Jorma Kaukonen M-30 Signature
(MattG | Posted 2010-01-17)
Best known for his lead guitar work in Jefferson Airplane, Jorma Kaukonen has had a successful career spanning over four decades. From accompanying Janis Joplin in the "Typrwiter Tapes" to the band "Hot Tuna," an acoustic band derived from many of the Jefferson Airplane members, Jorma has explored many styles from rock band lead to fingerstyle acoustic blues.
At this years NAMM show, Martin is anouncing the M-30 Jorma Kaukonen signature series. Though usually seen playing a Gibson acoustic, Jorma is no stranger to the M series. His latest album, "River of Time" was largley recorded with an M-42 David Bromberg signature. Martins M series is essentially a 0000 size. It has 000 depth but a 16" lower bout giving it a small jumbo look.
The M-30 and the previous M-42 are very similar instruments. The M-30 features a rare Italian Alpine Spruce, which is similar to Adirondak spruce. The grain is much lighter than the more common Sitka spruce. The Alpine spruce is more responsive than Sitka and will give the mid and high ranges better attack and allow it to ring longer. It is paired with East Indian Rosewood back and sides. This is good pairing for a guitar of this body size. The Rosewood is known for its warm and responsive characteristics and can handle the volume that this big bodied M is capable of. Jorma's M-30 also usues a 45 style enlarged soundhole. This sets this M apart from other M series Martins and will make a loud guitar louder.
M-seriers Martins are one of the less popular styles for the majority of Martin buyers. Eric Clapton has a signature 000-28 but his unplugged album was recorded on a regular production M-36. The regular production M-38 is one of the best sounding factory instruments on the market today and it sports a regular soundhole and a Sitka spurce top. The Jorma M-30 will be one of the best sounding Martins in production with the enlarged soundhole and the Alpine Spruce top. The price of the guitar is on the higher end of things for most buyers at $6199, but it will be a premier guitar and being a limited signature model will be worth more than a regular production model if taken care of twenty years down the road.