MARTIN
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MARTIN
Electric instruments previously produced in Nazareth, PA between 1961 and 1968, between 1979 and 1983, and most recently between 2004 and mid-2009. C.F. Martin & Company was originally founded in New York in 1833 and they have been building acoustic guitars and other instruments ever since.
While Martin is world-renowned for its acoustic guitars manufactured since 1833, electric instruments were only produced during three short time periods - from 1961-1968, 1978-1982, and 2004-2009. Since the electric guitar market looked appealing in the early 1960s, Martin decided the easiest way to tap into this potentially huge marketplace was to initially electrify its acoustics, followed later by designing its own electric models.
The first Martin electric guitar was actually a D-18 with exposed pickups and knobs on the face of the instrument. The prototype of this model was designed in 1958, and was formally introduced during 1959. Two other acoustic models were built with exposed pickups: the 00-18E and D-28E, with the E suffix designating the acoustic-electric design. Other models were available on a special order basis. For more information on Martin's acoustic models with electronics (acoustic/electric), please refer to the Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars.
In 1961, Martin entered the true electric market with the F Series archtops. Models included the F-50, F-55, and F-65. The F Series was replaced by the GT Series in 1965 with models GT-70, GT-75, and the 12-string GT-75-12. These models were produced until 1968, when all electric manufacture was dropped in order to focus more on acoustic instruments.
In 1978, Martin decided to try building electric guitars again. After a year of development, the new E Series was released in April, 1979. These new models were solid body guitars and included three variations: the E-18, EM-18, and EB-18 Bass. The carved top 28 Series was introduced alongside the 18 models in 1980. This series included the E-28 and EB-28 Bass. All of the E models were discontinued by 1983, and no additional solidbodies have been produced since.
In 2004, Martin introduced a new line of electric archtops that are designed and built by Dale Unger from American Archtop. Unger was raised in Nazareth, PA and has been a fan of Martin guitars all of his life. Unger later met Dick Boak and Chris Turner from Martin guitars, and later worked with Robert Benedetto before starting his own business in 1995. In 2001, Unger brought the idea of a new archtop guitar to Chris Martin and after three years of development, the guitar was introduced in 2004 and produced through mid-2009.
Currently, Martin offers onboard electronics on many of their acoustic models. For a full history on Martin, please refer to the Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars. Sources: Mike Longworth: Martin Guitars "A History", and Walter Carter: The Martin Book, "A Complete History of Martin Guitars."

From Blue Book Publications:


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