With a lovely gloss Sitka spruce top, sapele back and sides, and Fishman electronics, the D-12E is the perfect affordable entrée into the world of solid-wood Martin dreadnought acoustic-electric guitars. Graced with a Style 28 multi-stripe rosette and Style 18 purfling on the back, the D-12E demonstrates classic Martin understated elegance. In addition to quality solid tonewoods, this guitar features a smooth-as-glass Richlite fingerboard and bridge and a hand-rubbed neck finish. Like other Road Series models, it also sports Fishman MX-T electronics with an onboard soundhole tuner that auto-mutes the output so you can tune up any time without using a pedal. At Third Rock, we get our hands on countless high-end guitars, and we're mightily impressed with the Martin D-12E — it's a lot of guitar for the money.
Quality solid tonewoods deliver timeless tone
As a top tonewood, Sitka spruce offers a combination of strength and elasticity that delivers a broad dynamic range with crisp articulation that's ideal for a wide range of playing styles, from delicate fingerpicking to aggressive flatpicked strumming. Sapele, used for the back and sides of the D-12E, is tonally similar to mahogany, but its higher density tends to produce a slightly brighter sound with more high-end shimmer. The characteristic sapele sound is consistently balanced across the tonal spectrum, which makes it, again, suitable to a broad range of playing styles.
A cornerstone of modern music
Martin's early dreadnoughts set into motion the guitar's prominent role in modern music and set the standard for tone quality in acoustic guitars. Martin dreadnoughts became known for resonant warm tones, quality craftsmanship, and tasteful styling. For those reasons, Martin guitars became an important part of the music written and performed by the stars of the 1920s and '30s. Post-WWII, the Martin dreadnought became a cornerstone of the folk and folk rock music of the '50s and '60s. The powerful voice and full sound of these iconic instruments have made them a staple in the bluegrass world, but their bold sonic signature is heard cross-genre.
The CF Martin legacy
What hasn't been said about the CF Martin company? Martin — a name virtually synonymous with the acoustic guitar — took root in the United States in 1833 with a little shop in lower Manhattan. Five years later, Christian Frederick Martin moved his business and family to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, where Martin's been located ever since. From the Dreadnought body shape to the 14-fret neck, Martin innovations paralleled (and indeed, drove) the development of the acoustic guitar itself. When you play any Martin guitar, you're holding a piece of music history.