Martin SC-13E Expert Guitar Review 2023

The Martin SC-13E is a very ergonomic guitar. It’s built with new techniques to make playing longer possible. Martin has introduced one amazing guitar here. It features their Sure-Align neck, a deep scoop cutaway, and a great tone.

This guitar is made for the working musician. Those who depend on a solid, quality instrument that is not only comfortable but sounds great. The neck and profile make the entire fretboard accessible and easy to play.

Features

Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the SC-13E guitar.

  • Khaya core body.
  • Sitka spruce top with koa veneer back and sides.
  • Ebony fingerboard with high performance taper.
  • Sure-align neck joint.
  • Asymmetrical bracing with partial scalloping.
  • 25.4″ scale with 20 frets.
  • Fishman MX-T electronics with onboard tuner.
  • Grover tuning heads.
Martin SC-13E acoustic guitar front.
Martin SC-13E Front.

Who is the Martin SC-13E for?

The SC-13E is an acoustic guitar designed for players who need a versatile and durable guitar. One that can handle any playing style. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. The SC-13E is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality acoustic guitar.

The sleek neck, comfortable body, and electronics are only a few of the excellent features. These are only a few that are found on the acoustic guitar.

Martin SC-13E Score
Overall
4.2
  • Construction
  • Sound
  • Comfort
  • Electronics

Sound Performance

This guitar was released in 2020 and so Martin has given us players something for the new decade. It’s a great-sounding guitar and I did enjoy playing it.

The sound is well-balanced and responded very clearly. It’s very punchy and dynamic, with a good volume projection. It’s a very modern Martin sound. But thanks to their years of acoustic building experience, still holds true to its roots.

I found the guitar was great for fingerpicking, but came to life when strumming with a pick.

Plugged in, the acoustic was just as large and clear sounding. Thanks to the Fishman electronic system. It truly is an acoustic guitar worth having in your arsenal if you like the great big Martin tone. Check out the video below to hear it for yourself!

PROS

  • Wood selection and design.
  • Dynamic, well-balanced sound.
  • Ergonomic and super comfortable neck.
  • Sure-Align neck joint.
  • Built in electronics and tuner.
  • Very high quality guitar.
  • Looks are above standard.

CONS

  • Bass isn’t as Boomy Because of the Smaller Body.
Martin SC-13E in my studio.

Body and Construction

The SC-13E is a well-thought-out design, which is not surprising at all. Martin has been known for their quality instruments for years!

The body has an interior core made from Khaya. This tropical hardwood is very hard and is perfect for structures within the guitar. The top is solid Sitka spruce and the back and sides are Hawaiian Koa. This combination of woods used makes for one gorgeous-sounding and durable guitar.

This guitar has an S shape to it. With its larger lower bout, but is not overly big. It may have been inspired by the small jumbo-type acoustic body.

Through the sound hole, the X bracing can is seen, which seems to have been re-designed by Martin. I can only imagine that it adds something to the well-balanced and rich sound of this guitar.

Martin SC-13E Neck.

Neck

The neck on the SC-13E is a rather big deal! This neck is called the “velocity” profile by Martin. It was designed to twist with your hand in all playing positions.

It’s basically making it easier for you to play. All by following your lead, not making you work to play the guitar itself. And I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, but the guitar doesn’t need much effort to play!

Another cool feature is the lack of a heel where the neck meets the body. This together with the body cutaway makes it so easy to play higher up the neck. This is almost unheard of on an acoustic guitar.

The neck itself has a high-performance taper. This description essentially means it’s not designed like an average acoustic neck. The taper seems to be more like an electric neck, with an action that feels more like an acoustic. It’s a great design and super smooth and easy to play.

Martin SC-13E Body.

Hardware

The Hardware is very high quality and well-thought-out. The guitar has a tuner built-in, and the display is built into the sound hole. It’s part of the Fishman system and the audio is muted when you want to tune, which is great!

The sound of the Fishman system is great. This is a well-known company for pickups and electronics in many guitars for a reason. This system is again another winner and works well on this guitar.

The tuners on the guitar are open-gear Grover tuners of great quality. This guitar is built for working musicians, so tuning issues do not exist here.

Another thing I like to see is a Tusq nut, and that is what we find on the SC-13E. Martin quality lives in this guitar!

Martin SC-13E Front.

Playability

This guitar is unique in the way it feels. Because of the body shape, the guitar rests on you a bit differently. Which actually contributed to the feel. The neck design is also very comfortable and felt as though it was taking the lead. My hand was able to move up and down the neck with absolute ease.

The body cutaway was also a nice feature, as it made accessing the upper frets effortless. This combined made for a very enjoyable playing experience!

If this is too much guitar or the price is too high, we have another option for you. It’s the Martin OMC-X1E, and it’s a great guitar at a lower price. Check it out!

Martin SC-13E acoustic guitar front and rear.

Final Thoughts

Martin really nailed this guitar. They have already carved themselves a great reputation in the industry. But now they have made their guitars even easier to play! High-quality manufacturers are always pushing the envelope. They are improving on the design of the guitar and giving players more.

Overall, the SC-13E is a dream guitar at an excellent price. If you’re looking for a great acoustic that is easy to play, ergonomic, and has a great sound, this is the one for you. And like Martin, they stand behind their product with a limited lifetime warranty. And it will hold its value for years to come.

FAQs

Is the Martin SC-13E made of solid wood?

The top is made of solid spruce on the SC-13e. But the back and sides are made of Koa fine veneer. This means that the sides and back are unknown. All we know is that the thin top decorative strip is Koa. But the rest of the guitar is solid wood.

Where is the Martin SC-13E made?

While the SC-13E is still a mid-range priced guitar, it’s not USA made. This guitar is made in Mexico but controlled by Martin.

Does it come with a gig bag?

Yes! The SC-13E comes with a soft case that will protect it.

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