NAMM 2024: Four NAMMs (and seemingly a lifetime) ago, Martin unveiled one of the most game-changing instruments in its storied history, the SC-13E.
Fully defying those who might have seen the near-200-year-old company as being typically too traditional in its builds, the SC-13E featured a bold cutaway – granting players unprecedented upper-fret access – and Fishman MX-T electronics.
Two years later, the company took the well-received SC shape a step further, adding new finishes and options to the SC-13E, and unveiling a new, lower-cost model – the SC-10E.
Seemingly keeping with a pattern of twos, Martin has now further expanded the SC line with two new models – the SC-18E and SC-28E.
Most notable about these new builds is that they come in at significantly higher price points than their siblings. Though there might be a bit of sticker shock at first, the devil's typically in the details with premium builds, and the SC-18E and SC-28E are no exception.
There are certainly plenty of similarities between the SC-13E and SC-18E: the same unmistakable S-13 fret cutaway, spruce top, and ebony bridge, a 25.4", 20-fret ebony fretboard, Tone Tension X bracing, nickel open gear tuners...
Where the SC-18E sets itself apart, though, is the tonewood department. Rather than koa fine veneer, as they are on the SC-13E, the 18's back and sides are made of mahogany.
The electronics, as you might expect, have also been beefed up – with a choice of Fishman's higher-end Aura VT Blend or LR Baggs' Anthem systems taking the place of the lower-end Fishman MX-T system found on the 13.
Additionally, the SC-18E comes with a molded hardshell case, in lieu of the soft-shell case (or soft gig bag) that accompanies the SC-13E.
Otherwise the same as the SC-18E, the SC-28E takes the tonewood game a step further still, with a back and sides made of East Indian rosewood.
We loved both the SC-13E and SC-10E, and can't wait to see what the new models bring to the table, sonically. Either way, this'll undoubtedly be one of the biggest acoustic launches at this year's NAMM show.
For more on these and all of the company's new products, visit Martin.