Martin D-10E Acoustic Electric Guitar: Performance and Value

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If you’re a guitar player, then your instrument absolutely has to be both durable and of high quality. The Martin D-10E has it all. You’ll love the way it plays and how easy it is to bring with you when you’re on the go.

There are two different versions of this guitar: one with a dark Sapele top and the other with a light Sitka finish. Both have beautiful but subtle details such as the mother-of-pearl pattern on the neck, as well as rosette inserts and gorgeous rosewood.

Here you get the true Martin sound, which is excellent. It also sounds great and will play very well depending on what other features you’re looking for. There aren’t many things that are wrong with it in general. Although the D10-E is Martin’s entry-level guitar, technically speaking, it’s a very high quality instrument. There isn’t an area in this guitar that’s worse than on a more expensive model. We were really impressed with this instrument from a company that really knows how to make high quality guitars.

How it all Began

Martin furniture has been around for centuries, starting in Germany with their first pieces appearing in 1796. Founder Christian Fredrick Martin was born into a family of cabinet makers and continued the tradition, just as his descendants would.

At 15yo, he traveled to Vienna and completed a guitar-building apprenticeship with renowned guitar maker Johann Stauffer. The rest is history.

1833 is a long time ago, but Martin guitars are still going strong. In fact, they’re America’s oldest guitar company and literally invented some of the things we use everyday! The dreadnought guitar was invented specifically by Martin guitars. Inside, there are braces that follow the same patterns as large military ships. They take their name from the same big vessels and are found inside most guitar tops.

Martin guitars are made by hand with modern tech and traditional materials.

Martin D-10E Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

Specification

  • Build: Sitka/Sapele top
  • Electronics: Fishman MX-T system
  • Finish: Satin natural top with satin cherry back/side with hand-rubber neck
  • Neck Depth: 21mm at first fret, 24mm at 12th fret
  • Neck Width: 44mm at the nut, 54mm at 12th fret
  • Neck Material: Select hardwood
  • Hand options: Both left and right
  • Scale Length: 25.4-inches/645mm
  • String Spacing: 35mm at the nut, 55mm at the bridge
  • Weight: 4.56lb/2.06kg
  • Number of frets: 20
  • Body Size: D-14 Fret
  • Bracing pattern: X-Brace

The Martin D-10E is the latest version of the insanely popular Martin DRSE and DRSC models. The major differences between the two lay in terms of aesthetics, electronics and an inclusion of a tuner.

A whole bunch of Martin guitars have been updated and now use new naming conventions. Phil Duran, VP of domestic manufacturing, explains everything in a video. Fred Greene, who links to a number of Martin’s models, provides a good explanation how this works. You can find models such as the D-10e and D12, but also the D13.

It’s a good choice if you want a solid wood guitar, especially at this price point. Solid guitars are like fine wines, they improve with age and the D-10E has a big dreadnought body with a Sitka spruce top and maple back and sides.

Visually, the guitar is much nicer than the DRS1 and DRS2 models. Some of these nice touches include mother-of-pearl pattern fingerboard, inlays made out of mother-of-pearl, and faux tortoiseshell pickguard with some vintage design in it.

The D-10E has a smooth satin finish all over, complemented by an FSC certified Richlite fingerboard and bridge (see below) and a hand-rubbed neck finish. It’s easy to see why the neck plays an important role on a guitar. Martin is passionate about classical guitars – they’re made from high-quality woods and are very comfortable to play.

We noticed the string height is flatter this way, so it should be easier to play some chords.

If you like to know the details, then the Martin D-10E is perfect for you. It has a custom X-brace bracing pattern and neck joint as well as a 25.4-inch scale length.

The fingerboard width at the Corian nut is 1.3/4” and 1.1/8” at the 12th fret. Chrome enclosed gear tuners are smooth in operation and work well. Strap buttons are located at the end of the body and at the neck. The saddle material is Tusq (a type of “acoustically transparent thermoplastic elastomer”).

Like all Martin guitars, we were mightily impressed with the build quality of the D-10E. We’d say it’s better than anything else you can find at this price point.

The guitar ships with a premium soft shell case which, although it doesn’t provide the same protection of a hard case, is still pretty good. It’s well-padded and has dual straps on the back so you can sling it over your shoulder.

Quality

The Martin D10E was made with musicians in mind, so it’s especially road-worthy and meant to play well. Plus, its full sound is enough to make any gig a great one. This guitar can take a few tumbles without taking any damage.

Martin guitars are known for their quality construction and attention to detail, even at their lower price points. You can tell they take pride in their craftsmanship and you’ll be getting a guitar that is going to last for a very long time.

From the Top

If you’re after a budget guitar, the D-10E is also available in Sapele as an optional top instead of Sitka spruce. Sapele is cheaper and darker so it does make the price a little bit more affordable.

It’s really hard to talk about tonality or guitars in the abstract because they’re such an individual thing and it’s difficult to lay out all the differences in just words.

We disagree with the claim that Sapele has a mellower tone than Sitka. In fact, it’s responded well to our comparisons with mahogany and projects a higher degree of sound. However, we think Sitka is brighter and projects more readily, which makes it a preferable sound of the two guitars being compared.

Electronics

The D-10E has a built-in tuner that mutes the sound for easy tuning. Fishman’s MX-T package includes volume/tone controls and will really benefit you during a jam session.

Expected or not, it turns out that Martin’s placement of the volume/tone controls and tuner inside the soundhole has proven to be solid decision. It enables easy access on top of improving the ergonomics of your instrument.

In operation, we found the volume to be quite limited. It’s not super sensitive- it might be fine at a loud setting but for more precise adjustments you’d probably want to go through your amp or mixer. It also has a tendency to get too loud sometimes

The tone control is different in that it makes your music sound good no matter how you set the EQ knob. If you turn it all the way counterclockwise, then your music will be flat. But as you start turning clockwise, both bass and treble sound gradually stronger, plus there’s a touch of volume boosting – which I happen to like personally.

Some people love to have a lot of control over the sound their acoustic electric guitars produce, but for others, this would just be a compromise. Regardless, it’s still a handy tool to have when needed.

The tuner is really straightforward and easy to use. It’s on a round display so you can easily press the button closest to the soundhole. It also lights up so it’s really noticeable in dark environments which is really helpful! This pedal is pretty good but we still prefer having a dedicated tuner on-hand.

Sound and Playability

With its dreadnought shape, this guitar provides a deep bass and a full sound. The D-10E’s Sitka spruce top offers warm, rounded bass tones and a crisp, clear top end. It’s an ‘honest’ guitar. It might not be as loud or refined sounding as some more expensive models, but it still does everything you need and doesn’t cost too much.

It’s light, weighing just 4.56lbs. The D-10E is comfortable – but still a dreadnought in every way. The action is great straight out of the box. It’ll suit those who prefer delicate fingerpicking and those who like strumming with all their might alike.

The sound on this is excellent unplugged with a good projection. It’s not quite as advanced when plugged in, but that doesn’t bother me too much. You might have to experiment with the onboard volume/tone controls and the settings on your amp or mixer.

Hard or soft? This guy plays it both ways on the Martin, showcasing its versatility.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A fantastic guitar. It’s made by Martin – they really pay attention to the detail.
  • Fishman MX-T electronics are great for all kinds of performances. The tuner is really easy to use, too.
  • Comes with an awesomely-designed gig bag.
  • Great value for the price. These are Martin guitars, after all!
  • Lovely full sound

Cons:

  • The volume control might not be easy to find or operate.
  • Some people will miss an exclusive EQ.
  • That’s really about it!

FSC Certified Richlite

FSC stands for ‘Forest Stewardship Council’, which is an international non-profit organization committed to responsible forestry. It provides certifications for forests around the world that ensure they meet high environmental and social standards.

Buying a guitar that’s made from wood and paper from FSC-certified sources helps with the environment. Plus you can rely on them not to come from forests.

When it comes to guitars, Martin guitars use FSC Certified Richlite for the fingerboard and bridge. This is a durable, versatile and sustainable material that is made from resin-infused paper. On traditional guitars, ebony and sometimes rosewood were used instead.

We use a lot of Richlite but the best thing is that it provides great performance, has environmental and sustainability benefits, and is sustainable. You can even get ebony coloured Richlite if you want to.

Verdict

Building off of Martin’s legendary style, the Dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar of the D10E-01 series is one of their most affordable solid wood models. The D10E-01 isn’t flashy but it is solidly built and will surely make you happy to call your own for a long time. This guitar has a sapele top, back and sides, which makes it sound similar to mahogany but with a little more detail.

The Penn Performer provides a smooth transition from your instrument to the strings. The Leech black neck can be finished with a hand-applied natural oil coating for an even smoother feel. The D10E-01 has a black bolter-style tip, white bridge pins and black tuner dots. It also comes with Fishman MX-T electronics and a resonator hole. This guitar also has larger dots on the fretboard than standard guitars.

This guitar not only has high quality hardwoods, but also a glass-smooth, richlite neck and bridge. Plus, it’s got a hand-crafted fingerboard finish. There is a built-in tuner that allows you to tune the guitar without using the pedal. This is quite similar to other models in the Road series. This guitar may be entry-level for Martin, but it still sets the bar high. So, despite not having an impressive appearance, the D-10E does sound and play fantastic.

The D10-E deserves to be played and is worth investing in. Martin guitars are revered all over the world, and for good reason. You get a lot of guitar for your money, and they are designed & built from scratch to match the needs of performing guitarists.

FAQ for Martin D-10E Acoustic Electric Guitar

What is the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar?

The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is a more affordable version of the D-28. The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is the perfect instrument for any guitarist. It is a dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar, which means the soundboard of this guitar is made of solid Sitka spruce.

This instrument has a cutaway body, which allows access to higher frets. It has a natural finish and is equipped with Fishman Sonitone electronics. It comes in a variety of colors including Natural and Black. This guitar can be plugged into an amplifier or PA system to provide amplified sound.

What are the features of the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar?

Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is a dreadnought-style instrument with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. It has a slim neck that’s easy to play, 20 frets, and an integrated electronics system with volume and tone controls.

The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is the perfect choice for any musician who wants to bring their music to life.

How does the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar sound?

The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is the perfect instrument for any beginner, intermediate, or professional musician. This guitar has the famous Martin sound that has been heard in recordings by artists such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Eric Clapton.

The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is a high quality instrument that will last for years. It has a smooth, rich sound that can be heard from across the room. The D-10E also features a cutaway design to make it easier to access higher frets and an onboard preamp with tuner to make it easier to plug into an amp or PA system.

Anyone who is interested in learning how to play the guitar should look into purchasing this model.

What kind of guitars are similar to the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar?

The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is a great guitar for beginners. It is a fairly affordable guitar and it has a ton of features that are perfect for beginners.

  • The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is similar to the Yamaha FGX720SC
  • It also shares many similarities with the Yamaha F335
  • The D-10E is also comparable to the Steel String Acoustic Guitar by Taylor

How much does the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar cost?

The price of this guitar varies depending on the retailer that you purchase it from. For example, Amazon sells the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar for $1,499 with free shipping and no tax in most states.

What is the weight of the the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar?

The weight of the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar is 4.56lb/2.06kg.

What is the the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar body made of?

Martin guitars are known for their acoustic and electric guitars. The D-10E is an acoustic electric guitar that features a solid mahogany body.

The Martin D-10E has a solid mahogany body, which is the main part of the guitar. The top is made of spruce, which gives the guitar its distinctive sound. It also has a 25-1/2” scale length and 20 frets on a rosewood fingerboard.

What are some strings that come with the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar?

The Martin D-10E is a dreadnought acoustic guitar with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. It has a slim neck, which is considered easier to play than the thicker necks on other models of Martin guitars.

Some of the strings that come with this guitar are:

  • High quality Martin strings
  • Extra Light Gauge Strings

If I buy, the Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar, what will it come with?

The Martin D-10E acoustic electric guitar will come with a hardshell case, a gig bag, an owner’s manual, and a truss rod adjustment wrench.

So what is Tusq?

One of the unique features of this guitar is a Tusq saddle – it’s great at transferring sound vibrations to the guitar top, resulting in full, rich lows and crystal clear high notes. We find it hard to quantify, but many believe Tusq provides better sustain than bone. However you decide, it’s on par with or even better than bone for supporting the strings.

The issue with bone or other organic materials is that the composition of materials is always changing, which results in a variable sound quality. Tusq components, like the saddle on the D10E, are designed with a high pressure and a high heat. They’re engineered by precision to make sure they’re consistent and sound good.

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