From The Factory | March 16, 2022

Understanding Martin's Series Designations and Pricing

by Kristi Bronico


When shopping for a new Martin, you may find it helpful to understand how we categorize our guitars by series and price point. We’ve included here a brief description of each series and some key components of each. However, we encourage you to try different models at an authorized Martin retailer or to reach out to one of our online retailers for assistance in finding the guitar that is the best fit for you.


Backpacker

Gig Bag Included - Solid Wood Materials

It’s played around countless backcountry campfires, strummed on tops of mountains, and heard in the most remote locations on—and off—the planet. The Martin Backpacker goes wherever you do. Its sleek, slender body shape makes it easy to take almost anywhere, and it’s crafted from solid tonewoods for a clear, crisp sound, no matter where on earth you play it. Like everything else with the Backpacker, even the price is small.


Little Martin Series

Gig Bag Included - Electronics Optional

Little Martins are small in size but big in performance. Ed Sheeran has even played sold-out stadiums with one. And because the back and sides are made with HPL (High Pressure Laminate), they provide worry-free durability. We also make models that have HPL tops for an even more affordable and durable option. And because they’re small, they are very travel friendly. They fit in most overhead airplane compartments but be sure to check individual airline requirements before traveling. All LX models are crafted with Martin’s signature X-bracing for stability and amazing tone, and they come with a seriously cool gig bag. The greatest thing about a Little Martin? You'll never outgrow it. It will be your favorite travel guitar for life.


Junior Martin Series

Gig Bag Included – Electronics Optional – Solid Wood Models – Cutaway Models Available

The Junior Series instruments are slightly smaller than their full-size counterparts. We make a 000 style and a Dreadnought style, and while they are smaller in stature, they are made with solid wood tops, backs, and sides, so you won’t sacrifice much tone or volume. The Junior Series was designed to be comfortable and easy to play, which makes them the perfect first guitar. They feature softer, rounded edges, so they sit comfortably against your body and they also include our high-performance tapered neck, which is slimmer and shallower, making it super easy to play, even if you have smaller hands. Add that to some full-sized Martin features like scalloped X-bracing (The reason we scallop the braces that support the guitar top is to allow it to vibrate more freely) and you’ll never want to put these guitars down.


X Series

Gig Bag Included – Electronics Included – Cutaway Models Available

For simplicity’s sake, you can think of Martin’s X Series guitars as the full-sized equivalent of the LX Series with some additional features. They are super durable, and we make X Series models in a variety of sizes and styles from 0 (the smallest body size) to Dreadnought (the largest). Some have HPL tops, and some have solid wood tops. The model names with a 1 (like the D-X1E) have HPL tops, and the ones with a 2 (like the D-X2E) have solid wood tops. And quite a few include a cutaway to reach those high notes for aspiring shredders. We offer a variety of high-resolution wood-patterned HPL, to ensure you’ll find just the right one for you. And another cool thing about the X Series is that they all include electronics, so thy are ready to plug in once you master a few chords!


Road Series

Gig Bag Included - Electronics Included - Cutaway Models Available

Martin’s Road Series guitars are the perfect entry to the full-size Martin product line. We make a variety of sizes and styles, including the revolutionary SC-13E (shown here), which really has it all for beginners who want to grow into their first Martin. These instruments are professional grade, and they’ll be there for you every step of the way as you conquer the instrument. All Road Series models include solid wood tops and fine wood veneer back and sides, which affords us the opportunity to offer stunning figured woods at an incredible value. The Road Series also includes advanced electronics and a gig bag.


15 Series

Gig Bag Included - Solid Wood Models

The 15 Series instruments are a mahogany lover’s dream. With solid mahogany back, sides, and top, the 15 Series instruments offer a loud sound with a bright treble response and a powerfully punchy midrange. And they produce just the right amount of harmonic complexity to bring your songs to life in the studio or on the big stage. The 15 Series instruments not only sound beautiful, but their uniform, satin-finished mahogany build looks elegant and tasteful in any setting. Some models include a standard taper neck for traditional players, and some include a high-performance neck taper for added comfort and playability. 


16 Series

Gig Bag Included - Electronics Included - Solid Wood Models - Cutaway Models Available

Each model in Martin’s popular 16 Series is uniquely designed with tonewoods that best complement the body size and shape of each particular model. Unlike the 15 Series, which features solid mahogany top, back, and sides, and the 17 Series, which primarily pairs mahogany with a spruce top, the 16 Series models feature various hardwoods selected by Martin luthiers to produce a unique tone specific to each model’s other attributes. The 16 Series is Martin’s playground for experimentation with various material enhancements and exotic tonewoods. All of the 16 Series models are a 000 depth for added comfort. All models come equipped with electronics, and some are available with a cutaway.


17 Series

Gig Bag Included - Electronics Optional - Solid Wood Models

The instruments in Martin’s 17 Series pair mahogany back and sides with a Sitka spruce top for a well-balanced sound full of bright, airy trebles; crisp midrange; and complex harmonics. Most unique to the 17 Series are the darker wood tones with contrasting appointments and shade patterns that give each of the instruments in this series a unique look that is sure to turn heads. The bold and edgy 17 Series guitars are offered with comfortable high-performance necks that are super easy to play. The 17 Series takes inspiration from guitars that would have been played in juke joints back in the ’30s and ’40s. Some models come with built-in electronics, and some even offer a traditional slope-shoulder profile.


Standard Series

Hardshell Case Included - Electronics Optional - Solid Wood Materials

They’re the backbone of Martin; distinguished instruments that created the template for the American acoustic flattop guitar. Standard Series models embody nearly two centuries of craftsmanship and technique—history made from wood and wire. These legendary guitars and the artists who played them helped establish country, folk, bluegrass, and rock. Today, you’ll hear their ringing tone echoing across the American soundscape and in music around the world.


Modern Deluxe Series

Hardshell Case Included - Electronics Optional - Solid Wood Models

The Modern Deluxe Series is packed with custom features and modern technology that make them truly unique. Vintage appointments include a Vintage Tone System® (VTS) top and natural protein glue construction that give them the rich, fully aged Martin tone that has inspired generations. The look includes elegant complementary wood binding, stylish gold frets, gold open-gear tuners, and pearl inlay on the headstock. Some ultramodern features like Liquidmetal® bridge pins and a carbon fiber sandwich bridge plate help to boost volume. And a new slightly asymmetrical neck shape ensures maximum hand comfort up and down the fretboard. This series is anything but standard.


Authentic Series

Hardshell Case Included - Solid Wood Models

The Golden Era is back: those years between the late 1920s and 1942 when a perfect storm of innovation, materials, and craftsmanship at Martin produced some of the world’s finest, most sought-after guitars that sound better as they age. The Authentic Series are new instruments constructed to be faithful-looking and faithful-sounding reproductions of history-making, pre-war models like the D-45, D-18, and 00-17. 

We hope this guide helps you to better understand how we group and price our guitars.  

Your perfect Martin is out there. Go find it! 

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