Hey all,
I was looking into a new guitar for the holidays and want to go with a Martin.

I don't know a lot about them though, so does anyone have any ideas of what models they offer? I'd like to keep the budget less than $1200.00 (US) . And it needs to be new.

I play acoustic rock, a mix of classic rock on newer stuff . I don't really gig, so I don't need the electronics, but am not against having them

Thanks for your help!
I'm a total novice and just trying to find my first guitar now - I've been looking at Martins in that price range. But forgive me if I should have kept my ignorant-noob mouth shut.

It seemed to me their lowest end full-solid guitars are in the D-15 series (there was also a d-16 at that price point) which are about or just slightly below $1,200. They don't have the electronics. I don't know enough yet to be able to describe why they felt unimpressive to me - maybe it was just the finish but they just didn't seem as nice as the taylors that were even cheaper. I also didn't like how I sounded (again, I lack the guitar-language to describe why.. maybe it was in my head because of the finish).

I don't know how rigid the 1,200 cap is but at about $1,300 or so ($2K MSRP). I don't know they have all-solid guitars in their Performing Artist series (level 4) which seemed much nicer and had all the electronics and just seemed to be finished nicer.

I may go with a performing artist guitar (except the store I like and where my daughter gets lessons doesn't carry martin - I feel conflicted),.. but I also feel that even at !,300, and especially below 1,200, you get more value out of other brands. I hope that helped.
I would get electronics and cutaway, because you might want that at some point in the future. I would try other brands also. Martin is a good company, and I think suitable for your style also. You need to try them. The same model guitar to guitar won't even be the same. I've tried martins I loved, and I've tried Martins I thought were nothing special at all.
Don't limit yourself to only Martins. Try as many guitars as possible. A while back I was looking for a guitar in your price range. I was planning on a Martin also. But once I went in the store and tried some out, I found that I liked Taylor a lot better in that price range. I'm not saying that you will have the same experience, but try as many guitars as possible. I probably tried 10-15 before I bought mine.
"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."
15 Series (only the mahogany ones are sold new in retail nowadays), 18 Series Road Series, DSR-GC, Martin D Custom, 000-18 off the top of my head. I've played all of them and I like 'em all.
Quote by songbird64
Don't limit yourself to only Martins. Try as many guitars as possible. . . . . . .

Absolutely right ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

There are many many very good guitars available beside Martin. Your budget of $1200 will not get you much in the Martin range whereas the same amount spent on some of the excellent quality brands coming out of the PacRim countries (Cort, Crafter, Recording King, Tanglewood, Yamaha, etc) will get you a mid to top end guitar that, spec for spec, is as good as anything made by Martin.
if i were buying a martin for $1200 or under, i'd either go used and get a 16 series or i might consider the 15 series, which are all mahogany guitars. you won't get electronics or a cutaway at that price.

if i were buying a guitar at that price, and wanted to go all solid with a cutaway, i'd consider these lines of guitars:

the guild GAD series - very nice all solid guitars that come with hardshell cases. they have nice glossy finishes and good appointments, not to mention good tone.

eastman guitars, but not their solid top models - their all solid models are excellent, great tone, good value. lightly built, beautiful guitars.

the seagull SWS series - made in canada, great bang for buck for good guitars.

and let's not forget blueridge - great value for all solid guitars. i own one, and have played many. here are some of their electronics/cutaway/all solid models

you can't get an all solid taylor at your price point, and the only martins are some of the 15 series and the no frills models or the x series, which aren't all solid. i'd suggest trying out some of the above and other brands. i've listed some of the ones i felt were best for price or tone, but there are lots more out there.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Buy a guitar because of the sound and feel, not the name on the headstock. You will need about $1600 to get a nice Martin. You will need about $800 for a nice Seagull (the Canadian Martin). Trust your ears and hands and choose wisely.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Quote by Cajundaddy
Buy a guitar because of the sound and feel, not the name on the headstock. You will need about $1600 to get a nice Martin. You will need about $800 for a nice Seagull (the Canadian Martin). Trust your ears and hands and choose wisely.

I am right now looking closely at a Seagull for $800 after comparing it to Martins and Taylors for twice the price. I WANTED to prefer the Martins and Taylors for $1,200+. I tried to find reason not to prefer the Seagull because I want a nicer name on the headstock (even though neither my headstock nor my playing will be often seen by anyone), but to my ears the Seagull was just better. (Haven't bought yet - still deciding and trying stuff)

Your ears may be different but make sure you buy what you actually like better.
If you like the sound of Martin AND Taylor, look at the Martin Grand Performer series. Martin made these with the tonal sweetness of a Taylor but still have the Martin boom. They come in 5 levels. Your budget would be looking at 4 or 5 (5 being the least expensive) and still made in Nazareth, PA, USA.

But again, let your ears and fingers decide.
--- Joe ---
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