When it comes to Martin guitars you can always expect great quality. That being said, you can also expect quite high prices. Most of their models range from 800 and up making them not the most suited option for beginners. The DRS1 which is a part of the Road Series combines the best of the two worlds – great quality of Martin guitars and affordability (which is a relative term).
Of course, you can go for something a lot cheaper but Martin’s construction and sound are distinct and uncompromising. So whether you are an experienced player who knows what they want and can invest a couple of hundred dollars or a beginner who thinks long term and wants a guitar to last them years the DRS1 is a great option for you.
This is an acoustic-electric guitar with a Sapele top as well as a back and sides. Now, even though a lot of people prefer mahogany or other material to Sapele, in a lot of cases Sapele is a great option. If in the right hands, you can make Sapele sound just as great and have the same warm tonality as mahogany.
And you know that Martin is in the “right hands”. The neck is made of select hardwood with a satin finish and Black Richlite Fingerboard. The low-oval profile makes the guitar easy to handle and play even for newbies. This series was developed for traveling musicians thus the main requirement for Road Series is durability. This model might not have mahogany tonewood but solid Sapele comes as close as possible to the sound of mahogany while also being very sturdy and great for traveling.
The DRS1 comes with die-cast tuners on the Martin headstock. The nut is made of compensated White while the saddle is white TUSQ. The white TUSQ saddle does not do the sound of this guitar justice so if you have a chance maybe you should change it. This guitar also comes with a hardshell case which does a great job of protecting your not-so-cheap investment.
Martin DRS1 Sound
Although a lot of people go for mahogany and cedar for their tonewood there are certain materials that are widely underestimated. Sapele is one of them. In the hands of Martin professionals, this tonewood creates a perfectly dark and warm tone while also being cheaper than the real mahogany. Bracing on this guitar allows for great projection and resonance. Dreadnought are always ahead of a lot of other guitar styles because they create better sound and volume. That is definitely the case with this model as well. Although the DRS1 is a guitar for traveling musicians I cannot see a reason why you should not be fine with it as your main guitar as well.
Martin has equipped their DRS1 with Fishman pickup as well as Fishman Sonitone with 9-volt batteries and soundhole mounted preamp. In conjunction with the rest of the hardware and solid tonewood, this model creates amazing sound that you know can only belong to a Martin guitar. For the price you are giving you are definitely getting the combination of top notch electronics and durable tonewood that create a beautiful sound.
The DRS1 is one of Martin’s most affordable models on the market right now. Although it might not have the same hardware and quality tonewood that their more expensive guitars, but it still delivers great sound and durability. The years of expertise and craftsmanship that Martin has accumulated makes it possible for them to create guitars with less pricey materials but still having great tone and playability.