Online forums

Comes with some forums online. For the most part there is not much value to read, but sometimes it is fun to get feedback on your own ideas and every now and then you learn something new.

"The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum",, has some writers who are always a pleasure to read. Martin nerds love their Martin guitars made in the 1930s, 1937 should be the year when Martin made "holy grails" which in their ears have the same status as Stradivarius violins The original costs from 250 000 and up depending on condition and originality.

There are many builders on the forum who do everything to recreate these "holy grails" as the supply of real instruments is limited and not everyone is a multimillionaire. My good friend Per Marklund is perhaps the very best craftsman on this stage, at least I have a hard time believing that Martin "replicated" can be done better or sound better! He also has a real worn "holy grail" from 1937 which I tested and which admittedly sounds good, but which is surpassed by his new instrument.

What is interesting to me is that the 1930s was the last decade when guitar manufacturers stuck to old methods and materials. Solid wood, skin glue, no drawbar and "Bar frets" were used in these "holy grail" martins. Other manufacturers stopped using "bar frets" around 1900 as they require more know-how and work than regular T-shaped bands. However, some modernities had already appeared, e.g. the cellulose lacquer and the celluloid. Both rather unsuccessful materials that do not age with pleasure. Otherwise, it can be said that Martin's dreadnoughts from the 1930s are the culmination of a long development curve of the steel-stringed guitar that started with Martin himself in the mid-1800th century. There is reason to copy and study these for anyone who wants to build acoustic steel string guitars, most of the construction is just right and a result of more than a hundred years of experimentation. Thickness of material and ribs is more or less a fact.

Why exactly the instruments in the 1930s were the best is explained in an interesting thread on the forum in the section "Technical Info". Read Alan Carruth's posts in the thread, he is one of the heavy names on the forum that always comes with readable posts.…

Levin, Gibson and other big guitar builder names are "hits and miss". Some instruments sound very good, others are pure disaster. Martin from the 1930s is a good starting point for his own experiments, at least for X-ribbed steel-string guitars.

Also reads the forum Frank Ford's site is legendary for anyone who wants to repair their guitars!

Here in Sweden there is "Acoustic Guitar Forum", Have written lots of posts there but nowadays are not as diligent although I always keep track of what happens.

FaceBook has some guitar groups that can be interesting, many with the word "Luthier" in the name. There are also some Swedish groups for guitar builders and Levin instruments. There it is longer between the grains of gold, but can be fun reading (or not) sometimes.

Concludes with a quote from Alan's post: "Where the problem is old, the old solutions will almost always be best (unless a new technique has been introduced) because it is inconceivable that all the designers of ten or twenty generations will have been fools" .


  1. Hello!
    Can someone help me regarding a Levin guitar purchased at auction. It has a maple back and sides built in 1955. Similar to a Levin model 7 Valencia but it has five white inlays on the edge of the neck. It also has Levin model 11 Tarragona. However, it does not have maple as the back and sides.

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