This month's AOTM is on the Martin D-16RGT. I've had it since April... so that's about 3 or 4 months now, give or take.

Looks - Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I for one love a clean, simple, and natural looking guitar. Heck, I don't even like cutaways. If you like simplicity and a tasteful bit of herringbone, this guitar is for you. This guitar has white boltaron neck and body binding, a herringbone rosette, pearl dot fretboard markers, and a Martin-fashioned tortoise shell pickguard. That's it. No cutways and most certainly none of that giant hole for the onboard electronics business. Gold foil Martin writing on the headstock and that's about it. Simple, plain, clean, and drop dead gorgeous. The sitka spruce top has tons of silking and a bit of a blonde colour to it. This being the D-16RGT, it has East Indian Rosewood for the side and back. To you purists and others who are practially luddites against over-ornamentation, this one is definitely a looker. This model being a gloss top(GT), the side and back is a satin finish. The gloss on the top, however, is extremely thin. You can still feel the wood grains. The top of the guitar will scratch and dent quite easily, but luckily, I haven't done anything close to noticeable yet, haha. I guess the thin gloss is all for the better anyway. Less hinderance of the vibrations.

CONSTRUCTION: Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint
BODY SIZE: D-14 Fret
TOP: Solid Sitka Spruce
ROSETTE: Bold Herringbone
TOP BRACING PATTERN: Hybrid ''X'' Scalloped
BACK MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
SIDE MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
BINDING: White Boltaron
NUT MATERIAL: White Corian
FINISH TOP: Polished Gloss
SADDLE: 16'' Radius/Compensated/White Tusq
BRIDGE & END PINS: White w/ Black Dots
PICKGUARD: Tortoise Color

Nothing much to add to this list. The bridge and fretboard are made of Micarta, a common material that countertops are made of. Purists will argue that it won't sound as good since it's not made of wood. Maybe so, but I can't complain. It's less maintenance than other guitars and still sounds wonderful regardless. The fretboard also feels pretty good and cleans off with ease. It's more for practical reasons than anything else I would imagine.

Sound - I love a rich, full, and thick sounding guitar, and this one delivers it in just the right amount. While still maintaining that rich Martinesque sound, it still has a lot more balance to it's tone than say... a HD-28 or HD-35. It remains very versatile for any type of playing because of it's full, but not overwhelming bassy presence. At the time when I was browsing the store I played a couple of guitars. A 1996 HD-28 was one of them. That guitar was certainly amazing and would no doubt have been an excellent strummer, but this one just blew it out of the water. Fingerstyle of flatpicking, this thing just worked better tonally with anything I would ever play.

The guitar had an option of electronics, but with the electronics also came the cutaway, so I didn't get it. Instead, I bought myself a LR Baggs M1 Active soundhole pickup and had it perma-installed. The pickup is absolutely wonderful and amplifies the soul of my guitar quite well. It sounds much better through a PA system than an amp though.

Playability - I can't honestly say that it has the best playability in the world, but it's decent. The neck has a slight V shape to it and it took me a while to get used to. My fingers are short and stubby so it actually tired out my hand pretty easily at first because the shape of the neck was forcing my hand into awkward playing positions. Now that I've had it for a few months it plays pretty easily for me. The action from factory was set up quite low and for medium strings. The factory setup was quite good so even though the strings were a guage higher than I was used to, I adapted to them quickly.

Conclusion - In conclusion... this was really the guitar for me. The looks, the sound... Everything was just right for me. It's certainly not the best guitar in the world, but right now, it most certainly is the best guitar for me.

Anyway... that's my review of the Martin D-16RGT. Hope you've enjoyed the long read! Here's some pics of my guitar. Not all of them are of exactly my guitar, but the same model. Enjoy.

- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Last edited by captivate at Aug 2, 2008,
I messed up the pics. i dont know why, but that always happens =_=" haha.
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Very nice.
I love the look of a Martin with white binding. Very snazzy.
time machine. Inadvertently, I had created a