As readers of my guitar reviews will know I'm a big fan of Martin guitars (although they have stiff competition from other leading guitar makers). Established in 1833 Martin guitars have more experience than most if not all other guitar makers -indeed they invented the Dreadnaught body shape!
- The 00-15 Model Prices -
Like most Martin guitars the 00-15 is not by any standards cheap; average UK prices are just over £1000 though you can get it as low as £820 with a little shopping around the net (price correct Dec 09).
The guitar is in part named after the Martin 00 body shape, and the top (the piece of wood just under the strings with the sound hole on it) which is most responsible for the tone and volume of the guitar (as opposed to the sides and back which are less important sonically) comes in a choice of either Solid Sapele or Solid Genuine Mahogany.
I'm not sure what the Martin claim of Genuine Mahogany is all about -what other sort of Mahogany is there?? The model I tested had a Mahogany top....The back and sides of the body were also Mahogany.
- The neck -
The 00-15's neck is written in the Martin catalogue as being made of Select Hardwood - what hardwood that is we'll never know -lol! but the fingerboard is East Indian rosewood (rosewood is a great fingerboard material as it's so hard wearing) but I fail to see/feel any difference between East Indian and 'normal' rosewood; still I'm not complaining it feels great.
- The sound -
The model I played was brand new so it sounded a little dull and stiff (like most Martin guitars I've tried -they only come into their own when you've played them in a while), though I have no doubt that after a few years of gigging this would sound breathtakingly good.
I'm not a fan of all over Mahogany, as it darkens the sound slightly -but (as Les Paul discovered once when tinkering with woods for his legendary namesake guitar) Mahogany really adds to the sustain of guitars.
The 00-15 I played had been set up beautifully, the action was low enough to fret easily with no intonation problems, but not so low as to buzz. The fret edges were well finished so there were no painful experiences when flitting up and down the fretboard.
- Longevity -
This guitar is built to last, and as you can also buy a version of the 00-15 with a pick up fitted it's not an instrument you're likely to ever outgrow -as it just oozes quality and craftsmanship.
- Conclusion -
I'm trying a lot of guitars out at the moment as I need swomething a bit special for some recordings and live work I'm planning. Unfortunately I don't quite think the 00-15 is what I'm looking for; great and it is I don't think it quite eclipses my (old -I'm not so keen on the new ones) Japanese Takamine...
But if I had £800 spare I'd be sorely tempted as I love most Martin guitars.
Thanks for reading my review.