Back in 2020, Martin decided to break from the mold of the traditional look and feel of virtually all acoustic electric guitars made up until that time. What they produced was the Martin SC-13E acoustic electric guitar.
Decoding that model number – SC-13E – we get an S-shaped body with a special Cutaway that has 13 frets before the neck hits the body and has Electronics built in, thus making it an acoustic electric guitar.
Unless you’re a newbie to the world of guitars, you’ll recognize that just about every part of that description of the Martin SC-13E is something new and different.
If you’re in a hurry now and just want to check the pricing and availability of the SC-13E at Amazon, you can click the link just below. Otherwise, you can keep scrolling and reading to find out the specifics and to hear some samples of what this instrument sounds like.
Specifications of the Martin SC-13E
I could go into detail about all the new features built into the Martin SC-13E, but I won’t because Chris McKee does such a great job of doing that in the video below. Instead, I’ll just list the main specs here and then let you listen to Chris (and Angela) in the videos that follow.
The top of the body is made from Sitka spruce. The back and sides are a Koa fine veneer. The bridge is ebony, and the pins are white plastic.
Martin only says the neck is a “select hardwood” with a satin finish, while the fretboard is ebony. The body (top, back, and sides) has a gloss finish.
Due to the “S” shape of the body, they had to do something special with the Sitka spruce bracing inside. This is a little hard to picture in your mind. (Chris does a fine job of describing it in the video.) Martin calls the bracing pattern “tone tension X brace” and says the brace shape is a scalloped X on the treble side with non-scalloped tone bars.
As I said…hard to imagine. So let’s move up to the neck.
The neck, per Martin, has a “low profile velocity” with a “high-performance taper”. The neck, where the palm of your hand holds it, is sort of twisted; that is, it has a helix shape. This necessitated a special joint construction for attaching it to the body. Martin calls it their Sure Align Linear Dovetail Neck Joint.
The entire scale measures 25.4 inches. The width at the nut is 1 ¾ inches, and in increases to 2 ⅛ inches by the time you hit the 12th of the 20 frets.
The tapered head has nickel open gear tuners. The electronics are the dependable Fishman MX-T model. You should get a soft gig bag with your purchase.
What the Martin SC-13E Sounds Like
As I mentioned more than once above, Chris McKee of Alamo Music has a great video review of the Martin SC-13E. After a short intro, he spends half the time explaining in detail everything that’s new and different about this guitar. He then lets you hear the music it can make by playing several styles that are a pleasure to listen to.
So, if you have a little more than 20 minutes to spend, I highly recommend you listen to the video just below. I think you’ll want one of these after you do.
Angela Petrilli of Guitar Center also really likes the Martin SC-13E. Listen to her opinions about it in this shorter video.
If this Martin guitar isn’t the one you want, maybe this one is.