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Any input on a martin d15m?

fatoni

Member
Messages
327
I'm getting the itch for an acoustic guitar and I just missed an opportunity for a larrivee d09 for 850. I think I'm gonna settle for a martin d15 for 640 but I was just wondering if you guys had an opinion on that at all. Thanks in advance
 

otaypanky

Play it like you mean it ~
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,055
I never played the D but I've had the J and 000 models.
I had a J-15 years ago. 'Sounded lovely but it was a bit too big for me and I eventually sold it and grabbed a used 000-15. Ended up selling that one a few years later but ended up missing it and had to buy another. 'Glad I did, it's a great sounding guitar.
 

Irving Pye

Senior Member
Messages
572
I've not owned the D, but I have owned the 000-15M and the 0-15 Custom. Stellar mahogany Martins....and for $640 the D-15 is at a great price!
 
M

Member 37136

One of the last great bargains in a USA-made Martin guitar! As with all of the 15-series models, the D is a stellar performer that should keep you plenty happy for a long time.

I don't think you're "settling" for anything but a great guitar!
 

royd

Member
Messages
2,039
as everyone has said, that is a great guitar. I think the 15 series is by far the best bang for the buck of Martins. At that price... jump on it.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,471
I think as all mahogany tops go they're nice. But I've had a few other hog tops and after my last one, a 000-15M (which i preferred over the D) which i sold a mere couple months after buying it, i decided no more all hog tops for me. The reason is this. Theres a weird thing going on with hog topped acoustics to my ear, and they all have it to one degree or another and i believe it's why they aren't near as common as spruce tops. I find the plain strings and wound strings don't seem to sound like they're on the same guitar. The wounds sound good but the plains have this sound that makes them sound hard at times and just don't seem to blend right with the wound strings. Thats the best i can explain it but whatever it is i hear it in all hog tops, so i won't be buying another hog top. The martin was the least obvious but it still gnawed at me after a time. I then bought a spruced topped hog sides/back eastman that just blows it clean out of the water and out of the same solar system and cost me a few hundred less. It's not even comparable. If yu gotta have a martin i;d go with something else, but if you gotta have great tone that doesn't compromise go with a eastman. I'll get flamed big time for this but my eastman sounds better than any martin i've played in the last several decades at any price. Made my 15 series martin sound almost toylike. But back on topic, it's that issue i find in hog top guitars that would have me recommending you to look elsewhere whether at a spruce topped martin or a eastman or whatever. I say just stay away from hog tops. Maybe some don't notice what i do, and maybe you won't either. But thats what my ear hears.
 

fatoni

Member
Messages
327
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm thinking I should buy a more versatile guitar since it will probably be my only acoustic. Something more conventional and maybe not even a dreadnought.
 
M

Member 37136

Theres a weird thing going on with hog topped acoustics to my ear, and they all have it to one degree or another and i believe it's why they aren't near as common as spruce tops. I find the plain strings and wound strings don't seem to sound like they're on the same guitar. The wounds sound good but the plains have this sound that makes them sound hard at times and just don't seem to blend right with the wound strings. I say just stay away from hog tops.
They "all" have it? You're painting a lot of guitars with a mighty broad brush. Especially considering that I've never heard this "weird thing" nor have I ever heard anyone else mention it.

Martin Retro monels on a mahogany top sound glorious, BTW.
 

Irving Pye

Senior Member
Messages
572
dazco says..." it's that issue i find in hog top guitars that would have me recommending you to look elsewhere whether at a spruce topped martin or a eastman or whatever. I say just stay away from hog tops."


It is a tone that does not "play" well with all styles and strings. If you're taken with all mahogany bodies, the nickel strings(and monels) do wonders for that old time sound. As dazco recommends, if you are looking for a Multi-Purpose acoustic....go with a spruce top.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,471
They "all" have it? You're painting a lot of guitars with a mighty broad brush.

Martin Retro monels on a mahogany top sound glorious, BTW.
I don't see it as painting with a broad brush but rather the fact that i have had a truckload of acoustics and never once heard what i described in any of them except hog tops, and every one had it. To me thats just taking notes and reporting what i noticed. If you don't thats great for you because otherwise i like them and wish i DIDN'T hear that. On the other hand i just came to realize i far prefer spruce anyways so thats another reason. But I DO hear what i described and it's to my ear fact because every one i have experienced has it and not one spruce has. At some point you just have to give in and admit that it can no longer be coincidence. Thats where i am with this. As for strings, i tried many on every guitar i have had to find the best for each so thats not it. Anyways, i hear it, some don't. Just reporting my findings. I really loved that 000-15M, but I'm jaw dropped like never before by my eastman.
 
M

Member 37136

I don't see it as painting with a broad brush but rather the fact that i have had a truckload of acoustics and never once heard what i described in any of them except hog tops, and every one had it. To me thats just taking notes and reporting what i noticed. If you don't thats great for you because otherwise i like them and wish i DIDN'T hear that. On the other hand i just came to realize i far prefer spruce anyways so thats another reason. But I DO hear what i described and it's to my ear fact because every one i have experienced has it and not one spruce has. At some point you just have to give in and admit that it can no longer be coincidence. Thats where i am with this. As for strings, i tried many on every guitar i have had to find the best for each so thats not it. Anyways, i hear it, some don't. Just reporting my findings. I really loved that 000-15M, but I'm jaw dropped like never before by my eastman.
It's certainly fair enough to report your findings. But to caution others to "just stay away from hogtops" because of some mysterious sound that perhaps only you hear is poor advice.
 

rodeodee

Member
Messages
1,039
I bought a d15 mahogany Martin almost 10 years ago. Beautiful sounding guitar, opened up amazingly after 9 months. Put in a k&k pure western system with a preamp, gorgeous buttery sound.

Thick neck, would like something maybe slimmer, but that's minor.

The finish is soft and easily marked, but if like a glossy shiny acoustic go for something else.

The d15 is really prone to feedback when plugged in as its so light weight and resonant. I use a sound hole plug (ornate plastic version of those wooden expensive ones) and it helps massively. I gig with this acoustic often, and prefer it to any another acoustic I've borrowed over the years.

I really like the 000-015m that I've tried too, and may have bought that if I had a choice at that time. But if you want a dread and the mahogany sound, they are great.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,471
mysterious sound that perhaps only you hear is poor advice.
Really, I'm the only player on earth that hears something different with hog tops? Did you interview every guitar player on earth to determine that? Might wanna put YOUR broad brush down now ! As to this being poor advice, no, it's MY advice, and this is a forum where each person's advice can be used to make your own determination. If someone goes strictly by my advice ignoring all others, thats not my fault it's theirs. This is nothing more than one person's opinion as is yours. He can take it or leave it, but I'm not puttind a gun to his head and forcing him to believe me. But the stats DO suggest there is a reason hog tops are not very popular. (maybe 5% of acoustics IF that?)
 
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hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,028
And here I was thinking mahogany top guitars were experiencing unprecedented popularity. A look a the history of mahogany tops will reveal that the stats more likely reflect product availability. Martin only made mahogany tops in basically 0 and 00 sizes and discontinued those in 1960. These sizes were not in demand since the early years of Martin. Mahogany tops were not in production again until 1997 when the first D size mahogany top, a 15 series, was added. Just as mahogany back and sides were always at the low end mahogany tops were perceived as even lower end and in spec'ing the guitars, Martin always spec'd the least cost options. While mahogany top cuts material cost a little, or at least used to, it costs just as much to build to equivalent specs and mahogany has had to fight the low end perception and the associated perceived purchase price ceiling.

I know there are more builders than Martin but if you want to get a pretty good idea of how we got where we are today, it would be uninformed to disregard the importance of Martin history. Having said that, as I said, mahogany is experiencing unprecedented popularity with many manufacturers now including mahogany top guitars. And many folks buying and playing them.

I don't own any and have no plans to buy but, I think suggesting low ownership stats are an indication that mahogany guitars sound funny is not a good correlation. That would mean 45 model Martins must sound terrible.

hunter
 
M

Member 37136

Really, I'm the only player on earth that hears something different with hog tops? Did you interview every guitar player on earth to determine that?
Charming retort, except I didn't say they don't sound different. I said that you seem to hear something that others don't, as your own post confirms:
i hear it, some don't.
But the stats DO suggest there is a reason hog tops are not very popular.
Their popularity is irrelevant.

This is nothing more than one person's opinion as is yours.
The difference is that I'm not advising people to avoid an entire type of guitar just because I prefer something else. The OP simply asked if buying a D-15 for $640 was a good choice. Your blanket advice to "stay away from hogtops" does him a disservice.
 

fatoni

Member
Messages
327
i appreciate all the advice and input. i believe the guitar would be decent but im kinda thinking its not going to be as versatile as some other options out there. i found a taylor 714ce for 1k. from what i gather it will be more flexible (by having more conventional tone woods and being a shape that may lend itself to fingerpicking as thats something id like to start learning). im a big electric guy and probably will never have more than one acoustic so we will see how this develops.
 

lamenlovinit

Member
Messages
3,843
i appreciate all the advice and input. i believe the guitar would be decent but im kinda thinking its not going to be as versatile as some other options out there. i found a taylor 714ce for 1k. from what i gather it will be more flexible (by having more conventional tone woods and being a shape that may lend itself to fingerpicking as thats something id like to start learning). im a big electric guy and probably will never have more than one acoustic so we will see how this develops.
You are correct. It's a good guitar. It isn't great. I know the flames will come from the true believers, but it's not "just" an opinion to say it is less versatile. Through muting, and snapping strings (simulating short scale), and other techniques, you can make that 714 you're talking about sound "like a blues box" and dirty as hell, which is what a lot of folks always talk about when they extol the virtues of mahogany topped, or ladder braced guitars. But you can never make one of those "blues boxes" sparkle like a nice spruce top guitar.

I'm not hating on them. They just aren't a great guitar for a one guitar guy or gal. They are a bargain. With a basic setup they play like a dream, and a lot of them will play spectacularly right out of the box. They are superb in build quality and will last a lifetime. Which is 75% of the way to great. But you would only take one into a studio to fill a very very very specific voice.

A spruce top guitar is far better for the one guitar guy or gal. And for extreme versatility a non dread is the best choice. Larrivee, Taylor, and martin, in the non-dread shapes are a great place to look. Gibson is a tough call if you don't want a dread. The J-45 is short scale, which to me makes it a superb "second guitar", and a lot of the affordable long scales can be "dreadish".

This is all opinion, except for the part about hog tops not being as versatile as spruce tops :p
 

Irving Pye

Senior Member
Messages
572
"im a big electric guy and probably will never have more than one acoustic so we will see how this develops."


Don't rush. I see you're in OC. There's a few good shops to visit down there. A/B as many as you can....that's the fun of it....good hunting:JAM
 

fatoni

Member
Messages
327
"im a big electric guy and probably will never have more than one acoustic so we will see how this develops."


Don't rush. I see you're in OC. There's a few good shops to visit down there. A/B as many as you can....that's the fun of it....good hunting:JAM
yeah. im trying to be patient but i just sold an electric and i have $1500 burning a hole in my pocket haha. im trying to be patient but i just feel like i keep missing out on some killer deals since i dont know what im doing in the acoustic realm.
 

bbe_rev

Member
Messages
306
I just picked up a D15M a month ago, your price of $640 is a super deal!

I really like the guitar, it's very mellow/smooth sounding. I enjoy it for recording, writing, and just strumming around the house, very pleasant sounding. The Taylor your looking at will most likely be more versatile for you, but quite different than the D15M, depends on what you want. The Taylor does have a wider nut, so a little easier for fingerpicking.
 




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