It is enough to mention the name “Martin” to get about a hundred guitar geeks to squeal and fangirl over it. And do not get me wrong, I don’t mean it in any derogatory way. After all, I am one of those fangirls. Martin is probably one of the most well-known and beloved guitar manufacturers that have been residing in the guitar Olympus for decades. The fame of this brand comes at a cost though (I mean… literal cost). While a lot of people would love to have a Martin guitar it usually involves spending one or two thousand dollars on a single instrument. BUT despite such a high cost, the brand is vastly popular which should be a testament to their quality. With that in mind, let’s talk a bit about Martin GPCPA4 Rosewood.
The GPCPA4R is a grand performance guitar with a cutaway and Sitka spruce top. The back and sides are East Indian Rosewood while the select hardwood neck is joined with the body via simple dovetail neck that ensures the sturdiness and durability of the construction. A Scalloped X bracing pattern apart from providing solid construction helps the guitar vibrate better. The choice of these woods is perfect not only because these materials are high quality but also because they complement each other very well and produce a well-rounded, warm sound with great volume which will definitely be proof of why this guitar is a high-end instrument.
16″ Radius Compensated White TUSQ saddle and white Corian nut perfectly for this guitar and add to the sound and playability. Now, whenever I mention the nut and saddle material and it is not the real bone for some reason I feel the need to defend the choice of the manufacturer.
While the real bone is definitely one of the best materials for the guitar nut it definitely does not mean that other materials do not come very close to its quality. So Martin’s choice of the white Corian is definitely not a bad one and it definitely does not ruin the sound of the instrument. As for the strings, this guitar comes with Martin SP Lifespan Phosphor Bronze Light Gauge. Overall, this is not a bad set of strings but if I had the choice I would use medium gauge strings instead of light. And for a beautiful instrument that costs quite a lot (definitely more than what I have on my bank account, at least) you need to have good protection. That is why this guitar is shipped with a hardshell case which can probably carry your instrument through hell and back without a single scratch.
Martin GPCPA4 Sound
There are very few (if any) companies that have the same reputation as Martin when it comes to the sound. The GPCPA4R is a classic-sounding Martin which already makes it about twice as good as any other guitar. That being said, just the Martin “stamp” is not enough to prove that the guitar is any good. What proves that it is actually good is the quality of tonewood and hardware that together create clear, crisp sound and amazing tonality along with a great response. On top of that, the action on this guitar is just perfect. As I have already mentioned I would swipe the light gauge strings with a medium gauge for better sound (and yes, it is possible to have even a better sound) and more durability. Apart from that, this is a Martin-quality guitar and that says it all.
The GPCPA4R comes with a Fishman F1 Analog electronics system which has Sonicore under-saddle pickup and preamp. The two controls on this model for volume and tone (with push function to activate tuner and reverse phase). The built-in chromatic tuner has a small display that is very easy to see. Overall, this is a professional-level system that is very discreetly fitted to the guitar. The functions are great and intuitive while also not being too overbuilt. Most importantly, the system reproduces the authentic sound of the guitar very well.
Martin guitars are crème de la crème of guitars. Owning an acoustic-electric Martin might seem like a treat before you buy it like you are spoiling yourself BUT once you get it, you know you can never go back to lesser quality guitars. Starting from tonewood to electronics and then to the hardware, this guitar has pretty much all of it. For a professional player, this guitar will be a great partner in crime, for an intermediate a great “teacher” and for a beginner, a dream to achieve (or already achieved if you are overly enthusiastic and have a couple of thousands stacked under your bed).