Martin D-15

Acoustic 6-String Guitar

Made by Martin

Description With its mahogany construction and simple appointments, the D-15 is reminiscent of the Style 15 guitars of the 1940s and marks the reintroduction of mahogany top guitars to Martin's line.
Posted By WholeNote
Directory Equipment: Guitars
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 4.4 (of 5)
Rating Votes %
4 57 ||
2 29 ||
1 14 ||
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From 7 votes total

Member Reviews


On 1/23/2004, Gavin Eisler (31) posted:
Overall Rating:
I chose this guitar cos on the day it sounded good in the shop and I was seduced by the Martin name. I nearly went for a quality classical, and in hindsight that would have suited me more. However the Martin name is good and I expect to trade this guitar back with little or no loss,. This guitar could benefit from a matt finish neck , I get bad stiction on the gloss finish. i would not replace this guitar with another D15, Id go for a vintage Stella or resonator for a more bluesy tone. i have spent far more time playing my two p[arlour guitars , one cost nothing , and was found in a skip/dumpster, the other was just over 100 and is a german 1900 parlour style with spruce top and maple back. mostly because they are easier to play better suited for fingerstyle and more comfortable to lounge around the house with. The martin is louder and smells better but not 500 punds better.

Its light, eggshell strength springs to mind.

My favourite thing is the smell. my least favourite thing is the cramped neck, my fingers are too chunky and need more space.

If you are looking for a blues fingerstyle guitar this isnt it, more of strummy love song sort of beast. It lacks bite. But has a wonderful fruity tone if thats yer bag.
Price: $600.00 pound sterling
Where Obtained: Bandwagon , Perth Scotland
Features:
Made in Nazareth USA, its a martin, but cheap and cheerful, no fancy rosettes or purfling. The most outstanding feature is the wonderful smell, reach over the soundhole and breath deep. Ah the smell of almost extinct rainforest material. Loads of frets, more than Im used to. Finish is a sort of satin, scrubbed by wire wool effect , but getting shiny where it contacts the player, subtle. The body is huge,Dreadnought, not comfortable to sit and play while slouching on the sofa. Tuners work well.
Playability:
As a relative new comer to acoustic guitars, (ex Bass player, and used to Classical soft strings) I found the thin steel strings weird, and I am just getting over this. The neck feels sticky , like an over varnished pool cue. I much prefer playing my 1900 German parlour guitar , though this has soft strings and is more suited to fingerstyle which is what I prefer. Not really fair on the Martin. When I tried the D15 in the shop i preferred the sound to the other new guitars, and was torn between a good classical and the D15 , should have gone for the classical. The D15 is not well suited to that old time blues sound, its too plummy without the rock and roll of a Spruce top. Its good , almost too good for what I want, i prefer a dirtier tone. Though the bass response is great. The top notes sound thin to me compared with the spruce top parlour guitar that I like. The guitar was bought as a repaired item, the side of the guitar had been split and professionally repaired, top and back undamaged and a little bruise on the neck. These Martins are really expensive in the UK and at 600 quid this was the cheapest Id seen around. Volume is still good , but Ive not come across another D15 to compare mine with, could be the repair has robbed dome of the top end sound. I dont think so though.
Sound Quality:
Rich and fruity bass and mid tone, thin top end. No buzzes or weirdness. Not bluesy. Which is what I wanted, the martin D15 will be traded for a Telecaster for my son. I am going for a 1930s oscar Schmidt Stella for the sound I want.
Durability:
Not played a lot, but has stayed in tune, the carcasse is light and delicate. My guitar has been previously repaired and had split . the lower side has a repaired split mid way across from the neck to the dip, and a bit of a bruise on the lower arse cheeck of the lower bout.
On 3/19/2003, Lawrence Myers (4) posted:
Overall Rating:
I would highly recommend this guitar for players of all skill levels. I looked @ "name brand" guitars only (Gibson, Guild & Taylors) in case I ever needed to sell it. $550 is a lot of money for me to spend on myself & I wondered if I would get buyers remorse. It is my favorite material item & would be the 1st thing I replace if my house were to burn down. I love the smell of the wood & how warm it sounds. I hope it becomes an heirloom that is passed down through the generations. There isn't a better acoustic for the money. Just buy it!
Model Year: 2000
Price: $550.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Elderly
Features:
This 6 string dreadnought guitar is made of mahogany w/ a satin finish. The neck is rosewood. It is an entry level Martin, but is still made in Pennsylvania.
Playability:
Elderly in Lansing, MI. set up the guitar & it plays great. Much too nice for an average player like me. The folks @ Elderly are very friendly & have on site repair. Elderly is the largest distributor of Martin in the world. It is still in mint condition. If my kids get the urge, they can play the Strat. I played many guitars & nothing in it's price range compared.
Sound Quality:
I enjoy many kinds of music & it sounds great whether I'm playing Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash or the Smiths. The sound is loud & warm. It really fills a room. I played Taylors & Guilds, but I would have spent considerably more to find one that could match the D-15. I wouldn't change a thing about it.
Durability:
I've owned it for 2.5 years & the condition is great, although it is something that I baby. I have a humidifier in my case & it works great. It is a light guitar & might not stand up to the rigors of the road, but only set me back $550.
On 1/25/2003, Ned Kimbrough (263) posted:
Overall Rating:
You could not ever go wrong with this guitar....you will never find another guitar that sounds as good as this for under $1500.00
Model Year: 2000
Price: $600.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Mars Music store
Features:
Made in Pa. It sounds truly awsome, great tone, Very easy to play. I chose this guitar because of it's maker (Martin) and it was just so easy to play. It is made out of solid mahogany with a rosewood fret board. The craftsmanship is a thing of beauty, very well made. It is a little light, but seems like it is so well made that it will last not only my lifetime, but my kids lifetime as well.
Playability:
The action it came with was excellent, even though I got a free setup with the purchase to adjust the action if I wanted to, I chose to leave it as it was when I bought it
Sound Quality:
It is a Martin, what can I say...the best sound for the buck that I have ever found. It sounds as good as $2000 Taylor or Martin
Durability:
Just got it, so hard to give an honest answer here, but it seems very well made.....little light which I dont mind
On 5/25/2002, Paul Gelinas (4377) posted:
Overall Rating:
I chose this guitar because it's a Martin and lives up to the name - and because all the others were not and could not - and because it's the best bargain around.

Buy it!
Model Year: 2001
Price: $0.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Mars Music
Features:
Like all Martins, this solid mahogany dreadnought was manufactured in Nazareth, PA. It has a lovely satin finish with chrome tuners, a tortoise-shell pickguard, and came with a hard shell case.
Playability:
This puppy is infinitely playable. Martin offers three different saddle heights, so that players can adjust the action to their individual tastes. I order the shortest saddle from the factory for $3 and lowered the action myself. It rocks!
Sound Quality:
This guitar plays sweetly and produces nice deep tones. The all mahogany body provides for a softer than usual dreadnought sound, but the tones are very rich across the board - and it can boom too if that's what you want. It's a wonderful all-around guitar.
Durability:
Martins are built to last - the 15 series is no exception. If anything were to occur, Martin offers a strong lifetime warranty backed by some very nice folks at the factory.
On 3/29/2002, Mike Rapp (4671) posted:
Overall Rating:
I give this guitar a solid 4, only because I guess a D-28 or a high end Taylor would be a 5, so it would be silly to say that the D-15 is the best thing out there. Still, this is a very, very, good guitar. I flat out told the guy at the shop that I would be willing to spend more money. In fact, I probably would have spent twice this amount since I had my mind on getting a Martin and I know that this kind of quality means $$$$$. The sales guy was great though, and totally worked with me to find the sound I wanted, which ended up being the D-15. If it were lost or stolen, I don't know if I would replace this exact model. I would definately get another Martin, but I might explore a different Martin sound. Actually, I want both...heh heh. I love the D-15, but my "next" Martin might be a 000 with electronics. I gotta find the time to go and visit the Martin factory, and maybe even apply for a job. :-)
Price: $650.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Magdon Music
Features:
Hand made in Nazareth, PA., just a few hours south of where I live. OUTSTANDING construction. All mahogany, nice dark texture with a satin finish. I love mahogany. Rosewood fretboard. Nothing fancy, just a standard dred with no binding or inlays. Looks great though, in a simple way. The whole guitar has a very nice feel to it, nice and smooth. The guy at the music store said that a lot of folks weren't into the look of the mahogany, but I think it looks great. Kinda vintage and earthy. I was amazed at the precise looking construction of even the tuning pegs. Wow...all the hype is true...Martin really does a fantastic job.
Playability:
Very easy to play, good action...not super low but very confortable. No trouble fretting in higher registers. Barre chords aren't a strain. I played a few other Martins that had a little better action, but they didn't sound as good. Notes ring nice and clear all over the fretboard, no buzzing.
Sound Quality:
VERY nice sounding guitar. Like I said, I shopped a few different, more expensive Martin models but this is the one I kept coming back to. Very deep sounding and resonant. My one concern is that if I were to fit it with a pickup there might be a little too much bass to sound clearly. But playing with a pick, just me and the guitar, it sounds fantastic. The pick can give a nice bright attack...coupled with the depth brought out by the mahogany...it makes for a very sweet tone. Not a great fingerstyle guitar, but still sounds nice without the pick. I think this guitar would sound great mic'ed either for recording or on stage. A little mixing and tweeking and I don't see how you could get a better acoustic tone. Like I said though, I am unsure of how well it would do with a pickup.
Durability:
It seems like the finsh would ding easily, but it hasn't happened yet. Definately a #1 guitar for live playing. I don't know how often it needs to be adjusted, but I plan to take it in for a checkup a couple of times a year for at least the first few years. I know I need to keep an eye on humidity, and I always make sure to wipe it down after playing to keep skin oils off. These are simple precautions that should be taken with any guitar, so no big thing.