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Martin SC-13E Acoustic-electric Guitar - Natural
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The Next Stage of Acoustic Guitar Evolution
Looking for a high-performance acoustic-electric guitar? The Martin Road Series SC-13E delivers the goods, eliminating the limitations of the conventional cutaway acoustic. This game-changing A/E exhibits a gorgeous modern acoustic sound — direct, punchy, and dynamic — with incredible volume and projection. Yet, its offset S-shaped body, low-profile neck, heel-less design, and low-action fingerboard ensure comfort and playability that exceed just about every comparable instrument out there. The SC-13E is incredibly versatile — it sounds great in the studio, in the living room, and thanks to onboard Fishman MX-T electronics, it’s a world-class performer onstage. You’ll love the look of the SC-13E as well. Its koa fine veneer back and sides, tortoise-pattern pickguard, celestial blue dot fingerboard inlay, and aperture-design rosette are guaranteed to turn heads. Playability, comfort, versatility — the Road Series SC-13E has all that and more. It’s the next stage of acoustic guitar evolution.
Related Videos: SC-13E Acoustic-electric Guitar - Natural
Removes the limitations of the conventional cutaway acoustic
Playing the Road Series SC-13E is a unique, yet comfortably familiar experience. Its offset S-shaped body fits you like a glove, while providing balanced output and effective feedback rejection. Its sloped bridge stays out of your hand’s way, whether you’re strumming frenetically or fingerpicking delicately. Its low-profile velocity neck shape allows for helical hand rotation to ensure that every hand position feels relaxed and natural. Its 13-fret design blends the tone of a long-scale instrument with the playability of a short-scale, and its heel-less Sure Align neck system gives you unfettered access to the SC-13E’s entire fretboard. And its low action, while maintaining the feel of an acoustic guitar, is sure to make electric players feel right at home. No matter what you’re playing, cowboy chords, jazz shapes, or rapid-fire leads, the SC-13E makes it effortless.
An acoustic guitar through and through
There have been numerous attempts at creating a comfortable acoustic that would appeal to electric guitar players. Unfortunately, the results are often less than mind-blowing — typically a super-thin acoustic instrument with equally thin tone. The Martin Road Series SC-13E eschews this type of thinking. While its comfortable neck and low action ensure easy playability, the SC-13E is an acoustic guitar through and through, meticulously crafted by a company with a 180-year history of building legendary acoustic instruments. Its spruce top yields the direct, punchy sound and broad dynamic range that the tonewood is known for, while its fine-tuned body with tailored X-bracing produces near-cannon-like levels of volume and projection. The SC-13E’s natural tone is stellar — at Sweetwater, we thought nothing of miking it up in the studio.
Fishman MX-T system with built-in tuner
When you want to hit the stage with the Road Series SC-13E, it’ll be ready, thanks to its Fishman MX-T electronics. The Fishman MX-T system is an update of the popular Matrix series and features a cool, line-of-sight tuner located in the soundhole. This built-in tuner auto-mutes the audio output so you can tune any time. Its convenient placement in the soundhole allows you a full view without straining to see its LCD screen. All you have to do is look down. The SC-13E is a stellar A/E — it has everything it needs to be your number one in the studio, onstage, and anywhere else where top-shelf playability, comfort, and versatility are a concern.
Martin Road Series SC-13E Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
- 6-string acoustic-electric guitar with amazing playability, comfort, and versatility
- Offset S-shaped body fits you like a glove, while providing balanced output and effective feedback rejection
- Sloped bridge stays out of your hand’s way, whether you’re strumming or fingerpicking
- Low-profile velocity neck shape allows for helical hand rotation to ensure relaxed and natural feel
- 13-fret design blends the tone of a long-scale instrument with the playability of a short-scale
- Heel-less Sure Align neck system gives you unfettered access to the entire fretboard
- Low action maintains the feel of an acoustic guitar, while providing effortless playability
- Spruce top yields the direct, punchy sound and broad dynamic range that the tonewood is known for
- Fine-tuned body with tailored X-bracing produces near-cannon-like levels of volume and projection
- Onboard Fishman MX-T electronics deliver stellar amplified acoustic tone
- Line-of-sight tuner located in the soundhole makes tuning a breeze
- Tuner auto-mutes audio output so you can tune any time
- Eye-grabbing tortoise-pattern pickguard, mother-of-pearl celestial blue dot fingerboard inlay, and aperture-design rosette
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- String Type: Steel
- Number of Strings: 6
- Left-/Right-handed: Right-handed
- Body Shape: Singlecut
- Back & Sides Wood: Koa veneer
- Top Wood: Spruce
- Finish: Gloss
- Color: Natural
- Body Bracing: Scalloped X-bracing
- Binding: White
- Neck Wood: Select Hardwood
- Neck Shape: Low Profile Velocity
- Radius: 16"
- Fingerboard Material: Ebony
- Fingerboard Inlay: Mother-of-Pearl
- Number of Frets: 20
- Scale Length: 25.4"
- Nut Width: 1.75"
- Nut/Saddle Material: White Corian/White Tusq
- Bridge Material: Ebony
- Tuning Machines: Nickel Open Gear
- Electronics: Fishman MX-T
- Strings: Lifespan 2.0 92/8 Phosphor Bronze, .011/.052
- Case/Gig Bag: Softshell Case
- Manufacturer Part Number: 11SC13E-01
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The guitar played like butter. The action was spot on. You can play all the way up the neck comfortably how it's cut. The neck has the feel of an electric. Now for the tone. I was a little worried about how to get that Martin sound with 11s. Trust me it is warm, it is full and then some. This guitar will make you sound awesome. Get it. You won't be sorry!
It is NOT a dreadnought, nor does it attempt to sound like one. It has a nicely balanced tone, and sounds great through any amplifier. I use a Li'l Dawn Champster (boutique Champ clone tube amp), and a Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb, and it sounds fantastic through either, with no feedback at all. Acoustically, it is not a 'boomy' Martin, so don't expect it to project like a dreadnought. I've read opinions that putting 12's on it will make it louder, but you may want to watch a comparison with 11s vs. 12s (I think it's Maury's Music on YouTube), and it seems that any difference is offset by the advantage of slinky strings being easier to play leads on. I suppose decide for yourself, of course, but I love the 11s, and will keep those on.
The built-in tuner is super intuitive, and works perfectly. One less thing to carry around, so I really like the convenience.
Let's talk about that silky smooth neck. It says it has an asymmetrical shape, but all I can say it that it's a dream to play. You can play your cowboy chords easily, and slide up for solos with no effort or strain at all.
The build quality coming out of Navojoa's Martin factory is top notch. You won't get the cork-sniffing cachet of a "Made in Nazareth" label, but if you're about the playability of a guitar, that should not concern you. It's beautifully built.
I don't have much negative to say about it. The ebony is a little dull coming out of the gig bag, so I'll have to hit the fretboard and bridge with some F-One oil on the first string change, but I think that's the only thing to adjust. The action and neck relief was spot on out of the box. The new neck joint does allow you to adjust neck relief, neck angle, and (get this) even the intonation by moving the entire neck up or down - crazy, right? But, it was pretty much dialed on, with good action and intonation off the bat.
Sweetwater packed it very well with an external box as well as the Martin box, so I had no issues in shipping. Fedex did drop the ball on expedited shipping (they missed their published delivery day), but my Sweetwater sales rep (Michael DiGiorgio) made sure I was happy. Their reputation for outstanding customer service is well deserved, so I'm grateful, as this was my first guitar purchase from Sweetwater.
If you want a great playing guitar, at a reasonable price (for Martin, anyway), that you and just start playing, you're going to like this. As I mostly play electrics, it was a seamless transition. If that's what you're looking for, and NOT a traditional Martin acoustic, then you're going to dig the SC-13E.
See also:6-String Guitars, Martin, Martin Acoustic / Electric Guitars, Martin 6-string Acoustic Guitars