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“Great Attraction for Guitar Lovers”
Review of Martin Guitars

Martin Guitars
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Nazareth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Whether making guitars for god (Eric Clapton) or mortals, Martin Guitar does all 300 steps by hand.
Long Island, New York
Level Contributor
110 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
“Great Attraction for Guitar Lovers”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

While staying in the Poconos, I made a pilgrimage to the Martin guitar factory. Be sure to arrive early to tour the small but packed museum, and also try out some of the guitars. The free tour took about 1 hour. There is also a tour you pay for that is more in-depth, and I am sorry I did not know about that one.
The tour guide was friendly and most informative. It was pretty obvious they are given a script that includes much praise of "Mr. Martin" and what a great employer he is. The workers arrive early in the morning, and put in 10 hour days (or normal length and must come in on Saturday) due to mandatory over-time. The guide also informed us that the workers approached "Mr. Martin" a few years ago with plans to unionize, and he told them that that was their choice, but he'd shut down the factory. Guide also told a charming story about a man who invented the "backpacker" guitar, and would build it with scrap he bought from Martin (see my picture of the "first guitar in space"; that is the model). One day "Mr. Martin" called him in and told him he would no longer be sold scrap, but could license Martin the right to make it, and stay home and collect a pay check.
So this was a great tour, especially for a long time guitar player like myself. But I was turned off by "Mr. Martin"''s business practices.
If you are a guitar lover, this tour is a must!

Visited May 2014
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Thank carlbarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • English first
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English first
Springfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“guitar heaven”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

The museum is fantastic, and the factory tour is even better. Arrive at least an hour before the tour (the first tour our day was at 11:00), sign up and then spend time at least an hour in the museum. Great 19th century history and then fantastic musical information (and guitars and pictures) from the 1940's to today. The factory tour is very informative -- the care and attention in the process; seeing the many different steps (and people actually working on the guitars). It's easy to understand why it has long been a shrine to musicians. Great place.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Guitar Mecca”
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We visited the martin Guitar Factory on the way to Philadelphia in March. The factory tour was very informative; the wood-working skills on display by the craftspeople were inspiring. The guitar museum off the main lobby is amazing. Make sure to see Martin's one-millionth guitar -- an amazing guitar studded with precious gems and inlaid in gold -- just spectacular. My husband enjoyed the opportunity to play a few of the high-end guitars in the sound room at the back of the gift shop. Although the factory does not sell guitars on site, we were directed to a shop in downtown Nazareth, PA where we were able to try multiple guitars and purchase one to bring home. There is only nearby restaurant, so finding a place to eat before or after the tour can be a challenge. Well-worth the time and the side-trip on the road to Philly! We hope to have the chance to visit again.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sharon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
54 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great trip to see how guitars are made”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Martin guitar factory has always been on my family's agenda, and finally we took the trip, a little over one hour away from our home, and it was really worth it. You don't need to make an appointment unless you are a group of ten or more. When you get there, you get on the next tour, which may be a wait depending on time of year, and you wait around looking at a nice museum with guitar nostalgia. It's interesting. Also you can play with some guitars that are waiting to be played. The tour actually takes you through the factory proper, and it's around 20-30 min. All the workers are quite talented and almost everything is hand done. We all know that the guitars are quite costly, but the point of the tour is to show you why that is. They show you everything from start to finish, it's quite impressive. I'm not a guitar aficionado, but I was still impressed. My family who owns several guitars, not necessarily Martin brand, were very impressed. I highly recommend this free tour.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank LLaury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wescosville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
718 reviews
478 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 281 helpful votes
“Very educational and enlightening”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Nazareth PA might not be on the beaten path but it's well worth the trip to see Martin's Guitars. The tour is free and is so very educational and enlightening. They show you the entire manufacturing process while it's all going on. You see actual guitars being made at every stage of production. You will see all of the hands on processes. Yes, machines make it a lot easier for the folks to do their jobs but it yields a much better product. American made at its best.
While you are visiting, be sure to see the museum. It is full of the history of the guitar in the world of music. See the guitars of Elvis, the Beatles, Rick Nelson, Crosby, Stills Nash and Young and lots, lots more.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank tank1050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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