Over 175 Years of Quality
Just touching a Martin acoustic guitar makes you feel like you're a part of history. Still family owned after more than 175 years, the C.F. Martin Company has been at the forefront of many of the major guitar innovations that we now take for granted--like, say, using steel for strings instead of catgut. Martin guitars have been symbols of high-quality instruments since 1833--and today, they're a symbol of rich tradition, too. The look and sound of a Martin immediately calls to mind a thousand images, from Civil War soldiers singing around the fire to Woody Guthrie singing his way down that ribbon of highway. Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Gene Autry, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Jimmy Buffet, Dave Matthews and John Mayer are just a few of the famous guitarists who have used Martins on their greatest hits. When you play a Martin, you're a part of the same tradition.
The 15 Series
In the 1940s, the solid wood "Style 15" series was one of Martin's flagship lines, consisting of guitars that usually featured a solid mahogany top, back, and sides with rosewood fretboards and bridges. The "15 serious" was re-introduced in 1997, launching one of the most affordable lines of Martin's solid-wood guitars ever produced. Since they're solid wood models(as opposed to most lower-end guitars, which thin wooden laminates fused together), the rich tone of the 15 series will only improve as the guitars age. If you treat them well, they can last you a…
lifetime (a hard shell case is included for those of you absolutely insist on taking your guitar with you when you hop freight trains).
The Rich Tone of Mahogany and Sapele
Most of the acoustic guitars you see today come with a light-colored spruce top, often with mahogany back and sides. The spruce wood produces a strong, crisp tone. Most of the 15 series of Martins, however, take the somewhat unusual step of using mahogany on the top as well, bringing the guitars a dark, elegant look and a gorgeously rich, exceptionally warm sound. Martin now uses mahogany and sapele interchangeably; the two come from the same family of wood (sapele is sometimes referred to as "African mahogany"), look almost indistinguishable from one another, and produce nearly identical tones. The solid wood construction and "A-frame" bracing of this D-15 enhances the tone even further, and the satin finish helps bring out the natural beauty of the deep brown wood. Even the smell of a mahogany guitar is simply wonderful.
The Dreadnought: An Innovation That Became the Standard
Dreadnought-style guitars have large bodies--larger than the average acoustic guitar when Martin developed the style back in 1916. They are probably the most common guitar shape and size on the market today--many even consider it the standard shape for acoustic guitars. The deep, clear bass response dreadnoughts get from their large, rounded bodies has helped make them extremely popular--dreadnoughts account for about 80% of all Martin guitars sold today.
D-15: An Affordable Investment for a Lifetime
If you play acoustic guitars, you know the name "Martin" the way a car enthusiast knows the name "Rolls Royce." And you probably know that if you want a guitar that will last you for decades, you want a solid wood guitar. The quality of a solid wood Martin naturally comes with a price tag, but the simply appointed, no-frills-necessary 15 series makes it possible for more guitarists than ever to own the guitars they deserve. The D-15 may not have all of the high-end features and options that you get on Martins that cost three times at much, but the D-15 has the classical look of a 1940s "Style 15" Martin, and, most importantly, it has that sweet Martin sound, making the D-15 one of the most attractive acoustic guitar values available today. Sure, you could learn your scales and write your first song on any old acoustic guitar, but a solid-wood Martin can grow with you and stay with you for your entire life. Great name, great value, great guitar.