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. Learn more about this Martin DRS1 for proof of that!

Overall this instrument is priced far below what it’s worth, and the best thing is 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 with this instrument!

By looking at this acoustic electro 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 some of the best true and organic sound that makes for a memorable experience!

 

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

CONs:
  • Fishman Sonitone electronics

 

Martin DRS1 Reviews

Only one, single complaint could be found about the Martin Road Series DRS1 Guitar at time of writing – 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 Acoustic Electric 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 instrument that is a 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.

martin road front view

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 acoustic electric guitars from competitive brands, you can check out our entire line-up of acoustic-electric guitars.

 

Martin DRS1 FAQ

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 strumming 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 making lefties very happy!

 

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 the best 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, overall 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!

The only blues you will get after buying this guitar will be the ones you end up playing on it.

Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural
  • Body Body type: D-14 Fret Cutaway: Non-cutaway Top wood: Sapele Back & sides: Sapele Bracing pattern: A-Frame Body finish: Satin Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: Modified Low Oval Nut width:...
  • Built on traditional styling and legendary Martin tone, the DRS1 acoustic-electric is one of the most affordable solid wood models they offer
  • Constructed with sapele top, back and sides for a very mahogany-like warmth most acoustic players crave with a bit more love on the high end

 

Avatar for Author at The Sound Junky

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.