Martin Guitars and COO...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by LGOberean, May 10, 2021.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    ...or Country of Origin, just in case that acronym isn't a commonly recognized one.

    Is there a quick and easy way to tell whether a Martin is Made in Nazareth or Made in Navojoa?

    I'm not necessarily averse to buying a Martin made in Sonora, Mexico, but I'd like to at least know the country of origin when considering a guitar, whether for myself of as a suggestion for others. And many if not most retailers don't advertise COO. You have to really do some digging to find that information out.

    I currently operate from a general impression, which may be not strictly accurate, that if the guitar has a paper label inside the guitar, it's Hecho en Mexico. I'm wondering if there is a more efficient means of determining COO.

    Is price point a good indicator? I have gotten the impression that anything above $1,500 is likely a USA-made Martin, but again, I don't know if that's 100% accurate. What series of Martins are Mexican and at what series point does it become a MiA Martin?
     
  2. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I was not aware that Martin has guitars made in Mexico. Having said that, any of their less expensive models would fit that bill. Any Martin I've owned, played or just looked at are all marked in the body as made the USA. All of the Standard series, OM models, limited and special editions, and CS models are US, and they only have a factory in Nazareth. Beyond that, I don't know.
     
  3. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    Save up for an instrument made in Nazareth.
     
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  4. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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  5. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

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    Look inside up toward the fretboard near the truss rod hole. They are stamped as to where they are made along with the serial number, etc. I have a 1978 D-18 and a OOO Jr. (made in Mexico) and the new MIM is a fine guitar in every way. Think about this, they have been making high quality acoustic guitars in Mexico since the 16th century (hundreds of years before Pennsylvania even existed.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  6. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Unfortunately the Martin website doesn't give country of origin.

    Your best bet will be to check some of the big name online retailers and see what they show.

    For example, the Guitar Center website shows the D-10E country of origin as Mexico.

    Screenshot_20210510-171250.png

    I believe that if the guitar is a mortis and tenon joint it is made in Mexico and if it is a dovetail or "simple dovetail" (Martin's term) they are made in Nazareth, PA.
     
  7. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Additionally, the Made In USA (Nazareth) Martins currently begin with the -15 series and higher. The USA guitars start around 1299.00 new. Anything below -15/$1299 is likely from Mexico.
     
  8. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    As I understand it, the X-series (HPL) back and sides are all MIM.
     
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  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    My impression heretofore has been that Martin guitars in the $300-$1K range were definitely MiM. These would include the Backpacker, the Little series, the X series, and maybe others. And of course the Standard, Authentic, certainly the Custom and Special editions, were MiA.

    What I was less sure about was what lies between. And I'm not even well versed enough in Martin models and series that I know what lies in between. What I was looking at in an online search (Sweetwater's site) before I decided to post this thread was Martin's SC-13E. The price of that is $1,499, and yet it has a paper label inside that reads

    Designed in
    Nazareth, Pennsylvania
    USA
    Crafted in
    Navojoa, Sonora
    Mexico​

    So it appears that the Road series is Mexican as well. I didn't know that SC-13E was part of the Road Series when I first looked it up. I was just wondering about acoustic/electric Martins, and searched using those parameters. I took a closer look at the SC-13E because it was the most expensive one of the lot, and, Lo and behold, it was MiM. That surprised me. Anyway, it doesn't seem that price point is a quick way to differentiate between 'merican and Mexican Martins.

    Are the mahogany/15 series American? If so, do the MiA Martins start with that series? Or is it the 16-17 series?

    Of course, I could search different websites (including Martin's own, of course) model by model to find a definitive answer, but again I just asked here if anyone knew of a "quick and easy way to tell whether a Martin is Made in Nazareth or Made in Navojoa."
     
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  10. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Pretty sure 15 series and up are all MIA.
     
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  11. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    15 and up is USA at this time.

    They've also had to switch labels to "Made In Nazareth" instead of "Made in USA" due to the country of origin of the woods, and legal definitions of "made in USA" - I think that happened a few years ago.
     
  12. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Freakin eh!

    I’ve never been and it’s only an hour or so away
    Maybe when everything has settled I’ll go up for a tour
     
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  13. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    From the Martin website:
    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
    The X Series is made and manufactured at Martin’s factory in Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico.
     
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  14. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Drop me a line and I may tag along . I have been there many times and just may be able to get us in a few non tour places as I am a vendor . Right now , I would check ahead to see if they are open to the public .
    Since I am in Lancaster County , I can't be too awful far out of your way .
     
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  15. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's

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    Just don't buy a MIC martin, unless that is what you want...
     
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  16. envirodat

    envirodat Tele-Meister

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    I have a Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar and it is made in Nazareth. I live in York and am waiting for the tours to open up again so I can tour the place. I had issues with registering the guitar and when I called their customer care the guy was fantastic! Extremely friendly and helpful. I hope when I do the tour I can meet him in person since he says they do double duty with tours and customer care.
     
  17. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's

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    DSCN0276.JPG
     
  18. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's

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    Actually this:

    DSCN0277.JPG
     
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