Martin Guitars are the icon of acoustic guitars around the world. Find out why this guitar stays so popular and how they set the standard for everyone to follow.
The Martin Guitar Company has been continuously producing guitars for well over a century and and half, and they are widely acknowledged as being some of the finest instruments in the world.
The company has successfully adapted to continual changes in product design, distribution and manufacturing methods throughout its colorful history.
C.F. Martin has stayed focus to its initial commitment to quality despite these many changes.
In their expanded facility in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, their concern for producing fine instruments is as evident as it
Martin Guitars - Original Factory
The very first guitars that Martin produced when totally hand-crafted and made one-at-a-time, without much standardization being employed.
One of their first innovations was the use of an adjustment mechanism for the neck. It was adjustment by means of a screw that was mounted in the backside of the heel of the neck and the bolt extended into the neck block.
As it turns out, the adjustment device was very complicated and could slip while the strings were at full tension. So this device was gradually phased out the use of this unique neck adjustment mechanism.
Martin Guitars - Production Line
"X" Bracing: One of the most major and popular design innovations that Martin came up with as early as the 1850's was the 'X" structural bracing system for the guitar top.
This design innovation is largely responsibly for the uniqueness of the acoustic guitar, characterized by the powerful bass response and brilliant treble tone, still evident on the steel-string guitars that Martin produces to this day.
14 Fret Neck: The second major design innovation that is still in use today, in the use of the 14-fret neck, which as developed in late 1929.
Nearly all guitar produced prior to that date generally came equipped with a 12-fret neck. Because this innovation was so wildly popular, Martin decided to extend this feature to all models in their line of instruments. And as you well know, it has become the standard in the American guitar industry since that time.
The Dreadnought Guitar: The noted trademark of the CF Martin Company is the guitar shape they named after a large class of World War I British battleships. That being the dreadnought guitar.
The Dreadnought shape was first employed by Martin in 1931. Since the introduction of the dreadnought model, it has been the dominant and best performer in the entire Martin Guitar line and viturally every acoustic guitar maker in the world has introduced some version of this classic Martin design.was when they first started in 1833.
Martin Guitars - D-41 Dreadnought
In 1990 Martin adapted its long-standing ecological policy. This program encourages the use of alternative wood species that are of sustainable-yield, and embraces the responsible use of traditional natural materials.
Furthermore Martin has formed a consumer focus group to study the usage and acceptance of structurally sound woods that have natural cosmetic characteristic that formally were not accepted in the trade of lutherie.
Martin has also taken on the role of educating consumers as to the advantages of using sustainable-yield, alternative woods for the the guitars by putting on educational exhibitions.
Martin Guitars - One Millionth Martin Guitar
The company's remarkable longevity can be attributed to the Martin's steadfast adherence to their high standard and musical excellence of their entire line of instruments.
While there have been changes in marketing and product mix at C.F. Martin, the core belief of the company's attitude towards the construction of guitars has never wavered.
Almost eighty years ago Frank Henry Martin authored the statement of policy that reads "A good guitar cannot be built for the price of a poor guitar, but then who regrets the extra cost of a good guitar?"
That expression is still the compony mantra that is adhered to today, and it is what the company has long based its commitment to quality on.