Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar Review

The Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar, alongside many other Martin Guitars from past and present, have one important thing in common –enduring quality. Since the 1900s, the Martin Guitar Company has consistently delivered high-caliber instruments worldwide.

Martin Guitars are all handcrafted, which is one the main reasons why it has become synonymous with high quality. It is also a coveted brand because of the limited production of its guitar lines. Meticulous craftsmanship is implemented in the creation of every guitar they produce.

The Dreadnought guitar is currently considered as the standard acoustic guitar, yet this was not always the case. Because of its relatively bigger size compared to other acoustic guitars, it was less favored by some in the past.

To date, the most popular Dreadnought by Martin Guitar is the D-28, but due to its price, not all can easily afford it. With the release of the Martin DRS1, many aspiring and hardworking musicians can own a coveted Martin guitar for a reasonable price.

Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar...
  • Solid Sapele Top, Back and Sides
  • Modified Low Oval Select Hardwood Neck w/Black Richlite Fingerboard
  • Fishman Sonitone Electronics

Good Mahogany Alternative

Most of Martin Guitar’s premium guitars are made from Rosewood and Spruce Pine, while cheaper ones are made using Mahogany wood. But since Mahogany has become a scarce resource, most guitar manufacturers have turned to Sapele wood.

Sapele wood is an attractively grained and durable wood that’s sourced from Africa. The Martin DRS1’s top, back and sides feature solid Sapele, while its neck is made from dyed and laminated white birch known as Stratabond.

Because of the high-quality materials used and the overall look and vibe of the guitar, it is easy to note the flawless craftsmanship that has gone into the creation of the Martin DRS1. Every little detail and part of the guitar has been perfectly put in place, making the DRS1 an exquisite piece of musical instrument. 

Vibrant Sound and Exceptional Playability

The Martin DRS1 guitar plays a clear and vibrant sound that is quite unexpected given its price range. It features a sharp bass, a full midrange and pristine treble that are all perfectly balanced. The Sapele wood enhances the sound, adding a hint of richness to the notes that emanate from the guitar.

A good way to gauge the overall performance of any acoustic guitar is by configuring it using alternate tunings. When subjected to various tunings, there’s no change or distortion in the sound. Everything sounds glimmering and resonant.

Martin DRS1
Martin DRS1

Fishman Electronics

The Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar is installed with Fishman Sonitone electronics that features under saddle pickups and a preamp located inside its soundhole near the bass side. It requires 9-volt batteries to power it. Furthermore, the preamp is quite easy to use, as it only has two controls which are for volume and tone adjustment.

Although the Fishman Sonitone pickup does not do much for tonal shaping, the sound becomes satisfactory by setting the tone control to neutral while it is plugged into a good amplifier. Both the preamp and the pickup are fairly organic-sounding and seamless without being too sound-heavy, which happens in some acoustic-electric guitars.

Quality and Affordability

The Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar from Martin’s Road Series is a practical buy for any guitarist that’s constricted by a tight budget. Given that most Dreadnought guitars are quite pricey, the DRS1 is the most reasonably-priced among all other Dreadnoughts.

It is a great solid-wood guitar that offers both acoustic and electric capabilities. Despite its affordable price, buyers should still expect top-notch quality both from the guitar itself and its sound.

The guitar features some composite and laminate elements such as its Richlite fretboard and bridge as well as its Stratbond neck.However, it still exudes a traditional charm that will appeal to the serious musician. To top it all off, customers will also get their money’s worth with its Fishman electronics.

Features and Specs

  • Dreadnought body
  • Made from solid Sapele wood featured on top, back and sides
  • Features a 25.4-inch scale
  • Made with a Satin finish
  • Has Chrome enclosed tuners with white Corian nut
  • Comes with hard shell case
  • Has an available version for left-handed guitarists

Customer Reviews

This product has earned 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Majority of the customers who purchased this product are extremely pleased with the overall quality, affordability and playability of the Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar.

The Sapele wood plays a huge role in enhancing the sound of the guitar, making each note sounds rich and darker. Customers are happy with their purchase and feel like they have truly gotten their money’s worth.

Things to Improve

Based on Amazon reviews, this product is excellent and has no record of negative or critical comments.


The Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar is an excellent buy and is highly recommended by those who have purchased it and who have been using it for years. It is the type of guitar that aspiring musicians can grow with, and an instrument that musical pros can depend on. Martin Guitars make it possible for musicians to invest in a high quality and durable guitar without having to splurge at all.

Check out other electric guitar reviews too!!