This guitar has a wonderful warm sound, with a very professional set-up. It stays in tune beautifully, and the built-in Fishman Electronics make amplification easy and beautiful. I am a church musician who performs Christian Rock weekly. Needless to say, I needed a professional instrument for not a lot of money. The Martin 15 fits the bill perfectly.
It is certainly a no-frills guitar as far as cosmetics, but the dark wood with no bling bling gives it a certain counter-cultural vibe. Everything you need -- nothing you don't!
I did have one slot in the nut that bound, and made tuning difficult. My luthier fixed that up for $5.60 (Where else can you get a professional craftsman to even look at anything for less than $60?).
I also discovered that you need to take the owner's manual seriously when it talks about humidity. Keep this guitar in the case, and use a humidifier in the winter, or you will be sorry!
The construction and quality are outstanding! A truely professional instrument without the cosmetics!
I would reccomend one to anyone who needs a professional instrument for not a lot of money.
I purchased this instrument from Good Deale Bluegrass in MD. It was an internet purchase (no sales tax as I am out of State), but I knew the store and had trust in them. I paid $789 which was $110 lower than any other price I found, plus no tax!
I read great reviews of this guitar (See Acoustic Guitar Player's Choice and musicgearreview.com), but what really sold me was playing it at a local music store.
Tone! The 15 series has a wonderful warm tone, due to the all Mahogany construction. It sounds great when fingerpicked, but does not overdrive when playing hard rhythm.
Electronics! The Fishman onboard electronics allow you to plug in and still dial up an acoustic sound. I especially like the notch filter as my sound system and/or room likes to feed back at 100mz. I can dial that right out!
Price! This is truly a professional guitar, but it's priced within the reach of the struggling musician. Partly this is because of the price of mahogany being less than rosewood and spruce. The other reason is the lack of ornamentation. All the time and money goes into a quality instrument. The result is not un-apealing. The 15s are beautiful in the manner of Shaker furniture. Not flashy, just great lines, and an unusual dark color.
Keep it humidified in the winter! I read the "Care and Feeding of Your Martin Guitar" pamphlet and ignored the humidity warnings. I had my Yamaha for 20 years and never humidified it, but it was laminate. As a result, my guitar dried out, the neck looked warped, the frets started to stick out on the sides, and the body lost its concave bow! It wouldnt play at the 12th-14th frets! I thought I had a defective guitar. Two weeks with a dampit fixed all of it, with the exception of the protruding frets (I will need to have them filed.).
People shopping in this price range have probably never owned an all solid wood guitar before. Heed my and Martin's humidity advice!
The construction and quality of this guitar are fabulous! It arrived from Martin set up beautifully, and there is not a flaw on it. This is a professional quality guitar without the adornments!
If you can't afford a couple of grand for a professional guitar, but are ready to own one, the Martin 15s are a great purchase! Buy a humidifier at the same time!
I bought the guitar in Ventura at McCabe's and it cost the rest of my MIDI + P.A. equipment, a handmade electric bass + $500 cash.
The warm but pepie tones, volume and onboard electronics by Fishman.
It's face sides and back are mahogany. This kind of guitar has not been produced since the great depression around the 1920-1930's (known as the 00 and 000 17's). They are ugly to look at, (in my opinion).
Like all Martins, this one is built with the same handmade care as the best of their models. It's how they shave the "A" or "X" frame bracings that make each guitar unique + the different choices of wood! It also carries the lifetime warranty!
Because Martin could slice a thiner face from mahogany is (I think) the reason my guitar sounds so gooooood! Be warned, I played exact models of the same guitar and they do not sound the same! When buying any acustic guitar practice "What You See Is What You Get" WYSIWYG - Whiseewig! An example would be, I tested and played a Tacoma and a Taylor guitars with the same warmth. I would have bought either one of theese guitars if the music stores would have worked with me on my old equipment for trade and the lack of cash I had! Last Comment, some guitars have great tones, sounds, electronics but, are inexpensive in price and lack fancy woods. Knowing a good "luther" (guitar repair person) can take any poor guitar with great sound and make it play better for you. I also own a "Yamaha FG-80" with pine sides/back and a cedar face. The tones were great but played poorly. My luther took my Yamaha & Martin and turned them into professional playing guitars! My guitars are now equal in sound and playability to some of the best guitars made today at a fraction of their prices!
20 frets (buttons)
Super enjoyable play
Easy Access in acute (cutaway)
Its a sublime
Perfect for all styles but can be gypsy / swing because this guitar has a sound round trs.
I tried many before acqurir MODELS (Takamine / Yamaha / seagull ...)
is the one with a budget of 1700, had the best sound my taste:
beautiful well Bass Dfine, mdiums Submitted but not garish and treble trs Submitted without being pretty and dsagrables ear, what a well equilibrated.
Once connected, all CHARACTERISTICS are beautiful, and the sound is adjustable Manir trs prcise thanks to the rglages prampli fishman (low / medium / treble / notch 40 / 500 Hz / + parametric contour and phase reversal ...