Welcome to C. F. Martin & Co.
C.F Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for over 175 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size. One of the world's leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques along with those introduced by the company founder.
The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings. These include the Martin SP® LIFESPAN™ line - the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, and the Martin SP line - which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.
Martin guitars and Martin Strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television (Glee, Psych, Raising Hope and American Idol) to the movies; on Broadway and in books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.
Over 175 Years of Martin
The company, founded in the U.S. has been continuously family owned and operated for six generations. Currently headed by Chairman and CEO Christian Frederick Martin IV, the company has been handed down five times since it was started by German immigrant Christian Frederick Martin Sr. in 1833.
"Our signature product and Martin's seamless tradition of quality to this day remain a significant source of pride for my family and all of those who are involved in crafting these extraordinary instruments," said Martin Guitar Chairman and CEO Christian Frederick Martin IV. "Since 1833 musicians have connected with audiences everywhere the world over, showcasing their talent and virtuosity over all genres. Martin's significance and cultural impact over 175 years is simply immeasurable."
Embraced by artists all over the world, the Martin guitar has helped define virtually all genres of music, from classical and country to blues, folk and acoustic rock. The list of Martin players, past and present, reads like a Who's Who of the musical world and includes such legends as Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and countless others.
Growth and Development
In 1833, Andrew Jackson, the seventh president was being sworn into a second term when the country was a mere 57 years into a union consisting of just 24 states. Since, C.F. Martin & Co. has survived a wide variety of economic, social and political upheavals including the Civil War, post-war turmoil, influxes of immigrant populations with varying tastes and customs, World War I, the "roaring 20s," the Great Depression, World War II, The Vietnam years and the technological revolution.
Through it all Martin not only survived but its reputation and outreach ultimately improved and increased. In recent years, despite the global economic downturn, Martin has been setting company sales records, crafted their millionth acoustic instrument, undergone a complete renovation and expansion of the Martin factory and unveiled an impressive new museum and visitor's center at their headquarters in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
Martin has earned an unparalleled reputation for dedication to exceptional quality and focus on one product - superbly well-crafted acoustic guitars. Their integrity and commitment to quality has maintained a level of respect in the marketplace that very few companies can boast. During the company's long history, Martin branched out into related fields, producing mandolins in the late 1800s, and becoming one of the top manufacturers of ukuleles in the 1920s. With the acquisition of the Darco String Company in 1970, quality fretted instrument strings have now become an integral part of C. F. Martin & Co.'s operations.
Responsible for creating a number of industry standards through the years, C.F. Martin & Co. developed "X-bracing," the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size - all of which have been copied by virtually every acoustic guitar manufacturer in the world. Recently Martin Guitar was honored by Readers Digest ("Americas 100 Best") and heralded by the New York Times ("Saving Trees is Music to Guitar Makers' Ears") for helping pioneer the guitar industry's eco-movement by developing instruments crafted from sustainable woods and innovative alternative materials.
Current Chairman and CEO Christian ("Chris") Frederick Martin IV took the helm of the company in 1986. Under his leadership, the company has experienced unprecedented sales and production growth, maintained an extraordinary level of quality, introduced many new technologies, expanded the factory to nearly three times its prior size, integrated the model lineup with the introduction of many affordable guitars and has fortified the higher end with artist signature editions and vintage inspired recreations of historical Martin guitars.
Chris recently made a bold investment in the company's future with the construction of the new Martin Museum and Visitors Center, which has proved to be a significant draw for tourists and guitar aficionados alike. Through his vision, the company has shown a great commitment to the development of alternative materials and sustainable woods to ensure the future of Martin Guitar for generations to come.