Slightly smaller but perfectly formed, Martin’s Dreadnought Junior has ‚electro-acoustic of the year‘ written all over it. Can it really be that good?
Today’s acoustic guitar market is flooded with a few body shapes at lots of different price points. It makes choosing your fit more difficult than ever – is that dreadnought really better than that one, or that one?
These similarities are no doubt why more and more brands are offering something a little different: for example, smaller guitars for ‚travel‘, or even bigger guitars, like baritones. In a crowded market, you have to be different.
Martin’s entry-level ranges, like the X Series, are made in Mexico. And to keep prices low, those X Series guitars, for example, use high pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides, multi-piece necks and Richlite synthetic fingerboards. Now, that might suit you, but if you hanker for a ‚proper‘ Martin-style solid-wood dreadnought, you’ll be looking at a DRS2 and a sizeable wad of cash at £799. Enter the Dread Junior. Like Taylor’s Big Baby, the Dreadnought Junior is 15/16ths of the size of that DRS2 or any other contemporary Martin dreadnought. In reality, it’s not much of a down-size: 360mm (14.2 inches) wide and 112mm (4.41 inches) deep as opposed to the full-size model being 397mm (15.6 inches) and 124mm (4.88 inches) deep. Factor in the scale length, which is reduced from Martin’s long scale of 645mm (25.4 inches) down to 610mm (24 inches), and the Junior looks like a perfectly proportioned, slightly diminished Martin. Unlike Martin’s own X Series, or indeed, the minimalist cool of Taylor’s Big Baby, the Dread Junior might be downsized, but it’s very grown-up in build, with all-solid wood construction, proper mortise and tenon neck joint, a bound top edge and simple soundhole rings. Internally, the X bracing and struts are finely done in classic style. Then there’s that headstock, again slightly downsized with regular small-button tuners and the all- important, and full-size, logo. The only nod to modernism, or indeed cost, in terms of the materials are the synthetic ebony Richlite fingerboard and bridge, which you’ll find on the more costly DRS2, and the generic ’select hardwood‘ specification for the neck, which looks like one-piece mahogany. But we have a full-size nut width and string spacing, also at the bridge, and a subtly V’d C shape to the profile, along with vintage-style small frets.
Martin’s X Series DX2AE Macassar Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar features a D-14 dreadnought body designed to produce a powerful, well-balanced tone that is perfect for live performance and in the studio. Pairing the solid sapele (mahogany) top with the Macassar-pattern HPL back and sides, the Martin X Series DX2AE Macassar Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar has a big, punchy tone, with all the sustain you have come to expect from a Martin guitar. The mortise-and-tennon neck joint ensures solid construction of the guitar, with optimal resonant tone, while eliminating drop-off in the finer dynamics. Case separatly.
The Martin guitar’s laminate birch neck is a multilayered wood creation, bonding layers of Birch under extremely high pressure. The material is then carved and finished in a conventional manner. The end result is a very strong neck that provides definition and articulate sustain from note to note. The neck is fashioned with a Performing Artist neck shape and taper, 25.4 in. scale, 1-3/4 in. nut width, and 16 in. radius provide comfort and dexterity when performing intricate movements and progressions along the black Richlite fretboard. This Martin acoustic guitar comes compete with the Fishman Sonitone. The Fishman Sonitone features a soundhole-mounted preamp with rotary controls for Volume and Tone. The controls are mounted conveniently under the soundhole. All you have to do is plug in and play. You’ll have a great acoustic guitar sound, right out of the box. This guitar has the look and sound of a highly collectible Martin guitar, but goes for a price that anyone can afford. Embrace the dream of owning your very own Martin guitar, at a price that is too good to pass up. Body type: Grand Auditorium Cutaway: Single cutaway Top wood: Solid Sapele Back & sides: Macassar HPL Bracing pattern: X Body finish: Hand-rubbed Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: Not specified Nut width: 1.75″ (44.45mm) Fingerboard: Richlite Neck wood: Birch laminate Scale length: 25.4″ Number of frets: 20 Neck finish: Hand-rubbed Electronics Pickup/preamp: Yes Brand: Fishman Sonitone Configuration: Undersaddle piezo Preamp EQ: 1-band Feedback filter: No Tuner: No Other Headstock overlay: Macassar HPL Tuning machines: Enclosed with small buttons Bridge: Richlite Saddle & nut: Tusq Number of strings: 6-string Special features: Body style Accessories: None Country of origin: Mexico