Martin DRS1 Review: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Initially presented in 2001, Martin’s Road Series was the share of a thoughtful effort to brand the glory of possessing a Martin more possible. Prices were dropped due, in share, to manufacture being encouraged to Martin’s Mexican ability, the usage of HPL for the posterior and edges in addition to an extreme-simple spec.


Indifference to the initial Road Series representations, the DRS1 is an all-hard guitar. Well, essentially, that’s not theoretically precise.

“As imposing as the DRS1 is visually besides in rapports of its performance, nonentity makes you for the energetic, active quality.”

Surely, the frame is built from solid Sapele – therefore, greatest would label it as an altogether-solid guitar – nonetheless, the DRS1’s neck is built from a multi-cover called Stratabond.

Stratabond is fashioned from white birch, which is colored and coated into big chunks previously being imprinted into form. This procedure allegedly upsurges inflexibility and constancy – makings vital for a guitar’s neck.

Visually, this project feature is arresting, as the far-reaching appearances of the formed cover catch the eye. Some traditionalists may tremble to perceive such unembarrassed usage of cover; others might see it as ground-breaking, liberal, and accountable guitar structure.

An additional indication of Martin’s accountable method is originated in the usage of Sapele for the DRS1’s open form. As mahogany frameworks turn out to be ever additional useless, some creators are spending a countless contract of period and amounts of money sourcing replacements.

One trustworthy choice is Sapele, a tough wood innates to humid Africa, factually used in parquet because of its beautiful grain. It’s likewise extensively used by Martin’s adjoining participant, Taylor.

Inside the Sapele form, as through all Martin guitars with a mortise/tenon neck dual, the DRS1 is tailored with the A-edge ‘X’ stimulating. In rehearsal, a right-angled bridge plate makes a ‘box’ below the tie, and this project adds forte to the topmost.

In some conducts, the DRS1 looks like the extremely general, however similarly modest D-15M, though Sapele has additional of a coffee than carroty type. The DRS1’s decoration closet is pretty simple, with nonentity additional than a modest black and white three-way-ring sound hole emblem, a black solitary-ply pickguard, besides 3.2mm dot fingerboard inlays.

As with the 4th generation of Performing Artist guitars, black Richlite – a compound like ebony completed from the secondhand paper besides resin – has remained used for the fingerboard in addition to bridge. White Corian is applied for the nut, whereas bone-extra Tusq is working to procedure the waged saddle.

A slight part of treat might be obtainable by the share of Indian rosewood trim to the look of the headstock… it is in detail high-pressure laminate (HPL).

The DRS1 claims the low-price Fishman Sonitone preamp scheme, which structures a soundhole-mounted preamp with rotating panels for capacity and quality situated just inside the bass lateral of the soundhole.

However, not delivering from Martin’s US ability, our evaluation DRS1 displays unconditionally no signs of any gap in figure excellence or standard. Each joint is super close-fitting, each line spotless and hard. There’s not a hint of extra glue to start wherever, and the satin surface is even and consistently applied.

Though the DRS1 is a strikingly bottommost-heavy guitar, it remains a contented one to play. The adapted low-slung oval neck outline joined with a 43mm nut breadth brands for a complete yet not lumpy texture.

The arrangement is as decent as it becomes, and barre harmonies up then down the neck are a waft, as are solitary-note runs anyplace up to about the 16th/17th frets.


As imposing as the DRS1 is visually and in footings of its performance, nonentity makes you for the active, energetic tone. With its tetchy, tight bass, the DRS1 fields chord with complexity and soul though a lively, strong top conclusion adds melodiousness to the resonance.

Of specific note are the rousing eloquent mids, which bid a pleasant tenor for fingerstyle, mixture picking besides Flatpicking comparable. Complete the DRS1 has a receptive, lively forecast too.

Worked in, the DRS1 has a cheerful, lively quality that, when strapped, grows into a little hard. The Fishman scheme trim is entry-equal, and it does slightly more than just bid a usable enlarged production.

The tone switch doesn’t have a noteworthy result on the output; nonetheless, it does just sufficient to trained, excited playing. That supposed, the set as a complete work very fine and, over, for the price, you’re getting a great deal of guitar for your cash.

Though liking the vociferous production of the DRS1, we had to keep repeating ourselves that this Martin electro – which derives comprehensive with a 300-sequence tough shell case – an MSRP of lone £800, inexpensive on the road. In footings of sheer worth for cash, not smallest with that iconic designation on the headstock, the DRS1 is heading to take some thrashing.

Onboard Fishman Electronics

The DRS1 originates with Fishman Sonitone microchip technology that comprises an under-saddle pickup, besides a preamp contained inside the soundhole on the bass adjacent. Motorized by a nine-volt cordless, the Sonitone preamp is relaxed to function, with just 2 rotary panels: quality and capacity.

Though the Sonitone bid little in the method of tonal determining when initiating the sound to be fair correct as customary, the tone switch to a neutral location and worked into a Fender Acoustasonic amplifier. The pickup besides preamp is comparatively silent, and the sound is animate, deprived of the corpulence occasionally related to acoustic-electrics.

Quality Reasonable Dread

Martin’s Road Series DRS1 is a keen new hard-wood dreadnought for the price-aware guitarist. It has a choice shape and a satisfactory sound to bout. Though the guitar does comprise a small number of cover and compound rudiments—a Stratabond neck also Richlite fingerboard besides bridge—it has a conventionally handsome entrance. A compliment to that the wad-and-play Fishman microchip technology and you’ve got an invincible worth.

SPECS: Dreadnought figure. Hard Sapele topmost, posterior, and edges. Stratabond neck. Black Richlite fingerboard besides the bridge. 25.4-inch scale. With 1 11/16-inch nut width. As well as 2 1/8-inch cord space at the saddle. Satin surface. Chrome surrounded tuners. Fishman Sonitone microchip technology. Martin SP Lifetime phosphor-bronze average cords. Made in Mexico. The left-handed type is obtainable.


  • Inordinate to travel with
  • Decent sound
  • Stays in melody


  • Not the most reasonable travel classical (nonetheless very reasonable for a Martin guitar)
  • Bone nut besides saddle might effort well with this one


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

Affirmative! It has a close-pin jack for plug-ins; also, the Fishman Sonitone microchip technology needs the usage of a 9-volt cordless. As a Martin, you can imagine an outstanding and best sound, whether you’ve worked in or playing solo!

What are the Nut and Saddle Made out of?

The DRS1 originates with die-cast tuners located on the Martin headstock. The nut is completed of waged White, although the saddle is snowy tusq. The snowy tusq saddle does not prepare the sound of this guitar fairness, so if you consume a fortuitous, perhaps you should alteration it. This guitar likewise originates with a hardshell case, which does a countless work of shielding your not so inexpensive asset.

Where is the Martin Guitar Made?

This is an audio-electric guitar with Sapele topmost in addition to back and sides. Today, even however a lot of individuals favor mahogany or additional substantial to Sapele, in a lot of cases, Sapele is an inordinate choice. If in the correct hands you can brand Sapele completely just as prodigious and have a similar warm tone as mahogany. THEN you distinguish that Martin is the “correct hands.”

The neck is completed of choice hardwood with satin surface besides Black Richlite Fingerboard. The little-oval outline brands the guitar relaxed to grip and show even for newbies. This sequence was industrialized for nomadic bands; therefore, the main obligation for Road Series is toughness. This classical might not partake mahogany tonewood nonetheless dense Sapele comes as near as likely to the comprehensive of mahogany though also being very robust and inordinate for nomadic.

How Durable is the Martin Road Series Guitar?

When it derives from Martin guitars, you can continuously imagine a great class. That being supposed, you can likewise suppose fairly high values. Greatest of their mockup’s variety from 800 and up assembly them not the greatest suitable choice for novices. The DRS1, which is a portion of the Road Series syndicates finest of the 2 worlds – great excellence of Martin guitars besides affordability (which is a comparative period).

You can drive for something a portion inexpensive nonetheless, Martin’s building and sound are different and inflexible. Consequently, whether you are a knowledgeable player who distinguishes what they need and can capitalize a duo of hundred dollars or a novice who reasons extended term and desires a guitar to past them ages, the DRS1 is a countless selection for you.

Can Electronics be Replaced?

Martin has armed their DRS1 with Fishman pickup along with Fishman Sonitone with 9-volt series besides soundhole mounted preamp. In combination with the break of the hardware besides hard tonewood, this classical makes an astonishing sound that you distinguish can only fit a Martin guitar. For the value, you are giving; you are certainly receiving a mixture of top-notch microchip technology and tough tonewood that make an attractive sound.

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

The Martin site doesn’t have a left-handed unit – since it doesn’t an essential one. Nonetheless, just in case you aren’t acquainted with Martin’s lefty welcoming bearing, the spec list on each separate prototypical sheet does roughly “Obtainable left-handed at no extra charge. “

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