Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Dave Phillips Music and Sound
Sound — 10
This guitar is very versatile and works well with the style of music I play, being acoustic classic rock and hard rock songs from Eric Clapton to Led Zeppelin and Stone Temple Pilots. But the best part of this guitar is the deep, rich, bassy Martin sound. The bass tone of the guitar produces a full, deep sound, but doesn't necessarily overpower the higher notes. The high notes have a very rich and clear tone, making for a well-rounded guitar. The HPL has little tonal difference from real wood. This guitar could easily be used for any and all styles of music. Whether this guitar is used for heavy strumming, acoustic melodies, or even fingerpicking, it always comes through.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this is a fantastic guitar at an amazing price. This guitar could easily keep up with any style music, but it really shines with acoustic classic rock songs. If it were lost or stolen I would absolutely buy another. I love the deep, rich Martin tone. I hate nothing about this guitar, though I do think a Martin with real mahogany sides and back would sound better, but I can't complain. I compared this guitar with a comparable Taylor and some other lower quality guitars, but nothing could match the beautiful sound of this Martin.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar seems very solid, and the HPL sides and back are more resistant to dents and scratches than wood. The hardware will most definitely last and the guitar overall seems reliable and strong enough to withstand live playing. The strap buttons seem stable, I haven't come across any issues, although I rarely use a strap. I would always bring a back up live incase of a broken string, but for no other reason.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
No complaints here, the guitar was set up nearly perfectly with a very fast, low action. The strings were very tight, allowing for some faster picking speeds. All the hardware was intact. I have owned this guitar for almost a year, and no problems have come up.
Features — 8
The DCX1E has a dreadnought cutaway shape with a Solid Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany Pattern HPL sides and back. It also has a beautiful Rust Stratabond neck and black Richlite fingerboard. This guitar has 20 frets and 1-11/16" nut width. It comes with a Fishman preamp with built in tuner. The tuning pegs are non-locking Chrome enclosed. This guitar is made to be affordable and thus sacrifices real wood on the back, sides and fingerboard. This guitar was made in the USA.