Is there a guitar proven to be enduring as the 14-fret dreadnought steel-string guitar?
Yes, there is, and it is none other than the Martin Road Series DRS1. It is a front-runner in the Martin group in every aspect starting from the price. The guitar proofs that you don’t need to go into the triple zero digit range for you to own one and still get a sound punch that will knock your socks off.
DRS1 gives you snappy good looks and amazing sound in a roadworthy instrument. The following is a general overview of the DRS1.
- Solid Sapele sides, top, and back
- Fishman Sonitone electronics
- Hardwood neck with a low oval neck
- Black Richlite bridge
- Scale length of 25.4-inches
- Fingerboard width at nut at 1-3/4”
- Solid/standard taper headstock
The pros and cons from the description include;
- Sapele and Richlite tonewoods
- Includes a hard shell shell
- Includes chrome enclosed tuners
- Great value for money
- The system needs a kick up for genuine sonic excellence
Key Features and Benefits
At any time Martin sets their sight on crafting any of their models, you are assured to get a quality instrument. This guitar a pioneer in using sustainable materials when crafting their guitars and that tradition continues with the DRS1. If you are in the market looking for an affordable and great-sounding dreadnought, settle for nothing less than the DRS1. The following features and benefits will tell you more about the DRS1
- Neck and Body design
The guitar uses Sapele as the body material on the back, sides, and top. The shape of the neck is low oval and made from hardwood. The fingerboard features black Richlite that comes with tiny white dot markers and twenty frets.
The tonewood combo of this guitar ensures the guitar delivers unique, warm, impeccable sound with sonic accuracy and intonation. You can easily hold the neck of the guitar; therefore, enabling you to grab hold of any barre quickly. The body of the guitar is robust and can withstand minor hits all thanks to the free hard shell case. However, since it’s an acoustic type of guitar, remember to take good care of it.
Moving on to the hardware, you’ll get six strings that utilize electronics from Fishman Sonitone and Fishman pickup. The use of this stock pickup and high-quality wood might sound peculiar, but you’ll get an excellent sound when playing it. Additionally, the DRS1 comes with a set of tuners arranged in groups of three across the headstock. Added to the mix, is a Richlite bridge painted black with a pick-guard painted black too. The pickup system also offers you an excellent plug and play output as well as onstage and in the studio.
So with the flashy looks and high-end hardware, what sound do you get? Well, the DRS1 delivers excellent sound. What makes the sound of the DRS1 standout, is being loud enough. Despite the sonic accuracy and intonation, the six strings make the guitar sound fuller and stronger than its competitors.
The top-level wood also gives you warm midrange, bright, and clear trebles. You can strum the guitar to the low keys making it an excellent option for recordings involving thicker tracks. Looking at the guitar, you’ll not see any external controls. It’s because the Fishman Sonitone system houses the controls inside the sound hole. Therefore, it eliminates the need for extra holes and cuts in the side.
As said earlier, the neck is very comfortable. It’s because of the excellent shape of the neck the guitar has. The contours are not overwhelming rather they feel full when playing it. The action of the DRS1 makes it comfortable for a player to play to play barre and open chords throughout the neck. Additionally, you can also play one note at a time in all the registers.
How does it compare?
Landing on an ideal acoustic guitar can be overwhelming. Imagine, first choosing the type of music you want to play that’s from flamenco to jazz, then proceeding to select a guitar for the chosen type of music. Indeed, it’s an involving task. If you are stuck between picking an alternative to DRS1, then the following options will help you get the right guitar.
1. Seagull Artist Mosaic
The guitar also falls in the premium territory where the DRS1 is. It comes with a delightful dreadnought shape featuring streel-strings. The top is made with a pressure-tested solid cedar with solid mahogany sides and back. All of this comes with a polished finish that enables the guitar to project every sound. The combination of the tonewoods delivers a rich sounding instrument that would compete with the DRS1 as well as please the demanding guitarists.
2. Takamine EF360S-TT
A touch of vintage and tone is what this Takamine model offers. This Japanese brand features a treated solid spruce top. The thermal top aging process on the guitar contributes to its distinctive vintage tone. The onboard electronics featuring TLD-2 live driver preamp and Takamine’s Palathetic pickup ensures it naturally replicates the warm tone of the guitar. The whole experience of the guitar is very premium.
3. Yamaha FG800
It is an excellent guitar for beginners and comes with advanced features that make it sound beautiful. The body is covered in sand burst and vintage tint finishes. Instead of the Sapele used on the Martin DRS1, FG800 shows off the solid Sitka spruce top with nato sides and back and a slim nato neck. Playing the guitar is a breeze due to the rosewood fretboard. Additionally, the scalloped braced on top gives it a good resonance and excellent bass depth, which is a kind of a plus over the DRS1.
Who should buy this product?
The Martin DRS1 does not leave out the left-handed players. They offer a left-handed model of this guitar that features the same features.
Beginners can also use DRS1 to learn how to play different chords. It’s because of the comfortable neck that allows you to play any chord and barre.