CF Martin Guitar Company’s Early Start and Innovations

CF Martin Acoustic-Electric Guitar
CF Martin Acoustic-Electric Guitar

C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar Company) is a leading acoustic guitar creator that has been placing well-designed guitars into our hands for over 180 years. The CF Martin acoustic-electric guitar features which became industry-standard include the evolution of the guitar from 12 to 14 frets giving us the 25.4″ scale guitar with a longer vibrating string sections. Some players believe gives the loner fret gives off a thinner brighter sound. Still, other players claim that the longer fret is perfect for larger hands with fat fingertips.

Martin also enhanced the guitar to emit varying vibratory sounds by introducing X-bracing which acts as a reinforcement of the guitar top while focussing or broadening the sound depending on the X-Bracing position.

Such innovation was only part of a continuation of Martins guitars ability to respond to the changing needs of guitar players.

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Fights the the Neighborhood Bully

If you’ve ever been told you cannot do something and have pushed back to prove the opposite, you’ll relate to Martin’s early start back in Markneukirchen, Germany.

The Martin Cabinet Maker’s Company started out as cabinet makers. When they turned to guitar making they endured an injunction against them from the Violin Makers Guild who felt that C. F. Martin had no business with guitars.

They because abusive, slanderous and aggressive in their rhetorical campaign to destroy C. F. Martin as a guitar maker. They argued that once a cabinet maker always a cabinet maker and how “stupid” to expect to create guitars.

It was all over when to their defense, C. F. Martin proved in court that the “violin makers had no vested right in making guitars.” That “Christian Frederick Martin had already discovered and introduced the guitar in Germany some decades prior. He had also studied guitar and violin making under the most notable Johann Georg Stauffer.

When a top wholesaler testified of the quality and distinguished craftsmanship of the Martin-produced instrument, the game in court was over.

New Beginning in America

Though the Marin Guitar Company was successful in court, the company, on September 9, 1833, relocated to New York, USA to shed the guild system which was too limiting.

With the same innovation and creative fervor of former times, the Martin Guitar Company recreated itself and by the mid 1800s were distributing guitars to many States.

In appreciation of the recognition, it sent out this humble message to its customers, “C. F. Martin, Guitar Maker, respectfully informs the musical public generally that the great favor bestowed upon him has induced him to enlarge his factory, in order to supply the increasing demand for his instruments.”

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The CF Martin electric-acoustic guitar DRS2 is the company’s most affordable all-wood guitar. It is made of sustainable material with onboard Fishman Sonitone pickup. It is a D-14 Fret with a 25.4″ scale length.

CR Martin acoustic electric guitar DRS2
CR Martin acoustic-electric guitar DRS2

Which CF Martin Guitar Matches Your Personality?

We’ve Listed One Example From Each Category

New Models

Martin GPCE Walnut Ambertone DX420

  • new colors
  • printed tops
  • unique art guitar rings
  • the same  dependable Martin design for great sound

Martin CPCE Walnut Ambertone DX420 guitar black

Martin GPCE Walnut Amertone DX420

CF Martin Limited Edition Guitars

Martin Limited Edition D1 Special

  • nickel open gear tuners
  • black binding
  • East Indian Rosewood
Martin Limited Edition D1-Special

CF Martin Special Edition Guitars

Martin CEO-8

  • Largest acoustic

  • can target certain time periods and age the top/braces to that era for a vintage sound
Martin CEO-8 Grand Jumbo

CF Martin Authentic & Vintage Guitars

Martin 0-28VS

  • 12-fret 
  • smallest full size body
Martin 0-28VS Acoustic Guitar Vintage

CF Martin Custom Signature Editions

Martin D_Boak

  • flagship guitar 
  • customer signature dreadnought
  • inside outartwork
CF Martin D-Boak Custom Signature Edition guitar

CF Martin Retro Series Guitars

Martin 00-15E

  • the first 00-14 fret in the Retro Series
  • 15-style burst color
  • link between modern and vintage acoustic-electric guitr
CF Martin Retro 
00-15E Series Guitar

CF Martin Standard Series Guitars Re-imagined

Martin 000-28

  • bold, sophisticated tone and enduring style

Some of the Others Categories in the Martin Acoustic-Electric Guitar Collection

CF Martin Standard guitar series

The CF Martin Standard series guitars embody features from past eras and blended them with Martin’s newest innovations such as forward-shifted X-bracing for enhanced top vibration for enriched sound. 

CF Performing Artist guitar series

The Performing Artists series overlooks nothing to create the perfect playing experience ensuring tonal color variety; fast and comfortable high-performance design; and for the artist’s compassion towards the environment, these guitars as with many of Martin’s guitars are made from sustainable wood certified material.

CF Martin Series 15, 16 and 17 Guitars

These Martin series 15, 16, and 17 guitars differ in the finish, binding and bracing. If you want your concert group to look homogenous or individualized you could select guitars accordingly. All of the features that make the Martin guitars comfortable, playable with great sound are already designed into these guitars.

CF Martin Road Series Guitars

These road-ready affordable Martin Road Series guitars are sold with a hard shell travel case (as opposed to a gig bag). 

These guitars made generally from 3-ply laminate are treated to sound like aged wood, the desirable sound from a seasoned wood guitar. They perform as well so you are not obsessing over your near irreplaceable guitars while on the road.

CF Martin Backpacker Guitar Series

The Martin Backpacker guitar series are scaled down versions of a guitar looking like a stretched triangle. They are lightweight, made of solid tonewoods, easy to carry, easy to play and tune, and will allow you to practice while away from your performance guitars.

CF Martin Keeps On Producing as Long as We Keep Playing

With as much contribution to the guitar world, one would expect that a company would have already made its last guitar enhancement. Not at all. The CF Martin Company keeps on the pulse of the guitar demands.

As it has in the past, it is today proactive and ready to place into the hands of the guitar player a playable instrument mirrored from the unique needs of guitarists who are continuously evolving in ways they play the acoustic or electric guitar.

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References:

Johann Georg Stauffer.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Georg_Stauffer.

“Martin Guitar.” Martin Guitars & Strings, C.F. Martin & Co., Inc., 2018, www.martinguitar.com/about/martin-story/.

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4 Comments

  1. Bullies. The only reason bullies exist is because they are intimidated and insecure. I can’t believe CF had to endeavor that just to get off the ground. Ugh! I’m glad they found their new start.

  2. Hi Terri!
    What an interesting and informative article. I loved reading about the history and obstacles overcome by CF Martin to become a master guitar builder. I didn’t even know not all frets were the same size!
    Thanks for the education.

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