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Martin DX1R Reviews

5.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
  • from Birmingham, AL October 11, 2009Music Background:
    61 year old hobbyist, been playing for almost 50 years.


    Been thru a few over the years. Not a professional player, but I love to play. Grew up on electrics, but always wanted an acoustic so I could play without the wires and extra equipment an electric needs. I'd looked at Martins in the past, and always loved the sound. Mellow is the word that comes to mind. But they were always beyond what I was willing to pay as a "recreational player". D-28 is amazing. And so is the price. I've tried a few acoustics, from Alvarez, Epiphone, Yamaha, etc, in the $500 and below price range, but they mostly had very stiff (high) action, particularly at the nut, and they mostly sounded dead. Or else very unbalanced (loud base, missing trebles, or vice-versa). When I was poking around the local Guitar center looking for something that sounded better and played easier than my 15 year old Alvarez, I happened to spot the DX1 hanging on the wall. Instantly recognized the name of course, but the price looked wrong. I gave it a strum and wow. Heard every note, equal in volume and clairty, nothing muted. Even the dreaded F chord was easy to play clearly.

    I then rounded up a salesman to ask about the price. $499 was the reply. Which really left me speechless. On this large wall, they had the usual Dread candidates from Epi, Yamaha, Seagull, Alvarez, etc. I spent a couple of hours comparing. Except that there was no comparison. Even when I got into the lower-end Taylors (100-200 series) I did not find the same mellow tone. (Yes, I know some like the brightness of the Taylors, more power to you, I like the mellow tones of a Martin, and note that this is the first Martin I have ever owned so it isn't "brand loyalty" but is instead "ears" talking.)

    I was sold, and am beyond happy. It is still magic to pick the thing up and strum any chord. I used to spend literally hours over a week tuning, re-tuning, still hearing that ugly harmonic on some string or another on my Alvarez. No more. This thing stays in tune, and chords sound perfect. I bought a Seiko STX1 tuner as well, as I spent a lot of time tuning my old Alvarez using a radio shack tuner that worked well. But it had to work way too often. And often as not I still ended up tweaking with the tuning. Now I quickly pick each string, get all green lights, and then chords that sound dead on.

    Hard to imagine how this is sold at this price (I paid $450 due to a price-matching deal) + about 80 bucks for a gator case. May well be the last acoustic I own unless I do decide one day to break down and buy a D-28. But first I have to find a reason. Both sound _really_ "Martin" to my ears. And when comparing price _and_ sound, the DX-1 is a clear winner. If price were not an issue, the D-28 would be the choice. But a lot of the D-28 is visual "bling" since the DX-1 is very plain in looks. But if you play with your eyes closed, the differences between the two really diminish.

    I'm sold.

    Anytime a guitar sounds so good you want to play it every time you pass by it, it has to be a good thing...

  • from EXETER MO USA August 26, 2009Music Background:

    Martin DX1R


  • from Dublin, Ireland April 14, 2009Music Background:
    musician, guitar teacher.

    review the dx1R

    it's almost a given that you will love this guitar when you play it in the shop. The crisp and clean echo really pushed me to buy. however having owned this guitar for a few months now, one thing really has got to me. the action is too high, meaning i want to get it filed or something.. playing solo's or chords high up on the fret board don't have clarity.. im fret up with it at this point.

  • from Burling,WI February 12, 2009Music Background:
    Solo indie artist of 16 years.

    A great Martin for the price!

    You absolutely CANNOT go wrong with buying this guitar. I owned a similar guitar for 2 years but due to hard times I had to sell it (SUCKED), it was like losing a family member. I just just bought the DX1R a week and a half ago at my local Martin dealer. This guitar sounds just as good as the $1,000 Martins. The only difference really is the construction. As far as tone goes it is very similar and the playability is fantastic (I LOVE Martin necks). Taylors are too bright for my taste even though Taylors make a great guitar. I have always liked the warmth of a Martin hands down. This guitar will blow you away. The clarity is there the tone is there and you can hear every note you pluck. This is also a great guitar to record with. You hardly have to mess with an EQ during mixing. What you hear is what you get with this guitar. It is a Martin through and through. I do recommend getting a guitar humidifire when buy this or any guitar for that matter. Martin guitars are like fine wines they only sound better with age. So protect your investment. I recommend the Planet Wave guitar humidifire. Enjoy.

  • from Copenhagen, Denmark March 20, 2007Music Background:
    Reasonable amateur guitarist with 35 years experince

    Martin DX1R

    I bought this guitar just outside of Copenhagen in June 2006 for 5000DKK (895 USD) at "Appollon Music", and to be honest I was only there to buy some strings! I heard one of the assistants giving a demo to a potential customer, and it made my head turn. When the customer left, I asked to have a go, and I was hooked! I´d bought a Martin backpacker a couple of years earlier as I knew that Martin was by name at least, one of the finest makes in the world, but I wasn´t impressed with it too much.<.After a day of battling with the ethics of using most of my holiday pay, but I just couldn´t resist, and belive me, Ive never regretted it for a moment. The crisp, crystally sound of the treble, and the honey-smooth volume of the bass still gives me goosebumps. What hits you most is the clarity of tone. Even playing softly, there´s a richness and vibrance which gives such emotion. I now have 4 Jumbo guitars, but this is the one I play all the time. The price, well it speaks for itself - a Martin for under 900 dollars! I´ll eat my guitar strap if anyone can find such quality and sound at that price!

  • from Hillsboro, MO USA January 19, 2007Music Background:
    Playing for the TV Screen in the living room

    Martin DX1R

    I've been playing for 30+ years and have always wanted a "good guitar". After a few years of shopping around, I decided that I needed to have around $2,000 to get what I wanted. Then I walked into a shop and played this guitar. $550.00 sale price. I was absolutely stunned at the professional quality guitar sound coming from a new Martin guitar for that unbelievable price!!! Very crisp, bright sound. The stratabond neck is where you save your money since it is a form of plywood, but it adds a very beautiful, even psychedelic, look to the neck. The player of the instrument gets to have that view the entire time he is playing it. Martin Co. has come up with a high quality professional grade guitar that for the first time is affordable to the masses. I'm thrilled with the sound every time I play it. Think I will right now.

  • from Longview, WA September 13, 2008Music Background:
    Serious Student

    Martin DX-1

    I have only been playing or should I say practicing for two years now. I purchased this guitar about one year ago. When the saleman handed this guitar to me the first thin I noticed was the neck and how it felt in my hand, I think it was made just for me. The next thing I found was when I played a chord, that is when I fell in love with it. I have never heard or felt anything like that. I wish that I would have purchased this when I first started I would have been further along than I am now. I cannot understand what a guitar costing three to four times as much would have to offer over this guitar.

  • from Newquay, England January 3, 2006


    I was in the market for a mid priced acoustic anywhere up to £500, and had actually ordered a very nice all solid yamaha (cant remember which model now), i had to go to my local shop the same day i ordered the yammy (online) to get some strings.
    When i got there i saw this martin and was intrigued by the look of the neck so i asked some questions, found out the price so i gave it a quick go, that was that, i pulled my phone out, cancelled the order on the yammy and walked out with the martin and a free packet of strings!

    I've since bought a fishman matrix pickup for it (not yet installed) because its brilliant and i cant wait to get out there and gig with it. Its a very martin sound, keep the heavy gauge strings on it though, i accidently bought a set of 10-52 elixirs and it lost a lot of bass responese so i put some 12's back on it and its great :D

    Wish they did a black model though, might modify mine john butler syle, check out www.johnbutlertrio.com great blues rock band

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