Our Verdict

It looks brilliant, plays and also sounds impressive and at this price allude, its Guitarist Gold award have to be the no-brainer of the century.

You watching: Martin 000 15m review


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The first all-mahogany guitar was Martin"s 2-17, presented in the at an early stage 1920s. Possibly borne out of the Hawaiian music and ukulele explosion that hit America in the interbattle period - Martin ukes were mostly all-mahogany - this small-bopassed away instrument came to be a trendsetter for the burgeoning acoustic blues scene. Later that very same decade, arch rival Gibkid jumped on the bandwagon through its own mahogany-height effort, the L-0.


Blues players loved these instruments via their bideal but sweet trebles and also a midrange that cuts via loud vocals. They were also cheap - $25 at the time.

The Style 15 came right into being in 1940, however miscellaneous American carriers ongoing to make all-mahogany acoustic guitars up till the "60s, as soon as availcapability of spruce (which had actually been a trouble post-WWII) was no longer an concern.


"This 000-15 screens nopoint but clarity and articulation across its whole tonal spectrum."

As an outcome the popularity of these "austerity" tools waned to the suggest where the substantial firms no much longer bothered through them, although a couple of remarkable exceptions were Guild"s D-25 and the cool-looking, bolt-on-necked Fender Newporter.

When Taylor successfully debuted the 412-M in 1996 it argued that the moment was possibly best for this intriguing style of acoustic to rerevolve. Martin introduced the strictly budget D-15 in 1997, complied with by the 000-15 and others.


For 2010, Martin has actually added the dreadnought sized D-15M and its smaller sized bodied sibling, the 000-15M - the M suffix suggests a number of spec transforms over the existing 15 Series guitars that cause a little price rise.

Both instruments function Martin"s bolt-aided mortise and also tenon joint, first watched on the D-1. Not only helping to store costs dvery own, this "glued and also screwed" assembly has actually additionally confirmed structurally steady and tonally even more than as much as the project.

Featuring the no-frills look and also satin complete of the existing 15 Series these are darker stained over real mahogany kind of (consisting of the neck) rather of sapele - a cshed relative that possesses extremely similar features.

When it pertains to acoustic guitar architecture and building and construction, there"s something to be said for the plain and purposeful method. An acoustic guitar"s worth is all also often measured by the amount of molluscs that sacrificed their lives to decoprice it or the size of elaborate products that bind every conceivable body, neck or headstock; or indeed the sheen emanating from the precious plating of its steel ware.


What you obtain here rather are the baremainder essentials for great, workable, pro-traditional, six-stringed musical instruments.

Solid timbers are used throughout the 000-15M"s construction. Wbelow Martin might have actually skimped through laminated sides, ago or neck, it has remained faithful to the ethos of high quality not frills. So below we view no bindings, yet the subtle lines wbelow the optimal and ago join the rims and also wbelow the East Indian roselumber peghead veneer meets the headstock, leave a tasteful impression of such things.

Martin has liked East Indian for both fingerboard and also the traditional belly bridge (currently via ebony bridge pins) as well. Saddle and also nut are both bone (the conventional 15s usage a Corian nut and a Tusq saddle) and the straightforward white-black-white soundhole rosette is inlassist, not a decal as on the typical models.

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The pickguard is pucker Delmar, the Waverly-style open-gear tuners differ from the typical model"s enclosed form and also we have an old-style Martin headstock decal. Even the fingerboard inlays are changed from standard dots to abalone diamond place markers and we acquire an ebony endpin.

The mortise and tenon neck joint that Martin has supplied on certain models for almost 2 years now utilises a glue and bolt mechanism that keeps the structure solid and yet easy to make.

The typical dovetail technique needs woodfunctioning mastery and is altogether even more time consuming. A stamped wooden version and serial number plate covers the bolt"s entrance hole in the neck block, and also deserve to be removed should significant surgery ever before be required.

Inside, a simplified A-framework variation of Martin"s X-bracing mechanism incorpoprices an balance out box area that dwellings the reinforcing bridge plate. Sitka spruce struts and also mahogany kind of kerfing tie the body"s components together to produce a taut and vivid tone chamber that"s all set to amplify the strings" vibrations.

Internal fit and also complete are all outstanding and also there"s no excess glue or unwanted debris to mar the top quality evident elsewhere.

This is a 14-frets-to-the-body architecture and the neck itself is what Martin calls its "modified low oval" - a slender "C meets V" profile that"s 43mm (1 11/16-inch) at the nut quite than the bigger and also standard, more fingerstyle-friendly 44.5mm (1 3/4-inch). These dimensions offer it a great "all-round" player appeal, though, and Martin has collection the action perfectly for pretty a lot anypoint you care to throw at it.

Even without a cutameans (which would certainly spoil the look entirely) there"s enough top-finish clearance for the majority of needs - initially position blues licks at the 12th worry are no trouble and that"s the primary reason a lot of 000-15 players would certainly endeavor that much up. You could want slightly meatier strings for major slide duties, however we encountered no problems tuned to E and with a much more restrained bottleneck method.

Sounds

Think mahogany kind of optimal and you"ll more than likely think acoustic blues. Think acoustic blues and also you"ll doubtless imagine a raspy, practically resonator-choose mid-selection "honk" that"s deeply unpleasant for anything other than accompanying Delta-style hollers. Well, think aget, because this 000-15 displays nothing yet clarity and also articulation throughout its whole tonal spectrum.

The mahogany type of optimal seems to supply a supremely well balanced tone through no "sag" however simply delightcompletely responsive and also tuneful outcomes. It"s tough to be particular yet the impression is that the in its entirety sound spectrum is a tad narrower than that of spruce - not rather so much treble or bass - yet this in no means hampers the guitar; in truth it can even make it better for vocal accompaniment considering that the tones of instrument and voice are that much even more evenly matched.

Sure, its dimension supplies a limit to exactly how a lot brute force can be extracted, but treat it with respect and also this bit guitar will certainly reward you through a level of course that belies its price and also humble beginnings.

When a firm via Martin"s heritage takes high quality products but clears all the fuss, what we"re left via is its guitar maker"s art, lhelp bare. This new enhancement to the long-standing 15-Series functions a slew of improvements making, we think, what were already incredibly excellent guitars that little bit much better. Martin"s artisattempt is alive, well - and also kicking!

The 000 has actually a bold speaking voice that punches single notes or plucked chords to the front of any kind of vocal ensemble. Placed it in an open up tuning and also get out your slide and it will certainly equally oblige, simply as those original mahogany kind of Martins did almost 100 years ago.

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We do not recontact any kind of acoustic guitars - from any maker and also at whatever before price suggest - that have actually led to the stir that this simple-looking 000-15 and also its D-15 sibling have actually controlled. But it"s their total, non-frilled fitness for purpose that has actually galvanised us all right into wanting one so a lot.


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