LJ Comes Full Circle With OMC-18 Mahogany<br>Laurence Juber Custom Artist Edition
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 24 - Jan. 2008
OMC-18 Laurence Juber
Laurence Juber has been on an incredible roll since Martin introduced the OMC-28M Laurence Juber Custom Edition – now one of the most popular guitars in the entire Custom Artist series – in the summer of 2006. I've Got the World on Six Strings, the album featuring music by composer Harold Arlen he had just completed, was released late in 2006 to some of the best reviews of his career. During the remainder of 2006 and early 2007, he toured extensively, performing in United States, Asia and Europe.
He took time away from the road to record PCH (the initials for Pacific Coast Highway), a new album featuring originals and a few covers, and completed two instructional DVDs, all three of which were released in late 2007. He also finished a folio of pop/rock guitar arrangements that will be published in early 2008. He somehow found time to do several studio sessions and get back together with fellow Wings members Denny Laine and Denny Seiwell for some shows in Las Vegas. Even for a guy whose career has included lead guitar duties with Paul McCartney's band Wings, two Grammy awards, lots of soundtrack work, and nearly 15 years of concerts and solo albums that have confirmed his standing as one of the masters of fingerstyle guitar (all detailed in the January 2002, January 2004 and July 2006 editions of Sounding Board, at www.martinguitar.com), it has been a busy 18 months.
It was while in the studio working on PCH that Juber became inspired to propose a fourth Martin namesake guitar. “Several of the tracks were recorded with a small combo and - though I love my rosewood OMCs for solo performances and recordings - my mahogany OMC-18VLJ Signature Edition offered clarity better suited to ensemble work. Since Martin produced only 133 of that guitar, I thought we could revisit the body style and tonewood combination, but make enough changes to create an open-ended, moderately priced Custom Edition. We did precisely that, and the new Martin OMC-18 Laurence Juber Custom Edition is everything I hoped it would be.
The OMC-18 Laurence Juber Custom Edition features the same long scale and rounded Venetian cutaway 000 body of previous Laurence Juber signature guitars. Like the 2002's OMC-18VLJ, this Custom Edition also combines an Adirondack spruce top, 1/4” scalloped Adirondack spruce braces and genuine mahogany back and sides. And consistent with the three previous Laurence Jubers, it doesn't have a pickguard.
A style 28 rosette, in keeping with the diamond volute on the back side of the neck, is blended with vintage tortoise-colored Style 18 top and back bindings with traditional Style 18 black/white Boltaron® inlay lines.
In a departure from the previous mahogany Juber, the OMC-18 Laurence Juber Custom Edition's 1 3/4” (at the nut) modified V mahogany neck features a diamond volute. “Actually, my prototype of the OMC-18VLJ had the volute, but it was eliminated on the production version,” he noted. “I like the feel of it and asked to have it included on this guitar.” It also has a two-way adjustable truss rod for precise relief adjustment. The headplate of Madagascar rosewood (equal in beauty to the Brazilian rosewood of the OMC-18VLJ) provides the background for the Old Style gold Martin logo decal. The headstock also is equipped with Gotoh® nickel tuners with butterbean knobs.
The black ebony fingerboard bears elegant abalone pearl “Doppler dot” (i.e. sequentially smaller) position markers at the 5th, 7th and 9th frets, a feature both of the OMC-18VLJ and Style 18 Martins from the early 1930s, but – in keeping with the Laurence Juber guitars’ tradition of elegance – no signature. The belly bridge is also black ebony, and the nut and compensated drop-in saddle are crafted from genuine bone. Plain ebony bridge and end pins enhance the guitar's understated beauty, as does the natural, untinted top (a sunburst top may be ordered as an extra cost option). The OMC-18 Laurence Juber Custom Edition showcases Martin's flawless high gloss lacquer finish throughout, including the neck and headplate.
This Custom Edition is available – at extra cost – with a range of factory installed electronics. A left handed guitar also may be ordered at no additional charge. Each guitar is delivered in a Geib™ style vintage five-ply hardshell case.
The Martin OMC-18 Laurence Juber Custom Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Laurence Juber and numbered in sequence. Authorized C. F. Martin dealers will begin taking orders for the open-ended OMC-18 Laurence Juber Custom Edition immediately and participating dealers will be listed on this website.