New Martin Guitars

Martin has announced a whole slew of new guitars for Summer NAMM.

D-28 2017


The legendary D-28 gets an update this time. The new nut width should please many players as 1.75 inch seems the more popular choice.

Other updates include a new neck profile, new bracing and an aged toner.


Jason Isbell D-18


Featuring an Adi Spruce top and rear-shifted scalloped bracing, this is designed to be “loud and natural”.

Other niceties include special inlay at 12th fret (based on Jason Isbell’s tattoo) and high glue construction. It’s also refreshing to see a Martin without a pickguard. 🙂

*photos from Martin and Premier Guitar


Taylor K26ce Setup

Did a setup for this gorgeous guitar last week.


This 2011 model is all-bling and exotic woods. One of those guitars when you buy in and just admire it for its beauty.


Sexy 3-piece back. Plenty of bling going on with all the abalone inlays and bindings too. Crazy level of bling.


Entire guitar is bound with flame maple. Even the sound hole is bound. Guitarbear was drooling profusely. Pardon the dust. Owner probably doesn’t believe in squeaky clean guitars.

Bearclaw Special

We start with some guitar TLC. Fretboard and frets shine. No prizes for guessing which part had some love from Guitarbear. 🙂 The ebony fretboard and bridge just feel solid and smooth. Thumbs ups!



Brownie was helping me check the fretboard after oiling. It looks like he likes all the beautiful binding too.

Let’s work on the setup. 

Saddle needed some sanding for lower action. The base was sanded with 100 grit sandpaper and final sanding with 2000 grit for a baby smooth finish.


I also gave the truss rod a 1/8 turn to straighten the neck a lil’.


Restrung with Elixirs (what else?), and  we got a really low action here just slightly above 1/16 inch on 12th fret capo on one.

I gave the whole guitar a good clean and polish. It’s a world of a difference from what I received. All the dust and grime had gone and we now have a shiny clean guitar.

The kids came out to pose with it. They love guitars.


Closing notes:

The K26ce is what a high-end guitar is all about – exotic wood (as can be seen), great fretwork (action was low without buzz) and total eye-candy.


Sure, the koa construction meant that it doesn’t sound as punchy and direct as a spruce-topped guitar. But the warmth and slight “reverb” (akin to mahogany) make this guitar a joy to play. It still responds very well to strumming because the GS body is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Guitarbear can see why the GS shape hasn’t been too popular in this part of the world. The wide lower bout may cause some smaller players to struggle. There’re also players who’d choose the GA and D shapes for reasons ranging from comfort to familiarity.


Having said that, this K26ce is still a great guitar and would probably justify its price tag for being so beautiful in both looks and sound.


BOSS Katana-Mini

BOSS has joined in the mini amp contest with the micro battery powered Katana-Mini.


The Katana amps have garnered plenty of fans since their release and it’d be interesting to see how this stands up against the venerable Blackstar Fly 3.

Can’t see how this small amp can crank up 7W, but hey, all that matters is that it sounds good.

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*photo from BOSS