Martin Road Series
The Road Series is a classically-styled, excitingly affordable line from Martin Guitar. The most recent Road Series models have a few updates to speak of. The Road Series encompasses 10, 11, 12, and 13 model lines, with varying body shapes, including the 000, GPC, and dreadnought. As you may expect, as the numbers increase, the quality and nature of appointments increase. And as always, the body shape will have an effect on the sound and feel of the guitar.
There are a number of commonalities amongst the different models of the new Road Series. All Road Series guitars sport a Performing Artist neck shape with High Performance Taper. That neck gives a uniform feel from the 1st to 12th fret, with slightly increasing thickness for solid playability. Each Road Series guitar also has an FSC Certified Richlite fingerboard and closed gear tuners. In addition, all Road Series models have binding. There’s black binding on the 10, 11, and 12 series models, and white binding on the 13 models.
The Road Series also boasts the new Fishman MX-T electronics. In this iteration from Fishman, the pickup, volume and tone controls, and tuner interface, are all discretely tucked away in the soundhole. The volume and tone adjust wheels are just inside the upper part of the soundhole (closest to the player’s head), so the pristine body of the guitar is preserved. But you can still easily fine-tune your sound.
The tuner is positioned just inside the bottom part of the soundhole and is visible only to the player. Its location allows discrete tuning, while enabling you to easily press the on/off button. Engaging the tuner also mutes the output. For additional convenience, the battery compartment is located in the jack so you can easily swap out the battery with no need to remove the strings.
Road Series Models
The most stripped down of the Road Series, the 000-10E nonetheless still represents the quality and tone you expect from Martin. The 000 is a wonderfully comfortable body size, great for all styles of playing. The top, back, and sides of this model are all sapele. It’s finished completely in satin. Similar to the 000-15 series, this guitar has a warm, even tone.
With the same 10 series appointments, this model sports a classic dreadnought shape. Setting it apart from previous versions is the addition of mother-of-pearl pattern fingerboard and rosette inlays with a multi-stripe rosette border. The D-10E is available with a Sitka spruce top, which gives it a beautiful sparkle. It also comes in a Sapele top version. Overall, this model has a richer low end with great articulation of each individual note.
The Grand Performance body was created by Martin fairly recently — some 7 years ago. It’s a great in-between choice. It’s got the depth and volume of a dreadnought, but a more compact feel, like an OM or 000. Its tone is overall quite balanced. The 11 series appointments encompass what’s included in the 10 series, but also have a gloss finish on top. This guitar comes with a premium soft shell case so it’s road-ready.
Instead of a gloss top and satin back and sides, the 12 series dreadnought steps it up to a full gloss body finish over the Sitka spruce top and sapele body – quite similar to the infamous D-28. This all-new model is distinguished from its siblings with a Style 28 multi-stripe rosette and Style 18 purfling on the back.
The D-12E also comes in a koa version. The back and sides of the guitar are constructed with koa fine veneer, which is an environmentally conscious option made by bonding koa hardwood to an African mahogany core.
Also available with the koa fine veneer is a 000 body size guitar and 12 series appointments.
The top of the Road Series line dreadnought is the 13E. It’s got a glistening, glossed Sitka spruce top and siris back and sides. The all solid-wood model comes complete with those beautiful mother-of-pearl pattern fingerboard and rosette inlays, a multi-stripe rosette, and white binding.
The cutaway version of the D-13E gives acoustic aficionados a little extra room to hit the upper register. It also differs from the non-cutaway model in that its sides are cut from mutenye— a grain somewhere between mahogany and rosewood. It still has the sparkling Sitka top and full gloss finish.
The 13 series GPC is a Grand Performance model with a cutaway which has a full-gloss top, back, and sides, plus elegant white binding. It sports a Sitka spruce top with back and sides made from mutenye. The sound is mellow and beautifully subdued.
The 000-13E is the top of the line in the Road Series. This guitar has a boxy, old, flat-top authenticity. The 000 size allows for smooth, fingerstyle playing. This model also has unique tone with its siris back and sides, paired with Sitka spruce top. It’s incredibly smooth in sound and playability.
There’s A Martin Road Series Guitar for Everyone
The Martin Road Series encompasses numerous incredible guitars, all at incredible prices. Surely, there is something within the Road Series for everyone. Check out the Road Series and all the Martin guitars we have to offer on SamAsh.com.