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  • Guest Luthier Series - Matt Artinger



    Please join us today as we welcome Matt Artinger to the Guest Luthier Series. Matt is at the forefront of young, American, no-compromise guitar builders. His company, Artinger Custom Guitars, has been conjuring up some of the most innovative guitar designs; while at the same time, associating with one of the oldest and most traditional guitar companies ever. Growing up in Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the C.F. Martin Company, Matt started tearing guitars apart at age 12 and building new ones from scratch at 15. In 1997, at 18, he hung out his shingle. According to Matt, "there weren't that many young guitar makers at the time who were making high-end guitars." Matt describes himself during his first years as "young, naive and full of energy."

    Matt Artinger

    In addition to building his own guitars, at age 20, Matt became a Martin warranty repairman and through this work, struck up a relationship with Tim Teel, Martin's Director of Instrument Design. Because Matt's guitars are so unique and innovative, Teel asked Matt to submit a new design, which eventually became the OMC Artinger 1, which has been in Martin's lineup since 2006. Since that time, Matt has been involved in new Martin designs and one-offs for NAMM shows.

    Obviously, Matt's designs aren't limited to acoustic guitars. The $9,000 Artinger Nub Chopper pictured below is an electric guitar with major attitude. As those of us who watch American Chopper on TLC know, Nub is the amazingly talented painter for Orange County Choppers. Watching the show, Matt always loved Nub's incredible air brush work. They discussed some basics about a guitar collaboration and then, as Matt puts it, "Nub ran with the concept."

    Artinger Nub Chopper: Note the Real Bullet "Binding"

    The sweet electric tones from this axe come courtesy of a pair of Seymour Duncan SP90-1 Vintage soapbars. Says Matt, "I try to keep as close to the core elements of the guitar as possible and concentrate on the liveliness of the neck and body. I really enjoy P-90s with mahogany. By combining them together the right way, you get a lot of touch sensitivity."

    If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and check out Matt's photo gallery to see some of the amazing intruments he's built. They are truly beautiful and innovative.

    Matt will be on hand today, October 22, from 10 AM to 4 PM Eastern time to answer questions. One lucky participant in this chat will win a Seymour Duncan Beanie to keep your head warm as Winter approaches (here in the Northern Hemisphere). No country restrictions on this giveaway.

    So ladies and gentlemen, please join me in giving a warm welcome to Matt Artinger!
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

  • #2
    Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

    Is it more exciting or daunting to build your own instruments in today's market with so many really good manufacturers and models out there?

    What's your favorite of your own builds?

    What's your favorite non Artinger guitar?

    Thanks for hanging with us!

    mike
    Originally posted by jeremy
    God hates bad guitar tone
    GUITARS: Schecter Saturn, Takamine, Ibanez Mandolin
    AMPS: Traynor YCV40WR/KT77s, VHT Special 6, Marshall AS50R
    EFX: Line 6 G30, Fhusk CS-3, Emerson EM-Drive, Emerson Paramount,
    Keisman Earlybird, EB VPJr, Empress Tape Delay, Hungry Robot Lil Gazer

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    • #3
      Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

      guitars look great, i like the solid top chambered/hollow design. why no 25.5 scale?

      the hollowbodys look sweet. what was your inspiration and why the double cutaway?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

        Hi Mike!
        Instrument design is a daunting balance no matter what because as smaller builders, we have to be careful to blend recognizable, traditional styling with modern and forward thinking elements to set our guitars apart from the more mass produced guitars. The fun of it is that as an individual maker, I can change course or incorporate new ideas MUCH faster than a larger company does, and it's why alot of the bigger manufacturers turn to smaller shops like ours for new and fresh design elements. As for my personal fave--hands down...I did a GI Joe guitar last year for a major GI Joe collector, and by incorporating inlay and graphics, it turned out amazing! (check out my gallery page 103 for pics) As for non Artinger--I am, and always have been a HUGE fan of John Monteleone and his taste in instrument making...he's a mad genius!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

          Hi Jeremy! Nice to meet you!

          Actually, I do incorporate 25.5 scales, 25 scales, and 24.75 scales into my guitars, and I leave that decision up to player preference for most people unless the particular scale they request would make a negative impact on the setup or general tonal pallette they're looking for. As for the hollow, it was somewhat of a morph that began as my routed core semi-hollow. When I started building guitars, I began as a full sized archtop maker, and quickly realized the limitations of such a big box, so in trying to make a more versatile and tactile guitar that would be less feedback prone, and more open to different styles of music--the hollow was born.

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          • #6
            Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

            Hi Matt:

            1. How did such an old and traditional company like C.F. Martin & Co. come to incorporate the designs of such a young upstart like yourself?

            2. Where did you get the idea for the bullets in the Nub guitar?

            3. How does your jazz guitar tailpiece differ tonally from a Tune-o-matic?

            Thanks for joining us!
            Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
            Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

              how hollow are the semi-hollow designs?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                Hey Evan!

                First off--thank you SO much for allowing me the opportunity to "talk shop with you guys today.....any day not covered in sawdust is a great day for me! As for my relationship with the Martin Company, I grew up within 20 miles of the factory, and first met Chris Martin at age 13 (ironically....my parents knew him through a friend, and set up a meeting between us so he could discourage me from guitarmaking as a living....quite the opposite happened, and he told me to follow my dreams...I did, and many years later we were working together!!!!) I also was one of their youngest warranty repairmen at age 19, so the people at Martin have been like family to me, and have always had an eye on what I was up to.

                My tails have one primary difference to a metal tail....the sustain of an ebony tail is much more complex and overtone rich than a metal tail, which is a bit more direct sounding....both have their purposes, but they're noticeably different

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                  Hi Matt; Jeremy just asked a question I was going to ask;

                  Originally posted by jeremy View Post
                  how hollow are the semi-hollow designs?
                  As well as that,What sort of weight are they,compared to solid bodies?

                  How much "chambering" is there in the solid bodies?
                  sigpic

                  - http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...?bandID=804435 -
                  - https://soundcloud.com/mr-ds-bigband/tracks -

                  Warning: May contain traces of NUTS

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                  • #10
                    Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                    Hey Matt, thanks for your time. As a continuation of Evan's question, how did you find the transition from working at an established traditional company like Martin, to setting up your own brand?

                    Also, with some of the design ideas you have being anything but traditional (bullets, some eye catching finishes, interesting bridges to say the least!), have there been any crazy ideas you have come up with which were possibly a bit too crazy to implement into an actual build?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                      Jeremy,

                      The semi's are solid from the neck joint to behind the bridge, with a chamber that spans the entire bass side to behind the bridge, a control cavity on the lower treble bout, and another chamber above that spans into the treble horn

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                      • #12
                        Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                        Goldenvulture-

                        The semis and the chambered solids share very similar constructions, with the main difference being the addition of the soundhole. All clock in at about 7 lbs.

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                        • #13
                          Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                          gotcha. have you tried removing more wood? breaking the center block under the pups or anything like that? what would that do to the tone?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                            Hi Mr Wolf!

                            Well, I was never an actual employee of Martin. I started my company at the fresh and green age of 18, and at 33, my own company is all I've ever known! ;-)
                            As for the crazier of my ideas---YES, YES, and YES....I have gazillions and counting, and sometimes I just have to step back and rethink before pulling the trigger on a particular 'theme' or idea', but it doesn't stop my wheels from turning!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Matt Artinger

                              Jeremy-
                              I have....but honestly not enough to really make a determined decision as to if it was an improvement or a detriment. I'm finally getting to the point at 500+ guitars that I'm recognizing the core elements of my guitars, what makes them tick, and how to manipulate them to suit different styles, so if I deviate from that too far at any one time, I may throw myself off of my stride, so experiments like different chambering get incorporated in little bits at a time

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