New Martin guitars for 2017

C.F. Martin has introduced several new guitar models for 2017 which they have been displaying at industry trade and guitar shows in the early parts of this year. As is their habit, some are targeted at the collectors market, with others meant for players, both serious musicians and hobbyists alike.

There are two in Martin’s Authentic Series of vintage reproductions, a couple of new artists models, and a number of cutaway and acoustic/electric guitars.

Bluegrass guitarists have been powerfully drawn to the Authentic Series for the opportunity to own an instrument built to the exact specifications of historic antiques from the Martin line. The company has taken a number of museum piece flattops and put them through digital imaging equipment to obtain the precise measurements of the various components, without having to disassembled the instruments themselves.

Martin 000-30 Authentic 1919

The 000-30 Authentic 1919 is a recreation of an iconic body style that preceded today’s standard dreadnaught shape. It’s a 12-fret neck on a rosewood guitar with an Adirondack spruce top. Like all the Authentics, the top and top bracing have been heat-treated to help the wood respond as it would with 50 years of drying and aging.

The mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard is attached with a dovetail joint. The pyramid-style bridge is also ebony, with multicolored wood marquetry along the edges of the top, and abalone around the soundhole.

It carries a retail price of $8599.

Another new model is the CS-CFMartinOutlaw-17, built with the construction techniques used on the Authentics, but in a newly-designed guitar. Like its D-18 cousin, it has a mahogany body and an Adirondack spruce top, assembled using hide glue and torrified (heat-treated) components.

The Outlaw-17 has forward-shifted X-bracing and is built on the standard dreadnaught specs.

It carries a retail price of $6999.

For those seeking a professional instrument at a lower cost, Martin has introduced a D-16E, with a sycamore body, a dreadnaught shape, and a 000 depth. Designed to be easier to play than standard Martins, this one has a modified low oval neck profile with a high performance taper. The E in the model number references the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance electronics, installed stock.

The D-16E is listed at $2699.

A pair of artist signature models were also displayed this winter, a Dwight Yoakam DD-28 and a D-28 John Prine.

And for those with champagne tastes, they have introduced a D-200 Deluxe, a highly ornate guitar with decorative pearl and wood trim designed by newowned watchmaker Roland G. Murphy. Pictured at the top of this page, only 50 instruments like this will be made with pre-CITES Brazilian rosewood, and an Engelmann Spruce top constructed to the company’s D-45 specs.

The fingerboard, pickguard, and back feature elaborate clock gear inlays made from stone, mother-of-pearl, bloodwood, Hawaiian koa, and ebony. You can see more of this truly spectacular guitar in the video below.

You can own this limited-edition Martin for the low, low price of only $149,999.

All of Martin’s new 2017 models can be seen on their web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.