Skip to Content

Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Series Acoustic Guitar Review to Really Love

Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Series Acoustic Guitar Review to Really Love

Martin guitars are well known for being the best acoustic guitars available on today’s guitar market. This six string Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar sports a solid Sitka Spruce soundboard, with X scalloped bracing.

The back and the sides of this guitar are comprised from Koa Wood Pattern High Pressure Laminate that comes with a textured finish.

The body of the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar is slightly smaller than the average dreadnought body, as this guitar sports the Martin Grand Performance body style; while the smaller size may scare off some people, this performing guitar still delivers big and rich dreadnought tones.

A slim taper neck that displays a Black Richlite fingerboard, that also sports traditional dot inlays ensures that the fretboard will feel comfortable in your hand, even after hours of playing. There is a shallow curve in the neck, which makes the feel of the fingerboard (also known as fretboard) light weight and comfortable.


It is most definitely easy to become overwhelmed by the massive guitar market that’s available; there are a countless number of guitars available in every single style in the world.

In order to know how to evaluate a guitar’s quality to make sure that the guitar you’re looking at is the proper one for your needs, you need to understand what criteria is used to evaluate a guitar’s quality.

This review of the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar will look at the following criteria:

  • The playability to the GPCPAK5
  • The materials that this guitar is made from
  • Who the GPCPAK5 is best suited for
  • The tone
  • The value of the GPCPAK5 for your money

If you are interested in a Martin guitar, I would definitely recommend this guitar out of all of the guitars in the Martin’s Performing Artist series.

While the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar is more expensive in comparison to other fingerstyle guitars, it’s relatively inexpensive when compared to other guitars that Martin produces.

While price is always an important part of shopping for a guitar, it isn’t the only aspect that should be looked at. The GPCPA5K is known to be a lightweight guitar. However, it is also known to be a guitar that delivers loud and clear tones.

acoustic guitar played by woman

Due to the shape of the neck (a shallow curve), bending, vibrato, strumming, finger picking, flat picking, and palm muting is easy to play; different musical techniques are easy to perform and still receive a noticeable quality of sound.

It is also easy to control the sound coming from the guitar and there’s a large contrast between the dynamics that this guitar produces; the GPCPA5K is not known for producing muddy tones or having a sound that does not produce enough distinguish when changing pitches.

If you’re looking for more details on the performance, sound, and playability of the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar, keep on reading!

Core features of the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Guitar

If you’re deciding that you’re falling in love with this guitar and want to do more research, chances are you’re going to run into several terms that you don’t understand what they mean.

That’s why we’re here to help! If you want to know what all of those numbers and letters that talk about the GPCPA5K guitar stand for, I’ve compiled a list that explained what they are!

C – Cutaway

GP – Grand Performance Shape (which is also known as a grand auditorium)

K – Koa Laminate sides and back

PA – Performance Artist series

5 – The 5th tier (you’re likely only to see this when looking at pricing. 1st tier is Martin’s highest and most expensive tier)

The GPCPA5K is one of the guitars that Martin offers in their performing artist series.

Who is the GPCPA5K Guitar suited for?

If you a person who has small hands, or you are just a smaller person in general, the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar is a great guitar for you; the grand performance build of this guitar is slightly smaller in comparison to a classic Dreadnought.

If you’re somebody who is interested in live performing specifically, the build of this guitar makes it the perfect for live stage performance.  I would most definitely say that this guitar is suitable for a whole list of styles and genres, but is best paired with jazz, folk, and blues.

Does the GPCPA5K work as advertised?

If you’re looking for the short answer, yes, the GPCPA5K does work as advertised.

The GPCPA5K’s body is made from solid Sitka spruce top, which ensures that the guitar has a balanced and vast tonal projection. The Fishman F1 Analog electronic system in this guitar also ensures that you have constant studio sound quality, while also embellishing tones for any live performances.

The GPCPA5K is well known for producing warm and balanced sound, as well as having a sound that’s easy to control. The grand auditorium shape of the guitar provides the guitar with an even tone, while also providing a smaller amount of bass-heavy sound.


Martin created this model’s neck with stratabond, which is common for them to do on their cheaper models. Stratabond is less prone to warping, in comparison to your typical guitar’s wood neck.

The fingerboard (also known as fretboard) is made from Black Richlite, which is the same material that is used on the bridge of the guitar. Black Richlite is comfortable to play on; it’s fast, without being too rigid.

As for the neck of the GPCPA5K, the shallow curve in the neck provides players with better control of the fingerboard. While the shallow curve in the neck will feel weird, maybe uncomfortable, to some players, it helps to make the feel of the guitar lighter.

The width at the nut is 1.75 inches (44mm) which is a standard measurement for acoustics. The average measurement for the standard dreadnought is 1.69 inches (43mm). The extra width that the GPCPA5K provides helps make fingerpicking easier on the grand
performance model.

While the extra width of the nut may make you think that the guitar will feel different in your hands, the flat neck curve helps to ‘cancel’ out that extra width, so the GPCPA5K will feel like a regular neck in your hands!

Many people have talked about how they were happy with the ‘factory’ action setting. The action on this guitar is set to be low, and most people end up leaving the action setting low.

If you’re interested in what the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar sounds like, you can check out these videos!

Want a quick summary of all of the pros and cons that the GPCPA5K has to offer? I’ve created an easy pro and con chart to make your decision a little bit easier.


  • The Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar is an acoustic-electric guitar, so it’s great to use in crowded venues as well as small settings
  • Cutaway for high frets
  • Warm balanced sound
  • The Sitka spruce top gives the guitar a bright resonance
  • Mid tones have quality sustain


  • While out of Martin’s entire PA series, this guitar could be considered affordable. The pricing is higher on this guitar in comparison to other high-quality fingerstyle guitars
  • The bass notes have a weaker sustain in comparison to other fingerstyle guitars; this is done in order to stop the possibility of any feedback when playing while plugged in
  • This guitar sports a Koa veneer on top of a high-pressure laminate on the back and sides of the guitar, instead of genuine Koa
  • Fast arrangements or flamenco are difficult to play on this guitar

Other alternative guitars to consider

If you like what the Martin GPCPA5K has to offer, but aren’t in love with the price tag, check out these other two guitars that are similar to the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar.

Yamaha LL6ARE

This guitar features a solid Engelmann spruce top that has been treated with acoustic resonance enhancement, tradition neck profile, and mahogany back and sides. This is also a high-quality guitar  but at a much affordable price.

Yamaha LL6ARE

Takamine GD20-NS

Takamine 6 String Acoustic Guitar

This guitar features a solid cedar top, bone nut, chrome die-cast tuners, perloid dot inlays, rosewood head cap, and mahogany back and sides.

If you’re just starting out and are looking for a guitar that produces quality sound, but is easy to play, the rosewood fingerboard is comfortable to play on for long periods of time!

Final take

If you’re looking for an affordable guitar that offers quality sound for both private and public performances, the Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Acoustic Guitar is the guitar for you.

Martin is known for producing quality guitars that last for decades and this is a guitar that will surely produce consistent and quality sound. For the quality sound, materials used, and playability of this guitar, the is most definitely worth your money!