I don't know if I would want this to be my only guitar, because everyone needs at least 6 or 7 just to get the right balance of sound, flash, style, and to drive the family nuts with.
This guitar will be with me until the end.
This has just the features I was looking for. Very simple appointments, no binding, very narrow herringbone rosette, all mahogony. In other words, a very simple, straight forward guitar.
The finish is satin over all mahogany, no cutaway and the neck joins at the 14th fret.
Playability seems very good right now, but I'm reserving final judgement until it has acclimated to my home. I may have to drop the saddle just a tiny bit to suit my personal preference for the action.
The neck is very comfortable without being too small.
I played the D-15 dreadnought first. That's the body style that I have always leaned toward. I picked up the 000 auditorium just for the heck of it and was blown away by the sound. It's so much brighter than the larger bodied guitar with very clear highs, but still an overall warmth and mellowness of tone.
Very nice for acoustic folk and blues.
I haven't had this axe long enough to make a sweeping statement about it's durablility, but you can bet I checked it out thoroughly before buying, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't last a lifetime. (Gee, I guess that is a rather sweeping statement.)
Overall rating is excellent. A great guitar for playability, quality, and overall sound.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $599.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Sam Ash (new)
I love this guitar. I find it very easy to play and the sound is incredible. I've owned it for about 2 years now and have not come across any durability problems although by normal standards this is not a long time. I am into acoustic blues so the size of this guitar along with the tone is very pleasing. I am very pleased with Martin's reputation and I am certain this instrument, although very entry level, will fulfill that reputation. It comes with a satin finish over the mahogany material. Plain vanilla look and feel. Just what I was looking for.
I did obtain the action I was looking for and the neck is very easy for a beginner such as myself to work with. I can not ascertain any distinguishable flaws and the price is certainly worth the tone and playability that it provides.
I enjoy the bright clean sound and almost always play unmiked since I am not a professional performer. I find it very suitable to acoustic blues and folk/popular strumming. I do not use it in any venue except for playing at home. Again, for a beginner with the ability to own a entry level instrument at the higher end of the budget scale I would certainly recommend this guitar. It is worth the extra dollars in terms of sound and will give you something to grow into as your playing develops.
If I lost this guitar, I would consider replacing it, though I would look for a used one. Its not worth the manufacturer's suggested retail price, thats for sure.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $700.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Elderly Instruments
The guitar arrived and I was surprised to find that the bridge pins did not seat into the bridge. In fact, one of the pins was sticking out more that 1/4 of an inch. This made tuning it impossible. With normal tension, the pin would rise up out of the bridge. A half an hour's work with a needle file and some swearing and it is OK now. I'm not the only one in recent years to discover Martin's poor quality control - though they still have a very high opinion of themselves.