The Best Martin Acoustic Guitars for the Tone-Obsessed in 2022

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Editor's Choice
GPC-16E Mahogany
GPC-16E Mahogany
  • It's the only guitar you'll ever need
  • Great for studio work and live performances
  • Has a comfortable taper neck design and cutaway shape for easy playing
  • It's a versatile instrument for all skill levels
For Budget
GPC-X2E
GPC-X2E
  • A fantastic instrument for beginners and gigging musicians
  • Great sound, playability, and durability 
  • Comes with electronics and a gig bag
For Gigging
SC-13E
SC-13E
  • Great Martin acoustic that plays like an electric guitar
  • The sloped bridge makes accessing upper frets effortless
  • The built-in tuner can quickly mute your Fishman electronics for on-stage tuning

You can’t go wrong with a Martin Guitar, but which one is right for you?

In the world of acoustic guitars, a few brands stand out from the crowd for their quality and tone. Martin is one such brand. 

Martin guitars offer excellent craftsmanship and innovative features that make them a perfect choice for any player looking to invest in a guitar they’ll own forever.

I’ve used my 25+ years of guitar playing experience to sift through Martin’s catalog to find the best Martin guitars for any playing style and budget. If you’re looking for the best in terms of price, construction, versatility, and tone, then the GPC-16E Mahogany is the best of the bunch.

Suppose you’re looking for a musical instrument with rich tones and vintage looks. In that case, Martin acoustic guitars offer just what you’re looking for.

Let’s begin!

The Best Martin Acoustic Guitars in 2022 at a Glance

Editor’s Choice: GPC-16E Mahogany

Editor's Choice
GPC-16E Mahogany

Sound quality, design, and playability come together in the Martin GPC-16E Mahogany acoustic-electric guitar. 

This Grand Auditorium delivers a well-balanced sound with plenty of projection. The smooth, deep cutaway is perfect for finger-picking or flat-picking. At the same time, the onboard Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2 pickup system amplifies your sound beautifully. 

If you're looking for an acoustic-electric that can do it all, the GPC-16E Mahogany is excellent.

The GPC-16E Mahogany is the Editor’s Choice because it’s highly versatile, classic tone, and comparable build quality to Martin’s high-end acoustic guitars.

You can play this guitar for long periods thanks to its comfortable taper neck design and cutaway shape. This keeps you playing and improving while practicing multiple playing styles and scales.

The GPC-16E will quickly adapt to fingerstyle, Flatpicking, and strumming, allowing for your creativity to never be hindered by your instrument.

This sleek, stylish guitar has outstanding playing dynamics, sound, and projection thanks to the solid Sitka spruce top paired against mahogany sides. This classic tonewood combination creates a balanced and forward tone that isn’t harsh to listeners’ ears.

The Martin GPC-16E Mahogany is also an excellent guitar for players who wants to take their studio sound to the stage. It comes equipped with Fishman┬« Matrix VT Enhance NT2 electronics so you can plugin and bring that classic Martin tone to life through an amp or PA system while gigging out.

If you’re looking for the best Martin guitar that can do it all, then the GPC-16E Mahogany is the “swiss-army knife” guitar you’ve been searching for!

Pros
  • High-quality Martin for a great price
  • Great for fingerpicking, Flatpicking, and strumming
  • Classic tonewood combination creates a balanced and forward tone that isn't harsh to listeners' ears
  • It's the only guitar you'll need for any occasion
Cons
  • It may not feel as instantly playable as other auditorium guitars in this price range

Best for Budget: GPC-X2E

Best for Budget
GPC-X2E

Looking for an affordable acoustic guitar that still has all the features of a Martin? Look no further than the GPC-X2E! 

Made with a Sapele top and figured Macassar HPL back and sides, this guitar offers a bold, balanced tone with excellent projection. The select hardwood neck and fingerboard provide smooth playability and response.

So if you're looking for a genuine Martin that won't break the bank, the Martin GPCX2E is a perfect choice. 

The GPC-X2E is the best Martin guitar for players on a budget who want the playability of higher-end models from Martin’s lineup. The GPC-X2E has comparable body construction and features to our Editor’s Choice guitar at about half the price!

A solid Sitka spruce top with a high-pressure laminate rosewood back and sides makes this quality acoustic guitar durable and resonant. It also has a modern neck design, making it easy to play for beginning guitarists.

The GPC-X2E also comes with Fishman MX electronics for the gigging musician, as well as a gig bag.

If you’re looking for the best entry-level Martin guitar, the Martin GPC-X2E should be at the top of your list.

Pros
  • Modern neck design makes it simple to play for beginning guitarists
  • Get a Martin at a great price
  • Has all the features of a much more expensive guitar
Cons
  • Laminated wood construction flattens the tone a bit
  • Built-in Fishman pickup has limited controls

Want to discover more options for the best budget acoustic guitars?

Check out my Best Acoustic Guitar Roundups for the following price ranges:

Best for Fingerstyle: 000-28

Best for Fingerstyle
000-28

If you're looking for a perfect guitar for fingerstyle playing, the Martin 000-28 is a great option. 

With its smaller size, it's incredibly comfortable to hold and play, and its solid Sitka spruce top delivers a clear, balanced tone. 

Whether in the studio or on stage, the 000-28 will give your music a rich, lively sound.

The Martin 000-28 is the best Martin guitar for fingerstyle playing. The body of this guitar is tiny, and the waist of the instrument is tapered to produce a full, focused, and lively tone that emphasizes each note.

The Sitka spruce and East Indian rosewood combine to create a lovely sound, which sounds like a record. This guitar hugs the body intimately and comfortably.

Steel-string guitars with smaller scale lengths, such as the 000-28, produce less string tension, giving them a more “slinky” playability that fingerstylists enjoy.

If you’re looking for a guitar with great dynamics and simply conveys complex emotion, the 000-28 is worth the money!

Pros
  • It makes playing and conveying complex emotion simple 
  • Produces a full, focused, and lively tone
  • Has "slinky" playability that fingerstyle players love
Cons
  • It doesn't come with any built-in electronics
  • It's expensive

Martin makes a great guitar that is fantastic for fingerpicking. However, if the best fingerstyle guitar is what you’re after, I would recommend reading my article “The Best Fingerstyle Guitars for Acoustic Players and Songwriters”

Best for Flatpicking and Strumming: D-35

Best for Flatpicking and Strumming
D-35

Looking for an acoustic guitar that sounds great when you lay into it with a pick? The Martin D-35 is your perfect choice. 

With a top of select Sitka spruce and East Indian rosewood three-piece back, this guitar delivers a robust bass response and powerful projection ideal for stage and studio. 

So if you're looking for an acoustic guitar that feels amazing and can project across a room, the Martin D-35 is your best bet.

Martin guitars famously invented the dreadnought shape that has become a favorite of musicians for its rich sound and loud projection.

However, Martin has quite a few dreadnought body shapes in their lineup, so what makes the D-35 stand against the rest?

The D-35 is the winner of this category because it incorporates lighter bracing with 1/4″ top, 000 back bracing, and non-scalloped X-bracing, all pushing the dreadnought sound to new levels. This guitar is loud and resonant and is very comfortable to play.

If you’re searching for a guitar that will command a room and become your songwriting companion for years to come, the D-35 won’t let you down.

Pros
  • This guitar will inspire you to write songs
  • The traditional dreadnought has been updated and perfected for today's musicians
  • It has a rich, bold tone
Cons
  • Dreadnought tone isn't as balanced and nuanced as other guitars on this list
  • It's expensive

Best for Recording: 000-15SM

Best for Recording
000-15SM

Looking for a guitar that will truly shine in the recording studio? Then you need to check out the Martin 000-15SM acoustic. 

With its all-mahogany construction, this guitar provides incredible warmth and depth of tone that is perfect for singer-songwriters and anyone looking to lay down some serious tracks. 

With its small-body design and 12-fret bridge placement, the Martin 000-15SM is also great for casual couch strumming.

When you’re seeking the best Martin acoustic guitar for your next recording session, you shouldn’t be looking for the most thunderous instrument like a Martin dreadnought.

You should seek a guitar with a clear, focused voice that has distinct note separation. The 000-15SM excels in this area. This guitar’s small body, pinched waist, and short scale give it a warm, rich tone that sounds like a vinyl record.

The 000-15SM has an all-mahogany body and a smooth and “worn in” sound that adds distinctiveness and flair to your recordings.

Mahogany also is famous for naturally compressing the guitar’s sound, which aids in keeping your dynamics under control and eliminates the need to “fix it in the mix.”

The 000-15SM is also considered the best 000 guitar that Martin makes for sound, playability, and price.

If you’re in the market for a Martin acoustic guitar and want an instrument that will add distinction and flair to your recordings, consider the 000-15SM.

Pros
  • It's a perfect guitar for rootsy recording artists
  • Clear, focused, and articulate voicing
  • It has a warm tone that sounds like vinyl
Cons
  • It doesn't come with any built-in electronics
  • The woody, vintage tone might be too limiting for some players

Best for Gigging: SC-13E

Best for Gigging
SC-13E

This Grand Auditorium guitar is perfect for various styles, thanks to its smooth, deep cutaway design. 

The solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides provide a rich, balanced tone that will fill any room. And with the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2 pickup system, you'll be able to amplify your sound with ease. 

Whether finger-picking or flat-picking, the GPC-16E is sure to become your go-to gigging guitar.

When you’re a gigging musician, you need a comfortable acoustic guitar. One that has excellent electronics and can be easily fixed when weird intonation or fret buzzing issues occur from weather exposure and changes in humidity.

This is where the Martin SC-13E acoustic-electric really shines!

The performance artist in you will love this acoustic-electric guitar’s design. The offset body hugs in close, the neck has the playability of an electric, and the solid Sitka spruce top with x-bracing projects sound across the room.

It comes equipped with Fishman MX-T electronics and a built-in tuner within the soundhole. To make this guitar even more enticing to the performing artist, you can automatically mute the pickups while you tune your guitar!

Also, you can get that classic Martin Tone for under $2000 with this one.

If you’re looking for the best Martin guitar for your next gig, then the SC-13E should be at the top of your list!

Pros
  • The sloped bridge makes it effortless to access the higher frets
  • You can play for hours without feeling tired or sore
  • The beautiful Martin tone with the playability of an electric guitar
Cons
  • The off-set body might offend some Martin purists
  • Plugged in tone does suffer a bit from Piezo "quackiness"

Best for Traveling: Steel String Backpacker Guitar

Best for Traveling
Steel String Backpacker Guitar

The Martin Steel String Backpacker Guitar is built for traveling. It's small and portable, but it still provides that classic Martin tone and feel. 

Plus, it comes with a padded carrying bag for easy transport. 

So whether you're on the road or taking a vacation, the Backpacker Guitar is the perfect companion.

Martin guitars have a distinctive sound and are well-liked and appreciated by many music fans. When you’re backpacking or traveling, one of the difficulties of owning the best Martin guitars is leaving them at home.

Well, Martin has addressed this problem by creating the Steel String Backpacker Guitar that’s ideal for the most tone-obsessed guitar player on the move.

This unique body design has that undeniable Martin tone of their most prized vintage instruments while also fitting into a suitcase with ease.

If you identify as a globetrotting nomad, the Steel String Backpacker is the best small Martin guitar for you!

Pros
  • Take the Martin tone with you on a plane, train, or automobile
  • Great for traveling, backpacking, and camping
  • World-class Martin craftsmanship in a compact package
Cons
  • The use case of this guitar doesn't extend outside of travel
  • Funky body shape takes some time to get used to

Best for Kids: 000CJR-10E

Best for Kids
000CJR-10E

The Martin 000CJr-10E acoustic-electric is the perfect guitar for aspiring guitarists, especially kids. 

Its comfortable mini body delivers iconic Martin 000 visuals and sonics in a smaller form factor, making it easy to learn on and travel with. 

The X-braced Sitka spruce top blossoms to life with warmth and depth at every pick stroke, providing a great tone that beginner players will love.

OK, let’s get this out of the way, the 000CJR-10E acoustic-electric isn’t a cheap guitar for a kid. However, suppose your youngster is past the basics and requires a serious performance instrument. In that case, this Martin acoustic will do the trick.

This guitar is similar to the Editor’s Choice in terms of feature set. It incorporates design elements that contribute to Martin being one of the most sought-after acoustic brands globally.

It features a Sitka spruce top, Fishman Sonitone electronics, and a tiny auditorium body for added versatility.

If you want one of the best guitars for your youngster, the 000CJR-10E is a great choice!

Pros
  • A guitar that will help your child learn to play and sound like a pro
  • Same Martin quality in a little guitar
  • It comes with modern features like Fishman electronics and cutaway body design
Cons
  • As your child develops, the neck width might begin to feel small and cramped, especially for fingerstyle
  • This guitar is an expensive kid's guitar

If you’re in the market for a guitar for your kid, then you should check out my articles:

Best Authentic Vintage Martin: D-28 Authentic 1937 Aged

Best Authentic Vintage Martin
D-28 Authentic 1937 Aged

Experience that genuine vintage Martin vibe with the D-28 Authentic 1937 VTS.

Made using hide glue and classic building techniques, this instrument has a rich tone perfect for the studio or gigging out.

If you're interested in getting your hands on one of these beauties, hurry before they sell out - because once they do, who knows when a guitar like this will come around again?

Based on an original 1937 D-28 from Martin’s museum, this guitar features many appointments as those found on a vintage 1937 model.

The Vintage Tone System (VTS) ages the woods to a specific period and time. This feature makes the D-28 Authentic 1937 sound similar to a Martin guitar made over 70 years ago.

This instrument has that classic aged look. Just like if you stumbled upon a rare vintage Martin in an estate sale.

If you’re looking for the Rolls Royce of acoustic guitars, then you need to look no further than the D-28 Authentic 1937 Aged Martin.

Pros
  • You'll be getting a rare, vintage Martin guitar...with a warranty!
  • Made from the highest quality materials
  • Massive low-end with articulate highs
Cons
  • This guitar is ridiculously expensive
  • Has a very chunky neck that could be uncomfortable for players with smaller hands

Have you ever wondered what the best guitar brands are today? Well, I created an ultimate acoustic guitar brand guide and buyer’s guide to help you choose your perfect guitar. Check it out today!

Buyers Guide for the Best Martin Guitars

Choosing the best Martin Guitar for your playing style and budget can be overwhelming. Martin guitars started manufacturing in 1833 and have centuries of guitars to choose from.

The following buying guide will help you know which will be the best Martin acoustic guitar for you.

Body Styles

There are many different body shapes for guitar, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Before purchasing a guitar, you must consider your playing style and what type of body will best suit you.

Junior

Martin Guitars’ junior body type sits between a full-scale 000 body type and a travel-sized guitar.

This body type is light and comfortable in your hands. The shortened scale length and reduced dimensions reduce string tension, which makes playing this guitar a pleasure.

This is the ideal guitar for youngsters and adults with smaller hands and frames.

Concert (0)

The Concert body style is not widely used in Martin Guitars’ current product line.

The Concert body style is essentially a parlor guitar with a punchy, focused sound. Because of the more petite frame of this body type, you will sacrifice some low-end heft.

This vintage-style body has a shabby-in, woody vibe. This makes it great for certain recording artists and musicians who want something to play next to a campfire.

Grand Concert (00)

The Martin Guitars Grand Concert body type is compact and shallow. It rests intimately against your body and is an excellent option for recording artists and guitar players living in small spaces.

The sound of this body type is balanced, articulate, and has a warmth in the low-end.

Auditorium (000) & Orchestra (OM)

If you’re a fingerpicker and light strummer, an Auditorium (000) or Orchestra (OM) body style is ideal for you.

These body styles are very responsive and don’t need a heavy touch to get the guitar to sing. These guitar types also are characterized by a well-balanced tone between all of the strings.

Grand Performance (GP)

The Grand Performance can be played by every player from strummers, fingerstylists, and flat-pickers.

The bass response of this body style is smooth, and it has a well-defined mid-range with a glassy top end. The GP allows you to grow into an expert in any playing style.

The Grand Performance is also pleasant to play. It’s a fantastic choice for anybody looking for a “swiss-army knife” acoustic guitar.

Dreadnought (D)

The dreadnought body shape is the most popular and imitated acoustic guitar design in history. Martin Guitars created it in 1916.

A dreadnought design projects sound across a room. It has a more mid-range forward sound and has been utilized by numerous songwriters such as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and John Lennon.

If you’re searching for a guitar that can hold its own in a band setting, dreadnoughts are the way to go.

Jumbo (J) & Grand Auditorium 0000 (M)

Martin Guitars’ Jumbo and Grand Auditorium body types resemble a dreadnought guitar but have a more pinched waist.

This design allows for more articulation and separation between notes while maintaining the loud projection of a dreadnought.

These body shapes are ideal for flatpickers and heavy strummers looking to fill a space with their music.

Backpacker

This guitar type is a narrow and light body style that can be easily carried onto a plane. If you’re looking to take the timeless Martin Guitar tone with you while hiking some mountains or visiting family, this one is for you.

This body style has a fantastic “woody” sound quality and is ideal for use around a campfire. On the other hand, the disadvantage of this body type is its lack of low end.

Tonewoods

Tonewoods are the materials used to make your instrument and significantly impact the sonic quality your guitar produces. Knowing how different tonewoods influence tone will help you pick the best Martin acoustic guitar for you.

The Soundboard (Top Wood)

The essential tonewood for an acoustic guitar is the soundboard (or top wood). It will have the most influence on your instrument’s projection, playability, and dynamics.

Martins uses various tonewoods on the soundboard, with Sitka spruce and mahogany being the most popular. However, other options are available for guitarists seeking more unusual constructions.

Spruce Tonewood

Spruce

Spruce is the most popular top wood for acoustic guitars. Solid spruce is a softwood with a big dynamic range and sonic versatility.

It has excellent dynamic range and quickly responds to lighter picking and strumming while also handling a heavier hand without losing clarity in the notes.

Spruce is a good all-around tonewood that can be used effectively in many genres of music from country, blues, pop, and rock & roll.

Mahogany Tonewood

Mahogany

Mahogany is a hard, dark wood with less dynamic range than other top woods. This makes mahogany an excellent choice for recording artists and guitarists with uneven strumming.

Mahogany is a very durable wood that is less prone to cracking and warping like softwood such as cedar does.

Mahogany has a “worn-in” and woody sound, making it a very intimate guitar that is great for blues and folk music.

Sapele

Sapele is a substitute for mahogany for acoustic guitar manufacturers. It is a protected wood, making it a sustainable tonewood option.

It has the same dark hue and tonal qualities as mahogany. The most significant differentiation between the two kinds of wood is that Sapele has a slightly brighter tone. However, most musicians in a blind listening test wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two.

Ovangkol Tonewood

Ovangkol

Ovangkol is seldom utilized as a top wood for acoustic guitars, but it is frequently used for the back and sides.

However, Martin Guitars has a few models that use Ovangkol as its top wood. Its sound is well-balanced with plenty of projection.

Curly Mango

Finding a guitar with a Curly Mango top wood isn’t easy. However, it’s used by Martin for a few high-end models in their lineup.

Curly Mango has the same features as Mahogany but has an elegant beauty like Flamed Maple.

Users with a Curly Mango top wood on their Martin guitar claim it has a balanced, mid-range clarity and muted highs.

High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)

Martin Guitars uses paper and resin laminates for some of their X-Series guitars. This laminate makes for a more durable and affordable guitar than a solid wood acoustic.

With laminate woods, you tend to lose some of the richness and depth that you get from a solid wood guitar. So, it’s essential to play a laminate acoustic guitar first to see if you like the sound.

HPL is less prone to crack and warp when subjected to temperature changes, making it a wise choice for traveling musicians.

Body Wood

Whereas the top wood impacts playability, dynamic range, and projection, the body wood affects the EQ curves of the guitar.

Acoustic guitars produce their unique sounds due to the combination of these woods. In their acoustic collection, Martin Guitars provides a variety of body woods. The most popular will be Rosewood, Mahogony, and Maple.

However, as you’ll notice, Martin provides some alternatives that are definitely worth considering!

Rosewood Tonewood

Rosewood

Rosewood back and sides is one of the most famous body woods in acoustic guitar design. However, Rosewood is becoming rarer in guitar building because it is over-harvested, while some popular species are even on the endangered list.

Still, Rosewood can be found on higher-end acoustics and has a “scooped” midrange ideal for singer/songwriters. Rosewood produces a sound with plenty of overtones and a high-end that is smooth.

Mahogany

With its unique tone, distinctive feel, warm midrange, and sweet, mellow resonance, Mahogany is one of the most popular woods for guitar body construction.

There’s a natural compression of sound that occurs with mahogany. This makes it an excellent body tonewood choice for recording artists and guitarists who haven’t developed controlled dynamics with their strumming hand.

Curly Mango

Curly Mango is like a more expensive and exotic Mahogany. It has similar sound qualities, although the appearance is more beautiful and similar to flamed maple.

Sapele

Sapele has a similar sound to mahogany back and sides except for having a bit brighter tone. It’s a versatile body wood that will suit many different playing styles.

Maple Tonewood

Maple

Maple wood is one of the most beautiful-looking tonewoods. It often is described as having a bright tone. Still, in reality, it’s a very transparent tonewood that has lovely projection.

Maple is excellent for strummers because it has very few overtones. Each note in a chord harmony has clear and focused articulation.

Walnut Tonewood

Walnut

Walnut has a bright tone with a slight boost in the low-end. Walnut’s sound will soften as the wood ages but will maintain its clarity.

Koa Wood
Koa Tonewood

Koa

Koa is beautiful-looking tonewood from Hawaii and is expensive. It’s often used on premium model guitars and has a bright tone. Like Walnut, Koa’s high-frequency emphasis will mellow out over time.

Grandillo

Granadillo’s tone is similar to Rosewood’s, with wide frequency response, clear note articulation, and sustain. Because Granadillo is denser than Rosewood, the sound has more brilliance in the high end.

Grandillo is a tonewood only found on a couple of Martin Guitar models.

Katalox

Katalox is a very solid and durable tonewood with a lovely purplish hue. Katalox has an excellent projection, long sustain, and clear trebles, similar to the tone of African Blackwood.

It is used most prominently by Martin Guitars for fingerboards and bridges. Still, some of their premium guitars use it for the back and sides.

Ovangkol

Ovangkol is similar to Rosewood but with a little more mid-range presence and a bright high end similar to Koa.

Taylor Guitars unveiled Ovangkol to the acoustic community as a more environmentally friendly option to Rosewood. It’s a versatile tonewood that will work for a variety of players.

Mutenye

Mutenye is a not-so-common tonewood that is similar to Ovangkol and Rosewood. It’s used on Martin’s Road Series guitars and can be described as having an even, balanced tone.

Mutenye is a beautiful tonewood with thick dark grains.

Siris

Another alternative tonewood utilized by Martin Guitars. Siris has a balanced tone that shares similarities to Koa. However, unlike Koa, Siris tonewood isn’t as expensive and is found on mid-range Martin acoustic guitars.

Myrtle

Another alternative tonewood, Myrtle, is a dense tonewood that doesn’t crack easily. It shares the tonal characteristics of maple with the look of Koa, with very clear and great projection.

It isn’t widely used as a body wood by Martin and is often found on custom shop guitars.

Sustainable Cherry

The Cherry wood that Martin uses is Forest Stewardship Council certified. This means that the wood is sustainably harvested and supports responsible forest management.

Sustainable Cherry has a tone similar to Maple but a bit more mid-range presence and sustain.

Laminates (HPL)

For lower-cost guitars, Martin uses High-Pressure Laminate. When subjected to temperature fluctuations, HPL is less prone to fracture and bend, making it an excellent choice for musicians on the go.

With a laminate construction, you lose some of the richness and depth that solid wood guitars provide. It’s critical to play a laminate acoustic guitar before buying one to ensure you are happy with the sound.

The Martin Guitar Series at a Glance

Martin has done an excellent job from being a premium-only brand to extending into some more beginner-friendly price ranges.

You’ll be able to find that classic Martin tone in all of the series; it’s just a matter of understanding which series will inspire you to create your next hit!

Martin D-28 Standard

Standard Series

Suppose you want a classic Martin guitar that will gracefully mature into a vintage Martin in 40 years. In that case, the Standard Series is the way to go.

Price: $2,500 to $10,000

Key Features: These musical instruments are beautiful to look at and sound incredible. They come with 200+ years of luthier expertise.

OMC-X1E

X-Series

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for getting that Martin tone, then the X-Series is definitely worth looking at. This series of Martin Guitars features all the classic body designs but features laminate back and sides which helps keep the cost down.

These guitars are durable and sound good, and it’s the series you want to look at for the best Martin under $1000.

Price: $500-$800

Key Features: HPL bodies, Sitka spruce on most models, and a comfortable neck that’s great for beginner guitarists.

000-28 Modern Deluxe

Modern Deluxe Series

This is the series for you if you want a classic Martin on steroids. The Modern Deluxe Series features a unique modern design and an authentically aged sound.

Price: $3,400 – $5,000

Key Features: Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS) ages the solid Sitka spruce top, giving it a decades-old sound. The asymmetrical neck design accommodates a wide range of contemporary playing techniques.

DJr-10E Dreadnought Junior

Junior Series

These guitars provide the classic Martin sound in a compact package. This is the series to get if you’re searching for an ideal camping guitar or sofa guitar.

Price: $500 – $700

Key Features: A small-bodied, Sitka spruce or Sapele top and a lovely Martin tone in an easy-to-carry package.


D-28 Authentic 1937 Aged

Authentic Series

Looking for a meticulous re-creation of a Martin guitar from a specific era? Well, the Authentic series will let you own a piece of guitar history, although it will cost you!

Price: $4,800 – $52,000

Key Features: Every guitar is a faithful re-creation of the vintage instrument it imitates, including the glue, the torrefaction to age the topwood, and the construction.

00-15M 15-Series

15 Series

In the Martin family of guitars, the 15 series is the all-solid mahogany builds. These guitars are designed with the songwriter and performer in mind and have a “woody” and warm tone.

Price: $1,300 – $1,600

Key Features: It features a solid mahogany body, Fishman electronics (optional), and a contemporary design.

GPC-16E Mahogany 16-Series

16 & 17 Series

This series piggy-backs off the 15 series but instead features different tonewoods such as solid Sitka spruce top, ovangkol top, and solid east Indian Rosewood back and sides.

Price: $1,600 – $2,000

Key Features: Designed with the tone-obsessed professional artist in mind. This guitar features contemporary playability, construction, comfort, and pickup technology.

000-12e Road Series

Road Series

The Martin road series is built for gigging musicians who want an affordable, solid wood guitar that can withstand some stress from the road.

This range is where you will find the best value Martin guitar.

Price: $800 – $1,500

Key Features: Modern design, low cost, and solid wood construction for the traveling musician.

LXK2 Little Martin

Little Martin Series

The Little Martin is the perfect guitar for young kids who have already mastered the basics. Parents will appreciate this small Martin guitar since it has a lovely tone and includes a padded gig bag for simple storage.

Price: $350 – $500

Key Features: A small-bodied, Sitka spruce or Sapele top and a lovely Martin tone in an easy-to-carry package.

Steel String Backpacker

Backpacker Series

The Martin backpacker’s unique and innovative design is designed for nomads who can’t stay in one place for long.

Price: $280

Key Features: The Martin tone you know and love in a slender solid Sapele constructed guitar that fits into a backpack.

Limited/Special Edition Series

Martin guitar limited editions are works of art. So expensive, you probably want to keep them in a temperature-controlled glass case somewhere and never touch it. Built for collectors? Yes. Built for Players? Probably not.

Price: $12,000 – $120,000 (that’s not a typo!)

Key Features: These features change depending on the theme/collaboration. Check their site for more details.

Certified/Sustainable Series

Built with FSC-certified wood and manufacturing processes. These guitars are built with sustainability in mind and are for the eco-conscious consumer.

Price: $2,000

Key Features: Guitar built with sustainable woods, responsible harvesting practices, and ethical labor.

Signature Editions

Want the same style guitar that John Mayer, Johnny Cash, or Eric Clapton play? Then get one of their signature editions!

Price: $600 – $5,000

Key Features: Artists collaborate and offer input to create player-specific improvements on Martin’s traditional guitars.

Electronics and Pickups

It’s critical to check if pickups and electronics are included with your purchase when buying the best Martin guitar for your needs.

Some Martin guitars will come with Fishman electronics, but some vintage-style replicas will not.

If you aren’t planning to perform live music, this isn’t an issue. However, if you spend most of your time in a recording studio, you will end up paying extra for the electronics/pickups while never using them.

Before spending your hard-earned money on a Martin Guitar, be a wise buyer and figure out what you will use the guitar for.

Sustainability and Innovation

For almost two centuries, Martin has been producing acoustic guitars. They invented and popularized the standard dreadnought guitar, developed X-Bracing (which became the golden standard for guitar construction), and designed the 14-Fret neck.

Without a doubt, Martin has revolutionized the acoustic guitar world.

In 1990, Martin began developing environmentally sustainable business procedures that encourage people to utilize alternative wood construction while providing economic, social, and cultural benefits wherever they do business.

This is yet another example of pushing the envelope with guitar manufacturing to ensure that future guitarists have access to excellent guitars.

FAQ

The most common questions surrounding Martin Guitars answered.

What is the most famous Martin guitar?

The most famous Martin guitar is the D-28 dreadnought shape. The dreadnought tone is adored by musicians worldwide because of its excellent projection and a balanced, rich tone.

Is Martin guitar good for fingerstyle?

Yes. Many Martin guitars are fantastic for fingerstyle playing. The 00 and 000 are great Martin models with incredible note articulation and a focused projection that is great for fingerstyle.

Are Martin Guitars worth the money?

Yes. Martin Guitars are definitely worth your money. Martin builds acoustic instruments that are meant to last, and their tone is world-famous.

Martin also comes with a lifetime limited warranty on all of their guitars.

Does Martin make acoustic-electric guitars?

Yes. Lots of Martin acoustics come with Fishman electronics making it so you can plug in and amplify your Martin guitar.

What is the most sought-after Martin guitar?

The Kurt Cobain 1959 D-18E that he played during Nirvana’s “Unplugged” session sold for $6,000,000. This makes this the most expensive and rare Martin in history.

Is Martin D28 good for fingerstyle?

While you can undoubtedly play fingerstyle on a D-28 Dreadnought body acoustic, it is more suited to Flatpicking and strumming. If you’re searching for a fantastic fingerstyle guitar, consider Martin’s 00 and 000 series models.

Are Martin Guitars better than Taylor Guitars?

Only you can answer this one. Both produce a high-quality guitar, and it all depends on what you’re looking for in a guitar. Martin tends to have a more mid-range, woody tone, while Taylor’s often have a brighter, modern tone.

Why didn’t you include any Martin 12-string acoustics on your list?

Because they are special-style instruments, I didn’t include any Martin 12-string acoustic guitars on my list.

However, I created a separate article titled “The Best 12-String Acoustic Guitars for Every Style in 2022“ that includes a Martin 12-String on the list that you should check out.

Why aren’t there any acoustic bass guitars on this list?

You may have noticed that I didn’t include any acoustic short-scale bass guitars on this list. Acoustic bass guitars are a breed all their own, so I created an article that goes over the best bass acoustic guitars that you can check out here.

00 vs 000 | What’s the Difference?

The 00 and 000 body shape is very similar. They both share the same body depth, but 00s generally have less spacing between the frets because they have a smaller body.

This can make them good guitars for players with slightly smaller hands.

To Recap

Whether you’re looking for a classical model, acoustic-electric, or vintage-inspired guitar, there’s one from Martin that will suit your needs perfectly. The GPC-16E Mahogany has been my favorite due to its versatility in sound and the quality of construction. If this sounds like something worth checking out further, feel free to click on it below!

Editor's Choice
GPC-16E Mahogany

Sound quality, design, and playability come together in the Martin GPC-16E Mahogany acoustic-electric guitar. 

This Grand Auditorium delivers a well-balanced sound with plenty of projection. The smooth, deep cutaway is perfect for finger-picking or flat-picking. At the same time, the onboard Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2 pickup system amplifies your sound beautifully. 

If you're looking for an acoustic-electric that can do it all, the GPC-16E Mahogany is excellent.

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AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.