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Guitar Review: Martin SC-13E by AJ Rodriguez

Guitar Review: Martin SC-13E by AJ Rodriguez

A. J. Rodriquez

Guitar aficionados know that Martin Guitars has a storied history of producing exceptional instruments. Today, we’re diving into a review by guitarist AJ Rodriguez, who recently compared the Martin SC-13E to the 000-15M. AJ’s insights reveal some exciting features and performance aspects of the SC-13E that make it stand out.

First Impressions

Martin SC-13E Acoustic-electric Guitar – Natural – $1,599.00

The SC-13E is visually striking. AJ is immediately taken by its stunning blue finish and the smaller blue ring around the edge. This aesthetic choice not only looks cool on camera but adds a unique flair to the instrument, setting it apart from more traditional designs.

Comfort and Playability

AJ notes that the SC-13E feels more comfortable to play compared to the 000-15M. The neck appears slightly thinner, enhancing playability, and offers more access up to the 20th fret—unprecedented for an acoustic guitar. This feature is especially beneficial for lead players who typically don’t consider acoustics for high-register solos.

Sound and Balance

In terms of sound, the SC-13E has a midrange that punches through more prominently than the 000-15M. AJ points out that while the chord balance is good, the mids are more focused, making it ideal for lead playing. The guitar’s tone is well-suited for a lead guitarist in a band setting where midrange clarity is crucial to cutting through the mix.

Innovative Features

One of the standout features AJ highlights is the integrated tuner. Unlike traditional tuners that require extra holes in the guitar body, the SC-13E’s tuner is subtly integrated, preserving sound quality and maintaining the guitar’s sleek design. This thoughtful placement ensures that the guitar remains sonically robust without the compromises that come with additional modifications.

Construction and Design

The SC-13E boasts Martin’s tone tension X-bracing, a design feature that enhances the guitar’s overall tone, especially considering its deep cutaway. This bracing method contributes to the instrument’s resonance and stability, providing a balanced sound across all registers.

Aesthetically, the guitar features a beautiful blue inlay around the soundhole and the 12th fret, adding to its visual appeal. The gloss finish on the body contrasts with the non-gloss neck, making it more comfortable for long playing sessions.

Final Thoughts

AJ concludes his review with high praise for the SC-13E, particularly for its accessibility and playability in higher frets. Despite initially being skeptical about the ziricote veneer on the sides, he finds that it doesn’t detract from the guitar’s sound quality. For its price range, the SC-13E offers exceptional value, knocking it out of the park with its innovative features and superb craftsmanship.

For guitarists looking for an acoustic that bridges the gap between rhythm and lead playing, the Martin SC-13E is a game-changer. Its combination of stunning aesthetics, advanced playability, and thoughtful design make it a must-try for serious musicians.

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