Many of the world’s most beloved musicians are Martin guitar owners and they prefer Martins for recording and live performance. A select few of them have been honored with Artist Signature Editions and Artist Custom Editions. We call them Martin Legends and here are some of our favorites.
D-28 John Lennon
It is that time of year when John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas” is heard across the airwaves and playlists of the world. And what could be a better gift for your favorite John Lennon fan this holiday season than Martin’s D-28 John Lennon artist signature model?
This modern day Martin is inspired by the vintage D-28 once owned by this true Rock n Roll legend, and it has unique inlays commemorating Lennon’s composition “Instant Karma,” represented by a moon, star, and sun on the solid ebony fretboard. And a personal touch is John’s signature round eyeglasses inlaid at the 14th fret.
Like John’s famous 1965 D-28, this guitar has the rounded headstock corners and enclosed chrome tuning machines similar to a Martin from that era, but otherwise shares construction features that combine today’s D-28 features with vintage Martin features, and many commemorative aesthetics dedicated to the one and only John Lennon.
For instance, the modern High Performance neck is made from Genuine Mahogany just like John’s personal D-28. The bracing is non-scalloped and rear-shifted, also like John’s personal Martin, while the solid Sitka spruce soundboard has been treated with Martin’s Vintage Tone System for genuine vintage Martin tone.
The headstock has an abalone script logo over top John’s self-portrait sketch. And the gorgeous East Indian rosewood back has a beautiful vintage Martin Zig-zag back strips that is extended across the bass and treble side to create a unique Peace Sign design, evoking the spirit of the composer of “Give Peace a Chance.”
Other features include grained ivoroid bindings, abalone side dots on the neck, and solid bone bridge pins that match the solid bone nut and saddle, with black dots that match the solid ebony bridge.
John took his D-28 on the Beatles'’s famous trip of enlightenment to India, where he composed many of his White Album songs. He then used it to record them in the studio, as well as songs he recorded for Abbey Road, and Let It Be, before launching on his long, productive career as a solo artist and in tandem with his soulmate, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono. The D-28 John Lennon Guitar is a wonderful musical instrument in its own right, made especially to commemorate a one of a kind musical Legend. And available for a limited time at Maury’s Music, where you get it for less!
OMJM John Mayer
Ever exploring and experimenting across musical styles and finding inspiration from the days of the stage coach to collaborations with today’s hottest artists, John Mayer is one of the most popular musical icons ever. That partly explains why his signature OMJM John Mayer model is such a popular guitar. But it is also has a lot to do with how fun and easy it is to play, and how lovely its voice sounds, thanks to a combination of East Indian rosewood back and sides and a top of upscale Engelmann spruce from America’s Pacific Northwest.
For years John’s favorite acoustic guitar was a well-worn OM-28V, until Martin made him a special OM-28 with a more comfortable neck. This OM is based on that OM.
At Mayer’s request this artist signature model has a Low Profile neck with a 1-11/16” width nut, so it feels more like his favorite electric guitars. Vintage OM-28 features include bold herringbone top trim and scalloped braces that combine a 5/16” X-brace with 1/4" tone bars like a 1930s OM, while a modern drop-in saddle accommodates the installation of an undersaddle pickup.
And the glorious abalone pearl sound hole rosette leads into Mayer’s autograph signature inlaid at the end of the fretboard, followed by a unique diamond and dots fretboard pattern. It is a guitar that will grow in beauty for years to come, thanks to that wonderful Engelmann spruce top, that Mayer has ordered on many of his personal Martins.
00-DB Jeff Tweedy
Grammy Award winning Jeff Tweedy is the genius behind the Alt-Country-Rock’s Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, and many other projects. When Martin approached him about creating a unique artist signature model, he wanted a guitar that reached across the decades of Martin history for inspiration, but would also be eco-friendly.
This 14-fret Grand Concert size 00 has a long-scale, 1-3/4” Modified V neck, like a pre-war OM, and features solid mahogany for the back, sides, and top, like Tweedy’s vintage 00-17. The body is deeper than normal 00s for extra bass response and increased volume, and it has a beautiful Mahogany Burst top shading and Foden-style fret markers from the early twentieth century.
The Rainforest Alliance seal on this instrument means that the 00-DB Jeff Tweedy Guitar is the first Custom Artist model to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council Certified. And that means that the wood has come from forests managed with rigorous standards in the protection of woodlands, wildlife and local human inhabitants. That’s important to Tweedy and the C. F. Martin IV. And its mellow mahogany tone comes stage-ready with onboard, plug and play electronics!
000-28EC Eric Clapton
The 000-28EC Eric Clapton model is the oldest artist signature model in the Martin line, because people simply love it! It has a comfortable 000 body size matched to a super-comfy short-scale 14-fret neck with a 1-3/4” Modified V neck that is ideal for lead guitar playing, whether it be bendy Blues, or acoustic Rock and Roll, fingerstyle folk, or strum and sing Country tunes.
Solid East Indian rosewood back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top have beautiful grain, and produce a rich, complex tone made more-resonant by the scalloped braces. And how about those gorgeous looks? It has the glittering diamond fretboard, open back tuners, grained ivoroid binding, and herringbone top trim of a 1937 000-28, with the addition of the unique herringbone rosette that makes this fabulous 000 with the full, balanced tone instantly recognizable, even when your audience isn’t close enough to make out Eric Clapton’s signature inlaid at the 20th fret.
This guitar was inspired by EC’s trend-setting MTV Unplugged concert, and it has been inspiring musicians ever since by the many thousands. It is the ideal professional-level Martin for people who want a great companion for their larger Dreadnought or Jumbo, and for those who love the comfort and playability of the short-scale neck.
As magnificent a piece of art as it is a wonderful guitar, the D-Boak is a special Dreadnought with Genuine Mahogany back and sides and a Sitka spruce top that celebrates the pointillist illustrations of Dick Boak, a legend in his own right across his 35 years at C. F. Martin & Co., most notably as Head of Artist Relations, working closely with the many celebrated guitarists who were honored with a Martin signature model, from many Eric Clapton models to the many John Mayer models, and everyone in between.
Shortly before his recent retirement, C. F. Martin IV honored Boak with his own unique Custom Signature Edition dreadnought that features Dick’s “Inside Out” illustration, which allow people to see his interpretation of the Martin-invented X bracing that gives Martin guitars their unmatched tone. And these scalloped Dreadnought braces are surrounded with his depiction of the Martin’s old North Street factory, and selections from his years as an expert illustrator, as well as expert luthier, and musician.
Other classic Martin features include the ebony fretboard and bridge, and super comfortable Modified Low Oval neck profile. The first person to buy this limited edition D-Boak guitar was Grammy Award winner and Martin guitar collector Steve Miller. Will you be next?
D-18 Jason Isbell
Jason Isbell is one of the most popular recording and touring artists in the world today, thanks to his innovative alt-country songwriting and his spectacular concerts backed by his band, the 400 Unit. He was intimately involved in the creation of his Custom Artist Signature Edition, which is an acoustic-electric Dreadnought based on his beloved D-18 Authentic 1939, including the size and shape of the neck.
With vintage-style rearward-shifted scalloped, Adirondack spruce bracing under a high-grade Adirondack spruce top, the Authentic Series thin finish, and a straight pyramid bridge, this is a supercharged dreadnought maximized for volume and power.
Like the pyramid bridge, the sound hole rosette is inspired by the earliest Dreadnoughts, made by Martin for the Ditson department stores starting in 1916, and the Anchor and Dove inlay on the fretboard represents Isbell’s marriage to singer Amanda Shires, and the birth of their son. The gleaming mother of pearl used for the inlay is set off by stunning Satin Pearl tuning machines, and a white script logo trimmed in black and set on a Madagascar rosewood faceplate. Stunning!
D-35 Johnny Cash
Legend has it the Man in Black was turned down by C. F. Martin III when he asked for a D-35 made in black finish, and the Country Music fans among Martin’s managers went and had it secretly made for him anyway! He went on to play it around the world and on countless albums for over twenty years. And today you can have this glorious rendition of that fabled instrument, the D-35 Commemorative Guitar, which pays tribute to the late, great Johnny Cash.
Hidden under all that black and beautiful pearl inlay is an Engelmann spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides that combine for an angelic voice that will grow more and more complex and richer with harmonic overtones as the years roll by. The bound, Modified Low Oval neck has a 1-11/16” width at the nut, just like the original guitar, and it is ready for the Grand Ol Opry, or any stage, with its onboard electronics installed at the Martin factory, for plug-and-play performance. Our friend Spoon Phillips said he thought this might be the best sounding Martin currently in stock, but it may not be here for long! So you better act fast if you want to take this black beauty home before someone beats you to it.