Martin Road Series GPC-13E Review (2020)

Great guitar for classic tones with a modern, balanced sound
Martin Guitars Road Series GPC-13E
Image Credit: Martin Guitars
Martin & Co. Guitars Logo

Overall Score: 

4.5/5

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4.5/5

Value

4.5/5

The Martin Road Series GPC-13E delivers a classic Martin sound, but with a modern touch. This full-sized guitar offers great playability, tone, and performance, all at an affordable price. The Martin Grand Performance guitar debuted a decade ago as the first guitar with a unique body size for a flat top model.

Body and Neck

The dimensions of GPC-13E fall between those of the Martin’s larger Dreadnought sizes and the smaller sizes. However, the width of the body is bigger than a Martin Dreadnought. This bigger body size allows the guitar to offer the resonance you need with each string pluck. Its curvaceous design, inspired boutique luthiers, makes it an aesthetically appealing music equipment that you would want to carry everywhere. It is an ideal guitar when you need modern tonal character.

Each unit sports a solid wood construction with a Sitka spruce top, a mutenye back and sides. The neck sports high-quality hardwood; in most cases Spanish cedar or mahogany. It also features a scalloped X-bracing to enhance the tone and the responsive dynamics of the guitar.

The neck of the GPC-13E delivers great playability for beginners as well as pros. It packs a 25.3-inch scale length with a hand-rubbed finish so it looks and feels good. The fingerboard sit is only once and three-quarters inches, which is slim enough for comfortable playing. On the neck are 20 medium frets, which are highly accessible, thanks to the cutaway design of the body. If you love supporting sustainable products, this might be one of them. Its fingerboard and bridge sport sustainable Richlite, so, you never have to deal with export/import issues seen with ebony or rosewood. The neck is Pleked so you can play with ease.

Martin Guitars GPC-13E Back
Martin Guitars GPC-13E Back

Hardware

The new GPC-13E comes with a few cosmetic changes that make it look better. Alongside these changes, the unit features Fishman’s MX-T electronics package. This new electronics package replaces the Fishman Sonitone and it comes to make the guitar more gig-friendly. When playing with the new electronics package, the natural tone of the GPC-13E remains.

The new Fishman’s MX-T electronics sit inside the guitar without any holes on the guitar, which makes your guitar full acoustic, and maintains its look and tone. A knob to control volume and tone and a 180-degree phase switch sit along the edge of the soundhole, just above the low E string, where you can access them with much ease. There is a chromatic tuner below the high E string and inside the soundhole with the mute/activation switch within easy reach, and the display pointing you for comfort of use.

Fishmann MX-T in the sound hole of the Martin GPC-13E
Fishman MX-T in the sound hole of the Martin GPC-13E

Sound

The Grand Performance delivers the classic sound of an acoustic guitar. Its tone offers a uniform balance and a wide frequency range of a modern guitar, while still offering a percussive attack and the sweet overtones that are the emblem of Martin guitars. This makes it one of the best guitars for fingerstyle and strumming alike. The GPC-13E has a powerful and commanding bass and loud volume that mirrors a Dreadnought. However, it still maintains its rich and full midrange and treble, and does not sound harsh. 

Conclusion

The natural acoustic tone of this guitar is impressive. The attention to detail of the neck and body make this guitar aesthetically appealing and playable. It is a great guitar if you are always performing on gigs.

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