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Martin Performing Artist Series GPCPA1 Plus Reviews

5.0 stars based on 14 customer reviews
  • from LaFayette April 25, 2016


    Out of the box in perfect tune. First new Martin is have owned, but I am so glad I got it. The tone and playability of this instrument has amazed me. The electronics are beyond what I could hope for. The Staff at Sweetwater made this purchase so easy, by check it out hands on and giving me feed back. They took the time to understand my style of playing and hook me up with a amazingly built guitar. Warm unplugged and power plugged in.

  • from Arlington December 8, 2015

    Good guitar, good sale, good service!

    Very satified with this guitar,,, and my sale manager , ian ... Thanks again!

  • from NJ October 19, 2015

    Awesome live acoustic - sounds great unplugged, too!

    I bought this guitar primarily for stage work. I also own a Martin HD-28 and a Gibson J-45 and was looking for something with a bit more comfortable body size, a cutaway and top-notch electronics for gigging. But because it's a substantial investment price-wise, I also wanted to make sure it sounded fantastic unplugged. I got everything I was looking for and more.

    This guitar is a joy to play just hanging around the house or jamming with friends acoustically (and still plenty loud so that you're not drowned out by other instruments and voices). But it really shines onstage, where the Fishman F1+ Aura system provides the best sound I've ever heard from an amplified acoustic. Using Performance Mode (if you spend just a little time with the owner's manual, operating the Aura is not difficult at all) and blending in one of the great microphone images with the piezo really gives you an incredible, warm, acoustic sound. I thought I was happy with the sound of my J-45 through a Baggs pickup and Para DI until I heard how good this Martin sounds with the Aura system. The onboard tuner and compressor also allowed me to get rid of two pedals on my acoustic board. Changing the battery couldn't be easier, with the door next to the endpin/jack rather than having to reach inside the sound hole.

    I was concerned that a smaller body would sound thin but the GP shape still has plenty of bottom end. It's a bit brighter, but also better balanced than my Martin Dread. The cutaway gives you fantastic playability all the way into the higher registers.

    And although I'm not really a bling guy, it's a really nice-looking instrument, as well, with the teardrop (not-Taylor-style) pick guard, pearl on the rosette and headstock logo and cool arrow fretboard inlays. Worth every penny.

    I should also add that this was the first time I bought an acoustic guitar without playing it first and Sweetwater delivered this fine instrument fast, in perfect condition and with an outstanding setup that I did not need to change one bit. Thanks!

  • from June 24, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging/recording musician

    GPCPA1 Plus

    Since I have 2 GPCPA1s, it's fair to say that I am probably biased. :) One is a cocobolo-back-and-sides model and the second one is a rosewood-back-and-sides model. The cocobolo model has ebony fingerboard and bridge, whereas the fingerboard and bridge of the rosewood model are made of richlite, which is basically recycled paper mixed with phenolic resin. Also, the cocobolo model has a one-piece mahogany neck, whereas the mahogany neck of the rosewood model is glued together from 2 pieces. The playability of both necks is absolutely outstanding.

    Acoustically, both of them sound great, but differently – the cocobolo model sounding similar to my D-35 Seth Avett, whereas the rosewood model is slightly brighter-sounding, similar to my Taylor 814ce or Gibson J-29.

    Electrically, they also sound super-great but very similar to each other, although the slightly enhanced acoustic brightness of the rosewood model appears to be somewhat transferred into its electric sound, too. In summary, both models produce outstanding acoustic as well as Fishman F1 Aura-generated sounds with lots or warmth, clarity and headroom. In conclusion, in my opinion, these are two of very few acoustic guitars with no definable flaws.

  • from United States March 11, 2015Music Background:
    Hobby guitarist for 40+ years.

    Grand Performance!

    When they said Grand, they meant Grand! I have been playing guitar for 40+ years and have never owned one quite like this. Huge sound and set up perfect. I was torn between this and one of the Gibson jumbos. Chose this one mainly because of the name and reputation. I finally own a Martin!

  • from Valparaiso, IN December 22, 2014Music Background:
    Intermediate Hobbyist


    I owned a pair of entry level Martin dreadnoughts for about ten years before seeking a different sound. My search led me to the GPCPA1 Plus. It is my first high end instrument, and after a year of ownership I love it more and more every day. The craftsmanship on this baby is unparalleled, just stunning. The slim taper neck and cutaway are just phenomenal, wonderful accessibility. I love to play this guitar acoustic, but hooked up to my Fishman Loudbox this guitar absolutely sings. The F1 Aura system seems to be more than ample technology for even an everyday gigging musician.

  • from November 11, 2014

    My first Martin guitar

    I loved my new guitar!!! Looks beautiful and sounds amazing!!!

  • from Cypress,Ca. April 25, 2014Music Background:

    Martin and Sweetwater Once Again Deliver

    This is my second Martin sister to my Martin D-45. The GPCPA1 sounds great unplugged. It sounds a little more nasally/thinner than the D-45 but I love that I now have two slightly different sounding Martins.

    This guitar lives up to every thing I hoped for. Quality,sound playability ect... I am just scratching the surface of the Fishman Aura system. I am playing through a Fishman Loudbox 30 and it sounds superb!!!!!! Don't really like the simulated snakeskin case. It looks really cool but I prefer the hard shell case that came with my D-45.

    As far as Sweetwater's customer service and a pleasure to do business with...This company is WORLD class!!!!!I The sales rep that I deal with is the best. I have bought two amps,three high end guitars and several other goodies sight unseen shipped to my house and have not been disappointed yet. When there has been a couple of issues with my orders Sweetwater has rectified every thing to my satisfaction with no BS. I have to say this is probably one of the top 10 best companies I have ever done business with! Top Notch!

  • from Dallas, TX April 15, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Leader - Contemporary Christian Music


    I spent the last three years looking for the perfect high end stage guitar...and this is the one that I chose. I have had it for a week and have already been able to use it on a professional level and I am blown away! I played lots of Taylors, Breedloves, and Gibsons, but nothing quite got my attention like this guitar. It is a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship! I can just sit and stare at it for hours! Haha! But it also has that incredible Martin tone. The ones I played in Guitar Center had a really flat dull tone, but that is because they have really old, tarnished strings that have no brightness. This came from Sweetwater with brand new Martin SP Lifespan strings and this guitar SINGS! It is an easy guitar to play and instantly makes you feel like a better guitarist. The electronics in this thing are amazing. There are so many options that allow you to customize your sound, but it is all very easy to understand. I am more than happy that I bought this guitar! It gives me confidence to know that Martin is a 180yr old company with an amazing track record and it gives me peace of mind that I bought my guitar through Sweetwater! I was nervous about ordering a guitar online that I had never played before, but I had nothing to fear, because it came in perfect condition! This is the most amazing guitar I have ever played!

  • from SAVANNAH GA. November 11, 2012Music Background:


    First of all so impressed with Sweetwater and there costumer service.Thankyou so much. Now the Martin a beatiful sound and apearance, awsome. Set up is good and the guitar is flawless. I think that the bass is definatly better in the plus model compared to the original GPCPA1 .WOW!!! That is enough said.
    Once again thanks Matt I appreciate everything and will be doing buisness with you guys again. I LOVE THIS GUITAR.

  • from Plymouth MA USA September 29, 2012Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter, Home Studio, Playing for 40 years

    After a year of research

    I had narrowed down my decision to two guitars, the GPCPA1, and the Taylor GS8E, I know everyone wants to compare the Martin to Taylor's Grand auditoriums, but the 14 series Taylors have never been my cup of tea, I find them to be a bit to bright and thin, whereas the Grand symphony body has more depth of sound acoustically. Where the Martin was superior in my opinion was plugged in, the new Fishman F1 aura system is just so sonically versatile, and I haven't even scratched the surface of all it can do. It takes some getting used to, but once you get the menu structure down it's just amazing how much high quality variety the F-1 offers. Unplugged I actually preferred the Taylor, but only slightly, I thought the bass was a bit better though both instruments offer beautiful balance.

  • from Cincinnati, OH October 18, 2010Music Background:
    semi-pro musician

    Martin GPCPA-1

    I finally got a chance to play the GPCPA-1 head to head with the Taylor 814CE at the local dealer.
    Let me preface this by saying I am not a Taylor basher; I own a Taylor 414CE, T5-S, and a baby Taylor. My Martins are an HD-7, Backpacker, and (my wife's) Jimmy Buffett Little Marlin. My wife doesn't play as such, but has a really good ear, so she went with me. I was amazed at how similar both guitars were in appearance, size and construction. That being said, the Martin's top toner was more visually appealing to both of us than the Taylor's. The Martin neck was flatter than the Taylor's rounded neck. Both played just fine in cowboy chord position, but the Martin was easier to barre chord cleanly up the neck. In fairness, I think the Taylor could have used a set-up that the Martin didn't require. Unplugged, the Martin had a high end clarity and single note separation I hadn't heard in other Martins, but still had that Martin sound I am familiar with. The Taylor had a fat bottom end I don't have in my 414CE, and a warm, overall sound that was pleasing, as well.
    Plugged in however, wow what a difference! Using a Roland AC60 amp that was set up with a flat EQ, I tried them both and fiddled with the controls. The Martin Aura F1 sounded great at every setting I threw at it, while the Taylor cleaned up some with some more high EQ on the Expression controls, but never quite approached what I liked about the Martin sounds. My wife, not wanting to color my opinion, didn't say anything until after I put them both back up. She then told me exactly the same things I have said, she liked the color of the Martin better, and thought it sounded better overall. I wound up selling my Les Paul deluxe goldtop to fund the purchase of the GPCPA1 from Sweetwater, and don't regret it for a minute. This one's a keeper.

  • from Lubbock, TX June 8, 2010Music Background:
    Bluegrass and Rock and Roll

    I like my new GPCPa-1

    I wanted a new acoustic electric and I did not want a Taylor or any of the other "new-age" guitars. So I got the GPCPa-1. I already had a Martin D-28 and a Collings HD-2 so I'm used to the drednaught sound at my core. This guitar is not a drednaught but it does have lots of "grand" sound and volume, especially in the mid range and it's good on the high end and the bassier notes are acceptable. It sounds like it's made of real wood and is definitely not a church guitar. I think people will find it versatile and it feels real good in the hands. The action on mine was not too low so there's plenty of feel in the strings, however it's definitely not an electric guitar feel. Those looking for all things new and a super light touch can stick with the Taylors. Those who want a new guitar with great features that still has it's roots in the traditional guitars will welcome this model. I bought mine without ever seeing or playing it first and I'm happy with my choice.

  • from Oklahoma City, OK November 3, 2012Music Background:
    Advanced Hacker

    Martin GPCPA1

    I bought the GPCPA1 having never played one because it was a Martin. There are not many instruments that warrant that amount of trust. I am a Martin fan. The craftsmanship is no less than excellent as we have come to expect from martin, and the aroma of the Spruce is intoxicating. It is a beautiful instrument.

    If you are expecting the Martin Dreadnaught sound from this guitar, you will be disappointed. Unplugged; it is a much lighter voice than the Dreadnaught with less bass, but still has the Martin volume. Plugged in; the Fishman Aura system makes up for most of the short-comings. It is a much better finger picking guitar than flat pick. If you want the Dreadnaught sound in the Performing Artist series check the DCPA1.
    I own a Martin D-28; D-42; DCPA1; and now the GPCPA1. I am happy with the guitar for it's capabilities.

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