Martin DRS2 Review: Acoustic-Electric Dreadnought

martin drs2 review

Martin guitars have been a bastion of excellence for quite some time now, and the DRS2 from their "Road" range is a prime example of the quality output the manufacturer has to offer. Radiating quality from every angle, this acoustic-electric beast of a guitar serves as an adequate reminder that you really do get what you pay for. Every aspect of this instrument just screams "premium," and it’s easy to see why.

First Impressions​

​Short of glowing with a visible radiance, the Martin DRS2 Dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar practically screams premium quality - it is clearly a well-built instrument that is practically begging to be played from the word "go."

No matter where you perform, this guitar can put a smile on the face of any player due to its terse projection. The solid sapele spruce back and sides have a beautiful satin finish, and a solid sitka spruce top provides this guitar with more than ample resonance, and a look that you will either love or hate.

The robust Stratabond neck, steeped in dye to make it different colors (a lovely addition!) is connected via a mortice and tenon joint, and bolted into place for added durability.

When first played, this guitar produces a sweet, bright sound that compels the listener to stop in their tracks and take note. Clearly the DRS2 was made for performance, and judging by its sheer playability, isn’t too picky about the style of play, either.

Hidden away in the sound hole lies the small control panel, with two knobs for controlling the tone and volume, all driven by the Fishman Sonitone system. When plugged in, it boasts a fantastic quality range of sound which caters for strummers and finger-stylers alike.

This is a premium guitar at a premium price; although the overall quality is obvious, coming in at about around $1,000, the price tag would more than likely scare off beginners looking to make their first purchase. Conversely, the mid to high end price of the DRS2 makes this a reasonably priced instrument for the more experienced player looking to add a quality acoustic-electric guitar to their collection.

Versatility

The Martin DRS2 Dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar is a versatile piece of kit. Looks-wise it is a rather unremarkable instrument that could easily be mistaken for the sort of guitar that usually sits in someone’s bedroom corner gathering dust, but the ease of play does, in fact, make it an ideal beginner guitar, or more specifically, an ideal upgrade guitar for those wishing to progress musically. That’s not to say it isn’t suitable for professionals – in fact, that is Martin’s target audience for this model, and it is more than capable of withstanding almost anything a gigging musician could throw at it.

Although the low action of the strings are mainly suited for light play, this can be easily adjusted to make it suitable for the heavy fingered, ranking the DRS2 higher in the playability scale.​

drs2 dreadnough review

Value for Money​

​Let’s just be clear here, this is not a cheap guitar by any definition of the word. Martin have taken the qualities of the DRS1 model, and rejuvenated and refined them for the '2’, taking it to another level. So essentially, it isn’t value for money in the traditional sense, but what you get for the cash you spend is most definitely great value. Going by the quality and all round craftsmanship of this model, Martin could easily ask for more for it, but they haven’t – making the DRS2 fantastically good value for a mid-range instrument of this caliber.

When you consider this guitar can produce a sound almost indistinguishable to higher end models, the value for money of this instrument speaks for itself.

Pros​

  • Solid construction – the spruce woods used to build this guitar will last for years
  • Sound production - beautiful tonality and resonance all round
  • Versatile – can be picked up and played by all range of players
  • Good value – although a little pricier than some, you get a lot of bang for your buck

Cons

  • Range of tone – good for treble and bass, but lacking in the middle department
  • Volume - could be a little punchier, noise-wise

If you'd like to hear the Martin DRS2 live, take a listen to Maury's Music YouTube video: 

Overall, a very nice and sturdy guitar indeed. Whilst this could hold its ground as an acoustic alone, the electric capacity makes for a very versatile instrument. Solidly built, unremarkable aesthetics, and ease of play make the Martin DRS2 Dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar a fantastically playable, if higher end instrument aimed at the more experienced market.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here