWOMGT:  At first I thought the high "E" string was a little harsh, but once I changed to Fossilized walrus ivory saddle and pins this problem disappeared. Would be great if it were full gloss finish stock. I would also appreciate a modified v-neck shape.

Additional Comments:  If you want a gloss finish on it Martin will do it for around $200 I believe but when I called them the gentleman I spoke with told me to just rub some rubbiing compound on it and I now have a full gloss. Looks great.


UMGF Username:  arledgsc
City/State:  Union City, CA
Date:  4/3/05
Review:  Martin SWOMGT
Rating:  4 - Highly recommend it

Liked about the Martin SWOMGT:  I bought the SWOMGT based upon recommendations of the UMGF members.  This guitar has never disappointed me and been my main player for the past 18 months. I really like the tortoise/gold appointments.  Sounds awesome as well - balanced with a little edge and nice projection.  And plays like butter whether finger picking or strumming.

Disliked about the Martin SWOMGT:  My only major complaint is the low profile neck but this is a personal thing.  An all gloss version would be nice as well but would not pay for it if it added to the cost.

Additional Comments:  This model with either a bone or fossilized ivory saddle and Newtone Custom Lights is a fantastic combination.  At some time in the future as I move up the guitar food chain to obtain a V-neck profile will be a sad day when the SWOMGT is retired or sold.  Fabulous value.

UMGF Username:  michaelsegui
City/ State:  Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA
Date:  December 18th, 2004
Review:  Martin SWOMGT
Rating:  4 - Highly recommend it

Liked about the Martin SWOMGT:  I love the understated look of the tortoise headstock overlay, binding, back stripe and especially the rosette. 

Very balanced and crisp sounding.  The cherry back and sides give it a sound that leans more towards mahogany then rosewood.  It sounds quite similar to my Custom OM-1.  Despite the fact that the top is salvaged "Diaper Wood" there was quite a bit of silking and it was quite attractive.

Disliked about the Martin SWOMGT:  If I were to order one today, I would order it with vintage style butterbean tuners.  I just don't like the looks of modern enclosed tuners.  I would also change the bridgepins to ebony or John Pearse tortoise, purely for aesthetics.  The standard Martin pickguard would also need to be replaced with a Greven Tor-tis one (but that needs to be done on ALL new Martins IMO).  I would also upgrade to a vintage style Geib case.  Not really much to dislike.  Just minor aesthetics tweaks.  It doesn't have that wonderful mahogany smell either, but what can you do.  Cherry has a much more subtle smell.

Additional Comments:  I don't actually own this guitar.  It is one that my buddy in Toronto purchased from Tonguy on the UMGF with me acting as the middleman.  The guitar was a few years old but in immaculate condition and Tonguy changed the stock Micarta saddle to bone so I don't really know what it sounded like stock and brand new.  If my Martin was stolen, I would probably replace it with one of the these with the changes I noted above.  I would also order it through Maury (especially with the US/Canadian exchange rate so low lately).  Now if Martin would only make a Smart Wood OM in full gloss and 12 Strings!!!!!!

Martin SWOMGT - Rate and Review

Rate the Martin SWOMGT
 5 - Best Martin I ever played
 4 - Highly recommend the Martin SWOMGT
 3 - Good Martin, give it a try
 2 - Did the job, nothing special
 1 - Save your money, forget the SWOMGT

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