Source: Sounding Board Newsletter
OMC Laurence Juber
Fingerstyle guitar wizard Laurence Juber has a knack for creating impressive namesake Martins. In 2002 he began his winning streak with the Laurence Juber OMC-18VLJ Signature Edition, a superb Adirondack spruce/mahogany cutaway OM that sold a respectable 133 instruments. He came back in 2004 with two OMC-28 Laurence Juber Signature Editions: The OMC-28 Laurence Juber in Indian rosewood yielded an edition of – coincidentally – 133 guitars, while the very limited OMC-28B Laurence Juber, in rare Brazilian rosewood, sold all 50 guitars offered and became one of the most coveted Martins of recent years.
Now he returns with yet another winner: the Martin OMC-28M Laurence Juber Custom Edition. Following in the tradition of its predecessors, the new guitar features classic OM appointments, a smooth Venetian cutaway and a focused, resonant Adirondack spruce top with 1/4” scalloped Adirondack spruce braces, but this time matches them to a back and sides of beautiful Madagascar rosewood, a true rosewood that closely resembles now-endangered Brazilian rosewood in appearance and sound.
“Madagascar rosewood has been on my agenda for some time,” Juber explained. “When we worked out the details for the OMC-28B Laurence Juber, I asked Martin to check on it, but it was – at the time – in short supply. While still rare, Martin has had the fortune of acquiring enough for a run of special instruments. Because of the limited quantities of the previous editions, we wanted to continue the LJ specifications in an ‘open ended’ Custom Edition format, and the OMC-28M fits the bill – a guitar created to be a ‘picking cousin’ to the Brazilian, Indian and mahogany versions.”
Juber has given the prototype OMC-28M some serious playing time during concert tours of Asia, Europe and the United States in the past year. But as expected of a musician whose work has included lead guitar for Paul McCartney’s band Wings, plenty of soundtrack sessions for film and television and several fine solo albums (all detailed in the January 2002 and January 2004 editions of Sounding Board, at www.martinguitar.com), he has stayed equally busy off stage.
In 2005 he won a Grammy Award (his third) for his contribution to the “Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar” album. That same year he released “One Wing,” an album of instrumental McCartney from the era when they were bandmates. He produced Al Stewart’s 2005 album “A Beach Full of Shells” and is currently working with Stewart on some new tunes. He started work on his next album, a collection of solo arrangements of songs by Harold Arlen, highlighting one of the 20th century’s finest composers. He also steps out from behind his guitars to write a column for Guitar World Acoustic.
In appointments, the OMC-28M Laurence Juber Custom Edition continues the vintage elements that made the previous OMC Laurence Juber models such hits. Fine pattern herringbone purfling and black/white wood fiber inlays encircle the top and back respectively, with grained ivoroid binding protecting both. The grained ivoroid end piece is framed with black/white fine line inlays, and the Golden Era Style 28 rosette features wood fiber rings.
The modified V-shape neck of genuine mahogany, 1 3/4” at the nut, is carved with a 1930s style diamond volute and solid square tapered headstock. The polished headplate of Madagascar rosewood sports the traditional gold foil “C. F. Martin & Co.” decal as well as Waverly nickel plated open geared tuners with “Old Style” nickel butterbean knobs.
The fingerboard and belly bridge showcase premium black ebony. True to the spare ornamentation of previous Laurence Juber Signature Editions, the fingerboard bears only side dot position markers. Both the nut and compensated drop-in saddle are crafted from genuine bone. Fossil ivory bridge pins and endpin are topped with inlaid black dots.
Martin’s famous flawless gloss lacquer finish protects the body and neck, accented by aging toner on the top to enhance the OMC-28M’s vintage style. In keeping with Laurence Juber’s fingerstyle playing, no pickguard sullies its beautiful face. The OMC-28M Laurence Juber Custom Signature Edition may be ordered with a sunburst finish and/or factory electronics as extra-cost options. Left-hand instruments are available by special order at no additional cost.
Delivered in a vintage-inspired Geib style hardshell case, each Martin OMC-28M Laurence Juber Custom Signature Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Laurence Juber and Martin Chairman C. F. Martin IV and is numbered in sequence. Authorized C. F. Martin dealers have already begun accepting orders for the OMC-28M Laurence Juber, and participating dealers will be posted on the Martin website.