Get the booming lows and crisp high end that Martin dreadnoughts are known for! The Martin D-16E acoustic-electric is a perfect companion to any songwriter.
Submitted April 27, 2021 by Jason G in Hales Corners, WI
"My first Martin - I love it!"
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I've been playing guitar a long time, both electric and acoustic. This is my first Martin and first American made instrument. Bottom line - it's awesome, and the American quality is very apparent. I had a lower end acoustic which I actually loved, but was on the hunt for an acoustic-electric. After getting frustrated with lower priced overseas instruments, I finally said "that's it! I'm getting a Martin." I still didn't want to spend $2.5-$4k though, but wanted an American made Martin with included electronics. This one fit the bill.My one concern was whether this guitar would still sound good, loud, and have enough bass given the shallower depth. I actually had the opportunity to play the D-16E side-by-side with a "Martin Special 16 Style" (which is exclusive to a competitor store). That instrument is a full depth dreadnought but otherwise very similar. Without much scientific evidence, I would say the D-16E sounded better. It may have been a little quieter, but I felt it had a more balanced sound and less boom. 90% of the time, I play my guitar on recordings in multi-instrument arrangements and have to cut the low end anyway. Even still, played solo, it sounds amazing and I think it has plenty of volume and bass.I'm a perfectionist when it comes to intonation and setup. This thing was absolutely perfect out of the box. I checked intonation, action, string height at the nut, neck relief - I absolutely do not need to take it in for an initial setup. The frets are also nice and smooth at the edges of the fingerboard. I initially thought I didn't like the vintage style open gear tuners, but I actually love the way they operate - they are very smooth and accurate. And I think they look very classy too.As far as appearance I think it is absolutely beautiful. I love the simplicity of it. I like the satin finish on the back and sides and the gloss top. The top wood grain on mine looks great. Just enough pattern to add some character without a lot of bold striping. I chose the mahogany one for a few reasons - 1) it was a little cheaper, 2) I listened to some comparisons and although the mahogany vs. rosewood were very, very similar, I thought the mahogany sounded a little better, and 3) the mahogany I think is even simpler looking than the rosewood, which I like. The mahogany D-16 is more like a D-18, where the rosewood D-16 is more like a D-28. I thought the binding was black, but was pleasantly surprised to see it's actually a beautiful dark tortoise shell.The only thing I would be a little critical on for this guitar is the electronics. The single tone knob adjusts from flat EQ to "scooped" EQ. To me, both of these settings have too much mid and high end. I would like separate bass, mid (preferably sweepable), and treble controls. And the enhance does make it sound a bit more natural, but it really doesn't affect the sound that much. I think they should've gone simpler and just left off the tone knob and enhance knob. They could've preset some enhance from the soundboard pickup and then let the user EQ it to their liking with a DI or amp, since that needs to be done anyway. However, I think a lot of acoustic-electrics plugged in directly suffer from similar issues (except maybe for ones equipped with something like the L.R. Baggs Anthem). I did get a pretty good sound plugged in after adding some EQ in my DAW and a little reverb. Likewise, if I were to plug in for live performance, adding a DI box or an amp with EQ controls would help immensely.On the plus side for the electronics, I do like that the controls are somewhat hidden in the sound hole. I also like that the output jack is separate from the button. I had another acoustic-electric with the output jack in the strap button, and I needed a special adapter to get any of my several straps to hook onto it securely. And it's nice to have the battery accessible from outside the guitar. Systems like the L.R. Baggs Anthem require a battery bag velcroed inside the instrument which requires string removal (or extreme loosening) to change.
Self taught musician playing guitar for 30+ years
A little of everything
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Submitted September 25, 2020 by Greg V in Allen, TX
"Martin D-16E Review"
I just purchased a new Martin D-16-E two days ago, and I couldn't be more pleased. The rosewood back and sides produce warm and bright tones, the 1.75" nut makes the guitar great for finger picking as well as strumming, etc. For a solid wood Martin guitar at a price point under $2,000.00 you can't go wrong. I would definitely recommend this guitar as a great buy and a keeper.
Progressive country mu.sic as well as classic rock
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