Thoughts on Mexi-Martins

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by TheoDog, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    I just found what I feel is a fair deal on a D12X1AE
    12 string HPL back and sides.

    Went ahead and bought the guitar becasue the deal includes a Mono Sleeve, which I was already considering for my main 6 string Guild.

    Just wondering if others here have some real world experiences with the current run of budget Martins. Over the years, I have tried a couple, owned a few several years ago. All with some success. The benefit seems that no matter what, they all seem to carry the trademark Martin boomy tone.

    Setup will be a consideration, being a 12 string, it will take a bit longer to dial in, but being mostly HPL, I suspect it will be very durable and stable through the seasons.
     
  2. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    I've played those, and liked 'em fine, and the 12 is really quite good. One thing that is sometimes overlooked when assessing the "Martin-ez" line ... the necks are mortise and tenon bolt-on, and somewhat less difficult to reset (and with a 12, that day may come). When it comes to 12 strings, I prefer Guild, but have played a stellar Martin D20-12, and think it's the best 12 Martin ever made.
     
  3. slooky

    slooky Member

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    I play my Martin Jr D made in Mexico, more than my American. i love it
     
  4. Radspin

    Radspin Member

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    I don't own any but I've played more than a dozen (I eventually bought a Taylor) and was impressed by them all. My nephew owns an X-Series 12-string and it's one of the best-playing 12 strings I've ever tried.
     
  5. Telechamp

    Telechamp Member

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    I've had my Martin DX1AE for a few years now, and love playing it. It's definitely got that Martin tone.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Stardrake

    Stardrake Member

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    I am very fond of my D12X1AE. Lovely rich tone--and robust, besides!
     
  7. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    I'm afraid I can't bring myself to get excited over a guitar made from Formica, no matter how good it might sound. Conversely I have no problem with carbon fibre; at least it isn't pretending to be wood...besides which I can get one of these, all-solid, impeccably built, great spec including a hardshell case, for the same money:
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  8. westmike

    westmike Silver Supporting Member

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    I have had my Martin GPCDA5 for a while now and I have grown really fond of it. Sounds great plugged in too. I play it in church every Sunday and formica or not, it sounds like a good guitar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  9. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    This is nice feedback.
    I have normally been turned off by engineered materials, especially with acoustics. And although the HPL guitars I have played sounded fine, I never kept them long enough to learn how they age, tone-wise.
    My solid wood acoustics have stayed with me the longest on average compared to electrics, amps, and stomp boxes. Over time, I notice how they mature. the tone sweetens a little.

    I am interested in the durability and consistency of the engineered acoustics. Especially with regard to the added stress of the 12-string build, but I wonder if it will develop an improved tone over time since it is a solid wood top.
     
  10. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    Here's an interesting point; Ovation guitars are notoriously prone to top cracks when the wood shrinks but the Lyrachord bowl doesn't move with it. I wonder if the same can be expected with wood and HPL guitars?
     
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  11. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    NEVER buy an acoustic based on what you think it might sound like in the future. While some guitars do get better with age, some just get older. As far as durability (as in the previous post) the HPLs hold up fine. My buddies 000X1 is at least 15 years old and doing just fine. The "Stratabond" neck is probably the strongest neck construction you'll ever encounter, btw.
     
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  12. yell03

    yell03 Member

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    I just bought a Martin Road Series GPCRSGT online, MIM, great guitar. Sounds and plays great. I am tempted to trade up for the USA made GPCPA4 while I am in the trial period, but I am afraid to do it online. I have a feeling I could end up returning a great MIM for an average USA made model.
     
  13. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    I'm not sure why Americans are so averse to foreign made instruments. We came into our own in last part of the 18th century. Other cultures have been building and playing acoustic stringed instruments for centuries before that. They know how.
     
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  14. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    They're great value for what they are.

    To my ears they sound a bit like a cartoon of a Martin - still instantly recognisable as a Martin guitar but they lack the naunce and detail of a standard series guitar. But they're also a fraction of the price and I'd much prefer something that had some genuine Martin dna to a generic Far East solid wood guitar that Martin put a decal on to compete in the budget market: by setting up an overnight trip away from Nazareth in Mexico (technically I think it's an extension of the string factory) they have complete control over the designs and processes.
     
  15. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    Play anything from China and you'll catch the communism. It's true. Besides which America invented everything; were you not told this?
     
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  16. Matt McGriff

    Matt McGriff Member

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    I have a D Jr which is fantastic.
     
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  17. claudel

    claudel Member

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    I like my $200 LXM a lot.

    I've been through a few. I gave one away to a friend that I should have kept. It was a good one.

    I've had a couple of others that sounded too cardboardy, especially a Felix one.

    The one I still have is my main player because the neck is so comfortable for my deteriorating fingers.

    Probably questionable to put Gotoh tuners and a Q-Tuner in it, but it seems to work for whatever it might be that I'm doing these days.
     
  18. westmike

    westmike Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe so... but Sunday morning with a seven piece band leaves little room for nuances. I played several guitars within the price range - some with all wood bodies. My GPCDA5 sounded the best to me (and the salesman).

    I guess I like cartoons.
     
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  19. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    I didn't intend my question to appear a MIA vs MIM concern... My main acoustic is a MIC Guild. My one electric is a MIM Tele.

    The reason I brought it up was to ask about experiences of this budget friendly series. If it was a domestic product with the same materials and construction, I would still wonder.

    I got the guitar and was at reahearsal with it within 15 minutes of the UPS truck driving off. So far, so good. Tuned up well and stayed in tune. Very nice action for a 12. Big jangly tone in spades. Haven't played it at home unplugged.

    I am now considering how to address strap security. I was expecting a conventional endpin jack, but instead, it has a battery box / jack plate.
    I don't use strap locks, I'm more of Grolsch washer kinda mindset. But I want to have a metal strap button here instead of a plastic end pin held in with friction.
    Any ideas?
    [​IMG]
     
  20. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    I understood your post, and didn't think you were asking anything but an honest question. I have several fine American guitars (Martin D-18GE, Martin om-18 custom, Breedlove Roots OM/SRH, Fender MIA Jazz Bass) and several fine foreign made guitars (Eastman AC420B, Guild GAD-G212, Fender MIM Jazz, Fender MIM Precision, Squier Jaguar bass, Fender Coronado II reissue bass). I'm no brand snob, nor do I care where it's made as long I like it, and it makes all the right noises.

    Glad you like your new 12-er. Have fun with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017

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