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The Martin DRS2 Review

Quality guitars generally cost a fortune. And it’s well known in the world of guitars, that if you want a premium sound, then you’ve gotta pay a premium price.

But, you may have heard that the Martin DRS2, gives a phenomenal performance at a budget price.

Is this true?

Well, that’s what we’re about to find out.

The name Martin strikes positive chords in the hearts of guitarists everywhere. With its very impressive history of making quality guitars… at quality (or do I mean ‘costly’?) prices.

So, let’s find out what’s really going on with this beautiful acoustic-electric dreadnought.

Join us and let’s get this party jamming…


Martin DRS2 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

The Overall Build Of The Martin DRS2

The Martin DRS2 is dreadnought size and is probably the most affordable guitar that Martin produces.

The top is solid stika spruce which makes the guitar look anything but basic. Plus, check out the awesome sound! The tone that comes out of the guitar is well-balanced and projects well.

Alright, let’s zero in on the different parts of this guitar for a bit, shall we?

The Body Of The Martin DRS2 Is Made Of Solid Wood

The Martin DRS2 Review

Firstly, we have to applaud Martin for a superb job on the craftsmanship of this guitar. Considering its competitively priced, Martin sure went out of their way to craft something of such high quality.

This guitar looks and feels high end.

The Martin DRS2 comes with all solid wood construction. This choice of materials used is the same as those found in more high end guitars. So you’re paying a budget price, but getting premium performance.

Alright… So what’s the big deal about solid spruce and why are all the high-end guitar makers using it?

Martin DRS2 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar review

Stika spruce produces a very rich and expressive tone as well as high volumes, that is unmatched in other tonewoods. And don’t forget the fantastic dynamics that makes a Stika spruce guitar sound divine!

Now to make a Stika Spruce guitar sound even better, Martin selects another amazing tonewood to support it. Solid Sapele mahogany for the back and sides.

So, what do you get when you combine solid Stika spruce with solid Sapele mahogany? Perfection, or something very close to it, at least.

And that’s why the Martin DRS2 sounds so precise and clear. And the low-end response compares favorably with much more expensive guitars.


The Neck Of The Martin DRS2

It’s a modern trend to create slimmer necks on guitars, which is why you find a number of guitars these days sporting a slim neck.

The DRS2 follows this trend and maintains a very slim, tapered, ergonomic profile for a super comfy feel.

And to finish off this beautiful neck, Martin embellishes it with its signature Style 28 dot.

Martin DRS2 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar reviews

Martin, however, goes ‘green’ for the fingerboard.

After using more traditional woods for the back, sides, and top, Martin settles with the more eco-friendly material, Richlite for the fingerboard.

So, in the looks department, the DRS2 does very well and the quality of Martin craftsmanship is undeniable.

The Hardware Of The Martin DRS2

The guitar is an electro-acoustic. So, yeah, there are some electronics for us to check out as well…

The Fishman’s Sonitone is Martin’s choice of electronics, and it sounds great and features really intuitive controls for the tone and volume.

But what’s very impressive, is that this intricate electronics system does not get in the way of the acoustic design of this guitar in any way.

So, let’s mess around in the acoustics department for a bit…

The DRS2 comes with 6 chrome sealed tuners. And they do a fantastic job of tuning the guitar precisely and keeping it in tune.

Alright moving further down…

The bridge of this guitar, like the fretboard, is also made of Richlite and there’s a White Corain nut, Tusq saddle, and of course, 6 Martin strings pre-strung.

And yeah, there’s a good quality hardshell case included, to keep this baby all bright and dandy, for a long time to come.


The Playability Of The Martin DRS2 Is Unparalleled

Who doesn’t love a guitar with great playability?

And the Martin DRS2 more than delivers in this department. The neck is slim and tapered, so guitarists with any sized hands will find a true friend in this guitar.

And as for setup, we’re impressed!

And being honest with you, it is almost impossible to find an affordable guitar that comes already set up. But, here is one of those rare instances – the Martin DRS2.

Martin actually sets every guitar up with its Plek machine. And, here’s a secret, you would have to pay a fortune to do that yourself. So, yeah, a big “thank you” is in order.

Okay, quickly to the action now…

We already mentioned that this is pretty well set up. So, it goes without saying that the action is good! It’s just where it should be, neither too high nor too low. Making it a superb guitar for beginners, even for kids.

Some guitarists would prefer the action a bit higher, though. No problem at all, just get it set up to your taste if you decide it needs it.

But if you’re like most guitarists, this guitar has got just the right action for a good ole strum or pick, whichever you fancy.

How Does The Martin DRS2 Sound?

The DRS2 sounds great! Okay, maybe not sublime like its siblings, the D18 or the D15M. But for this price, that’s more than understandable.

When plugged in, this guitar produces a regular modern, piezo tone. Plus, it comes with a robust tonal range. The highs, lows, and mids blend perfectly well to give a nicely balanced tone.

This might not come with many bells and whistles to shape your tone. But, especially if you only plug it in occasionally, this shouldn’t be a big deal.

You can hardly go wrong with this thing, thanks to its down-to-earth controls.

Alright, time to check out the high points and low points of the Martin DRS2.


The High Points Of The Martin DRS2

  • Comes with great action right out of the box.
  • High build quality with excellent craftsmanship.
  • Great feel, super comfy to hold.
  • Easy to tune.
  • Stays in tune.
  • Made of solid wood which delivers a great sound.
  • Great tonal consistency.
  • Impressive Playability.

The Low Points Of The Martin DRS2

  • To change the batteries, you need to take off the strings.
  • The electronics could be better.
  • The neck, thanks to the stratabond, feels a bit heavy.

The Martin DRS2 Specs

Dimensions: 9.2 x 47.2 x 20.5 inches.

Bridge: Black Richlite.

Neck: Rust Stratabond

Fingerboard; Black Richlite.

Weight: 22.1 pounds.

Orientation: Right or left handed.

Saddle and Nut: White Tusq and White Corian.

Neck Shape: Modified low oval.

Electronics: Fishman.

Tuners: Chrome.

Finish: Satin.

Number of Strings: 6

Conclusion

In conclusion, this is an exceptional guitar from Martin for a price that’s relatively affordable.

It might not be drop dead gorgeous. But the quality of craftsmanship, involved in the making of this guitar is very obvious.

All in all, the Martin DRS2 comes set up out of the box with great acoustics, average electronics, and a really great sound.

So, did Martin do a good job making a super, sub-$1000 guitar? You bet they did!

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