Slightly wider than a dreadnought (16" across the lower bout!), but with the delicate curves of a 000, the Martin M body (sometimes called a 0000) may be one of the company's most interesting and versatile designs. Most of Martin's popular designs were refined during the company's "Golden Era" of the '20s and '30s, but the M debuted in 1977. The body was a reaction to creative luthiers such as Matt Umanov and Marc Silver who re-constructed '30s Martin archtops with flat spruce tops. Once David Bromberg began playing an archtop conversions on stage, there was growing public demand for these powerful but articulate guitars.
The Martin M-36 is the current Standard Series offering of the M body. It features a Sitka Spruce top and a three-piece East Indian Rosewood back and sides. In tribute to the tradition of three-piece backs, this one shows nice contrasting grain—a subtle, but gorgeous detail.
Most Martin guitars use the same material for both the fingerboard and the bridge. Interestingly, the M-36 sports an ebony fingerboard and a rosewood bridge. This subtle nod to Spanish Classical builders offers the best of both words: the feel and tone of an ebony bridge, and the lighter-weight rosewood bridge to facilitate more movement of the top.
- Body Size: M 14-Fret (0000-14 Fret)
- Top: Sitka Spruce
- Sides: East Indian Rosewood
- Back: Three-Piece East Indian Rosewood
- Bracing: Forward-Shifted X-Bracing, 5/16"
- Nut: Bone, 1-3/4"
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Bridge: Rosewood
- Saddle: Bone, 2-5/32" spacing
- Scale Length: 25.4"
- Neck Profile: Modified Low Oval w/ High-Performance Taper
- Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic
There is no other Martin that sounds like an M-36. It's the perfect blend of big-body power and small-body clarity and shimmer. It packs power when you need it, but it's equally capable of delicate, articulate tones when you play with a lighter touch.