Martin Custom D Classic Review – Subtle American-Made Beauty

4.8 out of 5 stars

When looking at acoustic guitars under $1000, there some are excellent models made by respected brands in workshops across the world. But then comes this genuine American-made Martin Custom D, which shows off classic Martin style, tone and quality at a largely affordable price. Let’s check out why it’s such a popular model.

Martin Custom D Classic Body

Body And Neck

On the face of it there’s nothing spectacular when it comes to the design of the Custom D – no exotic woods or elaborate inlays for example. But, for those seeking a timeless acoustic design, this Martin impresses. It features a non-cutaway dreadnought body crafted with classic quality tonewoods – a solid Sitka spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides, all finished in a premium-feel satin. Joined to the body at the 14th fret with a mortise and tenon joint, the solid mahogany neck features a modified low oval profile, with an Indian rosewood fretboard, 20 frets and simple dot inlays. Very sleek and a pleasure to play on. As mentioned, there’s nothing extravagant when it comes to decoration, but the Custom D offers traditional elegance in the shape of an inlaid single-ring rosette and tortoiseshell pickguard, complemented by tortoiseshell top binding. Being made in Martin’s workshop in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, you can be guaranteed of flawless craftsmanship and good set-up. A solid American performer!

Martin Custom D Classic Headstock

Hardware

As with the design, there’s no bells and whistles when it comes to hardware, especially with no electronics. However the Custom D is fitted with components that ensure your playing and tone are top notch. On the headstock (branded with the iconic Martin logo in an eye-catching raised gold foil) you’ll find a set of enclosed chrome tuners, which have a smooth action and hold tuning superbly. The bridge is solid Indian rosewood, the nut is made of White Corian, and there’s an adjustable truss rod in the neck. Otherwise there’s not much to get excited about. It’s worth mentioning that it does come shipped with a Martin hardshell case – a plus, although no less than you’d expect at this price point.

Sound

With such quality in the materials and build of this acoustic guitar, you’d expect the sound to be superb – and you aren’t disappointed. This is one full and rich sounding guitar, that has the true spirit of a Martin and a tone that will get even better as it ages. The solid spruce and solid mahogany combine to strike a superb balance between warm and bright, and it offers huge projection with great clarity. A versatile tone allows this Martin to cater for pretty much any style of playing.

Conclusion

An American-made Martin is one of those guitars that the majority of us dream of owning, which is why – at this price – the Custom D is such an exciting prospect. Even though it’s relatively no-frills in design and features, it performs wonderfully and sounds very sweet. In fact, it’s difficult to justify spending more on a guitar when you can get something that performs this well at under a grand.

For more info about the Martin Custom D Classic, click here.
For more acoustic guitar under $1000 you might like, click here.


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Comments

  1. BR Marshall says

    I bought this guitar in 2004 (It may have been named different then) and played out with it for a few years. I’ve added a strap button, bone bridge, and Tusq bridge pins. It is very light weight but very durable. It has great projection and a full sound with plenty of bottom. The spruce top now has a golden hue and there’s some pick wear on the top. I have other guitars, but this is still in my top three. Great, not frills, American made Martin at a fair price.

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