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The Best MARTIN?

5705 Views 22 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  ehopper1
I was wondering which of the Martins are the creme de la creme?

King has the Super 20. Buescher has the 400 TH&C. Conn has the 10M... so which of the Martin's should I keep an eye out for?
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It's basically Committee (post-war) vs. Handcraft (pre-war.) I like them both, can't really say which is better. If you want better ergos and more projection and flexibility, it's the Committee. If you want an even sweeter and prettier sound, I think it's the Handcraft.
Mine, but you cant have it!
the last model -the martin-by far the best. i have owned at least one of every model
This has been discussed in the past.

Bootman clearly favors the The Martin Magna tenor, and I find it hard to disagree, playing one as well. However, I recently picked up a 1931 Handcraft Imperial tenor and it's an equally great horn in terms of intonation, tone, action, and feel.
THE MARTIN!!!!!!.... or whatever everyone else thinks.:D
Paraphrasing Will Rogers "I've never met a Martin I didn't like", however my personal favorite model at the end of the day is The Martin Committee and related variants (Music Man/Magna).
The low A Martin Magna Bari would be top dog in my book.
I have the best horn ever, a "The Martin TEnor" silver plate, ser#176,XXX ca=1951. Is this a Committee I or II ????????????????? Please let me know whayt I have. thanks, Bruce B.
Yours is a The Martin Committee, the excellent post war pro horn in the Martin lineup, and my personal favorite.
Low A

The best Martin Sax is my Martin Magna Low A Baritone!

I have a pre-war HC Comm I alto and a "The Martin" alto, and I actually prefer the HC Comm I alto by just a little, tonewise.
When compared to a The Martin _______, you can almost look at the Magna in Conn terms as the 26/30M, or in King terms as the Silversonic.
If you're going by price (and "hot" factor), then the Handcraft Committee II is definitely the best. Check out this recent auction--

I haven't seen many Magna's go for this much--at least not on ebay. Luckily I "got in" before the prices went too high (I told you that was my plan all along :D), having recently acquired a similar example that's even more well-preserved this one (no dents, no dings, literally sat in a closet for the past 50 years). FYI this is the same model that the great Tex Beneke played during his stint with the Glenn Miller Band.

Now I finally know what "lush" means--it's that dark, liquidy, almost quicksilver-like sound produced in the lower end of these horns. And I must admit, these have the best action of the vintage American horns.
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Just the nickel keys alone leaves out the HC II...
Shows how much some people know. A "two-tone" finish (nickel keys/lacquered brass body) was considered the most premium upgrade on vintage SML's, and was their most expensive model available.
Oh, that may be, but unfortunately these days it looks cheap. Blame that on other horns perhaps, and I know first hand, these Martins can be great players... still looks cheap though.
Re: two tones. Personal taste I guess. I like two tones on Super 20s, Martins, etc. Moreover, nickel just happens to be the strongest finish there is. Got a super rare MK VII in original nickel plate that plays great and have totally worn pearls to show for it. A super thin layer of nickel that by now looks more like oxidized silver is all it took for this dent-free horn to stay free of corrosion and wear.

With respect to the original question, I would say the Martin Magna and/or Music Man. There are also some 30s horns in gold-plate with art-deco engraving that give any Conn a run for the money. Also some transitional late Handcrafts in silver plate which will knock socks off. Darn cool horns.
The earlier martins had solid nickel keys not plated
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