The history of Martin&Co. guitars began across the Atlantic, but since it’s establishment in Narareth, Pennsylvania, it has been the tradition of acoustic guitars in America for almost two centuries.
Out of it’s impressive history, one of the company’s major design innovations was the "X" bracing system for the guitar top. It is still in use today on all steel-string Martin guitars and the system is largely responsible for the distinctive Martin tone, characterized by brilliant treble and powerful bass response. During the Depression, several new creations were also added to the Martin line, including the now famous "Dreadnought" guitar and the invention of the 14-fret neck, which became the standard design for the American guitar industry.
Martin&Co. has always respected the nature of the guitar and therefore has always crafted their instruments by hand. Even during the 1960’s when their products became so popular that they were backordered up to three years. The attention to detail and craftmanship is one no other manufacturer can produce. Today, with concerns for the environment, Marin&Co. has taken the iniative to create programs that embrace the judicious and responsible use of traditional natural materials and encourage the introduction of sustainable-yield, alternative wood species.
Everything can best be said by Frank Herbet Martin, director from 1888 - 1948: "How to build a guitar to give this tone is not a secret. It takes care and patience. Care in selecting the materials, laying out the proportions, and attending to the details which add to the player’s comfort. Patience in giving the necessary time to finish every part.”