NGD: Martin DX1AE

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Treynor, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    This past week I started researching and playing reasonably priced acoustic guitars. I have a Takamine F360S that I bought new in 1978 and still love. But the girl is getting a little older and I like to save playing time on her for special occasions/motivation.

    I had purchased a new Epiphone Hummingbird Artist about six months ago for a grab and go acoustic. With some GC reward bucks I had accumulated, I was able to get it for $80 out of pocket. But although it played nicely and sounded OK, there was just something missing in the tone...I just didn't get much inspiration when playing it.

    So yesterday I took the plunge and got a new Martin DX1AE. I was able to trade in my Epi (which I got $25 more dollars on than I paid for it) toward it and got an additional 10% off the price on the GC trade up program.

    Now the tone on this guitar DOES inspire me. I compared it to Martins, Taylors and Gibsons costing 2-3 times more, and the DX1 held its own against them. I got some good playing time with it last night and this morning, and just finished setting it up and putting new strings on it. As part of the setup, I sanded the saddle and got the action from 4mm at the 14th fret to 2.8mm on the low E. Now she plays like butter and sings like an angel!


    IMG_0720.jpg IMG_0722.jpg IMG_0723.jpg
     
  2. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier ‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Sweet. I'll bet it booms.

    You probably know this but, Martin warns against leaving a leather strap on for a long time because it might discolor the finish. Otherwise, that's a nice strap.
     
  3. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks for the warning on the leather strap...I did not not know that!
     
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  4. Very nice, and the top is such beautifully qtr sawn too!
    I don't have any dreadnoughts, only thin body travel, an Ovation medium bowl, and jumbos's, so I'll be watching anything you might post about your journeys with this one. :)

    Good advice from Davis Re: the strap!
    Urethane (that Martin uses on it) does not contain poly binders, and is IMHO to be protected as if it is lacquer.
    Meaning ... no permanent straps, and if using on a stand, or hanging it you should cover the rubber tubing, or grips with fabric ... just like if using things like that with a lacquer finished guitar.

    Congrats and HNGD! :)
     
  5. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks again for another thing I did not know about stands!

    Yeah, @Flyer91, I love the Sitka Spruce top! Looks great and projects sound so nicely.
     
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  6. Ralph124C41

    Ralph124C41 Squier-holic

    Feb 10, 2016
    I've been thinking about buying an "X" model for a couple years but the purist in me keeps running away from a guitar with HPL back and sides. Plus I've just run into too many people who have told me of problems with the pairing of a solid spruce top with the HPL, that is cracks and that the HPL is rather brittle and if you hit it it may split.

    Again, I know this is just anecdotal information but the two factors still give me concern.

    However the sound is very good.

    But congrats on your Martin!
     
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  7. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks for the congrats! I too wondered about the HPL, but interestingly enough in the reviews I read it was more often given credit for durability than concerns about fragility. I guess I'll find out!

    But as you mentioned, Martin definitely spent good R&D time in the combination of materials, because the sound is quite good, IMHO.
     
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  8. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Getting a Martin makes for a special day! Congrats and much playing joy. She is a beauty! :)

    -don
     
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  9. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
  10. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2009
    Philadelphia
    I took a tour through the Martin factory in Nazareth, it's really sweet ... HNGD !
     
  11. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    That would be a sweet tour. Only thing better might be the two companies working together to offer a Martin/Woodford Reserve fantasy tour o_O
     
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  12. I just re-read my post and I certainly hope it didn't come across like I was diss'ing urethane.
    Quite the opposite.
    On an acoustic or hollow body it's my preferred finish, as IMHO: it's pretty much as tone neutral as lacquer, but usually with a smoother more high gloss (less orange peel prone) finish.
    At least that's been my experience. :)

    P.S. IMHO: Polyurethane doesn't need the protection from stuff like leather or rubber, but is better used on solid body guitars than on acoustic or hollowbodys, where the type of finish is more important/has biggest impact on tone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
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  13. Ralph124C41

    Ralph124C41 Squier-holic

    Feb 10, 2016
    Regarding my post about the marriage of solid spruce and HPL, I've also tried out a Martin model, I can't find the model number anymore, but it was ALL HPL, even the top. It sounded very good and with that all-HPL construction that would allay my fears.

    But as others have said, these guitars have been out for years and I would think Martin would have cancelled the series if there were a lot of complaints about them.
     
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  14. Ralph124C41

    Ralph124C41 Squier-holic

    Feb 10, 2016
    Regarding my last post, that all-HPL Martin model was the DXM I think. I think the DXM had no pickup and the DXME (or something like that) had the pickup installed. However, even the top was HPL. I played one and it was OK(ish) but a little muffled.
     
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  15. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Didn't take it that way at all! I agree with you that it seems to be very tone neutral. I've only had that finish on acoustics, and it does seem to let the wood breathe. It is hard to get used to at first after the many guitars with a gloss type finish. But I think I like it!
     
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  16. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Interesting...not familiar with those models. That would have been a hard sell for me. In another thread I mentioned that laminate tops can sound very good, but it has to be right from the get go since they really don't improve with age. There are many manufacturers who have used laminates for the sides and back, but get great results by adding the solid wood top that breathe and improve over time. Thanks for the info!
     
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  17. mechanic1908

    mechanic1908 Squier-Meister

    239
    Mar 18, 2010
    Ontario
    Great looking guitar, congrats! I've been looking and back and forth between your model Martin and their Dreadnought Jr. I've played several examples of each trying to decide which I like better. The tone of both is jaw dropping good, but I think the smaller body of the Jr. is calling my name.
    Again , congrats on a fine instrument, enjoy it in good health!
     
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  18. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    63
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Thank you, sir! Best wishes on your decision...can't go wrong on either one :)
     
  19. Eddie

    Eddie Squirt Startocaster Infinity Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    51
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    Awesome thread.

    Can't wait to get mine.
     
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  20. Hadronic Spin

    Hadronic Spin J Squier, Esquier Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    56
    151
    Jan 27, 2021
    Los Angeles
    Looks great, congrats!


    J
     
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