Best martin guitar for the money 2021 – 7 high end picks

Best martin guitar for the money

Over the years, the Martin guitars have been at the forefront of guitar design, craftsman ship, build quality and tone and this dates to as far back as the year 1843 when the guitars were first introduced.

Well, considering they live up to their set standards till today, getting the best martin guitar for the money should be in every guitarist’s bucket list. Unlike most guitar companies, the strength of Martin guitars lies in the people that work within the company since they have a strong tie to the company’s pioneers.

Since these guitars are available in lots of different variations ranging from acoustic to acoustic-electric versions, it could be a little difficult to get one that perfectly meet your needs. With this guide, however, it should be much easier to buy or upgrade- here are 8 of the great martin guitars in 2021.

PictureMartin guitarEditor RatingDetails

Martin D-18 – Natural5 StarCheck Price

Martin LX1E Little Martin Solid Sitka Spruce/Mahogany HPL Acoustic/Electric4.9 StarCheck Price

Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag5 StarCheck Price

Martin GPCX2AE Macassar – Natural5 StarCheck Price

Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar4.9 StarCheck Price

Martin D-15 Meters – Natural5 StarCheck Price

Martin DX2MAE – Natural4.9 StarCheck Price

Why choose a martin guitar?

Unlike most companies, the culture of good old craftsmanship has been passed down through families and generations whose ties run deep within the company. Due to the much passion and pride in what they do, the company is able to effortlessly produce premium products which is a benefit to you.

Additionally, the company features one of the best repair facilities globally where some of the oldest and most valuable instruments in the world are put back in shape. As such, by combining the deep understanding of old-word build techniques with modern technology, you can count on their expertise to get you a guitar that will be free of any flaws.

8 best martin guitar for the money – reviews

With a Martin guitar being one of the best acoustic models you could get, here are the martin guitar reviews in 2021.

1. Martin D-18 – Natural

Martin D-18 – Natural

Like most guitars from Martin, the D-18 has got a simple appearance but has got quite a punch to it. for starters, it comes with natural ebony fingerboard which is one of the best materials to use here as far as quality sound output is concerned.

On the back and sides, you’ll be getting solid mahogany which due to its dense nature is able to produce a balanced tone while at the same time observing deep lows and warm highs. The response is also quick and it does have plenty of volume

At the top, you’ll be getting solid spruce which is quite amazing since the sound will be well balanced. By working hand in hand with mahogany, this should be quite a versatile guitar to have with you. For higher flexibility, it does have 6 strings so both the highs and lows will be well pronounced.

And the neck, you’ll be getting a hardwood construction with which you should balanced tone and amazing highs and lows which makes this one of the quality martin guitars for concerts or gigging.


  • Comes with an ebony fingerboard
  • Includes a hardwood neck
  • Features a solid spruce top


  • The tone is a little subjective and you may need to do some adjustments

2. Martin LX1E Little Martin Solid Sitka Spruce/Mahogany HPL Acoustic/Electric

Martin LX1E Little Martin

Getting a small sized guitar that doesn’t compromise on performance could be a little difficult. With the LX1E however, you will have with you the ideal Martin guitar for student practice, travelling or lightweight usage. As far as features are concerned, it’s an acoustic electric model with top of the line construction bound to take your skills to a whole new level.

For the back and sides, it features mahogany high-pressure laminate. Even though this is not as good as compared to solid wood, it will be quite impressive considering it’s made of mahogany. Additionally, it does have a warm satin finish which adds a premium look to the LX1E.

As far as the electronics are concerned, it features a natural Sonitone pick up which allows you to get a decent performance as far as acoustic amplification is concerned. The pickups and preamps are also designed to help give you a good tonal spectrum.

The body material is Sitka Spruce and mahogany. The former gets you a complex tone with lots of harmonic content whereas the mahogany due to its dense nature gives you a balanced tone with deep lows and warm highs.


  • Comes with a mahogany neck
  • Has got Sitka spruce and mahogany body
  • Includes a Fishman Sonitone pickup


  • It’s a little difficult to adjust the strings

3. Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag

Martin LXK2 Little Martin

Besides getting this guitar along with a gig bag right out of the box which makes it the perfect companion to have with you while on the go, for practice or comfortable to use with small hands, the performance is quite decent.

In the small modified 0-14 Martin body is a high-pressure laminate top wood pattern that features a Sitka spruce bracing. This, as it turns out, is strong yet light in nature and should be good enough for you even if you prefer the finger pricking style of playing. Also, as the guitar ages, the Sitka spruce allows it to sound better over time.

Something else that picked my interest on the LXK2 was the ambidextrous hand orientation which allows anyone to comfortably use it.

It features the dense hardwood koa that is reputed for its solid tone especially for the highs. The mid-range is also well pronounced and can easily be mistaken for a more premium mahogany hardwood top. For better detail, it features 6 strings that get you the best of highs and lows.


  • Features an ambidextrous hand orientation
  • Has got a high quality koa top
  • Comes with Sitka spruce body material


  • Due to the small size, sound projection is minimal

4. Martin GPCX2AE Macassar – Natural

Martin X Series GPCX2AE Macassar

With the included Sonitone electronics on the Martin GPCX2AE, acoustic amplification was quite amazing- it’s got stage ready electronics plus the pickups and preamps will bring out an amazing tonal spectrum. With the included 6 strings, you should also be able to get a good enough dynamic range between highs and lows.

The GPCX2AE’s Sapele design which is able to give you a stronger treble presence and more complex overtones. As such, when attention to detail is a priority, this should be a worthy investment for you.

With the included laminate neck, this guitar should hold up well enough in tone sustenance so you don’t have to worry about this being lost as a result of absence of solid wood for the neck. The back and sides are made of high pressure laminate from which the sound quality was decent as well.

Last but not least, it comes with a Richlite fingerboard which lasts longer so unless looks are a priority, this should serve equally as good as solid wood .


  • Features the Fishman Sonitone electronics
  • Includes a Richlite Fingerboard
  • Has HPL back and sides with sapele top


  • The fingerboard bas a plasticky feel to it

5. Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

In the compact configuration of this guitar, you’ll be getting a HPL mahogany pattern textured finish which also has a solid sitka spruce top with a hand-rubbed finish for a stylish look. The neck is made of Stratabond and with all these materials working together, sound quality in the compact design will be amazing.

Since you’ll most likely be using this while on the go, it features a gig bag that’ll make it really easy and convenient to move around. The neck also features a shortened ¾ scale which should be comfortable to hold in your hand. For the dimensions, it measures 18 x 7 x 39 inches that should be comfortable even for small people.

Back material, it’s got a Mahogany pattern HPL textured finish and from this, you’ll get a rich tone output with plenty of volume. As an icing on the cake, it’s got a black Micarta bridge with a compensated Tusq saddle and chrome small-knob tuners


  • Has got a spruce and mahogany body construction
  • Features a sitka spruce top material
  • Comes with a gig bag right out of the box


  • The tone could be better

6. Martin D-15 Meters – Natural

Martin 15 Series D-15M Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

With the back, sides and the top all book matched from solid and genuine mahogany wood, the dense nature of this hardwood is able to give you a balanced tone while observing deep lows and warm highs. In a nutshell, with this thin acoustic guitar boasting an all-mahogany design, it’s going to be a worthy investment.

For the fretboard material, you’ll be getting Rosewood which allows production of warm and rich tones with amazing projection.

The dimensions, this guitar measures 9.25 x 47.24 x 20.47 inches which should be comfortable enough for most users to hold in the hand. Also, with the included 6 strings, you should be able to get the best of highs and lows at all times.


  • Features an all-mahogany design
  • Comes with a rosewood fretboard
  • Has got 6 strings


  • The action could be better

7. Martin DX2MAE – Natural

Martin DX2MAE - Natural

Wrapping today’s review up is the DX2MAE. If you want something that’s going to deliver an amazing acoustic performance, this should be your guitar of choice. For starters, it comes with natural Fishman electronics that make acoustic amplification amazing.

With the top being a High Pressure Laminate patterned Mahogany, it should not only hold up well on the performance end but should be good enough as far as looks are concerned. Similarly, the back and sides are also made of mahogany and as such, you’ll have a well-balanced performance in general.

Fingerboard being made of Richlite, tone and sustain will both be amazing due to its solid nature which is something you’ll want in acoustic application. It’s also a 6 string guitar which makes it ideal for acoustic performance since tuning is easy


  • Uses a richlite fingerboard
  • Has got fishman electronics
  • Comes with a mahogany-pattered HPL top


  • The richlite has got a plastic feel to it

Features to consider before buying a martin guitar

On to the second section of this post, let’s have a look at some of the key things you need to account for before investing in a Martin guitar.

  • The logical first step is to decide on the size and shape that suits you best. For small users, getting a guitar that is small-bodied should be a priority (I’d recommend one with a ¾ scale). Additionally, if you’ll be on the go, I’d recommend that you go for a guitar that is small in size as well.
  • You’ll also want to consider the sound quality of your guitar. Most preferably, the dreadnought models should be a worthy investment if you want to get amazing projection and volume. The same also feature open string chords that give you amazing tonal contrast.
  • Like most guitars, the wood is equally as important to consider when it comes to martin guitars. Since the significant portion of the sound comes from the soundboard, spruce would be the best way to go since it is loud and has a clear response.
  • Something else you could probably consider are the electronics and cutaway options. On most of the popular guitars, you’ll get stage ready electronics, thanks to martin’s team up with Fishman which is one of the best in acoustic amplifications.
  • Cost should also be worth factoring in. For high end performance, I wouldn’t recommend that you go for laminate but If you are on a budget, this would serve just fine. At the same time, as much as going for laminate would be awesome, go for one that is high quality such as HPL spruce that will give you both a satisfying sound and playing experience.

Final verdict

In the post above, I have sampled out the best of the best so it should be easy to get the best martin guitar for the money currently. With the different models just a click away, it should be easy enough to get what suits you best. At the same time, be sure to adhere to the buying guide to know what will work best for you.

Resources & References


Hi, I’m Adam Vachon, an avid learner and working in the product marketing niche for the last few years. The problem I faced when marketing products for manufacturers made me interested in starting GearsLoft.

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