Guitar manufacture C.F. Martin has announced that it will be using FSC-certified recycled Sitka spruce in one of its new cutaway guitars, the GPCPA4 Sapele, as part of the companies Performing Artist series.
While we may be used to playing on our rosewood and maple guitars, it seems we will have no choice but to get used to the alternatives pretty soon. In the increasingly environmentally conscious society that we live in, there is little doubt that one day, a maple guitar will be a luxury that most of us won’t be able to afford. According to C.F. Martin, we have nothing to fear, and that even though the GPCPA4 Sapele isn’t made of any of the traditional woods, it plays and sounds just as good. “Martin Guitar has long been committed to research and innovation to find alternatives to rare woods…The use of this recycled traditional tonewood will complement the Sapele wood that this guitar utilizes, allowing us to achieve the same structural integrity and traditional Martin sound.” Said Chairman and CEO of the company, Chris Martin.
Martin’s decision to use recycled materials to make their guitars, has also delighted the director of the forest campaign for Greenpeace, Scott Paul. “In order for a musical instrument manufacturing company to become more sustainable, they have to look at the primary resources from the planet that they’re using and get those resources in the most environmentally sustainable way,” Paul told triplepundit.com.
Martin has been at the forefront in tone testing and the development of alternatives for acoustic guitar construction, having introduced new models that utilize domestic woods such as ash, maple, walnut, cherry and red birch, among others. In addition, the company is researching and implementing alternatives for some models, including: patented High-Pressure Laminates for the popular X Series and Little Martin guitars; aluminum tops for the Alternative X models; Stratabond® birch laminate for neck blanks; Micarta® and Richlite®, unique fiber laminates, for fingerboards and bridges; and a shell laminate called Abalam that greatly increases the yield of precious abalone and mother of pearl for decorative inlays.