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Martin Custom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

Item #: 
1500000013235   POS #:112182886
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Product Description:

The GPCPA1 Plus acoustic-electric cutaway model has a solid Sitka spruce top and solid East Indian rosewood back and sides. Construction-wise it features strataply blocks, a simple dovetail neck joint, and hybrid X scalloped bracing, and solid ovangkol top, back, and fingerboard binding, plus a 2-way adjustable truss rod. Other appointments include...  Click To Read More About This Product

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Gear returned in mint condition. If you're looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
Gear returned in great condition, with only minor signs of use, such as slight scuffs or pick marks. It looks and plays like new and may be considered an equivalent to display units found in retail stores.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
Price: $3,399.99
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The GPCPA1 Plus acoustic-electric cutaway model has a solid Sitka spruce top and solid East Indian rosewood back and sides. Construction-wise it features strataply blocks, a simple dovetail neck joint, and hybrid X scalloped bracing, and solid ovangkol top, back, and fingerboard binding, plus a 2-way adjustable truss rod. Other appointments include Gotoh gold tuners, arrows and squares pearl and ecru inlays, a Performing Artist profile neck, ovangkol purfling, a two-ring rosette, and a faux tortoise pickguard. It is also enhanced with Fishman F1 Aura 1 Plus electronics which provides you with a 3-band EQ as well as notch filter and tuner. But what really makes this guitar special is Martin's Vintage System or VTS, a historic torrefaction system that gives it the visual aesthetics of a vintage guitar while also reproduce tones usually only found on instruments that you'd be lucky to have handed down and preserved in pristine condition for years.

The Martin VTS works in conjunction with Martin’s skilled luthiers almost like a time machine. Martin’s team can target a decade in time and closely mimic key tonal properties for the top and braces of that era based on the observed changes a wood’s cellular structure will experience over time. This focused method helps Martin to re-create not only the pleasing aesthetics of an old guitar, but more importantly to reproduce the amazing tones previously reserved only for prized vintage instruments.

The Back Story
As you walk into the Martin Guitar Museum in Nazareth, PA, one quickly gets a sense of the history and the reverence those vintage instruments deserve. The first thing you want to do is play one and you quickly realize how precious they really are. Why are they so special? Well there are many opinions, but several terms start to rise to the top of the list as you ask more and more people the same question. “Look," "Feel," and "Tone” are the consistent responses from the players in the group and “history and tradition” from those who appreciate the contributions Martin guitars have played throughout the acoustic guitar development history.

With such a great array of original vintage Martin guitars at their disposal, they began to discuss ways that they could more closely capture that vintage tone in a new guitar without actually having customers needing to sell their homes to purchase an old vintage Martin. ‘Capturing that sweet vintage tone’ is guaranteed to happen if you simply purchase a new Martin and allow it to age naturally. This method is always the no risk/sure-fire way to own a piece of American guitar history and the tone will continually sweeten throughout its life. But in today’s world, waiting is a trait most could use a bit more of.

This desire to own a vintage Martin without having to take out a 2nd mortgage compelled Martin to focus on ways to improve stability and tone. In the case of tone, you never really find it as much as you are always searching for something better. Sound is subjective and every musician tends to favor things a bit differently than others. However, it’s fairly agreeable amongst players that a 1937 D-28 has a special tone they all like. That two-year search led Martin down an interesting and enlightening path.

Martin VTS (Vintage Tone System) is a process developed in-house which has its foundations in the very old torrefaction process. Torrefaction is a thermochemical treatment of wood at very high temperatures. It is carried out under atmospheric pressure and in the absence of oxygen. During the process, water contained in the wood is released, and the biopolymers (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) decompose, leaving behind the remaining solid, dry, and much more stable material wood. While natural aging is different, there are many similarities between the two and the end results are similar as well.

They have used the industry standard torrefaction process in several guitars during the past few years and those programs yielded very positive results in enhanced tone and stability. If you look closely at wood under a microscope which has been through a torrefaction process and compare it to wood that has only been conventionally dried, you see differences in the cell structure. They took a ‘previously destroyed’ vintage Martin guitar top from their 1937 archives and began to compare its cell structure to wood that had been through the standard torrefaction process. There were significant differences, but they had more work to do in order to ‘mimic’ cell structure from that particular time period.

These revelations led Martin to closely inspect a guitar top from a 107-year-old Martin and compare it to the torrefied tops they had run under the standard process. To their surprise, the similarities were astonishing. As they looked closer, they realized they had stumbled upon a way to reproduce some of the key properties that contribute to how an old guitar sounds vs. when it’s compared to a brand new guitar.

Looking to fully exploit the potential of this process, they focused their efforts on modifying the industry-wide torrefaction process so that they could not only change the color hue impact of torrefaction, but also capture several key properties that impact tone to better home in on the properties of the 107-year top they used to benchmark. They found that they could get results consistently matching 200-plus-year-old guitar tops with the standard torrefaction method. While this made Martin very happy and the guitars sounded great, they really wanted to see just how far they could push the advantages of torrefaction to an earlier time period.

The VTS process for soundboards and bracing came from analyzing tops from key decades throughout Martin’s history and developing a new torrefaction process to more closely match the time periods and properties of the samples. These developments gradually progressed during a two-year period until they hit upon the perfect combination of tone, stability, color, and cell structure. They began to test and verify until the process allowed Martin to closely replicate the cellular structure of tops and braces to within a selected time period. In other words, they could closely replicate key properties of a top, for example, from the 1930’s-1940’s or from the mid-1800s. They could do this in incremental time periods from 50 to as much as 200 years! Being able to target a historical era and infuse key properties of an actual vintage top led Martin to focus this project initially on their Authentic program, as well as some other special instruments you’ll find only at Musician’s Friend’s Private Reserve. These instruments target the instruments from years that were groundbreaking at that time or have since been adopted by musicians as “holy grail” instruments.

These innovations will allow Martin to select guitars from their very exclusive collection at the Martin Museum and reproduce those models and their respective characteristics that make them sound so great. They do not believe that one-size-fits-all. Each guitar deserves to be reproduced accurately, not only in specifications and materials, but in tone as well. Being able to purchase a new Martin that embodies that vintage tone for the respective time period can instantly give Martin players a tone normally reserved for those rare, unobtainable vintage guitars.


  • Body type: GPC-14 Fret
  • Cutaway: Single cutaway
  • Top wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Back & sides: Solid East Indian Rosewood
  • Bracing pattern: Scalloped
  • Body finish: Gloss
  • Orientation: Right handed
  • Neck shape: Performing Artist Profile
  • Nut width: 1.75" (44.45mm)
  • Fingerboard: Black Ebony
  • Neck wood: Select Mahogany
  • Scale length: 25.4"
  • Number of frets: 20
  • Neck finish: Satin
  • Pickup/preamp: Yes
  • Brand: Fishman
  • Configuration: Undersaddle piezo
  • Preamp EQ: 3-band
  • Feedback filter: Notch
  • Tuner: Yes
  • Headstock overlay: None
  • Tuning machines: Gotoh Gold with Large Knobs (Drill Y Step)
  • Bridge: Black Ebony
  • Saddle & nut: Compensated/White Tusq
  • Number of strings: 6-string
  • Special features: VTS
  • Case: Includes case
  • Accessories: Info not available
  • Country of origin: United States
Pro Coverage
Manufacturer's Warranty
One year warranty on Martin Backpackers, Little Martins and Ukuleles. Limited lifetime on other Martin guitars.

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  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to five years from date of purchase
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Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MartinCustom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



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  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


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    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (3)

Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Marvelous instrument

By MarkInTheGardens

from KY


  • Amazing acoustic sound
  • Amazing sound from pickup system
  • Beautiful to look at too
  • Impeccable fit and finish
  • That full bodied Martin sound


    Best Uses

    • Live performance alone
    • Live performance with pickup system
    • Recording with a microphone
    • Recording with the internal pickup system

    Comments about Martin Custom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

    I've never owned a Martin before now, although I've always loved the sound and feel of those I've played in the past. As a special birthday present to ME, I wanted to get a really top-notch acoustic/electric for live performance and recording. I got mine right before Christmas 2016. This really has to be the best I could have hoped for. There are a few big names in this price range and I tried some from the big guys - T and G and other Martin models as well - but I finally settled on this one. The GPCPA1 had that unmistakable Martin sound in a slightly smaller body than the D series. The VTS top is really magical too; giving the guitar a "played-in" sound without the 25 or 30 years of aging. Perhaps the best part from a performance/recording viewpoint is the Fishman Aura 1 pickup system. I get the most amazing natural sound when plugged in. Like having a whole recording studio of priceless mics and the perfect room to boot. It's pricey, but you really get what you pay for with this instrument.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



    By Ryder

    from W. Palm Beach, FL

    Comments about Martin Custom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

    I'm an intermediate guitarist and clearly, I could have gotten a great guitar for probably half the money, but every now and then in life, well, you just need to treat yourself with that special prize and oh brother, what a prize this guitar is - it's perfect.
    The performance artist neck is super comfortable and fast. The tone and sound from the body is beautifully rich and very well-balanced, both plugged-in or just acoustic. And the fit and finish is, in a word, exquisite.
    The case is literally molded to the guitar and has a rich gator-looking hard shell - tremendous!!
    The guys and gals at the Martin custom shop are true artisans. Thank you!!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    this fantistic sounding guitar will not be copied by anyone

    By Big Jack [fingers]

    from Glasgow Scotland UK.

    About Me Experienced


    • Consistent
    • Good Feel
    • Stays In Tune


      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • School Bands

      Comments about Martin Custom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

      i started playing at 13 i am now 72. i loved the GPC-PA1+aura the first time i played it [that magic moment] the church 400+sound system with the martin on its own and the choir

      i started playing at 13 i am now 72, i play in my church with the choir through the 400+watts sound system it is just ??? words cant express my feelings about your GPC-PA1+aura , i play in 0ur OAP boys bandtowi our 60,s dance music in anniverseries ect, Christmas is coming up again. and i love it we have 6 gigs each year, 2 at morrisons supermarket and 4 at the church . As you can see your PA1 guitar is a very much loved and played guitar for me and our church. i must say many blessings to you for it and THANK YOU...


      Amazing Martin Acoustic Guitar

      By Barrie

      from La Mesa, CA

      About Me Professional Musician


      • Consistent
      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Rich Sound
      • Smells wonderful
      • Stays In Tune


        Best Uses

        • Live Performance
        • Recording

        Comments about Martin Custom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

        This is my first Martin acoustic. I have been to the factory twice and owned a Martin T-shirt before I actually purchased the guitar. I was looking at Gibson J45 customs for the longest time until I pulled this one down at Guitar Center. It played and sounded great. The body size was smaller than my dreadnoughts but not the sound. I wasn't looking for a cutaway but have grown to like it. My only problem with it is I'm so protective of it I only bring it to select gigs but I have used it in the studio with great results.



        By Brian

        from Perrysburg, Ohio

        Comments about Martin Custom GPCPA1 Plus with VTS Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

        I baby it until I play it. The scent of the wood leaves the sound hole as I'm playing. I'm blown away with the perfect feel of the neck. Its width is skinny by the nut. When I plug in direct with some delay I sound like a god. This is my first Martin. If it leaves my possession before death, it was stolen.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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