Where Are Martin Guitars Made? Are They Good?

Martin guitars have been the go-to instruments for so many players throughout the world. And in fact, they are among the best acoustic guitars money can buy. The company has been around for quite some time, and it was founded in New York City in 1833. 

But where are these guitars made now? Today, the majority of Martin guitars are made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania This includes 15, 16, and 17 Series, Standard Series, and Limited and Signature models. However, Martin also has a plant in Mexico, and Junior, Little Martin, Martin X, and Road Series are made there. 

Players often have questions about the quality, prices, and whether Martin guitars are worth it. And the short answer is yes. If you are interested in quality, Martin is one of the best options you can find today. 

Martin Guitars

The story of C.F. Martin & Company started in 1833, and it was founded in New York City. The company has been run by the Martin family, and today, the executive chairman is Christian Frederick Martin IV. 

The founder of the company, C.F. Martin came from a German town famous for musical instruments. His father also built guitars, and he continued the tradition. Martin & Co. didn’t spend a lot of time in New York City, and the company moved to Pennsylvania in 1838. 

It wasn’t long before the company started revolutionizing guitars, and Martin launched numerous patents (such as x-bracing). And one thing that stayed constant during all these years is quality. 

There is no doubt that Martin is among the best companies you can find today when it comes to acoustic guitars. 

Where Are Martin Guitars Made?

Back in the day, all Martin guitars were made in the United States. But today, this isn’t the case. At least not for all models. Martin still makes the majority of its guitars in the U.S. in Pennsylvania, but there is another factory in Navojoa, Mexico. 

Of course, it depends on the series you pick. For example, all premium guitars including Standard Series and Modern Deluxe series are made in Pennsylvania. But The Martin Road Series, X Series, and Junior Series are made in Mexico. 

There are no other locations. And this means that your guitar is made either in the U.S. or Mexico based on its series. 

Does It Matter Where Martin Guitars Are Made?

Now, many people are wondering whether the location matters. And the short answer is yes. Generally speaking, guitars made in the U.S. offer better materials and thus they are more expensive. 

If you are interested in getting a professional guitar, buying one made in the United States will give you just that. Naturally, the price will be significantly higher. At the same time, you can get a lower-quality instrument made in Mexico, and pay less for it. 

Keep in mind that in this case “lower quality” means lower compared to the one made in the U.S. You will still get an exceptional guitar, and it won’t be cheap. Just cheaper than the one made in the States. 

So, the location will play an important role in both the quality and price of the instrument. 

How Good Are Martin Guitars?

One thing that many people will agree on is that Martin guitars are among the best acoustic guitars you can find today. They are perfect for live performances, studio recordings, or just your regular practice at home. 

These guitars are known for their rich tone, and there are so many different models you can find. Naturally, you will need to find one that suits your playstyle and taste. But you should keep in mind that Martin guitars can be quite expensive. 

When it comes to Martin, the majority of guitars are handmade in the U.S. with the exception of models made in Mexico. The company uses high-quality materials, and they provide excellent results. These models are built to last. And you will be able to play one for decades. 

But at the same time, you will need to find a model that suits your needs. While there is no denying the quality and design, the guitar still needs to be good for you. And it all comes down to your budget. 

If you can afford to buy a high-end Martin guitar, you won’t regret it. There is a high chance it will be the best guitar you have ever played. 

Key Elements Of Martin Guitars

When it comes to the design, each Martin guitar is different. But there are a couple of recognizable elements you might notice. Additionally, Martin is the company behind so many different features we can see on other guitars as well. 

High-Quality Materials

Martin uses the best available wood and materials while making their guitars. A typical example is mahogany, which offers a warm tone. This wood is usually used for the back and sides, and there are models with mahogany tops. 

Other types include rosewood, sapele, koa, maple, cedar, Sitka spruce, sycamore, and others. And each guitar is handmade. 


While there are many available shapes and sizes you can find, the most popular one is Dreadnought. And while this size is quite common today, it was Martin that introduced the first dreadnought guitar in 1916. 

This only shows how influential the company is. And how easily they managed to shape the entire industry. 


As with many other brands, you can find acoustic guitars with or without electronics. While this will have an impact on the overall price, it will also affect the versatility and how you use it. Those that plan on performing live in front of the audience should look for models with a pickup that can be easily plugged into an amplifier. 


The majority of dreadnought guitars won’t have a cutaway, and they are symmetrical. But you can also find models with a single cutaway, which will make playing a bit simpler. Especially for those with smaller hands. 

Naturally, this is something that’s highly subjective, and there is no right answer. Some players just prefer having a guitar without cutaways. 

Simple Design

At first glance, Martin guitars will look as simple as possible. There are no flashy parts, wild colors, or anything else that will scream about its price. And this is the point. With the simple design, Martin managed to make incredible guitars for nearly two centuries! 

With natural finishes, simple locking tuners, and comfortable necks, Martin guitars stand out from the crowd based on the quality of design and sound. Which is something many players appreciate. 

Incredible Sound

Martin guitars are versatile, and they are great for nearly anything. You can perform on stage, record music, or practice at home. The sound will be incredible regardless of what you choose. And there are so many wood combinations that will allow you to experiment with sounds like never before. 

There aren’t many guitars that can offer such a rich and full tone. The best thing about them is that you can use them for any genre you want. 

Martin Guitars Models

As mentioned earlier, Martin offers many different models you can find. And while dreadnought guitars are the most popular, they are far from being your only option. The main confusion with the available models and series comes from the fact that the company has been around for 190 years. And there have been so many models throughout the years. 

But this simple guide might help you understand models a bit better. 

Little Martin

Little Martin is the budget version of the guitar, and it is designed for children and those with smaller hands. Little Martin is also great for travelers since it doesn’t take up a lot of space. As with the majority of models, it has the X-bracing and it comes with a gig bag. 

The main model is LX1, and the guitar is quite durable. The back side is made of high-pressure laminate (HPL), and it offers a great tone considering its size. These are also the cheapest models you can find. 

Junior Series

Junior Series is a bit smaller compared to the standard guitar, and it comes in several options. You can get a model with or without electronics, with or without a cutaway, and there are many combinations when it comes to wood. 

The series also covers different models based on the original versions such as 000Jr-10 or DJr-10E, which are based on 000 and dreadnought models. 

Martin X

As mentioned earlier, the X Series is made in Mexico, and it is similar to the Junior Series. You can find budget-friendly versions of guitars, but unlike Junior models, these are full-size guitars. It is a great option for beginner and intermediate players.

The quality and design of these guitars are quite impressive, but you won’t need to spend a fortune to get them. You can also find models with electronics, and the specifications are similar to the Little Martin series. 

Road Series

The Road Series is the next step for both quality and budget, and it is also the last one made in Mexico. These guitars have a solid-wood construction, and the price can be quite high for some players. 

Naturally, there is a significant increase in quality as well, and models are made from mahogany, sapele, spruce, and other high-quality materials. As with other models, it includes popular shapes such as 000 and dreadnought. 

15 Series

The 15 Series of guitars is inspired by models from the thirties, and they are made of solid mahogany. The sound is loud and bright, and the models are highly versatile. As you can probably expect, the price is even higher compared to the models made in Mexico. 

It is also the first series here that is made in the U.S., and all models with electronics include the Fishman Matrix VT pickup system. 

16 Series

When it comes to the 16 Series, it is a modernized version of classic Martin instruments. There are dreadnought, grand concert, orchestra, and 000 sizes, and the materials will vary based on the specific model. 

You can find instruments made of koa, cherry, mahogany, sycamore, and others. It is not as popular as series 15 and 17, but it is still worth checking out. 

17 Series

While the 15 Series is inspired by vintage instruments made of mahogany, the 17 Series takes it to Nashville. Guitars are all with a retro matte finish, and they are quite interesting for people looking for something a bit different. 

At least when it comes to visual design. As for the specifications, they are rather similar to the 15 Series, which is also why the price is so similar. All three series (15, 16, and 17) are in the same price range. 

Standard Series

The Standard Series of Martin guitars is everything but standard or average. It is the cream of Martin guitars, with iconic models everyone loves. If you are interested in getting the best guitar available, Standard Series might be the way to go. 

Needless to say, some of these models can be ridiculously expensive, and they won’t suit every pocket. It is the perfect blend of traditional and modern. You will get the best possible design, with the newest features and electronics. 

The Standard Series is a dream come true for every player looking for an acoustic guitar. 

Signature And Limited Edition Models

Finally, it is worth mentioning signature and limited edition models designed by Martin, and the quality of these instruments is similar to the Standard Series. The only difference is that there is a unique combination of elements, a limited series, or something else that would make the instrument a bit different. 

Signature models are similar to what other companies do, and you can find a guitar designed for John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Woody Guthrie, Mark Knopfler, and countless others. These are all great guitars, but they are designed for specific players based on their needs and tastes. 

The Price Of Martin Guitars

While I mentioned a couple of times that the price is high, many players are probably wondering how high they are. Martin guitars cost between $500 and well over $10,000. And as you can see, it is a huge price range. But it is all based on the series. 

The cheapest ones are from the Little Martin series, and they are around $500. The Martin Junior series is between $600 and $900, followed by the X Series which is around $700 or $800. 

The Road Series is a bit more expensive, and the models are over $1,000. There are some guitars in the Road Series that will cost you around $2,500. When it comes to models made in the U.S., series 15, 16, and 17 are around $2,000. But there are models that are more expensive than that.

Finally, the Standard Series of Martin guitars is over $3,500, but there are models that cost over $12,000. And Signature models are in the same price range. 

Who Uses Martin Guitars?

In the majority of cases, Martin guitars are used by professional musicians. At least when it comes to the more expensive models. But there are no rules. Anyone can use them, as long as they can afford one. 

Some of the most recognizable players that use Martin are: 

Martin guitars are highly versatile, and you can use them for nearly any music genre. They are also great for recording sessions, and you will be able to capture the tone with ease. These models are great for blues, jazz, rock, pop, and almost any other genre and playstyle you can imagine. 

Does Martin Make Other Products Besides Guitars?

While Martin is known for making exceptional acoustic guitars, there are other products this company makes as well. Martin also offers a collection of ukuleles you can buy, and they are quite good. 

For a short period of time, Martin experimented with electric guitars and basses, but they weren’t nearly as popular. During the sixties, Martin offered a collection of hollow-body electric guitars, and they were rather similar to those made by Gretsch. 

In the late eighties, Martin made several solid-body guitars inspired by Fender, and they were released under the name Stinger. Martin also made mandolins, tiples, and tenor guitars, but none of them are in production at the moment. 

The only remaining product besides ukuleles, acoustic, and classical guitars remaining are strings. And they are quite popular. 


Many people are looking to learn more about Martin Guitars. What are some available series, where are these guitars made, and are they worth it? The majority of Martin guitars are made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, but there are a few series made in Mexico as well. 

The guitars made in the U.S. are handmade, they are incredible, and they can be quite expensive. If you are interested in buying a high-end Martin guitar, you might need to pay over $3,000. 

As for whether they are worth it, the short answer is yes. As long as you can afford it. They are one of the best acoustic guitars you can find today, and they are worth the price. But even if you are operating on a budget, you can find cheaper models made in Mexico for a fraction of the price.

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts