Martin Unveils Dave Matthews Limited Edition Signature Model
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 7 - July 1999
Dave Matthews has built a stellar career in the United States doing what he enjoys most: playing his songs on acoustic guitar for his fans. The South African-born Matthews settled in Charlottesville, Virginia and it was in the southeastern United States that he and band members LeRoi Moore, Boyd Tinsley, Stefan Lessard and Carter Beauford first started performing. The Dave Matthews Band is a phenomenon this decade because their large and enthusiastic following was created without the support of a traditional record label. The Dave Matthews Band simply built upon their grass roots following, playing small venues, allowing fans to tape concerts and selling their first CD, "Remember Two Things," from their office. The band has received multiple Grammy nominations and has been honored with one Grammy Award.
Dave Matthews has been a dedicated fan of Martin guitars for years. His more recent acoustic tour with guitarist Tim Reynolds incorporated the use of several Martin instruments, in particular Dave’s Vintage Series Martin Dreadnought and Tim’s special effects enhanced D-35.
In honor of Dave Matthews’s significant contribution to acoustic music, the Martin Guitar Company is proud to introduce the DM3MD Dave Matthews Limited Edition Signature Model.
Designed in collaboration with Dave Matthews’s, the DM3MD (Dave Matthews 3-Piece-Back Martin Dreadnought) blends Dave’s favorite aspects of several Martin models. The most immediate and striking visual aspect of this guitar is the use of dyed red wood fiber in the inlay lines of the binding and rosette. In addition, the selection of the naturally crimson colored African padauk for the center wedge of the 3-piece back provides a bold contrast to solid East Indian rosewood, which is selected for the bookmatched sides and the "wings" of the back. Two Style 45 multi-colored mosaic inlay strips demarcate the seams of the 3 piece back.
The Engelmann spruce top, prized for its powerfully projective and open tone, is supported with carefully scalloped braces for maximum vibration of the soundboard. The rosette is inlaid with highly colorful abalone pearl, though selected black inlay lines have been replaced with red.
Around the perimeter of the soundboard, an antique half-herringbone "rope" wood marquetry is bordered in red and edge-bound with grained ivoroid. The top is appropriately tinted with Martin "vintage toner" which lends a golden aged look to the otherwise pure white soundboard. The body is lacquered and polished to a high gloss finish.
The satin lacquered neck combines Martin’s sleek low profile with a slight V-shape, yielding a fast and comfortable playability. The genuine ebony fingerboard bears vintage style abalone inlaid diamond and square fret position markers, and Dave Matthews’s signature is tastefully inlaid in pearl between the 19th and 20th frets. The polished headstock is solid, squared, and tapered in the vintage style, but the more modern gold foil logo has been chosen for its boldness. The unusual 3 piece headplate is inspired by the prior 1995 D-35 Limited Edition 30th Anniversary model, except that this version has a center wedge of African padauk to perfectly complement the contrasting design of the 3-piece back.
Tonally, this guitar is ideal for the type of aggressive acoustic rhythm guitar style that Dave Matthews has come to exemplify. A special molded hardshell case with customized black hardware is included with each Dave Matthews Signature Edition guitar. A Martin/Fishman pickup system, or a 1935 Sunburst top finish are optional at an additional cost.
The interior label of each DM3MD will be personally signed by Dave Matthews and Martin Chairman and CEO C.F. Martin, IV. No more than 234 instruments will be offered in this limited edition. Each instrument will be numbered in sequence with the edition total (i.e. 1 of 234, 2 of 234, etc.). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Dave Matthews Signature Edition guitar will be donated to The Jerome Horton Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit charitable organization whose mission it is to raise awareness of the need for community responses to prevent youth suicide.
Martin dealers will take orders for the DM3MD immediately although the guitar will not begin to appear in stores until the early months of 2000.