Martin 16 Series Acoustic Guitars Overview

Published Categorized as Brand Spotlight, Martin
Martin 16 series

Below is my overview of the Martin 16 Series acoustic guitars.

There are six different models in the 16 series, and they all have more similarities than differences. But, differences make an important role when choosing between the models. Simply, some might be more suitable for your needs than others.

The Martin’s 16 series guitars are:

  • D-16E
  • DC-16E
  • D-16GT
  • D-16RGT
  • OMC-16E
  • 000-16GT

Prices range between $1,949 and $2,899.

All prices below are in US Dollars and are the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price).

Let’s take a look at each guitar individually.


Martin D-16E – MSRP $2,699


Since I wanted to start with showing all those different types of dreadnought acoustic guitars, let’s start with the D-16E.

Let’s start by looking at the name:

D = Dreadnought

16 = 16 Series

E = Electronics

Easy, right!

The D-16E features:

  • Body Shape/Size: Dreadnought (with 000 body depth)
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Solid Sycamore Back and Sides
  • Scalloped, Forward Shifted X bracing – Sitka Spruce Bracing
  • Modified low oval neck shape with high performance taper
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • 25.4″ (645mm) scale length
  • 1 3/4″ (44mm) nut width
  • Bone Nut
  • Ebony Bridge with Compensated White TUSQ saddle
  • Black TUSQ bridge pins
  • Cutaway: No cutaway
  • Electronics: Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2

One of the interesting things about this guitar is that it features a Dreadnought body shape with an 000 body depth. So the depth of the body is 4 1/8″ (105mm) as opposed to the 4 7/8″ (124mm) on Martin’s standard dreadnought shape.

The other interesting factor is the sycamore back and sides. This isn’t a common back and sides material, used as side inlay material and back inlay material.

This model is new for 2017.


Martin DC-16E – MSRP $2,899


D = Dreadnought

C = Cutaway

16 = 16 Series

E = Electronics

This model is also new for 2017 and is essentially the same guitar as the D-16E except that it has a cutaway.


Martin D-16GT – MSRP $1,949


D = Dreadnought

16 = 16 Series

GT = Gloss Top (Satin finish on back and sides)

The D-16GT is a more traditional dreadnought shape (with the normal dreadnought body depth). It has a gloss top finish with a satin finish on the back and sides.

There are quite a few things that differ from the new D-16E model so it’s worth showing its specs here.

  • Body Shape/Size: Dreadnought (with 000 body depth)
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Solid Light Red Mahogany Back and Sides
  • Scalloped X bracing – Sitka Spruce Bracing
  • Modified low oval neck shape with standard taper
  • FSC Certified Richlite Fingerboard
  • 25.4″ (645mm) scale length
  • 1 11/16″ (43mm) nut width
  • White Corian Nut
  • FSC Certified Richlite Bridge with Compensated White TUSQ saddle
  • White Plastic bridge pins
  • Cutaway: No cutaway
  • Electronics: No electronics

The differences include new gear such as:

  1. Standard dreadnought shape
  2. No electronics
  3. Mahogany back and sides
  4. The fingerboard neck material is FSC Certified Richlite
  5. The bridge is FSC Certified Richlite with compensated white tusq
  6. The nut is White Corian
  7. The neck is 1 11/16″ (43mm)
  8. The neck has a standard taper

So you are getting quite a different guitar compared to the D-16E, really.


Martin D-16RGT – MSRP $2,299


D = Dreadnought

16 = 16 Series

R = Rosewood back and sides

GT = Gloss Top (Satin finish on back and sides)

The D-16RGT is the same as the D-16GT in every way except for one major difference. It has East Indian Rosewood back and sides in place of the Mahogany back and sides.

Which one you prefer comes down to the way you play, the genre you play and the sound that you prefer.


Martin 000-16GT – MSRP $1,949


000 = 000 (Auditorium) body shape/size

16 = 16 Series

GT = Gloss Top (Satin finish on back and sides)

The 000-16GT has all of the same specs as the D-16GT (with the Mahogany back and sides), except that it is a smaller body shape – the 000 (Auditorium) body shape/size with square taper headplate material, and sitka spruce brace size is 5/16″.

This is a fairly significant difference though as it brings with it different tonal qualities and a different feel.

We already know that we can categorize Martin’s guitar by the shape, but, in the table below, we outlined sizes of the guitars as well:

DreadnoughtGrand Performance00000 (OM)
Overall Length40

Martin OMC-16E – MSRP $2,899


OM = OM (Orchestra Model/000/Auditorium) body shape/size

C = Cutaway

16 = 16 Series

E = Electronics

The OMC-16E is also a new model for 2017 and is more similar to the other new 2017 models (First 2 on this list) than the GT models above.

It is the OM model of the DC-16E, essentially, but there a couple of differences other than the size/shape. It’s worth listing the specs here again.

  • Body Shape/Size: OM (Orchestra Model/000/Auditorium)
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Solid Cherry Back and Sides
  • Scalloped, X bracing – European Spruce Bracing
  • Modified low oval neck shape with high performance taper
  • FSC Certified Ebony Fingerboard
  • 25.4″ (645mm) scale length
  • 1 3/4″ (44mm) nut width
  • Bone Nut
  • FSC Certified Ebony Bridge with Compensated White TUSQ saddle
  • Black TUSQ bridge pins
  • Cutaway: Yes
  • Electronics: Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT1

So the major difference between this and the dreadnought models is the top detail – this one has cherry back and sides, but full wood, not just top color or top material. There are a couple of other small differences too but otherwise it’s the same as the other new 2017 models but in the OM size/shape.


In short

With the introduction of the new 2017 models, the 16 series guitars are quite different but also similar enough to remain part of the same series.

You have the option of 3 different shapes/sizes:

  • Dreadnought with 000 body depth
  • Traditional Dreadnought
  • 000/OM

And you have the option of having a cutaway or a non-cutaway and the option of electronics, depending on the model.

I hope this post has given you a good overview of Martin’s 16 Series guitars.

If you think you’d prefer a Mahogany top but still want to stick with Martin and this is about your price range for a guitar, check out my overview of the Martin 15 series of acoustic guitars.

FAQs Martin 000 16GT

Where is the Martin 000 16e made?

This guitar is constructed in Nazareth, Pennsylvania alongside Martin’s other more high-end models. The reason the 000 16E is slightly more affordable has to do with the less complex manufacturing process involved in their production (as well as the really catchy name, not). However, some might say that the value increases when you consider the added electronics on board, making this a real converging of two worlds – both the classic non-cutaway body and the new era of high-tech electronics.

Is Martin d16 solid wood?

Indeed it is. Though there are slight variations throughout this range, they are for the most part constructed from solid mahogany on the back and sides. This will be the main wood that you will see and feel when you pick up the guitar simply to marvel at it. The binding is more often than not (though there is no doubt room for customization with white binding instead). The top of the guitar is made from a specific type of spruce wood called Sitka, buffed into a glossy finish to contrast with the satin finish on the back and sides.

What are 000 guitars good for?

Far from referring to guitars as a kind of international super spy (think James Bond’s 007), to call a guitar 000 is to refer to its size. The 000 is a beloved guitar size throughout the western world, clocking in at slightly smaller than a dreadnought. This size difference means that, though there might be a less rich frequency range and less pronounced bass, the projection of the instrument will be stronger overall. This is, overall, the more balanced-sounding guitar size, at least when compared with a dreadnought, making this perfect for writing, recording, and performing (a real triple threat)!

Is a Martin 00 bigger than 000?

Contrary to popular opinion, the 00 is actually the smaller guitar compared to the 000, in terms of both width and length. For some, this will mean that the fingerboard and body feel more comfortable, perhaps because they are smaller themselves. The 000 size has a slightly wider and longer body, a difference in size that also translates to a notable difference in the guitar’s tonal response. The 00 is said to be brighter and thinner than the 000, which in turn is said to offer a more balanced tonal palette overall.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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