Why Are Martin Guitars So Expensive? Are They Worth It?

Why Are Martin Guitars So Expensive

When it comes to guitars, Martin guitars are at the top of the line. Crafted by some of the best luthiers, a Martin guitar is a high-quality, flawlessly crafted instrument that perdures over time.

Elvis Presley, John Mayer, Johnny Cash, and countless other big names in the music industry have played Martins and continue to make this brand one of the most recognizable and iconic acoustic guitar models.

Martin guitars have revolutionized music as they offer top-notch and premium experiences for guitarists. However, premium experiences come at a premium price. 

High-end Martin guitars go past the $1200 mark, and some can even reach $10k. So, why are Martin guitars so expensive? Are they worth your money? If those are your concerns, this post is for you!

4 Main Reasons Why Martin Guitars Are Expensive

There are 4 main reasons why Martin guitars are so expensive and why their value even sometimes appreciates over time. 

1. High-Quality Materials

Martin guitars are built using high-quality materials with solid woods sourced from the four corners of the world. Other brands that offer guitars at a lower price range use cheaper and lower-quality woods and hardware.

The high-end Martin guitars have solid wood soundboards, which produce fuller and louder sounds, making the instrument resonate for a longer time and giving it a distinct classic tone and sustain.

Most Martin soundboards are made of Spruce, which helps produce loud and clear sounds. Cedar is another tonewood that’s used to build Martin soundboards.  These deliver a light, airy sound. At the same time, mahogany can also be used; although it is not as common, those soundboards have a deep, robust tone.

The back and sides of the guitar also contribute to the guitar’s tone. The woods used in the back and sides of Martin guitars are mainly rosewood, mahogany, and maple. 

Bracings are essential for any acoustic guitar, and they can have a direct on the tonality of the instrument. They also keep the guitar intact so that it doesn’t break when you’re playing it. 

Martin invests in the finest materials for their scalloped bracings, using a unique type of bracing made of top-notch wood. According to Martin & Co., they were among the first manufacturers to develop an environmental policy in 1990. 

Thus, it increases the price of Martin guitars as the company’s expenses grow to source wood while protecting the environment. Buying a Martin guitar means supporting a company that cares about the environment, as well as the musicians using their instruments.

2. Made in the USA

Martin makes its guitars in the US, while other guitar companies manufacture their instruments overseas for cheap labor costs. 

Due to currency exchanges and different lifestyles, they don’t have to pay their workers as much as they would pay American employees. Since they can cut down on labor costs, their guitar can be priced lower, and this is another reason why Martin guitars may seem expensive.

On the other hand, Martin has a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania where they hire luthiers to make each guitar by hand. 

Since they’re a family-run business, they prefer American employees, and one of their most important values is hiring people from their community. Sadly, this influences the price of a Martin guitar, pushing them to higher ranges.

3. Handcrafted

Unlike other brands, Martin makes handmade instruments, and although they use CNC, most of their guitar is handcrafted. 

They use traditional methods for making an acoustic guitar, and they believe that this gives the guitar a soul and makes it unique.

Since their guitars are handmade, the workers put in more time and effort, making their jobs challenging. 

Craftsmen working on a guitar

It takes a clear understanding of the art to make every part of the guitar. Every piece has to be assembled properly to make a guitar that’s up to the Martin standard.

Because of the quality of their work, Martin has to pay their workers more. Some of their employees have been working for them for many years. 

Since these guitars are handcrafted, that should explain why they’re expensive. Martin has to sell their guitars at a high price range to make a profit.

4. The Brand

Buying a Martin guitar means you’re not only buying a guitar, but you are also buying its legacy. Martin guitars have been around since the mid-1800s.

They have invested their time and energy to build their reputation in the musical world. Brand reputation increases the price of their instruments and also their resale value.

Martin’s quality control and customer service are exceptional. If your guitar has a problem, they will send another one to you. This kind of service makes them different from other brands.

Played by artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and many other legends, Martin gained a reputation in the musical world and is loved by many guitarists.

They wouldn’t be so successful if their guitars didn’t play well, nor would artists still play them to this day. Due to their brand recognition and reputation for producing high-quality guitars, Martin can sell their guitars at a high price.

Are Martin Guitars Worth Your Money, Or Are They Overpriced?

Martin is considered the gold standard for acoustic guitars, and by now, you have learned why their prices are higher than other brands, so you might be wondering if Martin guitars are worth your money. 

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for in a guitar. Some of the higher-end Martin guitars are overpriced, and while other guitars may cost less, they wouldn’t have the same tonal quality as a high-end Martin guitar.

The sound quality and playability of Martin guitars make them worth every penny. Martins in the sub-1000$ price range can compete with other higher-end brands.

If you have a tight budget, you may look at other options. But if you’re looking for a well-crafted, high-quality guitar built to last for years with excellent quality control, you can’t go wrong with a Martin guitar!

Final Thoughts

A Martin guitar

High-end musical instruments may only be for those looking for the best experience. You won’t hear anyone complain about Martin guitars. The only issue people have when buying a Martin guitar is the price. 

There are many factors that make Martin guitars expensive. A Martin guitar has high-quality materials. The way they source the wood to make these guitars increase the company’s costs.  

Manufactured in America, Martin guitars are crafted by skilled employees who are paid higher wages. Each of these guitars is made by hand, adding to the quality and price of these acoustic guitars.

From Elvis Presley to Ed Sheeran, many well-renowned artists have played the Martins for years. Their brand reputation should tell you that these instruments are top-of-the-line. 

For serious guitar players or enthusiasts who prefer quality over price, A Martin guitar offers the quality, looks, and playability that other brands can’t provide.

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