Focusing on tone, playability, construction that is built to withstand the rigours of everyday road use or carting around to an outdoor jam—all at a price point that fits comfortably in almost any budget—Martin Guitar revamps the X Series with the Martin GPC-X2E Macassar acoustic guitar. Billy Campbell reviews.
This is a mid-sized, Grand Performance Model, with a cutaway body that is equally comfortable sitting or standing, with phenomenal access to the upper frets. The edges of the body feature a very nice rounded off feel, which added a noticeable amount of comfort for me, being used to contoured guitars. As far as specs go, the GPC-X2E has a 25.4" Scale length and a 1 3/4" nut width. Twenty perfectly shaped and finished, smaller vintage sized frets. This particular model has a Sapele top, Macassar patterned, high-pressure laminate back and sides, with a Hand-Rubbed finish and Sitka Spruce X-bracing. The neck profile is Martin's High-Performance Taper, which felt like a well-executed balance between a thinner, modern profile for playing ease during single note lines and full enough to comfortably fit the hand during chordal work.
The rugged construction and attention to detail mean that this guitar does equally well at home, outdoor environments, or on stage. All without the custom shop price tag. Which is very appealing for those not wanting to take a rare or delicate collector's piece out on the road, where it could be exposed to the elements and rough handling.
The GPC-X2E has a two-way adjustable truss rod and has been set up using a Plek machine, which gets the frets dialled in perfectly. This helps to avoid any fret buzz or dead frets. No sharp edges were found on any fret as well, which, again at this price point, is really impressive.
Handling the direct sound is Fishman's MX electronics. These are very balanced pickups that respond well to a variety of picking and strumming dynamics while retaining a clear but relatively rounded sound. Not too muddy or woolly in the lower frequencies and not shrill in the higher frequencies. The volume and tone knobs allow plenty of variance and nuanced adjustment to cater to any mix or setting you may need.
The GPC-X2E ships with Martin's Acoustic Lifespan 2.0 strings that have an anti-corrosion treatment, and soft gig bag, with the headstock, bridge, and endpin protectors, a water-repellent exterior, and foam padding.
The GPC-X2E retails for $699 in the US and £739 in the UK, so check one out at your local Martin dealer!
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