Sound — 10
It is a Martin. What more needs to be said. The sound is great, and well bodied. It sounds well on its own, with ample volume for an acoustic guitar. For venues when I require amplification, my current setup includes the use of Rode condenser microphone, run through a six channel mixing board, out through a late 60's Fender Pro-Reverb amp. When played before a microphone, the beauty of this guitar's sound really shines through. The one drawback with this amplification set up is that it can be prone to feedback cause by sound reflecting to microphone from the guitar top, but that can be minimized if not eliminated through the gain and equalizer settings on the mixing board.
Overall Impression — 10
This is one of the better values out there. Martin quality and sound, without spending several thousand of dollars. It is suitable to most applications where one would use an acoustic guitar. After several weekends of searching guitar shops and trying almost every acoustic priced under $1,500, I became convinced that there is no better deal out there. It is a pleasure to play, and a pleasure to hear.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is a work-horse. It is solidly constructed, with a lasting finish. The hardware has never given any problem, and the guitar will hold its tuning through the longest gig. Like most acoustics, it has only one strap button, the one located at the base of the guitar, and it relies upon a tieing of the other strap end to the head. As a matter of personal preference, I would prefer a second strap button located where the neck joins the body but it is no big deal to add that yourself.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Fit and finish are great. From the factory, it came with medium weight strings, which I promptly replaced with a set of 10s. Even with the lighter strings, no adjustments were necessary, and the guitar plays free of any string buzz or rattle. The action is fairly light for an acoustic, such that I have no trouble switching from a very light action Gibson Trini Lopez electric to this, and back.
Features — 10
The guitar is circa 2001, made in USA. Unlike Martin's bottom of the line guitars, this model is made from genuine wood and not laminate. The top is gloss finsh, while the rest of the body is a matte finish mahogany. The body is not cut-away, and the guitar does not include any pickups. The bridge is the standard through-the-body bridge, and the tuners are non-locking. The neck and frets are of average size and spacing. In terms of features, it is you regular, steel string, pure acoustic guitar.