Martin guitars have the reputation of having high action factory settings so adjust the action if you find that's the case. The store where I bought it has a guitar technician who adjusted the action within 10 minutes. I've never adjusted it again since. I find the action is perfect although I'm very picky about this.
The neck is extremely comfortable and feels very smooth. However, its fingerboard raised a discussion between ebony traditionalists and modernists looking for alternative solutions because precious woods like ebony are becoming pretty rare. Micarta is perhaps a good alternative.
It didn't exist three or four years ago so I can't compare its aging with ebony.
That's the reason I waited three years before writing this review.
Developed by George Westinghouse in the early 20th century, micarta is a composite material made out of natural materials like paper, flax, or cloth laminated with phenolic resin. Micarta is often used to make knife handles and provides serious advantages regarding stability and sturdiness. It's heat, cold, and water resistant.
Martin says micarta provides the same characteristics as ebony.
And it's true that it's pretty similar. It's very dense and feels very sleek. I also own a D28 with ebony fingerboard so I can compare both materials: the playing feel with micarta is different but not worse. The micarta fingerboard feels smoother and the DC16 seems to be softer (perhaps because of the excellent neck varnish and the very slim frets), the fingers slips very easily.
One thing's for sure: the guitar sounds very good with this micarta fingerboard!
Regarding aging, after three years of intensive use I can't notice any deterioration. That's something I'll have to confirm in 10 years but I think it will be the same.
The guitar sounds great. Everyone that has tried it agree, even beginners.
The acoustic sound is smooth and very well balanced.
The sound is not very powerful but:
- it's a guitar with cutaway;
- I play it with Martin SP Custom light 011-052 strings and heavier strings (light or medium) would certainly produce a more powerful and better sound.
To make up for this I use a Boss EQ pedal to decrease the mid frequency range. The sound is wonderful with my Schertler Unico amp. The advantage of high-quality electro-acoustic guitars is that they allow you to compensate for such problems.
Generally speaking I don't like electro-acoustic guitars because I find they have too much mids and don't sound warm, but this Martin DC16 gives me exactly the sound I was looking for.
It's also perfect for recording sessions even connected directly to the mixer.
I use it mainly for vocals accompaniment and it matches very different music styles: blues, folk, pop, chanson (Brassens), finger picking and unplugged rock like Radiohead or Nirvana.
The sound is very well balanced and you can clearly distinguish the richness of the tone regardless of the attack strength. Arpeggios produce a velvet sound.
I bought a Fishman Aura Dreadnought pedal to increase the sound range but I sold it again because it was useless with this guitar (which already provides every possible sound).
You can see this guitar pretty often on big stages and on live music TV shows nowadays.
The preamp is a Fishman Prefix Premium
with dual pickup system. It provides a piezo in the bridge and a gooseneck mic to capture the sound of the whole body. When the guitar is plugged the system provides a fully comprehensive sound range. I once read in a forum about this guy who said that when you plug this guitar you have the impression you are playing several guitars thanks to all the sound possibilities it provides.
The only inconvenience is the placement of the gooseneck mic: it's so sensitive that it picks every single noise and thus it can easily generates feedbacks.
I personally use a light setting to add a bit more bass to the overall response.
I've had it for over three years and I'm very satisfied with it. Some Taylors made me hesitate before buying it (especially the 310) but in the end I preferred this Martin. Everything else is a matter of taste and depends on the sound you're looking for.
I didn't like Gibson models in the same price range, even though I have some Gibson electrics I like very much. But with acoustic guitars it's different because they need some time to reach their prime so it's difficult to give an opinion about them when they are new.
I personally think it's the best electro-acoustic guitar I've ever heard, especially in this price range.
You can find better instrument but they are much more expensive!
I'm always afraid that something will happen to my Martin DC16GTE (theft, accident, etc.). It has become so essential for me that I'm thinking about buying a second one. Guitarists should have an endless budget...
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thomaszelko's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
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I had the 1750th
system is a preamp Fishman Prefix Premium
double take as his Yamaha in some, ie
sensor under saddle and gooseneck microphone in the box.
With a knob to mix the two sounds + contrast, frequency, bass, treble
There is also a tuner that can be very useful even if not precise
as a Boss pedal for example, but the sound is cut as soon as the branch.
Everything is excellent
I do not appreciate too much the sound of the Takamine and Yamaha,
I prefer the sound of guitars U.S. or Canadian.
I play on the little Marshall Acoustic.
I bought this guitar for two months and only one small complaint, the system preamplifier
Premium: the tuner is limited and micro swan inside the box is so accurate that it captures the moinde noise rubbing of clothing on the body and even the public at Live!
But with a slight dossage with the piezo you can have a more alive.
I had this system because I wanted a Martin electro already for not having to go to a luthier but frankly, given the quality of the sound of the guitar, the sensor in the saddle can largely do the trick.
Because that is where everything is fun, although less power than dreadgnougth because of the cutaway, the sound is great, it is soft lens at will, what a true Martin! I listen to a lot of Dylan and Johnny Cash (his cover album) and I found their sound!
This is great to play on the scratches, you agree to a ground and it vibrates across the sustain is terrific in open chords, play folk-singer is monstrous!
arpeggios ring of hell. The picking is correct. In chorus is very good.
I recently played at a festival, it's confusing, you plug the guitar and you have a terrible sound with virtually no control on the console and letting all the knobs in the middle.
In fact it's a great guitar, very easy to play, very sweet and the more it smells good!
I tried many guitars before buying Takamine, Gibson, Yamaha, Seagull, Taylor, Larrivee, I had a budget of 1500th, but I advise all those who have the budget
wait a bit because from the 1700th is really going on a course in quality and this on all brands except Larrivée who have super models (L03, D03) that ring of hell for a lower price but 1500th they are a bit stiff to play.
I love Gibson but the models that interest me are rather to the 2500th (J185, J50)
this will be my next scratch! The sound is totally different from Martin.
This skyscraper is a true massacre so if it again, I will not hesitate a single second!