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USED Martin Performing Artist JCPA4 Jumbo Rosewood

   
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Martin Guitars are synonymous with high quality and superb sound. This 2014 Performing Artist series is no exception. Excellent construction, premium tone woods and Fishman F1 Analogue electronics assure you of that. The JCPA4 was a limited run guitar built specifically for Guitar Center and affiliated outlets. But don't let that scare you away: This all solid wood guitar is 100% Martin and an excellent value.  

This guitar is in excellent condition with the exception of a ding on the top (see photos). Just a hint of fret wear on the lower five frets.

The 2014 Martin Performing Artist series Jumbo features:

  • Glossy Sitka Spruce top
  • Satin finish East Indian Rosewood back and sides
  • Width at upper bout - 12"
  • Width at lower bout - 16"
  • Depth 4-4.5"
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • 16” radius, tusque nut
  • Open gear tuners
  • Fishman F1 Analogue electronics
  • Martin Hardshell case

Jumbo guitars were developed primarily for artists that needed a loud guitar on stage that would project both lows and highs equally well. A favorite of traditional country artists, the Jumbo is also used by singer-songwriters such as Emmy Lou Harris. The tight waist and generous lower bout provides both clarity and plenty of low end. Typically thought of as best-suited for strumming or flat picking, we found the JCPA4 to be a well-rounded acoustic for many situations. And while large bodied acoustics tend to lack the sensitivity needed for finger-pickers, the JCPA4 has commendable nuance, and we were right at home without a pick. Compared to the traditional Martin dreadnought sound, it's got a bit of "Taylor" to it, which ain't all bad.

The back and sides are solid East Indian Rosewood while the top is Sitka Spruce. Internally the Jumbo uses the Hybrid A-frame and X scalloped bracing typical to many Martin models.   The body is cutaway at the 14th fret for better access to the higher notes. There are 20 frets total on a 16” radius Ebony fingerboard. “Butterbean” knobs on open gear tuners and a tusque nut complete the package.

The Performing Artist also employs Fishman F1 Analogue electronics, with volume and tone knobs mounted to the top side of the guitar. The tone knob is a contour-EQ affair running from a flat EQ to a mild midrange scoop to emphasize clarity. Pushing the tone knob activates the phase reversal switch. The volume control does just that, and pushing down and holding for a couple seconds activates a brigthly lit built-in tuner.

We were impressed with this Martin Jumbo. It has rich low end response and volume that you can only get from a larger body shape, but the detail and touch that makes it surprisingly capable for more sensitive and nuanced playing. It's an excellent guitar and a killer all-rounder for singer-songwriters and coffee house players.