Why Does Martin Warranty Card Show a Different Model?

A Reader Asks Why His Martin “GPC-16E Special” Warranty Card Shows A Different “Model”

Mark from Iowa writes –

I purchased a Martin guitar and when I registered it the warranty card said the style was CMGCGT0083. Is that explainable? It was sold as GPC-16E Special.

Spoon Replies:

Hi Mark and thanks for your query,

As far as I can tell, these hieroglyphs say that your guitar was made for Guitar Center/Musician’s Friend, with a long history of Martins designed exclusively for them. So, it is not technically a GPC-16E because Martin either wasn’t making them at this time for the regular catalog, or the ones they were making had some different specs.

For instance, 16 Series GPCs weren’t offered in rosewood for some time. Also, GPCs in the 16 Series are built with a 000 side depth rather than the actual, deeper GP depth, with less bass boom for anti-feedback reasons. That includes the new 2020 GPC-16E Rosewood.

Your guitar being rosewood, from a time when Martin wasn’t offering that, and possibly having true GP depth, are the probable reasons it was “special.”

Also, your guitar was likely marketed by GC/MF before Martin cracked down on dealers saying things like “Custom D-18” or “GPC-16E Special” in their marketing copy, when Martin wasn’t actually naming specific models that way. Today, Martin dealers are required to say something like “Custom GPC with 16 Series styling and onboard electronics.”

Personally, I feel it would be better for Martin if they said, “So long as it has the same neck joint and bracing as the standardized model and the same cosmetic styling, regardless of the wood species, neck shape, etc., the neck block stamp should read:

GPC-16E
CUSTOM

But they never listen to me.

Hope that helps!

Stay safe, keep well,

Spoon, out

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