Martin DRS1 Review – Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Martin Road Series DRS1 DreadnoughtBrand/Model: Martin Road Series DRS1

Number Of Strings: 6

Hand Orientation: Right

Body Material: Sapele

Neck Material: Mahogany

Fretboard Material: Richlite

Price Range: Under $1000

Our Rating: 9.4/10


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Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Review

Martin Road Guitar HeadstockOwning a Martin guitar doesn’t have to take you into the triple zero digit range. Just check out this Martin Road Series DRS1 guitar for proof of that! Priced far below what it’s worth, it has a kicker sound punch that will knock your socks off!

The eco-friendly in us all will appreciate the highly sustainable, full body, solid sapele tonewood. If you’re not familiar with sapele, with just one strum on this piece of art will tell you it’s similar to mahogany in sound and appearance.

But, for those dedicated to mahogany, you’ll be pleased to know the neck is made with the solid, dark good-stuff. To add to the tonewood combo is the certified richlite black fingerboard with 20 frets and a richlite bridge.

What you get is impeccable sound, warmth, and pitch-perfect intonation accuracy! Whether it’s picking or strumming that’s your style, loudness, richness, and fullness is the name of the tune!

By looking at the guitar, you can’t see any external controls. That’s because the Fishman Sonitone system allows for controls to be housed inside the soundhole which eliminates the need for ugly, extra cuts and holes in the side.

This genuinely beautiful six string guitar provides true and organic sound that fits perfectly with its forest-friendly motif!


  • Price
  • Sapele and richlite tonewoods
  • Fishman Sonitone electronics
  • Includes hard shell case
  • Chrome Enclosed Tuners
  • Fishman Sonitone electronics


Buyers Feedback on the DRS1

Only one, single complaint could be found about the Martin Road Series DRS1 Guitar – the Fishman Sonitone electronics. But, it really comes down to personal preference right? With that said, every other buyer of this affordable Martin can’t brag enough about it!

It has an intricately simple design to it that’s no-nonsense but gorgeous as it flashes its premium features. There’s no doubt about this guitar – it’s a Martin!


Alternative Guitars to Consider

If the price is about right and the size is too, then you might just be curious enough to check out what Taylor has to offer. They have the GS Mini-e Koa Acoustic Electric Guitar for under $1000! Interestingly, the Sapele wood on the Martin DRS1 makes it way into the GS Mini-e Koa guitar.

The neck is made out of the sustainable wood, and it has a solid Koa top with a 3-layered Koa veneer. If you’re worried about sound, and you’re not so much a fan of the Fishman pickups on the Martin, you’ll appreciate the behind saddle Expression System 2 pickups.

However, if your budget just can’t stretch this far, but you’re set on finding an affordable Martin, you’re so lucky you’re here! We found the perfect guitar within your budget, but it’s a little scaled down, just like the price.

The LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Electric Guitar is a stunner in its own right. Its biggest appeal, other than its low price, is the travel-size and compact dimensions that make it perfect for jam sessions anywhere you go!

But, if you would rather check out some full-sized options from competitive brands, you can check out our entire line-up of acoustic-electric guitars.

martin road front view

Martin DRS1 Q&A

Can the Martin Road Series DRS1 be Plugged into an Amp?

Yes! It has an end-pin jack for plug-ins and the Fishman Sonitone electronics require the use of a 9 volt battery.

As a Martin, you can expect excellent and premium sound whether you’re plugged in or going solo!


What is the Nut and Saddle Made out of?

The nut is made from white corian and the saddle is made with white tusq.


Where is the Martin Guitar Made?

This particular guitar is made in Mexico.


How Durable is the Martin Road Series Guitar?

It’s high quality and very durable, so it could withstand some dings and donks during transportation or accidental falls. But, like all vintage acoustic guitars, you want to treat it like the lady it is. That’s why Martin threw in the hard shell case!


Can the Electronics be Replaced?

While the Fishman Sonitone electronics can be replaced, it’s what helps to keep the cost of this acoustic electric guitar under 1000 bucks. If you choose to upgrade your pickups, be prepared for super-sonic excellence!


Does Martin Make a Left-Handed Version of this Guitar?

Yes! Martin has created a left-handed model of this guitar!


Martin DRS1 Sound


Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need

The thing about high-quality guitars is, you don’t usually get a butt-load of extra equipment or accessories in the purchase. Spending this much on an acoustic electric guitar alone can be staggering to the budget, but when it’s a low-priced Martin under 1000 bucks, you’ve got a deal.

Put the savings towards quality gear that can really keep up and amplify your Martin talents!

road series DRS1 back viewFor a full run-down on what you’ll need to get plugged-in, check out our epic guitar accessories guide.


Standout Features of the Martin DRS1

  • High-quality
  • Solid wood
  • Aesthetic appeal


Our Verdict on the DRS1 Acoustic Electric Guitar

To strum it up, the Martin Road Series DRS1 acoustic electric guitar is definitely a worthy buy and addition to your collection. No guitar antiquarian or connoisseur would feel complete without this gorgeous, travel-worthy Martin!

Martin DRS1 - Natural
  • 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Solid Sapele Top
  • Sides; and Fishman Sonitone Pickup - Natural
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While I don't have an arts degree in music, I have spent enough time around musical instruments & musicians to pass on some useful information. When I'm not rocking out to a sick beat on my stereo, you will find me sitting on a bean bag, in the corner of my room with a guitar trying to emulate the prowess of the great Mr Eric Clapton.