Martin Factory Tour

Last week I had an opportunity to drive to Nazareth, Pennsylvania and visit Martin Guitar factory – Mecca for any acoustic guitar enthusiast. I didn’t know what to expect, but everything is very well organized, starting from the reception. They signed is up for the next available tour and let us roam through the museum, factory store and guitar rooms. There are two locations where you can play guitars – in the lobby where they have a couple of cheaper guitars, and more importantly, behind the store there’s a hidden room with higher end guitars where you can play by yourself. I tried a couple of models I didn’t get to try before, like Clapton Sig, D-28 Authentic, D-28, HD-35, GPCPA4 and few more. The one I liked the best was definitely the Clapton. What a great sounding and looking guitar!

Back to the tour. Everyone is given a headset and guide takes the group through the factory, showing some of the most important stages in guitar construction and discussing history and process. Tour moves right next to desks of workers who do their job which is great because it gives nice insight into production, but also is a bit awkward because these people are doing their job with us watching and taking pics like in the Zoo, so I didn’t take as many pics of workers as I should have. At the end, they gave us laser engraved sound hole cutouts that would normally go to scrap. It’s a nice gesture and nice souvenir. Piece of wood that made it to be one of the greatest guitars in the world!

There’s also a paid private tour once a day at 9AM that takes you to the mill and other places not covered by the free tour. I wish I knew about it earlier :(. Factory store offers nice gifts, books, shirts and similar items. Museum has a bunch of guitars, starting from early CF Martin guitars to newer guitars, like the one millionth Martin. Very nice to see. There’s also a separate store where you can buy kits and scrap wood for projects, but I didn’t get to visit it because I lack self control :).

If you’re able to, take the drive and visit the factory. You won’t be disappointed.

Leave A Comment

  • About

    The idea behind this site is to share my experience with Do It Yourself approach to guitars, amplifiers and pedals. Whether you want to save a couple of bucks by performing a mod or upgrade yourself instead of paying a tech, or want to build your own piece of gear from scratch, I'm sure you will find something interesting here. Also, this is the home of DIY Layout Creator, a free piece of software for drawing circuit layouts and schematics, written with DIY enthusiasts in mind.