Clearly CF Martin and the company he founded in 1833 stands out as a great American brand and a model of consistency. Although like many other companies, they struggled a bit in the 70’s they continue to produce some of the most iconic acoustic guitars in the world.
CF Martin apprenticed with the famous Georg Stauffer of Vienna from 1811 to 1825. This would explain why some of his early instruments have the headstock and bridge shapes of a Stauffer instrument. Today the company is still located in Nazareth PA which is a little over an hour outside of Philadelphia. The factory is still there and if you ever get a chance to take the tour, you should do it. Lots of history and lots of great technology.
Many players feel that the OM—a combination of 14-fret 000 body shape, long scale (25.4") neck, offers the most versatile combination of features available in a steel-string acoustic guitar. The traditional OOO has a 24.9 scale length and the OM has a longer 25.4” scale length. I can build either model.
I make two versions/interpretations of Martin guitars, the OOO/OM and the square shoulder dreadnaught, similar to the D-18 or D-28. The OOO/OM can be made with a spruce top and many different back and side combinations or a very old school looking guitar made from all mahogany and finished with a varnish finish to replicate an aged or vintage look. I do still bind the fretboards and the back and sides so my guitars are still trimmed out to a high level.