Entry Level Martin Guitars?

tolm

Gretschie
Jan 25, 2016
353
UK
I’m by no means an acoustic player - very rarely do I tackle such a task! - but I do like having one around, just in case.

For years I tried different makes (a few Tanglewoods, a Yamaha, one of those Ibanez Talman things - and a very nice Taylor that I just couldn’t justify keeping) and sizes: 00s, Parlours, Concert, Folk size … essentially looking for a small bodied guitar that I thought would feel more familiar to a largely electric player.

Eventually I bought a Martin X-Series Dreadnaught which is made from fancy pressed wood substitute nonsense. I don’t care: it plays and sounds great and it was cheap enough that I don’t mind it hanging around and not being played too much!

Similar story with the bass: wound up with a dirt cheap Squier Precision after trying various short-scale Fenders and Epiphones.

Sometimes cheap is good!
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,815
Santa Cruz
I played an original 72 Westerly Guild D40 most of my life until I gave it to my Grand Daughter some time back. Got me a new D140CE and I can't seem to find anything to complain about.

I lusted after Guild since the 70’s. My one an only Guild, a new Oxnard built Guild D40. It had a number of finish issues I had to fix and a truss rod that was so shallow at the headstock the factory cut about a third off the lower truss rod cover screw so it would not hit the truss rod nut.
:eek:

It did have a spectacular, beautiful full balanced tone.

Overall I was very disappointed in the lack of quality control at the Oxnard facility, I sold it.
 

GAMBLER1234

Gretschie
Jan 18, 2018
380
Henderson Nevada
I lusted after Guild since the 70’s. My one an only Guild, a new Oxnard built Guild D40. It had a number of finish issues I had to fix and a truss rod that was so shallow at the headstock the factory cut about a third off the lower truss rod cover screw so it would not hit the truss rod nut.
:eek:

It did have a spectacular, beautiful full balanced tone.

Overall I was very disappointed in the lack of quality control at the Oxnard facility, I sold it.
So much for American made only. My Chinese one is stellar.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,094
Albuquerque
Wow, thanks for the opinions! The reviews are mixed, I get the impression that the lower end Martins are meh?

I've decided to pass on these. I resisted buying any acoustic guitar for quite a while because my main interest is in playing electrics. About a year ago I picked up a Jim Dandy because I couldn't pass on the sale price and I wanted to dip my toe into the acoustic world and to be honest that one is all I need for sitting at home and playing for myself.

As I wrote, I was surprised to see that you could buy a Martin for such a low price and if and when I decide I need something more I will look at them again.
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
The Martin D-18 (post 2012) is THE Martin sound. Nothing above or below this model (in Martin's lineup) measures up re the dollar/value barometer. The D-18 is a stunner in every sense of the word, and is worth every damn penny!

And it's not like there is anything wrong with any of the other instruments in their lineup. Although, I have played some of their Mexican models and have been less than enthused, mainly because they just sound/feel like the company's gambit to use their name for entry level sales, and I've seen/heard many an Asian entry blow them away at the same dollar level. As an investment, there's no real advantage to their entry level instruments. No. Hold out for a D-18. Barring that, look for a good competitor model at similar pricing. There are truckloads of good alternatives on the market...
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,999
Portland, OR
I'll tell ya what's a super fun guitar and a great value ... and it's not a Martin. Get one of these: a Gretsch Rancher Jumbo 5022CE

$500 and I promise you, it won't disappoint. Does it sound like a Martin? Of course not. It sounds like a Gretsch. What could be better? I've had mine since 2012 and it's been one of my top 5 guitars since the day I brought it home.
 

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Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,383
South Dakota
I have only two Martins. My 000-18GE with the ‘37 Sunburst took virtually all my guitar gas away. I literally played nothing else for almost ten years. I also have the Little Martin the one with a Sitka top but pressed back and sides and neck! It sounds really good as well. It actually sounds better than my Rancher Penguin. Now all three of them sound great the two smaller ones can’t compete with the 000 but it was four times more expensive. Playa inexpensive Martin and see if it does it for you!
 


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