Sting & Martin Collaborate on Unique<br>Certified Wood Signature Editions
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 6 - January 1999
Perhaps no other musician has the unique reputation and extraordinary following of Sting. From his early work with The Police, which he disbanded at the peak of their popularity in 1984 in order to pursue his own solo career, to his unparalleled forays into jazz and progressive rock, Sting has redefined the boundaries of pop music. Sting incorporates elements of jazz, classical and world music into his recordings, writing songs with lyrics that are both literate and meaningful.
In recognition of Sting's unique talents, his illustrious career, and his long-standing commitment to the preservation of the rainforests, the Martin Guitar Company is proud to announce two Limited Edition Certified Wood Sting Signature models: the SWC nylon string guitar and the SWB acoustic bass guitar. More than 70% of the wood utilized in the construction of each of these models is harvested from forests independently certified by the Rainforest Alliance's "SmartWood" program and Scientific Certification Systems, both of which operate in accordance with the rules of the industry's governing body, The Forest Stewardship Council.
Last year, C. F. Martin & Co. introduced the SWD Certified Wood Dreadnought acoustic guitar, the Company's first certified wood model. The extremely favorable response to this project has inspired the Limited Edition Sting SWC Classical or nylon string guitar model, which represents an exciting collaboration among singer/songwriter, bassist and guitar player Sting, renowned classical guitarmaker Thomas S. Humphrey, and the Martin Guitar Company.
The Limited Edition SWC is a 12-fret nylon string guitar which features the patented Thomas S. Humphrey elevated fingerboard design and original classical body shape. A solid sitka spruce soundboard is supported with Humphrey's unusual lattice bracing pattern. A wide banded tortoise color rosette is backed with silver foil and bordered with black and ivoroid inner and outer edging. The back and sides are constructed of solid certified Machiche, a visually attractive wood with tonal properties between rosewood and mahogany. The entire body, including the back inlay strip, is tastefully understated with tortoise colored trim.
The SWC neck, slimmed to a sleek 1 7/8" player's width at the nut, is cut from solid certified domestic cherry. The fingerboard and bridge are crafted from certified katalox (pronounced "kat-ah-losh"), a relatively obscure but durable Mexican hardwood. Katalox has a dark cocoa brown color, is relatively devoid of grain lines, and has a very fine texture similar to ebony.
The Sting Limited Edition SWB Acoustic Bass blends features from Martin's affordable B-1 Series acoustic bass with appointments from the SWD certified wood model.
The SWB utilizes Martin's jumbo body size and a full 34" bass scale length. The soundboard is bookmatched from solid Sitka spruce, and the back, sides and neck are of solid certified cherry. Like its nylon stringed counterpart, the fingerboard and bridge are katalox.
Both instruments are finished with golden "vintage toner" on the soundboard, a polished gloss lacquer body, a polished headplate, and a satin neck. Sting's artistic signature is inlaid in pearl just above the final fret, and each instrument will be equipped with a state-of-the-art Martin/Fishman Gold Plus active pickup system, making these special guitars instantly adaptable to stage and studio applications.
Each Sting Signature Edition instrument will bear an interior label personally signed by Sting and Martin CEO and Chairman C. F. Martin IV. The labels will be numbered in sequence without total and will include FSC Endorsed/SmartWood certification. A second interior label will indicate that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the guitar will be donated to the Rainforest Foundation International. The RFI was founded to support indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the rainforest in their efforts to protect both their environment and rights.
Authorized Martin Guitar dealers are taking orders for both Sting Signature models immediately, though the models will not begin to appear in stores until the summer of 1999.