Martin has unveiled a quartet of acoustic guitars ahead of Summer NAMM 2022. The Nazareth, PA, brand digs deep into its trick bag for the D-18 Authentic 1937, D-28 Authentic 1937, 000-16 StreetMaster, and the GPC-13E Burst.
At the top end of the budgetary scale there are Authentic 1937 models. The archetypical high-end acoustic guitar, these reference a golden year for Martin’s guitar making, and replicate two of the most-storied models in the archive.
The 000-16 StreetMaster, showcases a distressed finish similar to those found on the 2017 solid mahogany 15 Series, while the GPC-13E Burst looks every inch the cutaway electro-acoustic for the jobbing singer-songwriter – priced as an upscale workhorse.
For many players, the GPC-13E Burst would be the one, not least because at $1,549 it is more fiscally accessible. It has a Grand Performance cutaway body with a Sitka spruce top and ziricote fine veneer on the back and sides, and scalloped X-bracing. The neck joins the body with a mortice and tenon joint.
The proportions and feel should be familiar to any player who has experience with contemporary Martin, with the neck carved into a Performing Artist shape and a High Performance Taper, and a 1.75” nut and 25.4” scale length.
The GPC-14E Burst is equipped with a Fishman MX-T pickup and preamp, with the controls mounted discretely in the soundhole, including a tuner that shows mercy upon your audience by auto-muting your amplified signal when tuning up.
The Authentic 1937 models don’t come cheap but then for many players these are the acme of acoustic guitar building, and the D-28 the pick of the bunch. It has a solid Adirondack spruce top, Guatemalan rosewood on the back and sides, forward-shifted hand-scalloped X-bracing, a mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard. These are even more period-correct than previous D-28s, with an updated dreadnought body profile.
To make it sing like a pre-war acoustic, Martin has treated the top and bracing with its Vintage Tone System, or VTS for short, which is a torrefaction process that removes water and breaks down biopolymers, leaving the wood drier, more solid, and a guitar that has the magic sparkle and definition of a vintage instrument.
The D-28 Authentic 1937 has custom ’37 profile and a Standard Taper, a 25.4” scale length and a 1.75” nut width. It’s the details and the vintage gloss finish that will loosen up retirement funds across the world for this; the 1937 Diamonds and Squares long pattern abalone fingerboard inlays, herringbone binding, the tortoiseshell ‘guard, the Waverly nickel open-back tuners with butterbean buttons, the Zig-Zag Authentic back purfling. Simple, classic. And a lot of guitar at $7,499.
The D-18 is even more simple and classic, with Brown Tortoise Pattern binding, losing that bold stripe of decoration down the centre of its back, and switching up the tonewoods to complement that Adirondack spruce top with solid mahogany on the back and sides.
Again, we have the VTS treatment, the hide-glue fit, the ebony fingerboard and the dimensions – including that updated body profile – are similar to its sibling above. It is priced $6,299.
Finally, the 000-16 StreetMaster arrives with a distressed look giving the Adirondack spruce top and East Indian rosewood back a lived-in distressed look. This has also been given the VTS treatment for that time-machine sound. It has scalloped X-bracing under the hood, a 25.4” scale length and 1.75” nut width. Its neck has a satin finish and is carved into a “Modified Low Oval” and has a High Performance Taper.
Of all the guitars here, it looks the oldest – the multi-ring rosette looks as though it has disappeared over time. That’s very much part of the StreetMaster’s charm. There are of course no electronics – just stick an L.R. Baggs soundhole pickup on it if you want to go amplified – and the Golden Age Relic nickel tuners with cream buttons look the bee’s knees.
The 000-16 StreetMaster is priced $1,999, and like the others listed above, it will make its public debut when the doors open to NAMM 2022 this coming Friday. In the meantime, head over to Martin for more details.