Hoping for someone who owns or used to own both. What are Strengths and weakenesses of both. Overall preferences. I get my bonus check before long and want to upgrade from my Takamini. Thanks.
Oops meant Takamine.
Also, more specifically Martin D28 or 18 vs. Gibson J45, 50 or bird type guitars.
JUST PLAY THE FREAKING MARTIN, IT WILL BLOW YOUR MINdddddd. ... seriously though martins to me are the best sounding if you get a reeeally nice one, that is... also can you even handle a martin? how good are you??? if you cant play any decent fingerstyle stuff then i'd hold my horses on buying a martin...
Class A Procrastinator and Class A Guitarist..
Been playing off and on about 30 years. Never got to be Hendrix, dammit. I appreciate a good playing and sounding guitar. Took some bluegrass lessons, but want to be an acoustic SRV/Clapton. Whatever guitar I buy will be better than I play. Why is a Martin better than a Gibson, are Taylors trendy and weak?
Comparing a martin dread to a gibson J is like compairing a ford focus to an orange. I wouldn't want to drive an orange to work, but I wouldn't want to eat the ford.

The dread style Gibsons are not as boomy as martins. They typically have a shorter scale too, and that means they notes bled together. Some people call this blending sound “warm” when others call it “musical” but there are also people that call it “mushy” and “lacking definition” so it’s obvious that you need to play the guitar to see what you think. These guitars are really good for rhythm or mellow and/or bluesy leads.

The longer scale on a martin dread makes each not stand out as an individual, and it gives a cleaner more defined bass end as well as more volume and overall definition. Some people think that these instruments are “too harsh” or “boomy” when others think they balance out just right. These guitars can be used for just about anything but when recording they often times sound too bass heavy.

The Gibson J guitars have lower lows than the Martin Dreads but they don’t have the boom. The high end is strong but often times not strong enough for a good cutting lead. These guitars are great for backing up, and playing rhythm, and for recording. They are not so good for leads, but when you have the right kind of lead they can still work very well for that too.

Taylor guitars are a lot like martin guitars but the tops and back are thinner and the bracing is scalloped more. This makes them louder and more responsive, but thinner sounding. They tend to have less warmth and sustain, but not always.

Takamini is just the budget taylor. A good tak will sound very similar to an average taylor, but good taylors sound much better than good taks.

Rather than point out every difference of each type of martin and Gibson you asked about I’ll tell you about the woods they use and you can apply it where you need to.

Rosewood is dark sounding, warm, and sustains but it has a slow attack. It has a nice sparkle in it’s treble, but the treble isn’t super defined. Rosewood also projects very well but sounds quieter when you are close to the instrument. Rosewood is said by many makers to be the most musical tonewood, but that is just opinion.

Mahogany has a very quick attack but shorter sustain. It sound loud up close but the sound doesn’t travel as wall. Mahogany is very light and responsive. It is bright but still has a strong bass end.

Maple is a very controlled wood. It often sound thin, and bright which makes it perfect for large body instruments. It tones down the bass and adds to the treble which is just what a jumbo needs. It is also very good for instruments that will be used on stage or in the studio because it helps control the bass. Maple is heavy, with good sustain, and medium attack.
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^ I think he gave a very good answer. Just to kind of summarize, IMO a Martin generally has a brighter tone, while a Gibson is warmer and more bassy.
It would boil down to a matter of prference. Many famous artists such as Hank Williams Jr. play Gibson acoustics. My preference would go to a Martin.
I would encouarge you to go to dealer and accually play these guitars before buying. And try to as many of each model as you can. I've played 2 same model Martins before and found that there are tonal difference. Find that tone that YOU like.
1/2 my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.
I traded a Gibson J-45 for a Martin OOO-28 and didn't regret it. I've now added an OM-18V for that snappy, barking quality of mahogany.

A good Gibson is a fine guitar but the comments above about "lack of definition" pariculary when played hard, has a ring of truth. Whumpy and twangy is how I'd characterise (good) Gibsons. Thudy is how I'd characterise the less than steller examples. Martins have to my ears an unmistakable authority - a growl, if you will - about them, in the hands of a competent player. On the other hand, Gibsons, it has to be said, have their passionate adherents. As do Taylors. As do...
Quote by TDKshorty
how much are you spending?

because Martins are better then Gibson acoustics

but if I had the money I would go buy a Stonebridge
(here is one) http://youtube.com/watch?v=uNw9YaXemlM&mode=related&search=

or Andrew White guitars


get yourself some good strings, particulary Alchemy brand, or steel instead of nylon

exactly what i was gonna say.
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