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Old 08-29-2006, 01:16 AM   #1
Battery Chicken
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X Series Martin's: Worth the money?

I've been thinking about picking up a Martin over the last couple of days. Unfortunately, after looking at the prices, could really can only afford something from the X-series. I've seen some pretty mixed reviews about them, some say they are the greatest guitar around for the price and other say they suck hard. So has anyone had a chance to play one or own one? Are they worth the money, or would I be better off rolling my cash into something else?
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Old 08-29-2006, 01:56 AM   #2
jimtaka
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better off getting something else. these guitars do sound good, but they don't hold up well at all. they are poorly made out of very loq quality material.
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:08 AM   #3
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I Could not agree less with the previous post. The Martin X series is the simply the best guitar you can get for that sort of money. I accept every guitar is different and maybe there could be a few duff ones about. In the UK they retail for about 450 you can't find a better sounding guitar for under 800.

Martin Guitars do suffer from some bad press, it's like they got too popular. A bit like BMW cars in England, we all know they are well engineered and great cars, but in the UK most people think BMW drivers are A**holes. Why? Well, because alot of people with money just by a BMW for the badge and for a sense of superiority. THis is similar to the reaction to a lot of Martin guitar players. Some people buy Martin guitars simply because they want to be SEEN to have the "best". So Martin guitars have recieved a bit of a back lash.

Now where do i fit in? Well, i've owned a few guitars (and cars) I started with a 250 far eastern electro acoustic. Learned to play and loved it. Was bored one day and went to the guitar shop and tried a few guitars around 500-700. The X series was miles better than anything. I went to more and more shops and tried more and more guitars, nothing came close to the x series

Why is the X series so good??? Just try it, my father has the DX-1 and that has a real nice bass to it and you feel the whole sound resonate through your body. I prefer the 000X it is a bit smaller and has a more delicate sound to it. YOu will not get a better sounding guitar for the money. Since getting my X series i have moved on to a different guitar but i still keep and play my X series regularly. The best thing about the X series is the way they age, when you get a new one the top of the x series is almost white. As the months pass they start to almost become golden as they take in the oils and air from the surroundings. They only sound better with age and because it has aged in my house the guitar is unique to me and will sound like no other.

Admittidly they do have rivals, Simon and Patrick make great guitars around the same price so try some of those aswell. As i said every guitar is different maybe i got lucky with the ones i have.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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To start things off I would like to point out that I am a luthier and I make guitars for a living and I fix guitars for a living.

The martin X searies are made of material that is similar to cheap counter tops. The material thay use is a step down from plywood. It falls apart with humidity changes and with temperature changes because both of those things cause the glue to desolve. Martin charges high praces for a guitar that is very diffucult to keep sounding nice and the guitar is cheaper to construct than a guitar made from plywood.

Jimtaka is right that the guitars do sound pretty good. He is also right that they are not built to last.

If you can be sure the guitar will be stored at 40% humidity at all times will never be exposed to direct or indirect sunlight and the tep will not get higher than 90 degrees or lower than 32 degrees then these guitars might be for you but for "normal" people these guitars are horrible.
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:03 AM   #5
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^^That wood that is below plywood would be called particle board and yes its as sh*tty as the name sounds. Its made out of saw dust and glue and is compressed into a board shape. Its only good to build speaker boxes out of and thats about it. Any kind of moisture and it soaks it up like a sponge, then it falls apart. Better off getting something made from a whole piece of wood rather than thousands of pieces of wood.
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:17 AM   #6
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Shame, I really did have my heart set on a Martin. I've been doing the rounds at local guitar stores the past few days and played one of the 15 series and got a series hard one for it. Unfortunately every acoustic I've played since sounds tinny and shallow in comparison. Guess I'll have to keep saving.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:08 AM   #7
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^ The 15 series is the lowest Martin series worth buying. (The DM is close...solid top but still has problems with its sides and back).
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:48 PM   #8
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Guess i'm the only one on here that like the Martin X series.

True the back and sides are not made of solid wood. Martin use HPL (High Pressure Laminate). Now i'm by no means a luthier, but i am a Materials Scientist. Like anything HPL has it's good points and bad points.

The bad points being, it is not real wood, it doesn't sound quite as good as solid wood, If not stored correctly it will not last.

The Good points, it's cheap to make and machine, it sounds nearly as good as real wood. Finally it has strength in all directions, real wood tends to have strength in one direction hence you can get cracks if dropped.

Real wood or not i don't think you can get a better sounding guitar for 450. Will it last forever. Maybe no... Why not?? Well it's Martins Entry guitar. It's designed to get you into the brand. It will last you 5 to 10 years, by this time Martin are hoping you will love it so much you'll buy one of their "grown up" guitars for 2000.

Solid wood guitars are expensive, for a number of reasons, mainly the cost of paying someone skilled to craft the wood. For 450 if you can find a solid wood guitar i guarentee you it won't be the best quality. My advice is get the X series, it is a great sounding guitar and if you treat it right it will last as long as you need it to.

Don't take my word for it though, try some other guitars and see which you like best.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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The 15 searies martins are great guitars. If you like it then get it. It's just the X searies that I tell people they should think twice about.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW : 08-30-2006 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:02 PM   #10
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450 pounds = about 850 dollars. The same price as the solid wood Martin D15 here. There are also other companies (alvarez specifically) that make all solid wood guitars in that price range, and the quality is pretty good.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:23 PM   #11
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The advice about buying a Martin D-15 is the best way to go. Among the seven acoustic guitars that I own and play, are my D-15 all solid wood mahogany model, and the D-15 solid spruce/rosewood model.
I went the extra mile with these two guitars by getting a good quality set up, which the string height was just too high for my playing. I also had the luthier install a quality bone nut and saddle.
This may not be necessary for a lot of owners of these two guitars, but from my own experience the added tone and sustain was well worth it.
These Martin models are well worth the added expense of buying, over any of the X or other HPL versions Martin sells,.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyTone
It will last you 5 to 10 years, by this time Martin are hoping you will love it so much you'll buy one of their "grown up" guitars for 2000.


Hmm if I bought a DX-1 in Australia, I am going to be looking at around $1,400 AUD. Which isn't exactly small bannanas for something with a 5-10 year life span, i'd rather just save an extra $1000 and get something that would last me a lifetime. Getting a quality acoustic is probably going to be a one-off for me (I mainly play electric) so i want to make sure I do it right the first time.
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:49 AM   #13
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I agree spending that amount of money, most people would want a guitar to last.

However, Martin has positioned it self in the market as a premium guitar manufacturer. The X series is the first rung on the ladder. For me it was a great second guitar and it did get me hooked on Martin as a brand. But Martin would only devalue their brand if they produced a great sounding "guitar for life" for 450.

Going back to cars, i guess it's like the BMW 1 series. You can buy alot better cars for the money, but hey it's a BMW and it will get you into the brand, so in a few years when you earn more you move up to a 3 or 5 series. Same with Martin, the x series is somewhat affordable so people starting out playing will get one as a first or second guitar.

All i'm really saying is, that as an entry level guitar the x series is amazing....But it is a lot of money to pay for an entry level guitar. But it is from a premium brand and (in the UK) it is really hard to find anything that sounds better for the same money.

So in conclusion if you want a guitar for life, i agree with above, save up for a solid wood Martin. However, if you have limited funds or have only been playing for a while, the x series is a great way to go.
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battery Chicken
Hmm if I bought a DX-1 in Australia, I am going to be looking at around $1,400 AUD. Which isn't exactly small bannanas for something with a 5-10 year life span, i'd rather just save an extra $1000 and get something that would last me a lifetime. Getting a quality acoustic is probably going to be a one-off for me (I mainly play electric) so i want to make sure I do it right the first time.


Isn't the D15 only about $100 or $200 more than the DX1? If the D15 is what you fell in love with then save the extra cash and get the D15. The DX1 is a compleatly differant guitar and won't sound anything like a D15. If you don't want to save the extra money then I would suggest you look into other brands. Most martin people really like Alvarez as the more affordable alternative. Most Taylor people tend to go with Takamine but there are a lot of other brands out there too.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battery Chicken
Hmm if I bought a DX-1 in Australia, I am going to be looking at around $1,400 AUD. Which isn't exactly small bannanas for something with a 5-10 year life span, i'd rather just save an extra $1000 and get something that would last me a lifetime. Getting a quality acoustic is probably going to be a one-off for me (I mainly play electric) so i want to make sure I do it right the first time.


mate, if you're in australia, i'd highly recommend going for a Maton or a Cole Clark. Dollar for dollar, I believe they are better guitars than Martin's however this is just my personal opinion. If you google either Maton or Cole Clark and have a read, you'll soon realise that they are well respected brands that make great guitars. Jack Johnson and Ben Harper play Cole Clarks. Tommy Emmanuel and even John Frusciante (occasionally) play Matons. Try doing a forum search, i've made a few threads about Matons/Cole Clarks so that might help you make your decision.

Ultimately though, if you've fallen in love with the D-15 then go for it, but I'd recommend checking out Maton and Cole Clark first. I was also set on getting a Martin, but the Cole Clarks and Matons that I have played completely surpassed it.

good luck, let us know what you end up choosing.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:04 PM   #16
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A Maton or a Takamine have always been options if a D15 doesn't work out or I can't slip it past my engagement ring expecting girlfriend. As I said though I really wanted a Martin, the 16 year old in me just can't help getting excited about having CF Martin & Co. printed on the headstock.
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