I didn't need to look at other guitars as the Martin reputation speaks for itself. I had the opportunity to buy the D35 at an unbeliveable price and jumped on it immediately. I would definately buy the D35 again even if I had to buy it new and pay the full price. There is no improving this guitar. Buy it, start playing it and don't look back. There's no second guessing this guitar. My favorite thing about this baby is the sound; and the looks are typically Martin understated beauty. She is a wonderful musical instrument used by professional and serious guitar players. You can't go wrong. Period!
Model Year: 1997
Where Obtained: Previous Owner
This 6 string was made in the US; the neck and body are made of African Rosewood, eboney and Sitka Spruce. This is strictly an acoustic with no electronics at all. The natural finish top dreadnaught has standard Martin bridge and tuners.
The action was lowered by a Martin luthier and the neck is standard Martin stuff- super comfortable for chording and picking as well with a heavy base response to die for. This is by far the best guitar I've ever played and will by with me to the day I die.
I use the guitar with a simple SD "Woody" sound hole pickup or mic and run it through a Fender Squire amp and speakers for the small gigs I do. The D35 is ideal for bluegrass, country, acoustic rock and folk rock. It has a full deep sound that sustains better than anything I've ever heard; its sound is pure honey! Studio, stage, backyard or concert hall this baby will do the job in great style.
Reliable? You better believe it. Tune it and you don't have to bother with tuning again. I've taken it out of the case in the morning and it's still right after the overnight temperature change. I live in Costa Rica where we have extreme changes in temperture and humidity and as long as you keep the case dry with a hair dryer and store it in the case when not being played you have no worries.
I also own a Martin O-15 (1955), Taylor 712, a Gibson J-45 (1970), Silvertone H-75 hollow body electric cutaway (1966), and a Strat (1973). I chose this particular guitar for Martin's reputation and the sound of this guitar. It sounded so much better than all the Martins I played (about 50) before I picked it. The first time playing it was the giveaway but I went ahead and played other brands and model numbers before coming back to this guitar. I would buy this guitar again if I could afford it. It was only $350 (new) in '69 and is well over $2000 now. I don't believe this particular guitar could have been improved on in any way. I like every thing about it and haven't found anything in the last 34 years that I wasn't happy with. Just as all guitars are not created equal....all Martins are not created equally. Play many different guitars before your new guitar chooses you. You'll be happy you did.
Model Year: 1969
Price: $350.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Lackey's Guitar Shop
US made. Neck is Mahogany. Body is Brazilian Rosewood and Engleman Spruce. It is a 21 fret guitar with 14 clear. It has a Thinline Gold+ under saddle pickup without any contols on the body. Dreadnaught body style with natural finish. String through body bridge with Grover tuners.
I have not played a better guitar in my life and it still my main stage guitar over my Taylor 712.
I play it direct through the PA with only a little reverb. Sometimes I use a DOD Acoustic One for a little delay or chorus. I use it to play blues, bluegrass, rock, alternative, and it fits all styles well. The sound is extremely full and warm, but has great attack and sustain on the high end - plugged or unplugged. It has the best sound I've ever heard for an acoustic guitar. It fits the stage, studio or living room equally well. Sometimes a little loud for living room playing.
I've been playing the guitar live now for 34 years and it has held up nicely. I have had it refretted and the pickguard replaced due to the "Martin crack" which was repaired. There is no truss rod and the neck is still straight and true. Action is very low, but with no buzz along the full neck.
Played a series of guitars from alvarez, taylor, washburn, takamine, martin. hands down , (for the price range) this guitar rose above. taylor sounded the closest, but the martin seemed a little less stringy and a little louder and fuller. The sound came from the whole guitar i felt as opposed to just sound hole
Model Year: 1998
Price: $1600.00 (new)
Where Obtained: elderly instruments (lansing michigan)
Basic dreadnought, rosewood guitar, ebony fingerboard.
Plays extremely easy. the action is low, however no buzzing except when strings are very old. only notice the buzz on b string. currently equiped with d'addario mediums. you can really hammer on this one and it responds incredibly. very powerful.
The sound quality is very full and warm.. the sweet spot on this guitar seems to be if you strum a little more than slightly behind soundhole. excellent response. i play various styles of play and it responds well to all of them..i.e. some flatpicking, manic strumming, string muting , hybrid picking...
Very durable guitar that rarely need adjusting. slight adjustments during winter and early summer just due to climate changes. nothing major though..