Martin D-X2E review – is this the new must-have budget dreadnought acoustic?

Martin D-X2E review – is this the new must-have budget dreadnought acoustic?

Martin guitars are for many of us the gold standard for American-made acoustic guitars, but owning a bona fide Nazareth, PA-built dreadnought is beyond the means of many guitarists out there.

READ MORE: Martin 000-X2E review – forget what you think about budget Martins

Thankfully, for those of us who still want to have that iconic Martin name on the peghead but are shopping for an instrument where the price tag has three figures instead of four, the X Series guitars – which are made in the brand’s Mexico facility – have long been a great place to start your Martin journey.
Here in 2024 however, you might want to take an even closer look at the X Series than ever before. Launched back at NAMM in January, the so-called ‘Remastered’ X Series took the basic recipe for a Mexican-made Martin guitar – solid top, high-pressure laminate back and sides, select hardwood neck – and meticulously overhauled the whole thing to improve looks, sound, and playability.
While most of the new X Series guitars follow the traditional natural top style of a Martin guitar – including the 000-X2E I looked at back in May – but this D-X2E breaks from the crowd by offering a sunburst top and a highly-figured ziricote pattern to the HPL.
Martin D-X2E
How does the Martin D-X2E differ from other X Series guitars?
Like the other guitars in the Remastered X Series, this D-X2E features a bunch of player refinements including a new thinner High-Performance Taper neck profile, satin chrome closed-gear tuners, a hardwood bridge (not a plastic one), and a faux-abalone soundhole rosette, which really pops on this sunburst-finished spruce top.
Another common factor that’s really noticeable on this dreadnought-sized guitar compared to the smaller 000 I looked at previously is the new rounded edges on the body’s back and sides. You might not notice it visually at first, but you really notice the difference when you’re playing a big guitar like this for a long period of time – it’s much more comfortable than the traditional pointy transitions between top, sides and back.
Speaking of the back and sides, one of the most striking aspects of the Remastered X Series are the new patterns printed onto the laminate used for the guitar’s back, sides and peghead. Martin took ultra-high-def photos of actual pieces of legendary tonewoods to create the effect, and while there’s no doubt that the more subtle Brazilian rosewood on the 000 was more convincing, there’s no doubt the extravagant ziricote here is very pretty to look at.

Does the Martin D-X2E sound good?
The Martin dreadnought is one of, if not the most iconic acoustic guitar in the history of music, and so there’s an element of knowing exactly what to expect when you pick up a Martin guitars with a ‘D’ in the model number – but it’s still impressive.
One thing that I really enjoy about this guitar compared to previous X Series models is the increased string spacing – a tighter spacing might seem like a better option for smaller hands and chord playing, but in practice I find that having a little more room to work with actually makes fretting easier, at least for me.
Sonically, well it’s definitely a Martin dread – big, loud and booming. These guitars were designed to out-shout a horn section and you’ll have no problem filling a room with this thing – even without amplification. If I were to be harsh, I’d say that it’s perhaps a little too pronounced on the bass side, at the expense of the lovely lower-mids that really sweeten up a great dreadnought – it still sounds great though, and boy can it project!
The Martin D-X2E in use
Is the Martin D-X2E worth buying?
Whether you’ve bought an X Series guitar in the past, or have been put off by the rather spartan aesthetics of these guitars previously, these new guitars should be at the forefront of your mind when you’re thinking about buying a new acoustic. This is a serious instrument for the money, and would suit anyone looking for a first ‘serious’ acoustic, or as a quality backup guitars for experienced players and gigging pros.
With a sturdy gigbag and reliable and decent sounding electro-acoustic system, this is a budget guitar that won’t let you down.
The Martin D-X2E’s headstock
Martin D-X2E alternatives
There is no shortage of great large-bodied budget acoustic guitars on the market, though arguably few have the mojo and cachet of a Martin. One that has an alternative in-the-know kind of cool is Yamaha’s revival of the Red Label FG3 ($879), which features all solid woods and a gigbag, but no electro system. You can’t talk about acoustic guitars without mentioning Taylor, who offer the similarly Mexico-made Academy 10e ($799), but also don’t sleep on the Fender PD-220E ($829) with its all solid woods and Fishman electronics.
The post Martin D-X2E review – is this the new must-have budget dreadnought acoustic? appeared first on | All Things Guitar.

read more