Basic but Beautiful: Roger McGuinn D-7 Signature Edition
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 22 - Jan. 2007
D-7 Roger McGuinn
Maine, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, California, New Hampshire, Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio and New Jersey: Roger McGuinn played shows in all these states in the two years since Martin introduced the groundbreaking seven-string (with two "G" strings tuned an octave apart) HD-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition guitar. He also recorded a duet with Dolly Parton for her recent album, helped assemble tracks for the Byrds new and very well-received - four-disc box set, "There is a Season," which details his pivotal role in America's first great rock band. In addition, he added several new songs to the Folk Den, his downloadable (at www.mcguinn.com) archive of traditional folk music, the best of which are now available in his four-disc set "The Folk Den Project, 1995-2005," a release Rolling Stone called "near perfect."
In short, it has been a busy and productive period for the musician whose influence with the Byrds and as a solo artist - can be heard throughout today's rock and country music (for additional information on Roger McGuinn's remarkable career, check out the January 2005 "Sounding Board" at www.martinguitar.com).
However, busy as he has been, he still managed a stop in Nazareth to brainstorm with Martin Artist Relations Director Dick Boak on the creation of an affordable version of the HD-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition guitar, one that would get this exciting and unique seven-string design one that combines McGuinn's signature "jingle-jangle" 12-string sound with the playing ease and versatility of a six-sting into the hands of more musicians. They decided on a few modifications in specifications and appointments, and produced a basic but beautiful new Martin seven-string: the D-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition. With the new guitar, McGuinn joins a select group of musicians with three different Martin Signature Edition guitars to his name.
The beauty of the D-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition begins with the handsome solid tonewoods: East Indian rosewood back and sides for powerful projection, a Sitka spruce top reinforced with Martin's Hybrid scalloped bracing for rich tone and a Spanish cedar modified V neck. The 1 3/4'' (at the nut) fingerboard and unique "pointed" seven-string belly bridge are crafted from African black ebony.
While understated, the appointments have an elegance all their own. A single ring herringbone rosette decorates the soundhole and is matched by a herringbone back strip. Five-ply black/white Style 28 purfling around the top and black/white purfling around the back are both protected by grained ivoroid binding; the heel cap and end piece also are grained ivoroid.
On the solid squared and tapered headstock, the satin-finish African black headplate bears the familiar "C.F. Martin" logo in brilliant gold foil, as well as seven enclosed chrome tuners with small chrome buttons. The fingerboard features a modified version of Martin's "diamonds and squares" position markers inlaid in maple, leading to Roger McGuinn's signature between the 19th and 20th frets, also in maple.
A specially slotted bone nut and compensated bone saddle give the D-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition full, ringing tone. White bridge topped with black dots and a tortoise-color pickguard stand out against the rich amber of the vintage-toned, polished gloss top. Satin finish on the back and sides enhance the natural beauty of the wood; satin finish on the neck provides exceptional playing comfort.
The new Signature Edition should bring McGuinn's seven-string within reach of players who couldn't previously afford or find - one. As his wife, Camilla McGuinn, observed in "Roadie Reports," her entertaining web chronicles of their travels, "Now there will be a Roger McGuinn D-7 that will fit the wallets of those wonderful musicians who want the joy of playing that double OG' string without the high cost."
Delivered in a hardshell case, each D-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Roger McGuinn and Martin Chairman C.F. Martin IV, and numbered in sequence. A left-handed version of this guitar can be ordered at no additional cost: factory-installed electronics are an extra-cost option. Authorized C.F. Martin dealers will begin taking orders for the open-ended (for now) D-7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition immediately and a list of participating dealers will be posted on the Martin website.