Looking for School Band Rentals? Click Here

School Rentals? Click Here

Menu

Martin Guitar Terminology

Steve Vitale • Posted on 05/28/2019

Just as a Martin Guitar has a unique voice all its own, their terminology and designation follows a particular coding process. It is rather easy to understand, though at first seems to have a learning curve. Here, we’ll dig into how you speak Martin, as well as other general acoustic guitar terminology.

Martin Guitars Model Numbers

Letter Meanings

Martin models usually begin with one or two letters:

  • H: Designates Herringbone body binding, predominantly seen on Dreadnoughts. Ex, “HD-28”
  • M: Slim body depth, 000-style body, but sized like a dreadnought. 25.4” scale. Three piece Rosewood back and sides.
  • J (J-40): Jumbo body. 16” body width, 4 7/8 body depth. Two-piece Rosewood back and sides.
  • D “Dreadnought”: Original Martin body style. 15 5/8 body width, 4 7/8 body depth.
  • OM “Orchestra Model”: 000 body depth with a 25.5” scale, as opposed to 24.9”

Number Meanings

Letters are followed by a series of numbers, relative to back and side wood, trim appointments – and back in the day, the price of the guitar!

  • 18: Mahogany back and sides. Faux tortoise body binding, unbound neck.
  • 28: Two-piece rosewood back and sides. Antique white binding, unbound neck.
  • 35: Three-piece rosewood back and sides, scalloped bracing. Antique white body and fingerboard binding.
  • 41: Reduced hexagon inlays, abalone. Abalone top body binding, antique white fingerboard binding. Gloss finished neck.
  • 42: Style 45 Snowflake inlays, abalone. Abalone top body binding, antique white fingerboard binding. Gloss finished neck.
  • 45: Style 45 Hexagon inlays, abalone. Double Abalone bound body, antique white fingerboard binding. Gloss finished neck.

Concert body models start a sequence of the number zero, relative to the size of the body.

  • 0: Concert body. 24.9” scale. 13 9/16" body width, 4” body depth. Pronounced “Single Oh”
  • 00: Concert body. 24.9” scale. 14 5/16" body width, 4.125” body depth. Pronounced “Double Oh”
  • 000: Concert body. 24.9” scale. 15” body width, 4.125” body depth. Pronounced “Triple Oh”
  • 0000: Concert body. 24.9” scale. 16” body width, 4.125” body depth. Pronounced “Four Oh”