Brand/Model: Martin D-16RGT
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right/Left
Body Material: Rosewood/Spruce top
Neck Material: Hardwood
Fretboard Material: Richlite
Price Range: Under $2000
Our Rating: 10/10
Martin D-16RGT Acoustic Guitar Review
A trend of the new century is to combine both classic and modern elements together to create a playable and high-end instrument that fits the needs of most guitarists. The D-16 Series does just that with its RGT that may seemingly look just like any other regular acoustic, but this is a Martin, and they don’t do mediocre.
You’ll have to take a close look at the 16 Series guitar to see what it’s all about. For the brand, the 16-RGT is really in the mid-range level of quality. It’s a premium guitar, don’t get me wrong, but we know Martins can definitely cost the same as a brand-new car. So, to get a series-inspired Martin guitar for under $2000, it’s a grabber!
First up, as you can guess for an expensive guitar, it has solid tonewoods that will age and become more rich and deep in tone. It has a solid spruce top with solid East Indian rosewood back and sides.
Shaving off some costs, the neck is made out of select hardwood and has been stained a dark mahogany color. The fretboard is made from FSC certified Richlite, and it might strike a chord with purists, although it does have its benefits.
However, rosewood is still seen with the heel cap, bridge, and headplate. Spruce follows through with the scalloped X bracing. White Corian is used for the nut and compensated white Tusq for the saddle.
A faux tortoiseshell pickguard is standard for the GT line and chrome enclosed gears and small knobs finish off the hardware.
Thanks to the solid wood and quality construction, this guitar is studio-worthy. The rosewood balances out the crisp and bright tones of spruce adding very warm and harmonically-balanced intonation.
Resonance is deep and projecting that is in part due to its full-size dreadnought body. The combo of tonewoods, scalloped bracing, and build allows it to be played aggressively, or enthusiastically as we like to say, both in strumming and finger style.
This guitar is great for any playing style and genre, and guitarists will quickly adapt and bring out its full potential!
- Scalloped bracing
- Solid tonewoods
- Body binding
- Select mahogany neck
You’d be lucky to find a complaint with the 16-RGT guitar. It has superb construction, and the sound is incredible. More than a few buyers say it sounds better than some other Martin guitars that cost more than two-grand! With some preferred strings and your fingers ready to go, it will play true for you.
However, while there’s no complaint about the neck, it does have select mahogany instead of a solid mahogany neck. This is implied to be laminate construction; layers of plywood with a veneer.
While this may be a disappointment for some, it hasn’t proved to be a hindrance or a disadvantage to players and buyers of this gorgeous guitar. If anything, it doesn’t add much weight to the guitar, it keeps it in the under $2000 price range, and it’ll be more durable against accidental damage.
Alternatives to Consider
If you have some money saved, but not quite enough, you can always settle for another excellent Martin D-Series guitar. The D-15M acoustic guitar follows suit with the same quality and value known from the D-Series.
It has a solid spruce top with solid mahogany for the rest of the body and neck. The only other notable difference between these two guitars is that the 15M has non-scalloped bracing. While it does have impact on responsiveness, you might find that you like the non-scalloped bracing with the use of mahogany tonewood.
It’s worthy of the test-drive if you haven’t saved enough for the RGT!
If you want a little more aesthetic flair to your guitar, the BR-163A Historic Craftsman Series from Blueridge might fill the bill. You’re seeing a solid Adirondack spruce top with rosewood back and sides with a mahogany neck.
To satisfy fancy tastes, it has herringbone marquetry, ’30s inspired snowflake markers, and a Saga Dalmatian-style pickguard.
Martin D-16RGT Q&A
The guitar does have a white top binding and a white fingerboard binding. The fingerboard binding has black side dots to indicate fret positions.
The dot inlays on the fretboard are made with Mother of Pearl, also known as Nacre. While Mother of Pearl and Abalone resemble each other to the point of being interchangeable in terms, Mother of Pearl will have a milky white shade while abalone has darker shades of colors.
The tapered neck has a modified low oval neck shape.
The 16-GT guitar is pretty much exactly the same the same as the 16-RGT. However, there are some differences you should know about. Instead of Rosewood for the back and sides, the GT has mahogany with a light red mahogany color.
It also has black bindings and a headplate made of granadillo. Granadillo wood is similar to rosewood but is dense and hard, provides a chime and bell-like tone, and is often said to be “wood that sings.”
This is the acoustic guitar model. However, Martin can add Electronics as an optional cost.
This guitar is made in the USA.
You’ll have to check with your vendor to confirm the inclusion of a case, but Martin does include a ply hardshell case with this guitar.
This model is available for left-hand players.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
Assuming your buy includes a hardshell case, there’s only a few items left to purchase to complete your guitar kit.
Most experienced players will already have these necessities, but in case you’ve forgotten a few or you’re new to guitars, we’ve listed a few essentials you should get.
It takes more than just a case to protect your guitar and more than just your fingers to express your playing style, so be sure to see our “Must-Have Accessories Guide.”
- Solid tonewoods that age
- Incredible sound and projection
- Made in the USA
Our Verdict on the D-16RGT
To strum it up, the Martin D-16RGT guitar earns respect all on its own. It may have Martin behind its name, but it’s a guitar that can impress even the brand-snobs of the guitar industry. To get high-end in this price range, it makes sense to act on this buy right away!