Product Review: Martin Performing Artist Series BCPA4 Bass Guitar


As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine, Issue 8

From the center of the acoustic guitar universe, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, comes the Performing Artist Series BCPA4 Acoustic Bass Guitar from the C. F. Martin Company. To vast oceans of players across time, Martin guitars are considered to be the beginning, middle, and end of acoustic guitar, and the BCPA4 bass guitar shines in the pedigree.

“A wonderful, dream-come-true guitar”

From its classic beauty, vocal woods, and natural feel, it has the vigor and allure of the Muses, the Greek goddesses of music.


It’s certainly a beauty to behold, yet the challenge of the acoustic bass is to clearly contribute the pure low registers. When I first took the BCPA4 bass out of its ply hardshell case, I was pleasantly greeted with its woody rose-like fragrance. With its larger size, flawless X-braced Pleked construction, you instantly sense its balance, authority, and timelessness.

“Its presence is undeniable”

I first played it lightly on its own to get a feel for it, and, even at low volume, its presence is undeniable. The Martin Acoustic SP Bass Light strings on its ebony fretboard are a heavenly marriage, and the satin cherry finished neck and its profile are welcoming and inspiring. I kicked it up a notch and started getting in the grove with Carol Kaye’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” Fleetwood Mac’s iconic bass line in “The Chain,” and the acoustic meets rock anthem of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.” My fingers glided easily throughout the neck like an Olympic equestrian dressage exhibition, and the notes bloomed like a sonic morning glory. Even more so, its organic acoustic voice is copiously powerful and commanding. Plugged into an amp, the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2 electronics sprung to life to magnify its low frequency aural sunshine. When I played it with my band, its organic tone was clearly bold and beautiful. The BCPA4 is a wonderful, dream-come-true guitar that moves you to perform.

“Balance, authority, and timelessness”

To wrap it up—with its world-class design and build quality, genuinely inspiring feel and definitive voice, the Martin Performing Artist Series BCPA4 Bass Guitar is the ultimate gold standard for the acoustic bass. Become one with your Martin for an “all of you” performance.

MSRP:  $2,199.00
Street Price:  $1,799.00

Steve McKinley

Steve McKinley is the bass player for Joel Kosche (of Collective Soul) in his solo band and for the Led Zeppelin tribute Led Zeppelified. He’s been part of the Atlanta music scene for years playing in bands (i.e. Julius Pleaser, Sid Vicious Experience, Pretty Vacant et al) and has recorded and toured throughout the Southeast. His songs have been played on the radio, he has appeared on television and is an ASCAP member. With his electronics skills and experience, he runs Atlanta Tube Amp and Steve McKinley Electronics and is an Instructor on He roots for Atlanta United, works on cars and drinks his coffee strong, hot and black. He can be found on his sites, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. www.atlantatubeamp


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.