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