Poopyunderwear
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2010
188 IQ
#1
I am wanting a new Guitar an upgrade from my Little Martin. I have been looking at the Martin DCX1KE. The only hang up I have is the Solid top, is it easy to maintain? Any help or advise would be appreciated.

Thanks
Poopy
randomtom
Supreme Allied Commander
Join date: Jun 2008
148 IQ
#2
I personally would look for something else or save up a bit more and get a solid wood martin. The problem with the X series is that the back and sides are made from martins high pressure laminate (HPL)... This is basically just sawdust and glue wit ha fancy sticker over the top. Sound wise they're not bad, but there are better instruments in that price range in my opinion. I have also heard horror stories of how these guitars react to humidity changes... not good at all.
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."- Jimi Hendrix
iband48
iband48
Join date: Oct 2008
55 IQ
#3
Why not save up a bit more for the 1 series?

They're all solid wood, and most of them only go for just a little bit over $1000 as far as retail is concerned. They're some decent guitars, although they aren't the prettiest things in the world. Unlike higher end Martin guitars, they didn't spend much time adorning it with inlay, binding, etc. It's essentially just a bare-bones, solid wood guitar, for a decent price (for Martin, that is)
"Here I sit, beneath a lonely line."

~iband48's signature
Poopyunderwear
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2010
188 IQ
#4
I guess my reasoning for looking at the DCX1KE was the HPL. I have never owned an all wood guitar and I am a bit intimidated by the maintence required. I live in the Adirondacks and the temperature is pretty unpredictable would an guitar with just a solid top recact better to temperature changes than an all wood? Thanks for your help and advice!
patticake
Acoustic Goddess
Join date: Jun 2009
2,886 IQ
#5
HPL is more fragile than other woods, particularly laminate. not only do i hear about it cracking a lot from owners, but according to several luthiers we've heard from, it can't be repaired. if you want a laminate back and sides guitar because of robustness, you might want to look into another brand.

i'd suggest you find an emerald or used composite acoustics. they're much less sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. or maybe an ovation.
Auriemma
Still Strummin'
Join date: Jul 2009
579 IQ
#6
The X series are solid tops and HPL sides and backs, and are made in Mexico. The tops are a rubbed finish (I think). The 1 series are all solid wood bodies (satin finish) and are made in PA, USA. Both have Stratabond necks.

Supposedly, the HPL (which is NOT sawdust and glue) is more stable than all wood, but has a different tone (brighter to my ears). Maintenance should be no worse than any other wood guitar. Though the rubbed finish on the X series, may get dirty faster.

Ovations are very stable in varying temps and humidity. But like any other guitar, they do have their limits. Rainsongs and CAs are all composite and not a bad choice eiether
--- Joe ---
07 PRS CE22
11 PRS MC58
77 Bradley LPC
04 Ltd EC-1000FM ASB
95/02 Fender Strat
00 Parker P-38
-
12 Martin GPCPA4
06 Ovation Elite-T
-
12 Boss GT100
88 Peavey Stereo Chorus 400
89 Peavey Bandit 75
Tech21 Trademark 10
Last edited by Auriemma at Apr 14, 2010,
|Long|
String Theory
Join date: Oct 2007
183 IQ
#7
HPL is composed of wood sheet fused together (with heat & pressure) in resin.
MDF (medium density fiberboard) is composed of 'sawdust' (broken down wood fibers) and 'glue' (resin). As far as I can tell, there is no difference between HPL and regular (?) laminate and MDF wouldn't be used for guitars.

So, Martin uses the term HPL as branding it something new. There does seem to be something very different about HPL then laminates, so maybe some terms and methods are clouding the truth?

The sonic properties of laminate vs solid wood are quite trivial:
i) Weight - The heavier the top, the more resiliant it will be to vibrations
-laminate contains lots of resin, thus adding weight. When manufactures are aiming for the thinnest tops (breedlove), it becomes obvious what the difference will be. Also good to note that laminate is structurally more stable than solid wood b/c it's covered in resin. Think of steel vs wood. Which will stand the most abuse?

ii) Grain orientation - Soundwaves want to travel the path of least resistance (parallel to grain). With laminates, you will not have this orientation consistant throughout the woods.

Then comes quality of construction. It is possible to find a laminate guitar that sounds better than a solid body. Is it common? Well it depends on what you are comparing. Generally and when picked correctly, solid body will be much better than laminates.
Hydroxic acid, kills thousands of people every year. Studies have shown lakes and rivers all over North America contain high levels hydroxic acid. Currently governments have taken no action against this life threatening chemical.
Last edited by |Long| at Apr 14, 2010,
Poopyunderwear
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2010
188 IQ
#8
Wow this is some really good information! Hopefully I am not annoying anyone, is a solid wood guitar easy to maintain? I am worried about not keeping it humified enough, also I like to play outside and I have been told solid wood guitars don't hold up well outside. Am I wrong here? Thanks again for all you imput!
iband48
iband48
Join date: Oct 2008
55 IQ
#9
Quote by Poopyunderwear
Wow this is some really good information! Hopefully I am not annoying anyone, is a solid wood guitar easy to maintain? I am worried about not keeping it humified enough, also I like to play outside and I have been told solid wood guitars don't hold up well outside. Am I wrong here? Thanks again for all you imput!


I've played my solid wood guitars outside on many occasions, in various different climates. I've always recommended leaving it in the case for about an hour or so in the environment you're going to play in, before pulling it out. This gives it a chance to get more slowly acclimated, cutting down on the effects of rapid weather changes.

You can buy humidifiers for relatively cheap, to maintain the proper amount of humidity needed to keep the guitars in good condition.

As long as you don't leave the guitars outside for hours upon hours on end in some drastic conditions, you shouldn't run into very serious problems. When most talk about a solid wood guitar being "hard" to maintain, its really just when compared to other guitars. I honestly don't think its very hard. Once you know what to do and what not to do, a lot of it is common sense in the end.

At least, that has always been my understanding.
"Here I sit, beneath a lonely line."

~iband48's signature
|Long|
String Theory
Join date: Oct 2007
183 IQ
#10
Quote by Poopyunderwear
Wow this is some really good information! Hopefully I am not annoying anyone, is a solid wood guitar easy to maintain? I am worried about not keeping it humified enough, also I like to play outside and I have been told solid wood guitars don't hold up well outside. Am I wrong here? Thanks again for all you imput!

Not at all. A welcoming crowed is here for ya


Quote by iband48
I've played my solid wood guitars outside on many occasions, in various different climates. I've always recommended leaving it in the case for about an hour or so in the environment you're going to play in, before pulling it out. This gives it a chance to get more slowly acclimated, cutting down on the effects of rapid weather changes.

You can buy humidifiers for relatively cheap, to maintain the proper amount of humidity needed to keep the guitars in good condition.

As long as you don't leave the guitars outside for hours upon hours on end in some drastic conditions, you shouldn't run into very serious problems. When most talk about a solid wood guitar being "hard" to maintain, its really just when compared to other guitars. I honestly don't think its very hard. Once you know what to do and what not to do, a lot of it is common sense in the end.

At least, that has always been my understanding.

Just to add:

Info about humidity:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=987641

A key point, is that if it's uncomfortable for you, it's most likely uncomfortable for the guitar.
Hydroxic acid, kills thousands of people every year. Studies have shown lakes and rivers all over North America contain high levels hydroxic acid. Currently governments have taken no action against this life threatening chemical.
patticake
Acoustic Goddess
Join date: Jun 2009
2,886 IQ
#11
solid wood should not be maintained any differently than laminate, really. sure, some laminates are a bit more robust when it comes to humidity, but they're still wood and you should try to maintain 40% to 55% humidity no matter what your guitar is made of unless you have a carbon fiber model.

btw, how cold does it get inside your house? over 100 or under 50? and have you checked the humidities in your house?
Poopyunderwear
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2010
188 IQ
#12
I think I am going to take the plunge and buy the DC1E I went and played it tonight! It was awsome!
kdpltffx
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2014
11 IQ
#13
I have had a DCX1KE . I bought it in 2009. I paid $699 for it at Best Buy. This year it developed a crack on the top below the bridge. It looks like they're not going to honor the warranty. The guitar has never been exposed to heat or cold. This year has been exceptionally dry. They're blaming that. It's a nice sounding guitar. I'll pay the $150 out of pocket to get it fixed right. I was told buy a certified repair person that in the old days, they wouldn't use wood that wasn't aged for at least three years. Now they just throw them together. Their warranty is worth crap. I will never but another NEW Martin.

Ken Dawson
kdpltffx
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2014
11 IQ
#14
I bough a Gibson J45 in 1965. I paid $150 for it. I had it for 12 years before I sold it. It was as good as new. I've also bought some cheaper guitars. I had a low end Fender. I had an Alvarez. The ONLY guitar I've EVER had a problem with was my DCX1KE Martin.


Ken Dawson

http://www.kdpltffx.com
Gingerlocks
Dreadhead
Join date: Oct 2012
1,928 IQ
#16
One of my friends owns this guitar. I don't mind it at all, I just wouldn't buy it myself. But yeah, it's an okay guitar.