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Apr 11, 2020 - 1:15:02 PM
349 posts since 12/14/2010

One of Martin's first (from year 2000) HPL guitars, an 000XM. High pressure laminate body. Impervious to humidity changes. I am the original and only owner. Purchased new from Stutzman's Guitars, Rochester NY in 2000. Never taken out of the house. Infrequently played. Standard 000 body. 1 and 11/16" nut. Includes case. $425, and buyer pays shipping (Contin. only). Paypal. See ad with photos in Classifieds:

Also, here is a review I posted in year 2000 (when I was much younger!) of this particular guitar on the Rec.Music.Makers.Guitar.Acoustic forum:

"At the outset, I should mention that I have always considered myself a
Martin "purist." Admittedly, that's a strong attitudinal bias -- and in
this age of some of the best-built and sounding guitars ever, it is
probably also just a flat-out incorrect attitude. Perhaps my bias stems
largely from my age -- 52 -- and the fact that when I first began playing, I
couldn't afford what at the time was to me the "holy grail" of guitars, a
Martin, and I have had a difficult time over the years shedding that
attitude. When I finally came to a point in my life where I could afford a
high quality new or old guitar (and not feel guilty about it), 10 or 15
years ago, I had to have Martins, and now I consider myself fortunate that I
own and play several. To me a good Martin has always been (and probably
always will be to a large extent) THE guitar.
And I have also been, up to this point, a "fuddy-duddy" about it and even
snobbish: Martins have to be built a certain way (preferably without CNC
machines), with certain bracing, only certain wood choices, etc., or they're
not "real Martins." At least, that's the attitude I've carried around with
me for over 40 years about acoustic guitars. And in retrospect, I've been
wrong, simply wrong. Not only are there so very many excellent types and
brands of acoustic guitars out there today that sound just as good or better
in many cases (hard for me to admit), but even within the Martin line, the
old traditions are not necessarily the only path to producing a high
quality, superb guitar. I learned something today not only about one of
Martin's newest lines, its XM model with the body constructed of a high
pressure laminate (essentially, I suppose, a plastic or "artificial" guitar)
but also about my own attitudes and how narrow my views can sometimes be.
This afternoon I visited one of my favorite guitar shops, Stutzman's Guitar
Center of Rochester, NY. I went there to try out a couple of Larrivee
models, several Taylor Grand Auditorium models, and, of course, a few Martin
s. On one guitar stand was one of the new Martin 000XM models, and I had to
look at it closely and try it just to reassure myself that I had been
correct in all my purist Martin attitudes all these years. When I played
it, however, I was shocked. Not only did it look pretty good (certainly as
good as the satin finish on a D-16H I own), but it had surprisingly good
tone. I could not believe that this tone was coming from an instrument not
made of solid wood. (Perhaps I was expecting the sound of a "Gene Autry
plastic guitar.") I was stunned (and I suppose a little let down because I
was expecting a poor sound that would support my long-standing attitudes
about "nontraditional" approaches to guitar-making.
Did the 000XM have tone comparable to my other Martins? No, if one wants to
be precise about it, it perhaps did not, although I'm always skeptical about
quick tryouts in music stores because there are so many variables one can't
control, e.g., string age, how long the guitar has been sitting there
unplayed, background noise of other customers, etc. It's true; it probably
didn't sound quite like my HD-28, or my 00-21, or my 0-21. And I will also
say as a criticism that the 000XM's sustain wasn't as good as some of my
older Martins, that is, when played in my absolutely quiet living room at
home, but one always wonders in a guitar shop how much of a factor the age
of the strings play in affecting one's judgments about sustain. The tone
was, however, much richer than I would ever have expected -- the bass had
resonance and depth, that exceptional Martin quality, and the highs were
sharp and generally sparkled. I played it for perhaps ten minutes and
realized that the more I played it, the less I even noticed a great
dissimilarly in sound to my other Martins. This was not only a decent
guitar; it was an excellent guitar and an especially good value for the
money -- not what I had expected it would be at all.
Would I buy an 000XM? Probably not, at this age and stage of my life; the
fact is, I probably don't need ANY more guitars, although I might in the
future buy such a guitar to use as a travel guitar, because it appeared to
me to be indestructible, and it has surely got to be excellent where matters
of humidity, bumps, and nicks are concerned. Would I prefer this over
purchasing and owning a solid wood instrument? Again, at my age, no,
probably not, but that is partly because I find the beauty of a solid wood
guitar not only tonally but aesthetically appealing; a solid wood instrument
is an object of art in at least some part because of the beauty of the wood,
the grain, and the texture. But that doesn't diminish the 000XM's
uniqueness and appeal at all; it is simply a different instrument, not a
guitar that by its very nature is inherently inferior, as my preconceived
notions had originally told me. I concluded that If I were younger, and
couldn't afford a $1500 or $2000 Martin / Taylor / Larrivee, or any of a
large group of other outstanding and (relatively) expensive instruments
being manufactured these days, the tone, playability, indestructibility, and
price of the 000XM would make me lean toward buying it.
A few years ago, I would have cringed upon learning of the Martin Company's
recent experimentation with its many special and limited editions and --
now -- this new XM line. But in retrospect, I have to admire this company
even more for taking some risks, knowing full well that there are "purists"
and "fuddy-duddies" like me out there who stand ready to jump all over
Martin for abandoning it traditions and glorious past. But the world has
changed drastically in the last several decades. How many of us, in our own
work, are approaching every problem or issue in the same way we did twenty,
thirty, or seventy years ago? We changed and adapted in whatever our
endeavor because we had to in order to survive and, in most cases, to create
a better product, a better service, and improved quality.
The fact is, never has the competition for our guitar dollar been more
intense than it is right now, and in my view, Martin's experimentation
within its product line not only makes shrewd business sense; all of their
guitar lines -- even this 000XM I had thought I would detest -- are more
than ever "real Martins.""

Edited by - hayesdt on 04/15/2020 20:41:12

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