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Should I hold off for a Martin 000C-16RGTE???


So I'm not sure why I'm so obsessed with the Aura 000C-16RGTE. I've only played it once and it was amazing. It was an amazing size, amazing neck and great woody tone. I didn't have the cash on me at the time at Guitar Center so I passed. Lost it within 24 hours. Went back and it was gone. Then I found another and it was not nearly as good. It was beat up pretty good too so I passed.

I still think its probably a great guitar for me.

It's smaller and to my ears doesn't lose the tone of D shaped guitar chords.

I'm a strummer/rhythm player. I'm not Andy McGee, I don't do fingerstyle.

I found a decent Taylor 214 made in USA from 2006 for about $500 with a case.

That's a great deal, doesn't have the sonic capabilities of the AURA system.

So am I right to continue to hold off for one?

Maybe I am being WAY to picky. I don't want to overpay and I think I can find a great one for the right price. My buddy last year picked up one for $800 shipped and it's amazing!!! All the used ones from GC and Sam Ash are going for about 1100-1300.


I have that guitar and love it, but like anything else you need to try before you buy.

The thing about the 000C-16RGTE is how amazing it sounds when plugged into a good acoustic amp/and or sound system. I run mine throught a Fishman Loudbox Performer and out to my P.A. and the sound is truly incredible. One thing the 000C has going for it is the very balanced tone it has - there's no boominess or muddiness to deal with at all. In fact, I never have had to adjust any EQ on either the guitar preamp or amp to get a solid amplified tone every time in any playing environment. The smaller body style is also extremely comfortable to play for extended periods and having the on board Aura preamp is great. The Aura presets themselves are useful and changing them from one song to another keeps things interesting. I've had good results blending-in around 20% Aura for live work and up to 50% for recording. Also love the on board tuner, phase switch and feedback control for higher volumes (it can handle it).

I got my 000C-16RGTE soley for plugged-in playing, and in that role the guitar is inspirational. However, this guitar would not be my first pick as a dedicated acoustic instrument. To my ears it just doesn't have anywhere near the volume, projection and thump of a bigger dread style instrument like a D18 or D28. YMMV.


Nothing wrong with the 214, but that Martin model is in a different class altogether. I have a similar model but with a slightly larger body - JC16RE-AURA. Like the symphony size for Taylors. Mine also has a 1 3/4" modified low oval neck which is very comfortable. It plays as well as anything I've come up against unplugged. Very articulate with fingerstyle and it can handle aggressive stumming and leading bass lines. I play alternate tunings such as DADGAD and dropped D on it with no problems. I use a capo a lot too.

It is my main guitar for our worship team band. When plugged in, I get comments on the realistic tone rather than the squeakyness that other A/E guitars produce. Plus you can select from six different mic options on the fly and mix the guitar's natural sound with the AURA's stored images.

Mine has excellent workmanship throughout. I did upgrade the saddle and nut to bone, which made a huge difference. This one is a lifetime keeper. It's hard to find my model, but the 000 version is definitely around. As I recall, the neck is a hair narrower. I did play one and really couldn't tell the difference. I wanted the larger body to get a bit more bass and acoustic volume.

Save up for it. It is worth it and you will not regret it. I do suggest the upgraded nut and saddle job. Figure $200.

BTW, our new worship leader has the Martin Grand Performing Artist Series model which was at least $1,000 more than mine and you can't tell the difference in sound. We both play at about the same level, so it isn't technique.


AcousticDude is right on the money. The OOO version has a 1-11/16" nut width and the modified low oval neck shape.


Silver Supporting Member
I have an 000C-16RGTE Aura, which I bought new in 2007. At the time I felt it was the perfect acoustic for me. Small body, cutaway, electronics, and I really wanted rosewood. I play electric mostly, so the 000C has been very lightly used. The only time it didn't do what I needed was when I got together with a few players last summer who all had dreads, and the little guy could barely be heard! No fault of it's own though.

For some strange reason, I've been thinking about maybe selling it. Not making things any easier, I bought Martin HD-28 which I should be receiving a tomorrow. Long term, I can't be able to keep both, but I need some time to decide.

The closest thing to the 000C these days is the Performing Artist series, but I think the 000C is better. It's a very unique instrument, in a good way.


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