My Review of Martin DX1AE Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic/Electric Guitar

Martin is a premier guitar brand name, and if you’d ask me, I’d equate the name to good sound anytime. I’ve been wanting to get one late last year, and just three months ago, my parents gave one to me as a birthday gift!

I’ve been a guitar enthusiast since high school and although I have another guitar that’s been with me for years, I’ve always really wanted to try owning a Martin acoustic guitar, and hopefully play with its good distinct sound to be inspired and create new and meaningful music.

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Martin DX1AE Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar

Let me share with you my honest feelings on it first before we start with the formal review. I want a high-end guitar. My parents bought a Martin, yes, but one belonging to the lower price range. I didn’t know how to feel about it, it’s still a Martin anyway, I was somehow disappointed because I wanted to buy one that is more high-end. But I would say, after 3months, I’ve learned a lot about it and I would like to share my thoughts with you. Hopefully you can share your thoughts with me too.

Benefits

This guitar is offered at a low price for premium sound.

The guitar being made not entirely of solid wood makes it lighter and more convenient to transport from one place to another, but it’s I would say, misleadingly bad for a lot of people.

Features

For starters, this guitar is made of solid spruce top mahogany HPL laminates, A-Frame ”X-1” for the top bracing, and Black Richlite fingerboard. A Fishman Sonitone active preamp soundhole is mounted with rotart controls. The guitar weighs 9.9lbs at 46x18x6in.

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What I don’t love

Unlike most people who get to search for reviews first before buying a new guitar, I was given this guitar first before I really got the chance to check the reviews out.

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  • A lot of people don’t like the fact that it is partly made of laminate wood but I don’t really care much about the authenticity and solidness of wood. Although I found out that the fret board could wound your fingers if you aren’t careful. I, luckily, haven’t experienced that first-hand yet, but I was able to come across the warning online, and I’m now passing it to you.

Neutral points

Three months isn’t a long time, so I actually have thoughts that are on the neutral side. I don’t love it yet, and I don’t know if I hate it.

  • The sound of solid wood definitely sounds different and feels different, but the lightness and feel of the lighter laminated wood also allows the guitar player to create more diverse sounds, which I think I’m loving.
  • The resonance is unique to what I’ve been used to, and at first it felt odd but now I think I’m starting to love it. Just sometimes, when you get used to a solid wood guitar, you’re looking for that one sound that you can’t seem to perfectly achieve with one that is made of synthetic wood.

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What I love

Loving this guitar is somewhat a surprise to me, somehow. Of course I love it first and foremost because it’s from my parents, but there are many things that I realized after using it for three months now.

  • Despite people hating the laminated synthetic wood, this sounds like a real Martin acoustic guitar. It sounds authentic, but has a different feel to it. One of the things that I love most about this is that it’s light.
  • Also, I believe the synthetic wood is what made this Martin guitar more affordable, and isn’t that just great? This guitar made me realize that although I want high-end guitars, most times prices really doesn’t matter and aside from research, trying out the guitar for yourself (hopefully a couple of times and not just once) really helps.

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Overall, this guitar is actually a really good buy. It delivers good sound, and it’s a Martin. What people consider to be its weak point is actually what I think gives it an edge over other guitars too.

Best Review of Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

Introduction to the Seagull S6 acoustic guitar

High-quality Martin’s and Taylor’s out there cost an arm and a leg – a high-quality Seagull doesn’t. Meet the Seagull S6, where price and professionalism come close. It’s made of premium woods, straight out of Canada, eco-friendly and for less than half a thousand dollars. To me, that’s about as much a steal as a heist on the Louvre.

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Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

A primary reason is, quite literally, resources and production. The Seagull S6 is a solid guitar, and by that I mean that it’s well-built, long-lasting, and made of beautiful tone woods. It’s aesthetically pleasing and produces a great sound, far more than its money worth.

Yep! This Seagull S6 really produces great sound!

Is it a Martin guitar? Does it par up to a Taylor? Is it the acoustic equivalent of a Gibson Les Paul? No, no, and no. But, it comes very close to any one of these, and at a fraction – a literal fraction – of their usual prices.

The show doesn’t end there –like mentioned, Seagull guitars are eco-friendly. This might not be important to you, but it is to me. Irresponsible deforestation and the cutting down of exotic woods is a great issue worldwide, and demand for rare tonewoods is leading to the extinction of very precious species, while general demand for cheap wood is leading to the disappearance of forests all over the world, causing landslides, changes in weather and climate, loss of life for millions of animals and many other tragedies.

Most guitar makers say they’re making an effort towards ending these practices, but only few certify themselves as eco-friendly and get their wood from local, alternative and ample sources.

Features:

The Seagull S6 commands a beautiful tone, matching the fact that it is, very simple, beautiful. It’s not specially-designed, it doesn’t sport an amazing color palette, and it doesn’t look like it’ll knock you off its feet – it’s got that warm cherry wood and cedar look to it, and that’s about it, but that’s all it needs. Just that simplicity alone helps convey its purity – its quality.

The cedar top is pressure-tested, which is almost as rare in a guitar at this price-point as the cherry wood is. The fretboard is a standard rosewood, but the nut and headstock make the board special in its own right, too.

Benefits:

Attention to detail is a factor that makes the Seagull S6 stand out, but not in a way that most people would recognize, or consider – and that is the quality of the nut and saddle. The nut is the elevated piece of wood on the upper end of the fretboard, where the headstock begins, while the saddle is the piece of wood below the sound hole that actually holds the strings.

The significance of these two parts over other guitars is that there are differences in height and string grooves along the saddle and nut, to compensate for things such as string thickness and action and make the guitar easier to play – you’ll see this all the time with high-end acoustic guitars, but not with something under a thousand bucks, a beginner guitar especially.

Pros:

  • The price is amazing for the guitar’s quality.
  • A pressure-tested cedar top and domestic cherry wood sides, grown and built in Canada, make this guitar sound amazing.
  • A custom, specialized nut and saddle, qualities usually only seen in far more expensive guitars.
  • A tapered headstock, which is supposed to make tuning easier and more stable, an amazing pair of pros for beginners.

Cons:

  • Though a question of taste, the guitar is very plain.
  • The neck is wide, making it somewhat difficult to grip for most players who’ve had experience with thinner fretboards. To a beginner, however, both would be equally difficult to get used to.
  • There are cheaper beginner guitars, with far less quality but also far less required financial commitment. The question to this con is: will you be a committed guitarist, or are you just trying it out?

Conclusion:

Although I hate to admit it, the guitar’s biggest benefit is price. It’s incredibly rare to find a North American-made, locally-sourced pressure-tested guitar for just about $500. Seagull decided to build an entry-level guitar in terms of budget, but ended up making a guitar that a lot of hardcore hobbyists and professional guitarists would probably classify as ‘much more than just a beginner’s guitar’.

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