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MGR/MattO 02/17/2004

Martin & Co DCX1E : MGR/MattO's user review

« Martin DCX1E »
5

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Bought at Guitar Center for $649

Great Martin sound for an unmartin like price. I do miss some of the extra trimmings like pearl inlays around the soundhole and dots on the fretboard, however, this has a very clean and simple no frills look to it. This guitar is just made to play and sound good...none of the extra frilly stuff is included except the preamp which works pretty well. This guitar sounds better or as good as any other guitars I've tried until you hit about the $2K+ range. It takes a serious Martin like the OM-28 or the D41 before I'm left yearning a little bit, and even then I'm more than happy. Bass tones pour out of the sound hole with easy while the mids are full and the highs are clear. Very balanced in tone overall as highs, mids, and lows don't overpower one another. Another curious thing is this guitar simply smells great.

The Mahogany veneer on the HPL back and sides does look a bit fake, but how often are you or anyone else looking at the back. It would be nice to have some of the pearl inlay frills, rosette work, etc but everyone overpays in a huge way for that stuff. One word of warning...you must humidify and watch the level of humidity with this guitar. The HPL back and sides seem fairly impervious and to changes, but the top and neck seem to fluctuate a bit. I constantly humidify this baby when not playing to assure that the top does not sink and the proper action and relief are maintained. Anything above 35% is okay, but once below that the top starts to settle and I get a lot of nasty buzzing right around the 10th and 11th frets.

Construction and quality was typical of the exceptional Martin craftsmanship....no complaints. If I have one...it was that there was still sawdust and wood shavings in the guitar that I had to shake out....I'm still shaking out a bit.

Excellent value for the money. If you want a Martin....Martin sound that is...this is a can't miss for the price. If you need the pretty inlays and extra frills than you'll be dropping at least an extra grand to match or surpass the sound and playability in the Martin line or any other line for that matter.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com