NAMM 2020: Martin are an iconic brand but when it's Winter NAMM time, there's no laurel-resting going on. They get busy. So the Nazareth brand has 29 new models ready to go, covering a wide range of specs and budgets.
Let's look at the highlights…
D-18E 2020 ($3,649)
A limited edition version of the 14-fret D-18 that was first part of Martin's lineup back in 1934. It has a Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides with East Indian rosewood for headplate, fingerboard, binding, bridge and heelcap.
Its fitted with LR Baggs Anthem electronics and will be a limited run of 2,020 guitars.
D-42 Purple Martin Flamed Myrtle ($14,999)
The D-42 Purple Martin Flamed Myrtle is the fourth instrument in its Purple Martin Series. The Purple Martin theme is inspired by a native bird of Pennsylvania, where Martin Guitar’s headquarters and factory are located.
It's limited to 100 instruments and includes 42-style pearl inlay throughout, a highly decorative inlay on the fingerboard and pickguard of the Purple Martin bird and mountain laurel flowers, the state flower of Pennsylvania.
The full-gloss guitar boasts a heavy bearclaw Engelmann spruce top with a deep purple burst and stunning flamed myrtle back and sides. Each model includes a label signed by C. F. Martin & Company Chairman and CEO Chris Martin.
Modern Deluxes with electronics
Martin introduced the Modern Deluxe Series at last year's Winter NAMM and it saw the company combining vintage-style aged VTS tops with modern features including a titanium truss rod. Now the series is being expanded with four electro models of its most iconic shapes.
The D-28E, 000-28E, OM-28E (all $5,799) and D-18E ($4,999) Modern Deluxe models should offer something to suite all acoustic players… if they can afford the entry price.
All four models will feature superb Fishman Aura VT Blend electronics to deliver a detailed plugged-in sound. It's certainly one of the most impressive preamp / pickup systems we've tried.
16 Series electro models: GPC-16E and D16E
GPC-16E and D-16E (both $2,049)
For those looking for pro level builds without the Modern Deluxe price tags, the new 16 series model offer temptation. Both the GPC-16E Grand Performance Cutaway and the D-16E Dreadnought feature satin-finished mahogany back and sides to create a character with punchy midrange and bright treble response.
Both models feature Sitka spruce gloss tops and offer a shallower 000 body depth we enjoyed on 16 series models a couple of years ago.
Electronics are the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance system.
000C12-16E Nylon 12-fret ($2,499)
An Auditorium-style, six-string classical guitar wit a Sitka spruce gloss top and satin-finished mahogany back and sides.. It comes equipped with Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance electronics.
BC-16E Bass ($2,399)
The BC-16E features a solid Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, and forward-shifted scalloped bracing.
The built-in Fishman preamp system with a 'fast, comfortable neck'.
With 14 new X2 models there's plenty to choose from. Retailing between $799 and $899, all have solid wood tops with HPL back and sides. The 00L-X2E ($799) is slope shouldered with a Sitka spruce top and figured mahogany HPL back and sides.
The DX-2E Burst is the only sunburst model in the X2 range and features a Sitka spruce top and Macassar HPL back and sides.
The X1 series represents Martin's entry level and there's five new models in the 2020 lineup, all with high pressure laminate back and sides. Prices range between $649 and $699.
The OMC-X1E ($699) is an orchestra body in black HPL.