NAMM 2020: Martin's monster acoustic launch supersizes the X2 Series and debuts the positively rococo D-42 Purple Martin

(Image credit: Martin Guitar)

NAMM 2020: Martin has announced the launch of 29 new acoustic guitars ahead of Winter NAMM 2020. The launch welcomes the arrival of two new limited edition models, a quartet of electro-acoustics to the award-winning Modern Deluxe Series, four new additions to the 16 Series, with the remainder swelling the ranks of the hugely popular entry-level X Series.

The limited edition models are the best place to start. Priced $3,649, the D-18E 2020 revises the classic dreadnought with a East Indian rosewood on the headplate, fingerboard, binding, bridge, and heelcap. The D-18E 2020 features a solid sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and an LR Baggs pickup and preamp, and otherwise has much the same DNA as its kin in the Standard Series. Limited to 2020 instruments

The D-42 Purple Martin Flamed Myrtle, meanwhile, occupies the upper scale of the Martin range. Limited to 100 instruments worldwide, and priced at an eye-watering $14,999, it is the fourth in the Purple Martin Series. Featuring 42-style pearl inlay throughout, with decorative flourishes on the pickguard and inlay that depict the purple martin bird and mountain laurel flowers, and finished in high gloss,  it is quite exquisite, ornate and sure to be a collector's item. It has a heavy bearclaw Engelmann spruce top, with a deep purple burst and flamed myrtle on back and sides. Its label is signed by C. F. Martin & Company Chairman and CEO Chris Martin.

Modern Deluxe Series with electronics

This year Martin are adding the the D-28E, 000-28E, OM-28E, and D-18E models to the Modern Deluxe Series. Each features newly designed Fishman Aura VT Blend electronics, which Martin says offer players a greater control over their amplified tone than ever before, while retaining the vintage-modern feel of the others in the series. Think sitka spruce VTS tops, titanium truss rods, open-gear tuners and gold frets,  wood binding and carbon fiber bridge plates. These are priced $4,999-$5,799

16 Series

2020 sees the introduction of the GPC-16E Grand Performance Cutaway and the D-16E Dreadnought. Both priced $2,049, each has a Sitka spruce gloss top, a 000 body depth, high-performance neck taper, and satin-finished mahogany back and sides that Martin believes will deliver "a big sound, punchy midrange, and bright treble response." Pickups-wise, you've got a Fishman Matrix VT Enhance system. 

Elsewhere, there is the 000C12-16E Nylon, an Auditorium-style nylon-string guitar, which shares the Sitka spruce gloss top and satin-finished mahogany back and sides. It likewise comes fitted with Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance electronics and is priced $2,499. And the BC-16E Bass rounds out the additions with a Sitka spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides. Martin prefer forward-shifted scalloped bracing here to keep the bass deep. The BC-16E is priced $2,399.

X Series

This year Martin are adding another 19 acoustics to its entry-level X Series, with 14 new models for the X2 Series, five for the X1 Series. The X2 Series features solid-wood tops with HPL (high-pressure laminate) on back and sides while the X2 Series has HPL tops, backs and sides. Martin says this year's models use improved HPL, and with scalloped bracing, solid-wood necks, fingerboards and bridges "sound better than ever."

The prices for the X2 Series run from $799 to $899, while the X2 models are priced between $649 and $699. And the gig-bag is free.

Martin X2 Series, new for 2020

Martin X1 Series, new for 2020

This mighty selection of acoustics will be on show at NAMM 2020. See Martin for more details.

For all this Winter's new product launches and rumors, check out our NAMM 2020 hub.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.