It’s not out of line to say that any decent guitar collection would have to include at least one Martin guitar. The legendary guitar manufacturer has been producing world-class instruments since the 1800s and has managed to balance its rich tradition of quality and detail with a keen eye for updating its line to incorporate the changes in musical genres and playing styles. C. F. Martin & Company’s current line not only includes period-correct reproductions of some of their classic models, but newly designed guitars developed specifically for the working musician.

Choosing the right Martin Guitar

So, which Martin guitar is right for you? It might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but after looking at your personal playing style and preferences you can narrow down the possibilities to a Martin guitar that perfectly suits your needs.

The Beginner

While most people consider Martin a premium guitar maker — and rightly so — there are some affordably priced Martin guitars that would suit a beginning player. Something to keep in mind is that it is a proven fact that a new player will have a better learning experience with a good quality instrument. Also consider that if you decide not to continue playing guitar, a Martin will have a much better resale value than a lesser quality guitar. For a beginning player, we suggest an instrument from Martin’s X-Series. The Martin DXMAE is an acoustic-electric guitar (meaning it comes equipped with a pickup system) and is price well within the reach of an aspiring guitarist. Its 20-fret, modified low-oval neck is comfortable and easy-to-play. The Martin DXK2AE offers the same features, with the look of rich Hawaiian Koa wood.

The Working Musician

Owning a fine instrument like a Martin guitar is a joy, and owner’s tend to take good care of their highly valued guitars. You can understand why a working musician might be hesitant to take a delicate instrument out on the road. Additionally, changes in the way live music is performed over the years means a more traditional instrument may not be well suited for the stage. Martin considered all of these factors and came up with a solution — the Martin Performing Artist Series. These beautiful guitars are Martins in every possible way and were built from the ground up with the concept of live performance in mind. From the affordable Martin DCPA5, which  features a solid sitka spruce top and Fishman electronics, to the stunning DCPA1 Plus that features solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, the Martin Performing Artist series are a serious choice for stages big and small.

The Traveller

Love to travel, but hate having to leave your guitars at home? Martin has a number of solutions for you starting with the well-traveled Martin Backpacker series. Lightweight, durable and super-easy to play, the Martin Backpacker was designed to fit in small spaces but deliver big, Martin sound. Other great choices can be found amongst the Little Martin series of guitars. These smaller sized guitars are ideal for travel, practice or playing around the campfire. The Martin LX1 has a solid spruce top and comes with a padded gig bag. The Martin LX1E adds a Fishman electronics system with a built-in tuner.

The Traditionalist

C. F. Martin & Co. has created some of the most iconic guitars ever made. Some of its models are still being manufactured at their facility in Nazareth, PA, with very little changes from their original designs. If you are looking to add one of these coveted guitars to your collection, you will find them under the Martin Standard series — a very unassuming name for some very exceptional guitars. Here you will find such classics as the Martin HD-28, a perennial best-seller with its classic herringbone inlay, the Martin D-45, their flagship model played by everyone from Gene Autry to Stephen Stills, and the vintage-inspired Martin OM-28, which offers many features found in Martin’s coveted pre-war era instruments.

The Conservationist

Diminishing quantities of exotic tone woods has led to the protection of certain species and new restrictions on their use. Martin has become a leader in this area and offers the FSC Certified series. Through its global certification program, the Forest Stewardship Council ensures that products come from well managed forests and in ways that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. Models in this series include the Martin GPCPA2 Mahogany and the Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy Signature Acoustic Guitar.

The Collector

C. F. Martin & Co. continues to build some of the most innovative and exciting instruments made anywhere on the planet. They have an unwavering commitment to quality — so much so that there is no such thing as a “factory second” Martin guitar. Either the instrument is judged worthy of the Martin name or it is not released for sale. Since so much of the work that goes into making a Martin acoustic guitar is done by hand, each guitar is unique. We are proud to offer an amazing selection of high-end Martin guitars under our Guitars Of Distinction banner. Here you will find the best of the best, each individually photographed and weighed so you can select the actual guitar that you want by serial number. You will find instruments from the Martin Marquis series — historically accurate models built the “old way”  — as well as limited edition Custom Shop models. We hope this guide to buying a Martin guitar helped you sort through the many great instruments offered by this legendary American guitar maker.

Why Buy Your Martin Guitar From Sam Ash?

When you are ready to buy your Martin guitar, we hope you will consider purchasing it from Sam Ash Music. While we have not been around quite as long as C. F. Martin & Co., our own 90+ years of serving musicians with the best prices, selection and service have won us quite a few friends as well. As a fully authorized CF Martin dealer, when you buy your Martin guitar from Sam Ash you are getting a factory-fresh, fully warranted guitar. Plus, you can buy with confidence as we guarantee the lowest price on your Martin guitar as well as fast, free shipping! Have a question about Martin guitars? Give one of our experts call at 1-800-472-6274 between 9AM and 12 Midnight EST. Our guitar specialists are players who love guitars as much as you do and are happy to help you choose the right Martin guitar.

If you are ever in the Nazareth, PA area we highly recommend stopping by the Martin factory where you can take a tour and see for yourself how these amazing instruments are made. The on-site Martin museum houses some of the most collectable Martin guitars to be found anywhere. Until you have the chance to visit, please enjoy this video tour of the factory.

We have also compiled a playlist of videos that we shot when Martin Guitars product specialist Craig Thatcher visited the Sam Ash Studio. Enjoy.