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Hands On Review: Martin GPCPA4 Siris and GPCPA5K

Want the classic good looks, smooth playability, and powerful tones of a Martin steel-string acoustic, at an affordable price? Look no further than these two new models from the venerable Pennsylvania guitar maker! The GPCPA4 Siris and the GPCPA5K are two new members of the company’s Performing Artist family of acoustic guitars. Martin sent me one of each to check out, just in time for me to take them into an acoustic-guitar-based studio session I was working on.

The GPCPA4 Siris features a cutaway Grand Performance body shape, with a solid spruce top; scalloped hybrid X-bracing; and siris sides and back, with a center wedge of East Indian rosewood in the back for extra tone. The neck is hardwood, with a Richlite fingerboard. The guitar delivers all the tone you’d expect from a Martin acoustic. It’s powerful and punchy yet clear and articulate, with excellent sustain no matter where you play on the neck. It held up extremely well under a variety of alternate tunings, even with the low E string dropped as low as A.

The GPCPA5K is also a cutaway Grand Performance shape, with a solid spruce top. But this model features an environmentally friendly HPL (high-pressure laminate) back and sides, with a beautiful koa wood pattern and an amazing-looking brown Stratabond neck with a Richlite fingerboard. With its thick midrange thrust, this guitar proved excellent for lead and melody lines — the sustain was unbelievable! The GPCPA5K also worked well for both fingerpicked and strummed chords, with good note definition and a full sound.

Both guitars feature Martin’s fast-playing Performing Artist neck shape as well as Fishman F1 analog electronics — a natural-sounding pickup/preamp system that works well both in the studio and live onstage. Hardshell cases are included.

If you’re in the market for a high-quality but affordable steel-string, look no further! The GPCPA4 Siris and GPCPA5K offer Martin construction, playability, and tone, at two nicely comfortable price points. Whether as your primary guitar, a stage guitar, or a backup to a higher-dollar acoustic, these instruments shine in every situation!

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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