“You’ve got this American, iconic, hard-line tattoo style that exists, and a lot of people may not realize that the ink they’ve got written into their skin originated with Sailor Jerry. That’s the ‘somebody’ that was first,” says Scott Sasser, head of the Custom Shop at Martin Guitar. “And similarly inside of every acoustic guitar on the planet that does not have a 19th-century fan-shaped or ladder-brace design, every guitar that carries that X-brace is—in essence—a tribute to Martin.” That parallel is an important part of what sparked the idea for the Sailor Jerry Custom Shop guitar that would feature Collins’s work somehow tattooed in wood, but the resonance between the artist’s impact on tattooing and Martin’s on guitar making was part of a broader synergy: the longstanding marriage of body art and music.
The Martin Custom Shop is where guitar dreams come true. While every Martin Custom Shop guitar represents a unique dream, some Custom Shop customers dream BIG. Those big dreams have produced some exquisite Custom Shop guitars—ultimate examples of the luthier’s art.
With your vision in hand, our craftspeople will cut, sand, carve and craft the finest materials into your custom built guitar. After designing your masterpiece, take your specifications to an authorized Martin dealer to help make your dream guitar in to a reality.
Martin celebrates the very first Size 1 model and the earliest X-braced guitar ever documented. The story of X-bracing began in 1843 when C. F. Martin made a special X-braced guitar for Madame Delores N. de Goñi after entertaining her in his home. Madame de Goñi was probably the finest professional guitar soloist of her time. Her performances were widely popular throughout the Americas between 1841 and 1892. She pronounced Martin guitars to be "superior to any instruments of the kind [she had] ever seen in this country or Europe for tone, workmanship, and facility of execution!" This replica of that revolutionary guitar is true to the original right down to the torn paper label and authentic gut strings.
C. F. Martin & Co. opened their second, and only other, facility 30 years ago in Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico, to expand the production of their popular acoustic guitar strings. Fourteen years later, the company began the production of their LX Series guitars in Navojoa to answer the call for more affordable instruments made with alternative wood materials such as HPL (high-pressure laminate). Today, in addition to strings, all X Series guitars are made there along with some solid wood guitars. Thirty years after its modest beginning, Martin's Mexico operation is thriving and growing to meet the demand for the exemplary Martin products they make.
At Martin, we challenge each other to continually improve our products and to be innovators in the industry. As a result, our product line has grown to become somewhat complex over the years. We decided to take a step back and focus on the most critical aspects of the acoustic guitar string. In fashion with our continual strides to do better, be better, and to never settle, we found that there was some room for improvement.
My name is Eric Hutchinson, and if you don’t know me, I’m a singer, a songwriter, and a guitar player based in New York City. I’ve just made my most personal album ever, called Modern Happiness. Each song on the record deals with depression and the aim of happiness in today’s modern times. The most personal song from Modern Happiness is a song called “hands,” which I wrote as a tribute to my dad, Royal, who is living with myotonic muscular dystrophy, or DM. DM is a disease that has affected my dad and my family for over 35 years, but was never something we really talked about. “Hands” is a song about being seen and heard as a disabled person.
November 20, 1981 - May 10, 2018
A Martin Ambassador and founding member of the U.K. indie-rock band Frightened Rabbit, Scott Hutchison was a talented singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist. He poured his heart and soul into his music and recorded five studio albums with Frightened Rabbit, even creating the artwork for each. Scott’s friends at Martin Guitar had the great honor of spending time with him and the band during a factory tour and Museum Session just weeks before his tragic departure. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this brilliant young man who brought such happiness to his fans through his love of music and art.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival, an event that encapsulated the music and culture of a generation and would go on to shape popular music for generations to come. To celebrate this watershed moment in music history, Martin is releasing a pair of special-edition guitars that capture the indelible spirit of that era: a vibrant DX-style guitar, designed with Woodstock’s iconic logo across the front by artist Robert Goetzl, and a finely inlaid D-35, the model introduced just a few years before the festival itself.