A Look at the Martin SC-13E Acoustic Guitar


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The Martin SC-13E, Martin Guitars New "Look"

Martin SC-13E front and back

During the Winter NAMM (NAMM is the largest musical instrument show in the US) show in January, there was an air of anticipation with what Martin Guitars was going to announce in the way of a new acoustic. Rumors were swirling as to what it would be, and after the opening of the show, we got our first look at the newly released Martin SC-13E

This guitar represents a bold step for Martin guitars, who have historically held to more traditional shapes, the SC-13e represents a guitar the Martin is seeing a need for a great guitar for stage and studio, that is easier to play, has more access and at a price that most gigging musicians can afford. 

"After nearly 200 years it's great to see Martin are still looking forward and capable of innovation - the SC-13E is a bold statement"
Ben Morgan-Brown, Acoustic Review


The Martin SC-13E Brings a New Design to Martin

As you look at the Martin SC-13E, the first, and very obvious, characteristic that stands out is the body shape. An asymmetrical body shape With their patent-pending Sure Align neck system. Martin removed the heel, providing full access to all 20 frets. No more contorting your hand to reach the high notes. Now you can comfortably play the entire fretboard.

Once you pick up the SC-13E, you will immediately discover how comfortable the guitar is to hold. The slightly thinner body and a neck that attaches to the body at the 13th fret all contribute the comfort this guitar can provide night in and night out. 

The Asymmetrical body also provides a more balanced output meaning you can turn up when plugged in, without the traditional feedback issues of the past. 

The Martin SC-13E is Made for the Stage, but at Home in your Living Room

In the world of guitars, it is not often a single factor that makes a guitar a great stage guitar, but instead a combination of many little things that make it a trustworthy companion when playing in front of an audience. With the Martin SC-13E, the body shape is obvious but what might not be as obvious are the handful of additional features that will make any gigging musician appreciate this guitar. 

To start is the soundhole tuner, Hidden away from the view of the audience, but placed at the perfect viewing angle in the soundhole, allowing you to tune without having to awkwardly hold the guitar away from your body to see a tuner on the side of the guitar. 

The Sure Align neck system essentially removes the heel of the guitar giving you full access to all 20 frets without having to even think about it! This type of feature is becoming more available in the electric guitar world, but Martin's move to make this happen on an acoustic is a sure sign they are listening to what the players want. 

Then there is the neck. The new, low-profile velocity neck ergonomically accommodates your hand, allowing you to play comfortably for hours and feels a bit more like a comfortable electric guitar neck than an acoustic guitar. 

While all of these features make the Martin SC-13E perfect for the stage, those same features also make it a great guitar for a living room jam, and with a street price of $1500, puts it well within reach of many living room rockers. 

"For nearly 200 years Martin has inspired guitarists. The effortless playability and unique qualities of the SC-13e will unquestionably inspire musicians for another 200!"

Corey Congilio, Touring Musician | coreycongilio.com

Final Thoughts on the Martin SC-13E

It is easy to look at a guitar that has a new shape and write it off for just another fad in the world of guitar, but after playing and hearing the Martin SC-13E, we are believers! The new body shape paired with the new neck shape and player-friendly feature set make this a guitar we would be excited to bring with us to a gig, and have a feeling, many other guitarists are going to feel the same. 

1 comment

  • Dennis O. Wasnich

    I’ve had mine for about 3 weeks. I agree, a great stage guitar. Made to be plugged in and played on stage. Very comfortable to play, neck, body shape, and smaller string gauge all add up to comfort. Small body is a little bass shy acoustically and laminated back & sides doesn’t leave a lot of “woody tone” when not plugged in, but still sounds pretty good. The top is not high grade, but adequate. Can’t wait for more upscale SC style Martins.

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