Martin & Co D-15

D-15, Dreadnought Steel String Guitar from Martin & Co in the 15 series.

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MGR/Tim LaFave 01/09/2003

Martin & Co D-15 : MGR/Tim LaFave's user review

« Martin Martin D15 »

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I wanted to upgrade my acoustic guitar, and my test-playing search lead me consistently to the Martin D15. In music store after music store, I played all the available selections, as well as the Martin D15 if available, and time and again it gave me the sound I was looking for. After about three months of this, I knew it was the guitar I had to have. My price was in the $500.00 range, and the local music stores sell it for close to $700.00. I finally found it online, at for $579.00. Sweet! With free shipping and no sales tax, I couldn't be happier, and so I ordered it.

The Martin D15 delivered the perfect sound I wanted, plenty of low-end with volume and resonance. I needed an acoustic guitar that could punch through the street noise, as I moonlight as a street musician. The D15 delivers clear tone, and in-tune articulation like a cannon! The sound just flows out easily, sweetly; making it a real joy to play.

The Martin D15 is not "a looker", as guitars go. With it's plain mahogany, and no frills mat finish, it deceives the eye and understates its true ability. But in my comparison to other, more finished instruments, I became convinced that the D15 owes part of its superior sound to the low-finished mahogany tonewood. I have come to believe that the more finish a guitar has, the less it resonates. The Martin D15 resonates more powerfully than any other guitar I tested! Although it may not be attractive in looks, it humbly speaks of its folk and blues origins, evoking the nostalgia of its past!

The Martin D15 is constructed of the best quality tonewoods, with a solid mahogany top, bottom and sides. It has one serious drawback in that it lacks binding to protect the edges. My guitar had just a bit of a sharp grain edge, causing it to catch on a shirt sleeve and splinter off along the grain on the top edge, just where your arm lays across the front of the guitar. But Martin stood by its warranty, sending me to a luthier for free repairs.

Although I am disappointed at the apparent fragility of the Martin D15, I couldn't be happier with its sound and affordibilty. Bottom line: own one with pride, but baby it, son, baby it!

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