DX1 review by Martin

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (80 votes)
Martin: DX1

Price paid: $ 474

Purchased from: MCC

Sound — 10
I play all kinds of music, right from rock to indie to blues and folk. I was looking for a guitar in the $500 region that sounded great and could play all my music. When I first picked up the Martin I was simply blown away by the sound quality. The bass notes are very rich and booming, without making the tone sound muddy at all. The mids and highs are very clear and stand out with the bass perfectly; no particular note range overpowers another, but each range produces a beautiful, fresh tone. The guitar has a fairly deep body so it does not sound trebly or tinny, even at the higher frets. Nice deep mature sound but very clear and resonating with a balenced amount of brightness. Sounds awesome whatever way you play it weather it be fingerpicking or chords or both. Martin has always been all about tone, and this guitar is no exception.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing guitar about two years, and I wanted a quality acoustic for any type of playing and that I could carry around with me for years to come. The DX1 was perfect for me, I compared it to several Takamine, Ibanez, and Taylor guitars in the same price range and nothing came close to the sound quality. I almost picked up an Ibanez AW40ECENT as it had a few more features like a pickup and case, but the DX1 simply had a more mature and less tinny sound to it. The DX1 is not nearly the most expensive or top-of-the-line Martin, instead the company opted to skimp out on features but to keep the beautiful tone in this insturment that it is renowed for. Really, this is what guitars should be all about: a beautifully crafted, incredible sounding guitar that is worth every cent of your money and nothing else. If someone stole it, I would probably die a little inside; but you can be sure that I would go out and get this same guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is not a tank; the solid spruce top and the light finish requires that you take care of it. The guitar comes with a great detailed manual on how to take proper care of it. I've lightly knocked the guitar a couple of times, but the finish seems like it is fairly resistant, although as you might expect the pickguard can start to scrath pretty easily. Martin guitars have really been designed to last, so if you take care of it it should kick around for decades; just be aware that all the natural wood with the light finish requires a little more care. Make sure you factor into the price a good, hard case and a humidifier when buying this guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was set up perfectly when I bought it. The action is nice and low, but there is no worry of buzzing anything when strumming heavily. The strings were all wound beautifully and the bridge, fingerboard and body look flawless. Keep in mind that it is a natural finish so the imperfections in the wood grain are all visible, but in my mind that gives some charecter to the guitar. There is no evidence of any poor craftsmanship, no glue anywhere, and it's really quite difficult to see where the actual componants have been bonded; everything looks perfect. No splintering or cracks or any kind of imperfections that I could see in the internal braces aswell. The one thing; Martin did not include a strap button on the bottom of the guitar, there is simply a hole. I'm not sure if this is standard so that the customer can choose what kind of buttons are put in, but there were a couple of small wood fibers not cleaned out of the hole. No big deal, but it keeps this guitar from being perfect.

Features — 8
This is a 2007 model, made in Mexico. The DX1 is dreadnought style with 20 frets and a 25.4' scale, no cutaway so you can really only go at the first 14 frets. The bridge style is "belly style" although I'm not sure what it means, it seems like the standard acoustic deal. For the fingeboard you can have the option to have solid morado or solid east indian rosewood; mines got the morado. The top is solid spruce and the finish for this quitar is a hand rubbed, very thin transperent finish, almost as if there is no finish at all! I really like the basic, natural feel to this guitar. It's not shiny and polished but rather very "woody" feeling, kinda like playing a Vintage guitar. There is absolutly nothing fancy about it, there are fret dots at the top of the fingerboard but none inlayed into the frets, this again contributes to the simple, natural look of the guitar. Tuners are all Martin tuners, they seem to work very well and are quite responsive. As Martin was trying to produce a really high quality guitar for a relativly low price, this guitar does not come with many accessories to try and save some money. No electronics on board, no case, no humidifier just a great little manual for taking care of the guitar and an extra peg.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Flying Couch
    I justed played one at guitar center today, and I will kill a baby if I don't have one by the end of next week.
    This was my first guitar and the more I play it and hear others makes it clear this is the best guitar for under $2,000.00 on the market bar none!! Buy two Gibsons.. one to shit in and a another to cover it up with. Then you can use the invoice showing you paid to much to wipe. Then go buy this Martin a REAL guitar....for big boys..
    these sound and play like shit compared to a real martin. and 500 bucks for paper pressed together? eff that and last off its definitely not the best value for the money theirs plenty of guitars that destroy it under 1000 (seagull, art & lutheire, washburn)