#1
Just bought a brand new Martin GPCPA5 and I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed if I'm honest. First of all the action is crazy high, at the 12th fret it's comparable to a £20 unbranded piece of **** you'd get from a charity shop. Also the electronics are not good at all, it's got a built in tuner but it only registers the 6th and 5th strings, all the others it doesn't pick up. Lastly, when plugged in it is so quiet I have to turn my amp up to almost full volume before I can even hear it and then it's quite distorted. Hopefully someone can shed some light on how to fix these issues because I spent quite a lot of money on this guitar and it doesn't feel justified right now
#2
Martin seem to be having their fair share of QC issues these days.


It is new?

The action height hopefully just means it needs a decent set up, some shops do it before sale when necessary, some don't. I would say there is something wrong with the pickup/preamp, they usually have a good output, and most tuners are weak on the 6th string, if anywhere.
#3
Well, you really shouldn't have been sold the guitar in that condition, period. So, it should either go back to the dealer for a setup, or go back to the dealer period.

Somehow your post sounds like blasphemy. (Although not to me). People with more money than brains spend years developing the proper imaginings about what they hear coming out of a Martin sound hole. The rest of their days and nights are spent sniffing that self same sound hole.

There's no arguing they're good guitars. Are they as good as the hype and legend suggests? Probably not.

With that said, if you bought this thing new, they do have a lifetime warranty, which Martin allegedly honors, up to and including resetting the neck.

To recap, it shouldn't have been delivered to you with those faults, at least in the setup.

As for the guitar's plugged in sound, the guys in the electric forum will tell you, "you need a new amp". There's likely some truth to that, although as another saying goes, "there's no accounting for taste". Realistically, the same guitar might sound a whole lot better to someone else.

I honestly am sort of unclear as to how any guitar could live up to the Martin hype and price, especially in this day and age of superb Asian instruments.

There is a price for "mojo", and it's name is "Martin".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 11, 2015,
#6
Quote by Deliriumbassist
If you have a new battery knocking about, try that. Saying that, the low battery indicator would be having a paddy if the battery was the issue.


Did think about the battery, I will probably get one tomorrow just to be sure it isn't that
#7
CC, I asked my music store-owning mate about Martin QC a few days ago, as a result of a similar discussion in another forum. He said that he couldn't see any deterioration in recent decades (he reckoned the 80s was bad), but there seems to be a lot of grass roots adverse comments these days. My own experience indicates a lot of variation in tone and neck angles. Current production is around 100 thousand instruments a year, so perhaps they are hurrying things up a bit too much in a struggle to match the output/profitability of their competitors. Dunno, just speculation.
#8
You got to remember that Martin guitars are just a mass produced factory made guitar. The parts are bashed out by machinery and put together by a semi skilled workforce exactly the same as every other guitar factory.
#9
Quote by JordanC97
Just bought a brand new Martin GPCPA5 and I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed if I'm honest. First of all the action is crazy high, at the 12th fret it's comparable to a £20 unbranded piece of **** you'd get from a charity shop. Also the electronics are not good at all, it's got a built in tuner but it only registers the 6th and 5th strings, all the others it doesn't pick up. Lastly, when plugged in it is so quiet I have to turn my amp up to almost full volume before I can even hear it and then it's quite distorted. Hopefully someone can shed some light on how to fix these issues because I spent quite a lot of money on this guitar and it doesn't feel justified right now


was it brand new in the box, and did you order it online or pick it up in store? if so, is the store a martin dealer? if so, they'll probably do a fast and easy exchange.

i'm not a huge martin fan, but i've never tried one in stores that has any real issues - if the action is high, it could have been set up for bluegrass (was it a possible return or used), which uses high action. get the action lowered - i always have a set-up done when i buy any guitar. i also wonder about the battery since, again, i haven't seen nor read of martins with this problem with the electronics.

is it possible you got a counterfeit? they're out there, and unfortunately not that rare.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#10
Just had a look at the spec on this guitar, talk about expensive rubbish. Made from laminate with a paper fingerboard, a £199 guitar with a £799 price tag, unbelievable. Take it back and get your money back and buy a Cort or something similar. You can easily get twice the guitar for half the price.
#12
So the amazing Fretless Zon bass didn't actually have a Richlite fingerboard. That aside when your paying Ebony prices you should at least get real wood.
#14
Quote by paul w1
So the amazing Fretless Zon bass didn't actually have a Richlite fingerboard. That aside when your paying Ebony prices you should at least get real wood.


Only difference is that phenowood is layered wood, richlite is layered paper. Same production steps, and the actual breakdown of materials is the same - phenolic resin and cellulose.

^The Martin in question also uses HPL for the back and sides. Again, much more stable than solid wood, much more resistant to humidity changes etc.
Last edited by Deliriumbassist at Oct 12, 2015,
#15
Well I'm going to take a chance and leave the ebony fingerboards on my guitars lol.
#16
Quote by Deliriumbassist
...[ ]....^The Martin in question also uses HPL for the back and sides. Again, much more stable than solid wood, much more resistant to humidity changes etc.
See that, Martin should have called its "X series", "the half-assed Rainsong for those on a budget".....
#17
It does make you wonder how they all got by when they had to use real wood.
#18
Quote by paul w1
It does make you wonder how they all got by when they had to use real wood.
Well, they got by just fine, too well in fact. And that boyz and girlz, is the reason there isn't much wood left today....

Iwas looking at a left hand Martin 12 string jumbo supposed to be released about now. It was over $1500,00. and t has a Richlite fingerboard.

Taylor still uses ebony, but the stock they are able to get isn't jet black, but streaky. The cutters and Bob Taylor had a chat about having to cut down 10 trees to find one pure black specimen. So now, new Taylors might have mottled or streaked fingerboards. So, that's the cost of having real wood for sometime into the future, a streak here or there.

Gibson Nashville was raided by the feds for potential CITES violations.

The only makers who seem to be doing fine with lumber stock are the Asian builders. But then, they've practically renamed every indigenous species on their continent and Africa, "mahogany".

As far as Asian builders go, some offer more bang for the buck than others. From my own experience, my Fender "Sonoran", is a lot less guitar for the same money as my Epiphone EJ-200-SCE.

But you're right, I think Martin is trying to cash in on their name maybe a bit harder than some others.

BTW, Martin still does make plenteous all wood guitars. Although, there is the ugly matter of the second mortgage that comes with buying one to contend with.
#19
Did you take the guitar back or are you just going to get it sorted and a pro setup.
#20
Quote by JordanC97
Just bought a brand new Martin GPCPA5 and I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed if I'm honest. First of all the action is crazy high, at the 12th fret it's comparable to a £20 unbranded piece of **** you'd get from a charity shop. Also the electronics are not good at all, it's got a built in tuner but it only registers the 6th and 5th strings, all the others it doesn't pick up. Lastly, when plugged in it is so quiet I have to turn my amp up to almost full volume before I can even hear it and then it's quite distorted. Hopefully someone can shed some light on how to fix these issues because I spent quite a lot of money on this guitar and it doesn't feel justified right now


Just curious....why did you buy it if you dislike it so much?

Sorry you are unhappy with your instrument, hopefully you can trade it in or fix the problems.
#21
Quote by JordanC97
Just bought a brand new Martin GPCPA5 and I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed if I'm honest. . . . . .


I've been underwhelmed by Martin guitars since I first played one 40 years ago. I've played a lot more since then - nothing has changed.
#25
Quote by paul w1
You got to remember that Martin guitars are just a mass produced factory made guitar. The parts are bashed out by machinery and put together by a semi skilled workforce exactly the same as every other guitar factory.


I agree with your statement only in regards to their "lower" end price point models.

The higher end models are very well made and are worth every penny. I ordered mine and it took a year to make back in '94, received it in '95.

On the other hand - I also own Blue Ridge and would buy a BR over any Martin in that price range - the fit and finish of the BR's and the fact that they are all real wood, no laminate, is a huge bonus.

Regarding the OP: Bring it back to the shop you bought it from. Let a tech take a look, get it fixed.
Fender HRD - LTD.
Epi Les Paul 100 series Lefty w/ SD HRD
Fender Mexi Tele - Lefty
Martin D45 lefty
BlueRidge BR- 160 - 12 Lefty
Ditto X2 Looper
Ibanez TS-9, FL 301('79)
MXR Carbon Copy, COMP
Fulltone OCD
EB VP Jr.
#26
Quote by Clark Griswold
I agree with your statement only in regards to their "lower" end price point models.

The higher end models are very well made and are worth every penny. I ordered mine and it took a year to make back in '94, received it in '95.

On the other hand - I also own Blue Ridge and would buy a BR over any Martin in that price range - the fit and finish of the BR's and the fact that they are all real wood, no laminate, is a huge bonus.

Regarding the OP: Bring it back to the shop you bought it from. Let a tech take a look, get it fixed.

They are all made in exactly the same way by exactly the same workers, why would it be any different.
#27
Quote by paul w1
They are all made in exactly the same way by exactly the same workers, why would it be any different.


There are the Mexican models - I believe these are the lower end models I am referring to.

And there are the high end - specialty models.

Keep in mind,The OP wasn't talking about a poorly made D28 or a D18.... there is a difference.
Fender HRD - LTD.
Epi Les Paul 100 series Lefty w/ SD HRD
Fender Mexi Tele - Lefty
Martin D45 lefty
BlueRidge BR- 160 - 12 Lefty
Ditto X2 Looper
Ibanez TS-9, FL 301('79)
MXR Carbon Copy, COMP
Fulltone OCD
EB VP Jr.
#28
Quote by Clark Griswold
There are the Mexican models - I believe these are the lower end models I am referring to.

And there are the high end - specialty models.

Keep in mind,The OP wasn't talking about a poorly made D28 or a D18.... there is a difference.

A friend of mine has a D28 and the action is the same as the OP described so high it's very difficult to play, as I said they are all made in the same way even the specialty models lol.
#29
Has your friend taken it to a luthier / Martin dealer?

Why is the action so high?
Fender HRD - LTD.
Epi Les Paul 100 series Lefty w/ SD HRD
Fender Mexi Tele - Lefty
Martin D45 lefty
BlueRidge BR- 160 - 12 Lefty
Ditto X2 Looper
Ibanez TS-9, FL 301('79)
MXR Carbon Copy, COMP
Fulltone OCD
EB VP Jr.
#30
Quote by Clark Griswold
Has your friend taken it to a luthier / Martin dealer?

Why is the action so high?

The action is high because that's how they are made and they are not setup before they leave the factory as the OP has found out.
#31
I live about an hour from the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA and have gone there several times to take their tour (always something new). I have never seen any better QC. Any person at any point along the line can reject a guitar and they proudly tell visitors about that. I can't imagine what happened to the OP's guitar unless there was a problem in shipping. All the guitars go through brand new plek machines and the ones I played at the factory were amazing (they have an area in the main lobby where they have a dozen or so guitars and Marin guitar stools where you can just sit and play as long as you like). I wish I could afford a nice Martin. The action on the ones I have played are excellent.

If you are ever in eastern PA go to Nazareth. It's a beautiful little town just north of Allentown and well worth making time for a tour.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 5, 2015,
#32
Quote by Rickholly74
I live about an hour from the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA and have gone there several times to take their tour (always something new). I have never seen any better QC. Any person at any point along the line can reject a guitar and they proudly tell visitors about that. I can't imagine what happened to the OP's guitar unless there was a problem in shipping. All the guitars go through brand new plek machines and the ones I played at the factory were amazing (they have a area in the main lobby where they have a dozen or so guitars and Marin guitar stools where you can just sit and play as long as you like). I wish I could afford a nice Martin. The action on the ones I have played are excellent.

Pleased you had a nice day out but it still doesn't change the facts does it.
#33
Nope, it doesn't. Simple take it back to the place it was purchased. I'm just giving you a first person observation. I have been there and watched the guitars being run through a plek machine and set up. I have played quite a few Martin guitars so I know this is not "how they are made". They wouldn't have stayed in business from 1833 and claimed a reputation as one of finest ( if not the finest) acoustic guitar makers if their guitars sucked.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 5, 2015,
#34
Quote by Rickholly74
Nope, it doesn't. Simple take it back to the place it was purchased. I'm just giving you a first person observation. I have been there and watched the guitars being run through a plek machine and set up. I have played quite a few Martin guitars so I know this is not "how they are made". They wouldn't have stayed in business from 1833 and claimed a reputation as one of finest ( if not the finest) acoustic guitar makers if their guitars sucked.

The finest guitars in the world, that is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.
#35
Sorry Paul. Have to agree to disagree.

My fathers '75 D28, My band mates HD28, and my D45 disagree with you also.
Fender HRD - LTD.
Epi Les Paul 100 series Lefty w/ SD HRD
Fender Mexi Tele - Lefty
Martin D45 lefty
BlueRidge BR- 160 - 12 Lefty
Ditto X2 Looper
Ibanez TS-9, FL 301('79)
MXR Carbon Copy, COMP
Fulltone OCD
EB VP Jr.
#36
Quote by Clark Griswold
Sorry Paul. Have to agree to disagree.

My fathers '75 D28, My band mates HD28, and my D45 disagree with you also.

you can only go on the personal experience you have had with Guitars and your has been a good one with Martin. That's obviously not the same for the OP who described it as a £20 Guitar and that's not a comment one would expect here about the finest Guitars in the world is it lol.