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Rating and Reviews: Martin DX1KAE X Series

Get the whole Martin package: looks, playability, and tone at an affordable price. A spruce top and koa back and sides give this dreadnought a unique sound.

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Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"An Incredible Instrument!" submitted April 28, 2012

By James Foster in Lombard, IL
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I have played 43 years. I play Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Telecasters, and a variety of acoustics. I play out with a band.
Music Style: Blues, rock, Latin.
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Sound: The sound of this guitar is very impressive. The solid spruce top gives it that "piano soundboard" volume and projection, but what is most impressive is how balanced and musical the sound is. It is bright without being harsh; it is full without being "boomy". I play a lot of finger-style instrumental stuff, and every note rings true. Very pleasant voicing and sustain. It stands alone without an amplifier, and for a special treat I played it through my Fender Acoustisonic Jr. which is a great combination. The Fishman electronics are very natural sounding through the amp, You can't go wrong here. Feature: I had read a lot of reviews from skeptics who were critical of this model because of the "Stratabond" neck material, the laminated sides and back, and the fact that the guitar is made in Mexico. As a musician, none of that stuff makes any difference to me if the instrument feels and sounds awesome. I'm not a tree-hugger, but if environmentally sound innovations which are less expensive to manufacture can give me the chance to own a guitar which is this nice, I am cool with that. Made in Mexico? I couldn't care less, the thing sounds perfect. Martin can be proud to display their logo on this guitar, and should be given credit for answering the needs of musicians during hard economic times. For the price, this is a fantastic guitar. The strap button on the heel is a nice touch, making this very practical for gigs. Ease of Use: This guitar played like a dream right out of the box. I usually get a set up done with new instruments, but I don't see any need to do anything right away with this one. Action is nice and comfortable, no buzzes or rattles. Quality: It is very well-made, the finish is beautiful. I bought the koa wood model. I might buy the Rosewood and Mahogany ones and keep them in different tunings. Value: In my opinion this is a steal for the money. There are some less expensive acoustics that are very good such as Washburn and Epiphone. I believe you have to compare them side by side to decide for yourself. For me, the Martin was magic and worth every penny. Manufacturer Support: I have never been much involved in contacting manufacturers. They do offer a pamphlet on guitar care and information on how to contact them, so I am confident they are there if I ever need them. The Wow Factor: The sound and elegance of this instrument speaks for itself. I like the simplicity of having no fret markers. It is a pretty cool guitar all the way around. Overall: I researched this product extensively before purchasing it. I was torn between a few less expensive solid spruce-tops and the Martin. After actually playing one in person, I knew this was the one. The bottom line for me is the sound of the guitar, and this one is pristine. I have wanted a Martin all my life, but they were always out of reach because of the cost. They have finally found a way to deliver the sound and playability of the Martin at a price even I can afford.
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