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  #1  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:37 PM
Rosco NZ Rosco NZ is offline
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Question Mexican Martins

I was in a local music shop today and tried a Martin DX1 that was on display. The action was nice and low and to my untrained ear it sounded very smooth and was easy to play. Then I noticed on the inside a label that said made in Mexico.
How good are these guitars, after all they still have the Martin name on them?
The price was very attractive, but I suppose that you get what you pay for.

Rosco

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:52 PM
Cbanjo Cbanjo is offline
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I hate those things

Martin HPL which is basically sawdust compressed and glued then photo finished to look like wood. Superglued together, there are a lot of problems with seperations (especially bridge). IF this is something you like and want to buy i would suggest springing the extra bit for a solid topped one. Go with a seagull or something, cheaper and better

but if you like it, buy it
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:47 PM
Placida Placida is offline
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I own a DX1. I know players who have owned them for years, and some of the other all-HPL Martins. They're rock solid, bullet proof. I've hit the side of mine on the sharp corner of my computer desk which would have put a nasty dent in a wood sided guitar, and there's not even a smudge - no sign of a bump at all. No separation, no splitting. Everyone I know and have spoken to who owns the DX1 will tell you the same thing.

Sound? It's not a D28, a D18 or any of the standard Martins, but as you discovered ROSCO, they have a great sound, with the traditional Martin low end growl, beautiful mids and highs. Like any decent acoustic, mine sounds better as time passes, and I have only had mine for three months. This guitar actually makes me sound like a better guitarist than I am. I won't post the details of my very lengthy and well thought out search before I bought this guitar. I played many examples of quite a few makes and models - many of those which are pretty highly thought of on here (and rightfully so). There was plenty of competition with the DX1.

ROSCO, play 'em and decide which one sounds the best to you, which one plays the easiest for you, and you will be rewarded with a great guitar, as I have been. Just remember, CF Martin doesn't make junk.

Last edited by cotten; 01-27-2009 at 11:12 PM. Reason: AGF Rule 1: Be nice, and vocabulary
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:03 AM
Rosco NZ Rosco NZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbanjo View Post
I hate those things

Martin HPL which is basically sawdust compressed and glued then photo finished to look like wood. Superglued together, there are a lot of problems with seperations (especially bridge). IF this is something you like and want to buy i would suggest springing the extra bit for a solid topped one. Go with a seagull or something, cheaper and better

but if you like it, buy it
Thanks for your comments, the brochure from the shop that they gave me says that the DX1 does have a solid Sitka Spruce top. Is this not so?

Rosco
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:14 AM
dawhealer dawhealer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosco NZ View Post
I was in a local music shop today and tried a Martin DX1 that was on display. The action was nice and low and to my untrained ear it sounded very smooth and was easy to play. Then I noticed on the inside a label that said made in Mexico.
How good are these guitars, after all they still have the Martin name on them?
The price was very attractive, but I suppose that you get what you pay
I have a 000X-1 that I bought about a year ago to have as a travel guitar. So far it's been a great little guitar. Sounds good and appears to be almost bullet-proof. I played a couple of DX-1s but went with the 000 because it was smaller and would fit an overhead on a plane better.

I think it was a great value for the price. I believe all X-Series Martins have a limited lifetime warranty.

Don't let the fact that it's made in Mexico put you off. I've seen some garbage come out of Mexico and I've also seen some real quality stuff come out as well. As Placida pointed out, Martin doesn't make junk and I'll add that "Made in Mexico" doesn't mean something made there is necessarily lower quality any more than "Made in USA" necessarily means higher quality.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:17 AM
Taylorplayer Taylorplayer is offline
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Then I noticed on the inside a label that said made in Mexico.

I did not know any Martin's were made in Mexico. But, we do live in an increasingly Global Economy (however self regulating as it try to be).

Not saying that is a bad thing at all -- the MIM Fender strats can be really nice and are good values. I just didn't know Martin (175 years...) was doing that.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:16 AM
jwsamuel jwsamuel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosco NZ View Post
Thanks for your comments, the brochure from the shop that they gave me says that the DX1 does have a solid Sitka Spruce top. Is this not so?
Most of the X series -- the DX1 included -- have a solid spruce top with HPL back and sides. I have a DXK2 that has an HPL top, as well as back and sides. I also have a D-28. The DXK2 sounds and plays great. It's not a D-28, but is much better than I expected for the price. Mine was also made in Mexico and the quality is as good as any of the X series guitars I've seen in the past that were made in Nazareth.

Jim
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:23 AM
c70man c70man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosco NZ View Post
I was in a local music shop today and tried a Martin DX1 that was on display. The action was nice and low and to my untrained ear it sounded very smooth and was easy to play. Then I noticed on the inside a label that said made in Mexico.
How good are these guitars, after all they still have the Martin name on them?
The price was very attractive, but I suppose that you get what you pay for.

Rosco

Takamine EG522C
Walden D740
Maton CW100
Hofner 455
My .02........Buy an Eastman, Masterbilt, or any Canadian made all wood guitar first. Or shop for used. You can pick up an all wood Guild on the net for that kind of money and own a much better guitar.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2009, 09:40 AM
jackiebrown jackiebrown is offline
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Here's the scoop on X-series Martins. If they have a 1 in the model number--000X1, DX1, etc.--they have a solid Sitka top. If they have an M--LXM and so forth--they have an HPL top. The different tops have completely different sounds to my ears. I think the X1s sound great. I also think they're a good deal for the money. They're not solid wood, and they won't hold their value like other Martins, but they sound awfully good. As for them being made in Mexico: Martin makes most of the X series guitars, as well as strings and cases, in their Mexican factory. There are some X series guitars still being produced in Nazareth, but production is being moved to Mexico increasingly. There is now talk at Martin of moving the M (Road Series) guitars and the 15 series to Mexico as well. This is a cost saving measure that is now almost certain to happen (I would guess) given the economic downturn. As for quality, there seems to be no difference between the Mexican made Martins and the Nazareth ones.

Good luck with your purchase. Best, Rick
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:43 AM
eolmack eolmack is offline
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They are nice guitars. While there are solid wood options in that price range, I have felt these sound as good as the solid wood guitars (in the same price range). And, the nice thing about HPL is the low maintenance. Sometimes I feel like a pet owner with my solid wood Martins...constantly taking their temperature and humidity and giving them water.

If you like it buy it, but as mentioned above, I would look for a deal on a gently used solid wood Guild, Martin or Taylor. If you can't afford one, the DX1 will give you lots of happy playing.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2009, 12:35 PM
banpreso banpreso is offline
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i think they're okay for the money, personally i'd go with seagul. you can even get all solid wood chinese built recordingking, which isn't bad at all.

but my luthier/ tech hates them! he said once you get damage/ puncture, split on the HPL, it is impossible to repair
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:32 PM
rcemech rcemech is offline
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My future brother in-law has a DX1. It is ok for noodling around and it has got a ton of abuse (the solid top looks about like the surface of the moon), but the tone just isn't quite there. I let him play my Fay and he could hardly put it down, I had to wipe it down from all the drool. I think they are great starter guitars for teens or kids that are ready for a full size guitar, but you can do much better tonally if you are ready to care for the instrument.
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2009, 02:22 PM
Rosco NZ Rosco NZ is offline
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Thanks for all your suggestions. They also had in store a Larrivee L-03 that was very comfortable to hold and had a smooth sound. It was about the same price, I will just have to keep playing them until one says "me".

As for being made in Mexico, I was a bit disappointed when I bought my Takamine home, to find a label on the back that said made in Korea, but it does sound very nice. I guess if you are happy with them it dosnt matter too much where they are made.

Humidity does not seem to be a problem down here for solid top guitars, but what are the recommended conditions?

Rosco
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:53 PM
pkaczor pkaczor is offline
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If the Larrivee L03 is indeed in the same price range, I believe you have your obvious answer. It is an all solid wood, and in my opinion higher caliber, guitar.

If you do some searching, you will see that it is a common suggestion when people ask about good "all around" guitars.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:06 PM
jgwoods jgwoods is offline
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I think there are two tiers of guitars- when I seek a fine guitar I want premium solid woods and craftsmanship to bring out the best in it.

When I want a second tier guitar- beach, beater, travel, gigging in rowdy bars, then I want to go green. If I can get the same tone from HPL and laminate as I can from solid wood, give me the HPL- sawdust. It recycles stuff and keeps a few more trees standing - that will probably get cut down and sold to Seagull, Yamaha, all those makers of all solid wood guitars that really aren't special.
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