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Best Martin Acoustic Guitar in 2021 – The Top 5 Martin guitars for every player

Who makes the best acoustic guitar in the world? Plenty of guitarists will say Martin, the brand that pioneered the dreadnaught. Whether you’re looking for classic sound or modern playability, we’ll help you find the best Martin acoustic guitar for you.

We Review Our Top 5 Models to Find the Best Martin Guitar

An impressive signature model for the serious player

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5
Martin OMJM John Mayer Signature
Image Credit: martinguitar.com
Martin & Co. Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.5/5

What we like

What we don't like

Martin OMJM John Mayer Signature Series Review

This 000 guitar is one of John Mayer’s signature guitars made in collaboration with Martin. This smaller-bodied instrument has an Engelmann spruce top. This wood has a slightly softer attack than Sitka spruce, and its nuanced tone is ideal for fingerpickers. The solid East Indian rosewood back and sides add further warmth and complexity to the sound.

The low-profile neck makes it effortlessly playable, and the ebony fingerboard adds some crispness to the sound. Unlike Many Martin guitars, the OMJM comes with electronics pre-installed. The Martin Gold Plus electronics make this guitar both beautiful and stage-ready.

Specs

  • Solid Engelmann Spruce Top, Solid East Indian Rosewood Sides, Solid East Indian Rosewood Back
  • Scale Length- 25.4 inches
A classic player’s guitar delivering vintage tone

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5
Martin D-35
Image Credit: martinguitar.com
Martin & Co. Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.3/5

What we like

What we don't like

Martin D-35 Review

This straightforward dreadnaught is ideal for players seeking a workhorse of a guitar. It’s made with the classic combination of Sitka spruce and rosewood, which delivers balanced yet complex sound.

The D-35 is a fantastic player’s guitar, too – the satin neck is fast and feels great in your hands, and the slim-taper, modified low oval neck profile is slimmer than most. The fretboard arrives Plek’d, which means it has been machine-optimized for excellent playability.

The D-35 is made with light bracing. This bracing allows more flexibility, which translates to bigger, more resonant tone. Notably, the D-35 has been the guitar of choice for greats including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Bruce Springsteen. However, it’s important to note that it does not come with electronics.

Specs

  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND: Martin's Standard Series guitars combine authentic wood, like sitka spruce, mahogany, ebony, rosewood, and more, with innovative bracing, body styles, and handmade detailing to deliver rich resonance, classic tones, and a professional sound. Add our premium guitars to your touring lineup, studio gear, or instrument collection.
  • PREMIUM HANDMADE GUITARS: Handmade from the highest-quality materials, Martin's Standard Series guitars are built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, and plenty of picking. These solid-wood acoustic guitars deliver classic designs, professional sounds, and enjoyable playing.
  • STYLE OPTIONS: With many body sizes and designs, the Martin Guitar Standard Series truly offers a guitar for any type of player. Choose from acoustic, acoustic-electric, and many different body types—dreadnought, concert, grand concert, auditorium, orchestra model, jumbo, or grand performance cutaway. Beginners, intermediate guitar players, or working musicians can all find the instrument that works for them.
  • PLAYABILITY ENHANCED: In addition to Martin's iconic tone known worldwide, our guitars deliver enhanced playability that makes playing a pleasure, no matter your experience or skill level. Whether you're playing rock, country, folk, bluegrass, or jazz, these guitars deliver a natural playing experience that you will love.
  • MARTIN STANDARD SERIES: Martin's superior guitar and string products remain the choice for musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Still handmade. Still the standard. Martin guitars are the real deal—not an imitation.
An affordable mini guitar with a surprisingly big sound

Neck & Body

3.5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5
Little Martin LX1 Small Acoustic Guitar
Image Credit: martinguitar.com
Martin & Co. Guitars Logo

Our Score:

3.9/5

What we like

What we don't like

Martin LX1 Review

This smaller 3/4 size guitar was introduced as a travel guitar, but it’s also a great choice for kids learning guitar.

The top is made of solid Sitka spruce, which gives you a loud, singing sound. The back and sides are made of high-pressure laminate. This laminate resists changes in temperature and humidity, making it an ideal choice to take on trips.

Despite its affordable price, the LX1 Little Martin is a well-appointed acoustic guitar. It has a Corian nut and a Tusq saddle for optimal sustain and tuning stability and the Richlite fretboard and bridge look remarkably like ebony.

Specs

  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND: Martin’s Little Martin LX1 acoustic guitar has a Sitka spruce and mahogany high-pressure laminate (HPL) construction and is Martin’s smallest guitar. While small in size, it is very big on tone, quality, and versatility. It sounds great being played around the campfire or while practicing around the house.
  • SUPERIOR APPEARANCE: The Little Martin LX1 acoustic guitars are made with a Sitka spruce top and high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides. These acoustic guitars are built with sustainable wood certified parts. The LX1 features a mortise and tenon neck joint, non-scalloped X-Brace, standard tapered neck, and chrome-enclosed gear tuners, making it look as captivating as it sounds.
  • PREMIUM HANDMADE GUITARS: Handmade from the highest-quality wood, Little Martin guitars are built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, and plenty of strumming or picking. These solid-wood acoustic guitars deliver classic designs, professional sounds, and enjoyable playing.
  • PLAYABILITY ENHANCED: In addition to Martin's iconic tone known worldwide, our guitars deliver enhanced playability that makes playing a pleasure, no matter your experience or skill level. Whether you're playing rock, country, folk, bluegrass, or jazz, these guitars deliver a natural playing experience that you will love.
  • LITTLE MARTIN GUITARS: Martin's superior guitar and string products remain the choice for musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Still handmade. Still the standard. Martin guitars are the real deal—not an imitation.
An all-mahogany 000 perfect for blues and fingerpicking

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

5/5
Martin 000-15m Acoustic Guitar Review
Image Credit: martinguitar.com
Martin & Co. Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.3/5

What we like

What we don't like

Martin 000-15M Review

This is arguably the best Martin guitar for fingerpicking on the list. Its smaller size offers excellent projection, and mahogany’s warmth goes very well with fingerstyle playing.

The 000-15M is also shockingly affordable considering the fact that it’s made with all solid wood. A bone nut and saddle give this guitar a great vintage tone, and the rosewood fingerboard is very comfortable to play. Diamond and square inlays paired with a satin finish give the 000-15M a look that’s understated yet distinguished.

Specs

  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND & APPEARANCE: Martin's 000-15M acoustic guitar has a mahogany construction that delivers a lively sound with rich tonal complexity while the auditorium body style adds volume. This auditorium guitar is ideal for strumming with your fingers. It has open nickel tuners and a satin finish, making it look as captivating as it sounds.
  • GEARED FOR GIGS: This Martin Acoustic Guitar is made for working musicians. The 000-15M is completed with a simple dovetail neck joint, non-scalloped X-brace, and standard taper neck. It’s designed with an auditorium body for excellent playability and superior sound. Plus, it comes with a hard-shell matte case for easy carrying.
  • PREMIUM HANDMADE GUITARS: Handmade from the highest-quality mahogany, Martin's 15 Series guitars are built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, and plenty of strumming or picking. These solid-wood acoustic guitars deliver classic designs, professional sounds, and enjoyable playing.
  • PLAYABILITY ENHANCED: In addition to Martin's iconic tone known worldwide, our guitars deliver enhanced playability that makes playing a pleasure, no matter your experience or skill level. Whether you're playing rock, country, folk, bluegrass, or jazz, these guitars deliver a natural playing experience that you will love.
  • MARTIN 15 SERIES: Martin's superior guitar and string products remain the choice for musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Still handmade. Still the standard. Martin guitars are the real deal—not an imitation.
An affordable acoustic-electric with modern aesthetics

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3.5/5

Sound

3.5/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

5/5
Martin Guitars Road Series GPC-13E
Image Credit: Martin Guitars

What we like

What we don't like

Martin GPC-13E Road Series Review

As a member of Martin’s Road Series, the GPC-13E is designed with performers in mind. Similar to Taylor guitars, these models are equipped with cutaways, playable necks, and quality electronics.

This guitar is made in the Grand Performance body shape, which essentially offers a mix of a dreadnaught’s low end and a grand concert’s focused sound.

The top is solid spruce, and the back and sides are made of solid Mutenye. Mutenye is a wood known for a balanced response, and it helps make the GPC-13E a great guitar for almost every genre of music.

Specs

  • TOP MATERIAL: Sitka Spruce
  • BACK MATERIAL: Mutenye
  • SIDE MATERIAL: Mutenye
  • CASE: Soft

Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Martin Guitar Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Martin Acoustic Guitar for your needs and budget

Since the 1800s, Martin has been known for producing world-class guitars. They’re best known for their dreadnaughts, and even many casual guitarists have heard of the legendary Martin D28. Today, Martin is still known as one of the best acoustic guitar brands in the world.

What artists use Martin acoustic guitars?

Martin guitars have been used by many artists including John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, David Gilmour,John Prine, Colbie Caillat, and Willie Nelson, to name just a few.

Neck & Body: Size, shape, materials & Bracing

Martin is especially well-known for their dreadnaught acoustics, many of which are known for classic, vintage tone. The D-35 is an example of one of Martin’s famous dreadnaughts. However, for fingerstyle players or just those who prefer something smaller, a 000 body may be better. The 000-15M, a mahogany 000, is also excellent for blues players thanks to mahogany’s midrange-focused sound.

Martin also offers a range of neck profiles. These range from the fast Performing Artist taper (a great choice for modern performers) to the classic Low Oval profile (which is more like the profile on vintage acoustics). Some models have satin-finished necks for faster playability.

Components: Martin Acoustic Guitars Score Well Here

Martins are generally well-appointed guitars. However, many of them do not come with electronics, which may not be ideal for performers. An exception to this is the OMJM, the best high-end acoustic guitar on our list. This guitar comes with Martin’s own high-end electronics.

While very high-end Martins are made with ebony fingerboards and bridges, many of their guitars are beginning to incorporate the more sustainable Richlite composite. Martin also pays close attention to detail in all of their models. Most have nuts and saddles made of high-quality composites that add to their tonal richness. Even the affordable LX1 is made with a corian nut and Tusq saddle.

For Sound & Tone, Martin is the choice of the pros

Martin’s guitars have earned enduring popularity thanks to their sound. Many of their models today have the same vintage tone as pre-war Martins do. This has led some players to describe the sound of Martins as “classic” or “traditional.” These dreadnaughts have a booming sound with plenty of low-end response, and they’re especially well suited to bluegrass music and flatpicking.

If you’re seeking that classic sound, dreadnaughts like the D-35 are a great choice. Like most Martin dreadnaughts, this one has forward-shifted X bracing that enhances its low-end response.

However, Martin’s Road Series acoustics are made with a more modern look and sound in mind. For example, the GPC-13E has a Grand Performance body, which is a lot like Taylor’s Grand Auditorium. This shape offers clear, bright sound that’s well-suited to contemporary music. Road Series guitars sometimes incorporate non-traditional tonewoods for truly unique sound.

Action, Fit & Finish: Crucial to playability for any acoustic guitar

The fit and finish on Martins are generally excellent, and higher-end models usually arrive with the guitar carefully set up. For example, the OMJM has a Plek’d fretboard. Plek is a process that machine-treats a fretboard to make sure it is incredibly playable. Most Martins have fairly low action, but you can also adjust the action (or pay a professional to do so) to your liking.

Many Martin finishes are hand-rubbed, and the attention to detail is apparent when you get a closer look at the guitar. With a brand like this one, you aren’t likely to run into any quality control issues.

Reliability & Durability: Expect excellence from a Martin Acoustic Guitar

Like all well-built guitars, Martins will last decades when cared for properly. However, travel guitars like the LX1 have a leg up when it comes to durability. This is because the high-pressure laminate used on the back and sides tend to withstand knocks and temperature changes better than solid wood.

Value: These guitars are not cheap – They do represent some of the best high end acoustic guitars

While Martins aren’t the cheapest guitars out there, most players think they’re worth the expense. However, certain models offer more value than others. The GPC-13E is an all-solid guitar that’s equipped with decent electronics, and it’s significantly more affordable than many Martins. The 000-15M is an all-solid 000 that’s also easy on your wallet. Famous models like the D-35 and D-28 tend to be more expensive.

Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is the Best Martin Acoustic Guitar?

We think the best acoustic guitar on the list is the OMJM. This all-solid 000 boasts a classic tonewood combination, and its quality electronics make it stage-ready. The OMJM is also designed for incredible playability, and its custom low-profile neck is comfortable for just about anyone to play.