Price paid: $ 499
Purchased from: 5Th Street Mucic, NYC
Sound — 10
The sound is amazing from this $500.00 guitar. It blows away my Taylor (costing three times what the DX-1 did). The guitar also seems to stay in tune going up and down the neck. Extremely well balanced sound, not favoring lows or highs, just a blend of pure tones that please the ear.
Overall Impression — 6
Again, I love the sound, but would not buy another DX-1. I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this issue. I own 2 Fender's, another Martin, a Landola, and an Gibson that don't have this issue. I'm wondering if it's just my particular guitar or a problem with this model. As an example, I measured exactly 1/2 inch at the lower neck after setting this up at 41% relative humidity. When left in a room at 50% (only 9% more humidity) I measure just over 1 inch at the lower neck! That is drastic and unacceptable.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Unless you can predict the humidity level where you're going to play, this is absolutely NOT the guitar to play live. Mine is in the home studio and works well for recording in a controlled environment. Even then, small seasonal changes make significant changes in the way this guitar plays and acts.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
This is the guitar I love and hate. The sound is amazing! It's very well balanced with bright highs and deep lows. For the price, nothing I've played touches this guitar as far as sound. The factory set-up was nothing short of terrible. The action was so high, the guitar was barely playable and fatigue set in in minutes. Even a capo wouldn't hold the strings down. After a call to Martin, they sent me a special allen wrench to adjust this guitar (Yes, there is adjustment WAY up the neck). After some fine tuning, the guitar played very well. HOWEVER this guitar is DRASTICALLY affected by even small changes in humidity. I own 5 other acoustics that don't have this issue. After setting-up the guitar in 50% relative humidity, I brought it out to play at a place where the humidity was 41%. I had all kinds of buzzes and fret noise. I've tested this many times and find that a 10% change in humidity creates a TOTALLY different instrument. I've never experienced anything like this before. If you set this guitar up in 40% relative humidity, the action becomes extremely high if the humidity is 50%. Unfortunately, I can not bring this guitar to play out, because I can't predict the humidity and hence the playability of the DX-1.
Features — 8
Normal features. It stays in tune well and the tuners are tight and have a nice ratio so tuning, spot-on, is easy. There are no electronics to report on as this is just your standard acoustic. Since I can't submit this review unless I type 25 words under each heading, I added the last sentence.