C.F Martin and Company were established in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin. Martin is almost a 200-year-old company. Martin produced high-end acoustic guitar, which is to become one of the biggest names in the industry. The secret ingredient to its innovation in acoustic guitars was moving away from the commonly used Spanish flavour. Many world-class musicians prefer the unique sound created by Martin & Co. But most notably, Ed Sheeran, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and The Lumineers use martin guitar to create their brilliant melodies. Martin guitars are not so expensive. It is the perfect choice for beginners and intermediate players because of their inexpensiveness yet high-quality built. But Martin does make top-of-the-line costly models which can cost more than $2,000. You absolutely must try Martin’s new 17 series.
Martin guitars always come with the best in-stock selection. Martin is also famous for its exclusive and custom models. They use a hand selection of materials for the custom instrument. You can surely get the product you expect from a 200-year-old brand. So in this article, I will bring you the best Martin acoustic guitars while covering all the categories.
The line up at a glance
After a series of in-depth research on several products, we’ve selected the best Martin acoustic guitar. Read through each product with its pros and cons to find your guitar.
Martin 16 Series D-16GT
The Martin 16 Series D-16GT is a high-quality acoustic guitar that shows excellent craftsmanship while building the guitar. It is comfortable and has a lovely rich sound to it.
Martin Road Series 000-10E
This is probably the best guitar on the list and also my personal favorite.
Our Picks For Top 10 best martin acoustic guitar in 2021
The Martin D-28 is an amazing martin acoustic guitar. It the one of the most sold guitar and probably the most famous and best martin guitar. It has a rich, loud and clear sound and the tone is also balanced. This guitar is still a benchmark dreadnought and it was enhanced. The solid Sitka spruce gives the acoustic an amazing, responsive sound and sturdy build. The 2017 version is an excellent and exemplary instrument.
The Martin D-28 is a dreadnought shaped guitar with D-14 fret body size. The top of the guitar is made out of solid Sitka spruce or Adirondack red spruce and the top bracing pattern is Standard X also made from solid Sitka spruce 5/16”. Material used for the back and the side are Solid East Indian Rosewood with white Baltaron Endpiece and black/white inlays. The neck of the guitar is made out of select hardwood with low profile shape and the features nut bones. There are a total 20 frets and 14 of them are clear.
Martin HD-28 is Martin’s other highly famous guitar. The guitar has a crisper and vintage sound, and it has a balanced, deep tone. It tends to get better with time and all thanks to its fantastic craftsmanship. The unique and perfect sound was possible because of the Scalloped X bracing system. The guitar’s downside is that it is expensive, and some people say the guitar tends to sound quite.
The Martin HD-28 is a dreadnought shaped guitar with D-14 fret body size. The top of the guitar is made out of solid Sitka spruce or Adirondack red spruce, and the top bracing pattern is Forward-Shifted X-Brace also made from solid Sitka spruce 5/16″. The material used for the back and the side are Solid East Indian Rosewood. The neck of the guitar is made out of select hardwood and features nut bones. There are a total of 20 frets, and 14 of them are clear. The guitar has a lovely gloss finish on the top, side, and back, but the neck has a satin finish.
The Martin D-45 Guitar is a very expensive guitar. The goal of the guitar is to build something perfect and visually stunning. The guitar is beautiful to look at and sounds amazing. To create the guitar, Martin used top-quality materials.
The Martin D-45 Guitar is a D-14 fret body-sized guitar with dovetail neck joint construction. The top of the guitar is made out of solid Sitka spruce, and the top bracing pattern is Scalloped. The material used for the back and the side are Solid East Indian Rosewood. The neck of the guitar is made out of genuine mahogany, and features nut bones. There are a total of 20 frets, and 14 of them are clear. The guitar has a lovely gloss finish on the neck, top, side, and back.
The Martin SC-13E is an acoustic guitar with great price and promises. The guitar has a very welcoming price to it despite having some high-quality materials. The guitar sounds excellent plugged in or out. The guitar is unique for its innovative design and excellent fingerboard access. The quality of the guitar’s electronics is also outstanding, but the onboard tuner can be slow at times, and the action might need some adjustment.
The Martin SC-13E is an S-13 fret cutaway shaped guitar that features Sure Align® Linear Dovetail Neck Joint construction and Tone Tension X bracing pattern and Treble Side Scalloped X with Non-Scalloped Tone Bars brace shape. The top is made out of Sitka Spruce, while the back and sides are made out of Koa Fine Veneer. The body has a lovely gloss finish to it. When it comes to the neck, it is a low profile velocity shaped neck with a high-performance taper neck with Fishman MX-T electronics. The fingerboard material is ebony, and the neck material is select hardwood with a satin finish. There are 20 frets, and the 13th fret joins at the body and has a scale length of 25.4″.
The Martin DRS2 Guitar is an excellent sounding guitar but yet affordable. The guitar is easy to play and features quality electronics, and comes with a hard-shell. The guitar is not the most beautiful looking guitar and does not feature any onboard tuner. If you are a beginner, you should get this guitar.
The Martin DRS2 is a dreadnought shaped guitar with D-14 fret body size. The top of the guitar is made out of solid Sitka. The material used for the back and the side are Sapele. The neck of the guitar is made out of select hardwood, and the features nut white Corian. There are a total of 20 frets, and 14 of them are clear. The guitar has a satin finish on the top, side, and back, but the neck has a hand-rubbed finish.
Martin D-15M Burst is an acoustic guitar with great price and sound. The build is also flawless. We could not find any negative reviews on the guitar. Most of the customer reviews said it is one of the best guitar they ever owned
Martin D-15M Burst is a dreadnought shaped guitar with D-14 fret body size. The top of the guitar is made out of Mahogany. The material used for the back and the side are Mahogany. The neck of the guitar is made out of Mahogany, and features nut bone. There are a total of 20 frets, and 14 of them are clear. The guitar has a satin finish on the top, side, and back, but the neck has a hand-rubbed finish.
Martin 16 Series D-16GT
The Martin 16 Series D-16GT is a high-quality acoustic guitar that shows excellent craftsmanship while building the guitar.
+ Great craftsmanship
+ Good action
+ Great playability
+ Deep, rich and beautiful sound
+ Comes with a hard-shell case
– Potential human errors in some guitar
The Martin 16 Series D-16GT is a high-quality acoustic guitar that shows excellent craftsmanship while building the guitar. You can expect to feel extremely comfortable playing the guitar. It has a deep, rich, and beautiful sound and tone. The beauty of the guitar lies in the build quality, sound, and playability. This is one of the best deals you can find for $1500.
The Martin 16 Series D-16GT is a dreadnought shaped guitar. The top features Solid Sitka Spruce tonewood, while the back/side of the guitar features Solid Mahogany wood. The selected hardwood neck comes with a modified low oval profile. The scale length is 25.4” and comes with 20 frets. Fingerboard is made out of Richlite with a radius of 16”. Lastly, the natural gloss finish gives the guitar a wondrous beauty.
Martin Road Series 000-10E
This is probably the best guitar on the list and also my personal favorite.
+ High-performance taper
+ Fishman MX-T electronics
+ Amazing visual
– Slim neck
The Martin Road Series 000-10E is an amazing performing guitar that looks good. It got some of the premium guitars features making it our absolute favorite. The solid all-Sapele body gives the guitar a rich and full tone. It is ideal for using multiple techniques like fingerstyle because of the slim neck. Lastly, the Fishman MX-T electronics give an amazing tone while plugged-in.
The Martin Road Series 000-10E is a 000-14 fret sized guitar with Sapele top, back and side. It features a performing Artists neck shape with high-performance tapers. The top features cherry color with Modern Belly – Drop in Saddle bridge. There are 20 frets on the fingerboard, and the material used for the fretboard is FSC® Certified Richlite®. The fingerboard also features Mother-of-pearl Pattern dot inlays.
Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa is the best beginner-level mini acoustic guitar in the market. It gets the job done perfectly and perfect for fingerstyle. Many beginner players are usually interested in fingerstyle, making it more compatible with their playing style. It is not made out of the best material, but I guess a guitar with high-end materials requires much more careful handling, which is not suitable for traveling guitarists and beginners. It has a nice warm tone with very stable tuning contributing more to what it is made for.
Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa is a modified 0-14 fret with Mortise and Tenon Neck joint. It comes with an X-bracing pattern and non-scalloped. The top material with HPL and back material side material also are made out of HPL. The scale length is 23” while the fingerboard width at nut is 1 11/16” and the neck shape is a modified Low Oval. There are no electronics available. That is all for the specs.
Martin LX1E Little Martin
Best for people with small hands. Light-weight, durable, sound good with or without plugged in, sounds like the perfect travel partner for you.
+ Very portable
+ Great sound
+ Customizable tone for Pre-amp
+ Loud despite the size
– Sound not as good as a dreadnought
– The small size might not be suitable for everyone
The Martin LX1E Little Martin is an electric acoustic guitar. The best part is the guitar sound even better plugged in and packs a classic steel string punch while plugged in and unplugged. But it lacks the punch of a dreadnought. The durability gives the guitar portability, enough to easily use it as a travel guitar. The weightlessness is also one of the reasons why this guitar is loved by many.
The Martin LX1E Little Martin has a solid Sitka spruce top. The guitar top bracing comes with a modified one style top bracing pattern. The side and the back has a mahogany pattern with hpl textured finish to it. The neck has a modified low oval shape, and the fingerboard is made out of Richlite. The scale length is 23” with 20 frets. The width of the fingerboard at the 12th fret is 2 1/16”. Bridge material is solid Morado, and lastly, the tuning machine is the Gotoh Nickel w/ Small Knobs.
Criteria used for evaluation
Different tonewoods sound and feel different. A good tonewood resonates better, gets better with age, and improves the visual. But it comes to us with no surprise; the definition of great sound is subjective as it depends on each individual’s genre and taste.
The spruce is the best choice for the top of the guitar. It gives the guitar tonal properties. Stika spruce is slightly harder than average spruce. The rosewood will be the perfect one for the back and side. It provides the guitar with a rich and warm tone. The Mahagonny is the more commonly used tonewood as it is famous for its durability. It is also renowned for producing subtle overtone and earthy midrange tonality.
The guitar shapes affect both the sound and the playability. There are many guitar body shapes like the dreadnought, grand auditorium, orchestra, Parlor, and Jumbo. A parlor shaped guitar has a light, focused, and balanced sound. Grand auditorium and orchestra guitar shapes come in outstanding balance, projection, and volume. They are usually not dependent on any plug-ins or amps. They tend to sound good on their own.
The dreadnought guitars are larger in size and more focused on the low frequencies. It is highly famous among flat pickers. The body shapes also include cutaways. A single-cutaway can give you access to higher notes. It is more prominent among people who tend to play solo or leads. But guitar with no cutaways tends to have better volume and bass.
A pure acoustic guitar is more focused on the unplugged sound, whereas an acoustic with a plug-in system, yes, of course, focuses more on the plugged-in sound. An excellent acoustic guitar usually comes with a preamp to make the sound stronger.
The preamp also comes with a tuner, volume, and tone control. So if you plan on playing in an unplugged show or just to play for your own, you can go with pure acoustic guitars from the list. The acoustic-electric guitars are more suitable for plugged performances.
The neck of your guitar does not affect the tone. But it does put a huge difference when it comes to comfort. Acoustic neck usually has 12 or 14 fret necks. This number of frets is above the guitar body. On a 12th fret neck guitar, the 13th and 14th frets will be on the body. Thus it will be harder to reach the high notes.
Another factor is the neck joint. Most acoustic guitars come with a set neck, which is basically glued. Then there is a bolt-on neck. The advantages of bolt-on necks are they are replaceable, and the guitar with bolt-on necks are cheap. The dovetail neck joint is the best choice for acoustic guitars. Dive tail necks are structurally strong. It also helps the vibration of your playing. It can somewhat give your instrument a warm and more fullness in sound.
The fingerboard is an essential part of a guitar, and your fingerboard must be made out of high-quality material. Woods used for the fingerboards are Rosewood, Maple, and Granadillo. Rosewood is more preferred for the majority of the player as it is naturally oily and a medium density wood. You can expect your guitar to be lightweight and smooth. The rosewood also provides a warm and soft tone.
The maple is more famous for its stunning visual. Maple is very dense, and it’s a strong wood. Rosewood is better than maple because the maple fingerboard can be a bit sticky after the finish. So it should come to us with no surprise, you should choose an acoustic with rosewood fingerboard than a maple fingerboard.