New Instrument Review
September 26, 2001
A new Bluegrass classic
© Frank Ford, 2001; Photos by FF
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Martin should take this guitar as quite a compliment. Bill Collings once told me that he took the 1930s Martin dreadnought design and "snapped it up a bit," with sharper lines to the peghead, heel and "diamond" peghead detail. A slight increase in the scale length contributes to tonal brilliance in the high range, too.
Take a really close look a the soundhole rings to see a typical Collings touch. The tiny center line is actually tortoise colored celluloid instead of black, surrounded by ivoroid rings which were cut across the short end of the ivoroid material so that they show little radial striations. The combination gives the soundhole decoration just a bit more "depth" even though the striations aren't obvious. It's this kind of detail along with an incredibly clean, level, polished finish and nicely beveled pickguard that gives such a good first impression. The playability and sound make flatpickers want to take this guitar home. And, since it came into general circulation about 12 years ago, lots of flatpickers have taken a D-2H home.
The "standard" D-2H is made of Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce, while this one has optional Brazilian rosewood and Adirondack spruce, the traditional "prewar" materials used by Martin.