#1
Hello folks, my first ever post here.

I'm looking to buy a new guitar from a local shop. On their site I stumbled on the Martin DX1AE. I thought it was a beautiful guitar with great specifications, but the dealer told me the neck had laminated wood (which was solid but didn't sound as good) and frets that would corrode fast for some reason.
Large advantage is the great sound in Fishman electronics.

He also recommended the Eastman AC320. He had it ordered so I can try it out next week. It has no electronics but he will build them in for 125 euros.

Does anybody have any experience with any of these guitars and maybe could advise me on which to buy, or perhaps even a completely different guitar?
I'm looking for a dreadnought model with an element.
Budget is 700 euros (Martin would total on 630 or something with a case and the Eastman would total on 675)

Thanks in advance,
Stijn.
#2
eastman makes great sounding all-solid guitars. the AC320 is their entry level all solid, and it has that eastman tone. i've been mostly quite impressed with eastman guitars, although i admit that i mostly play the 500 and up models, but the 300's aren't bad - i'd consider the eastman a step up from the martin in some ways, but a lot depends on what preamp the store owner would install. some sound much better than others.

the martin x series are guitars with backs and sides basically made out of pressed particle board, which martin calls high pressure laminate. unlike other laminate guitars, they don't have sheets of wood nor do they have a wood veneer on the top. while the x series guitars do tend to have more bass than others in similar price ranges, they have a flat sound to me - the HPL back and sides mean no overtones. also the HPL is very hard to fix if you happen to damage it. btw, the neck is referred to as stratabond, and i think it's sort of cool in a funny way. it's a martin proprietary material, not a standard laminate neck (and no, laminate neck is not all solid), which is used by some very high end builders for stability or just their preference.

as far as fishman electronics, i bought a $79 acoustic electric that had fishman electronics. while it didn't sound bad plugged it, not all fishman electronics are alike.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#3
Quote by patticake
....[ ]....the martin x series are guitars with backs and sides basically made out of pressed particle board, which martin calls high pressure laminate. unlike other laminate guitars, they don't have sheets of wood nor do they have a wood veneer on the top. while the x series guitars do tend to have more bass than others in similar price ranges, they have a flat sound to me - the HPL back and sides mean no overtones. also the HPL is very hard to fix if you happen to damage it.
In an interesting side note / parallel application, particle board is preferred for loudspeaker enclosures. Why, you ask? because pl;ywood is actually considered, "too resonant". The particle being the far deader of the two.

Quote by patticake
btw, the neck is referred to as stratabond, and i think it's sort of cool in a funny way. it's a martin proprietary material, not a standard laminate neck (and no, laminate neck is not all solid), which is used by some very high end builders for stability or just their preference.
We should probably mention the woods in a laminated neck are usually selected to be contrasting. So, while the sales pitch may include other benefits, there's more than a few style points being awarded....

Quote by patticake
as far as fishman electronics, i bought a $79 acoustic electric that had fishman electronics. while it didn't sound bad plugged it, not all fishman electronics are alike.
Yes boys and girls, even lowly Ibanez doesn't use Fishman preamps exclusively. They sub some out for their proprietary electronics, and many of the "step up" models are B-Band peizos.
#4
Thanks for the fast replies

The pre-amp he would install is a MI-SI Acoustic Trio Guitar System.
It's 125 euros for the system with installation included.
I have no experience whatsoever with pre-amps but neither sound bad.