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Know Your Martin

the many shapes and sizes of the martin family

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The Martin X Series of guitars represents one of the latest in a long line of innovations in acoustic instrument design for the iconic brand, with a focus on producing finely crafted acoustic guitars with stellar tone, using environmentally-friendly construction materials and processes. The C.F. Martin Company has been an innovator in guitar design and manufacturing since its inception in 1833, including such hallmarks as developing the now-standard dreadnought body style for steel-string acoustics, and popularizing guitars with 14 frets clear of the body, as opposed to the older, parlor-style guitar design, which typically had the body-neck joint at the 12th fret. The X Series, introduced in 1988, was developed to align with Martin's long-standing policy of responsible use of traditional natural materials, and encouraging the introduction of sustainable-yield, alternative wood species in guitar construction, as well as the use of alternative materials like Stratabond, Richlite and High-Pressure Laminates (HPLs) to provide a line of durable, lower-cost options among their wide range of guitars. High-Pressure Laminates are composed of highly-compressed wood fibers, which are pre-finished and textured during the manufacturing process. They are designed to have the look and feel of natural wood, while generally being much more durable and resistant to warping, and are considerably less costly than working with increasingly-expensive tonewoods for the sides and backs. The X Series tops can be either HPL or choice tonewoods like Sitka spruce, depending on model. Stratabond is a high-performance laminated hardwood product used in X Series necks, as well as other high-stress applications like gunstocks and archery bows. Richlite is a dense, resin-based material used for fingerboards and bridges.

The result of this focus on alternative materials is a line of guitars in traditional Martin designs, such as the 000 body style or the iconic dreadnought, that all look fantastic, sound even better, and won't break the bank. X Series models include the DXK2AE, a gorgeous acoustic-electric based on the D-14 dreadnought platform, loaded with a Fishman Sonitone pickup system, and featuring a top, back and sides made with a stunning koa wood pattern HPL. The DX1KAE is based on the same model, but features a solid Sitka spruce top, for a more traditional appearance and tone. The DCXE is another acoustic-electric dreadnought, but with a Jett Black finish and a cutaway for easier upper-fret access. The D12X1AE is a 12-string acoustic-electric model with solid spruce top, and the OMCX1KE is a 000-style with Venetian cutaway and solid Sitka spruce top. Most X Series guitars are available in right-hand or lefty configurations at no extra charge, and there are a variety of body styles and finishes available to fit your playing style and aesthetics. So whether you're in the market for your first quality guitar, you need a backup Martin for your road trips and roadhouse gigs, or you're a seasoned pro who wants to add an environmentally-friendly axe to your arsenal, grab a Martin X Series guitar and be as kind to the planet and your wallet as you are to your fingers and your ears!

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