Martin 000-15M Guitar Review with A.J. Rodriquez

A. J. Rodriquez
  • Satisfy your desire with an affordable solid wood guitar that is visually distinctive and innovative.
Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar - Mahogany
Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar – Mahogany – $1,499

Our friend A.J. Rodriquez, who plays for The Belonging Co. and Jordan Feliz among others, stopped by the studio to review the Martin 000-15M guitar.*

From Martin: The 000-15M model continues the Martin tradition with a 000-14 fret body size, solid mahogany construction, and a rich satin finish. Satisfy your desire with an affordable solid wood guitar that is visually distinctive and innovative.

One thing I look for is balance in a guitar. And then honestly, the next thing is how it feels under my hands. So this guitar, like I was saying, the action is incredible. So like picky stuff, it sounds really good. Every note punches.

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Features

  • Body Size: 000-14 Fret
  • Finish Top: Satin
  • Construction: Simple Dovetail Neck Joint
  • Back and Side Finish: Satin
  • Bracing Pattern: X-Brace
  • Scale Length: 25.4″
  • Brace Shape: Non-Scalloped
  • Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1 11/16”
  • Top Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval
  • Back Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Taper: Standard Taper
  • Side Material: Mahogany
  • Electronics: Optional

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Transcript

When I first pick up a guitar and I’m shopping for a guitar, the first thing I start to play is open chords. So something like. And what I’m listening for is the balance between all the notes. I don’t want one note to stand out more than the others. I want every note to kind of sound like a choir and everything’s balanced, you’re not hearing one thing over the other. It’s all just like this beautiful, balanced sound. And I usually try to play more complex chords because you’re so used to hearing like these chords, you know what I mean? Everyone plays those, so I want to hear chords with a little more depth and I want to listen for the different notes just to peek through or not or be more balanced.

So that’s kind of one thing I look for is balance in a guitar. And then honestly, the next thing is how it feels under my hands. So this guitar, like I was saying, the action is incredible. So like picky stuff. Let me see. Like all that, to me, it sounds really good. Every note like punches, so… I love the color of this guitar because it matches my shirt like I was saying, it matches my shirt, but it just sounds amazing.

Honestly, it’s very balanced. Maybe the high E-string is peeking out a little more than the others, but super comfortable to play. I feel like the action is perfect. My actual main guitar is the Dreadnought version of this guitar, so I gravitate towards this guitar a ton and I love this body shape a lot because it’s less, maybe a little less woofie than my personal guitar, so a little more focused. And I think the picky stuff sounds pretty good too on this. Woofie, by woofie, I mean there’s just a lot going on in the low end, a lot of low end content in at least my guitar compared to this one. So, yeah! The low end isn’t really overpowering in that. Yeah. And it’s just really fun to play. Like I feel like I could get lost in playing this guitar, particularly.

Probably the best use case for this particular model would be in the studio. I’m not in the control room right now, but based off what I’m hearing in this room, it sounds like it’s recording really well. I would say this is a great guitar to write on. You could take this to writes, it’s very light. I can imagine the case for it’s really small too. So I feel like I’d use this on writes. I’d use this on just playing in my bedroom and in recording. When thinking 000 versus Dreadnought, I think Dreadnought more for leading in a roomful of people, like maybe you’re at a small group or something.

I would go, Dreadnought, because it’s going to project a little more just being a bigger body. This I think more for like more intimate settings and recording. I think it’s not going to project as much, it’s more of a focused sound. Honestly I think is really comfortable to play. On this guitar you’ve got top back and sides all mahogany. I love the mahogany because it’s a little bit warmer. Mahogany tends to be like a darker wood. You see that on like Les Paul guitars. But when it comes to acoustics, I feel like it just makes the overall tone a little bit warmer. This one’s got the standard Martin X bracing on it. You see that on a ton of their models.

I think it has to do with the resonance and the guitar and the build. That’s kind of what adds to the Martin sound. The neck’s kind of matte, which I really like. It’s not too hard to move your hand across the neck. The frets: It’s a great fret job. Nothing wrong there. Like I said, the action is very comfortable. Bone nut, so I think that adds to the tone, absolutely. It’s overall very comfortable. You’re not going to get in the super high registers. So that’s why I’m thinking it’s more like a songwriting guitar because you’re kind of sticking around like this. This is like your bread and butter. You’re not doing too much up here, which is fine. And I think for a guitar like this, that’s, that’s perfect.

One thing I love about Mahogany is it’s got these little like indents all throughout the guitar. I don’t know if you can see it throughout, but it’s not a perfectly flat surface, which I think I really like, because you can kind of see the woodgrain all through the guitar, which looks really cool. Even on the neck you can see the woodgrain.

So this guitar comes optional with pickups. You can choose to add a pick up or not. This particular model doesn’t have a pickup, but mine, like I said, does. So you could play this at church. I would like to use this for probably more fast paced songs. I feel like the midrange would fit nice in the mix or you could even use it for just songs where it’s just a vocal and a guitar. I feel like it could stick really pretty there because it’s warm. It’s not going to be super bright and overtaking what’s going on in the vocal. I think something kind of like I think this guitar is really beneficial for the road because like I said, it’s a smaller body. You’ve got access all the way up to 14th fret. Doesn’t have a cutaway, so it’s perfect for those singer songwriter things like I was saying, and the shape makes it really travel.

So when I’m on the road playing with various artists, this would be this would be a top choice for something like that. My home church here in town is The Belonging Co, so I could see myself using this for, potentially, services or sometimes my wife and I will lead in the little kids services. This guitar perfect for that because it’s got a cool sound and it would sound great. It would be a great sound with just me, her and a guitar. I like- I mean, right now I’ve just- I’m, I want to play something like swampy that’s got like that- So one chord progression that you’ll find in a ton of songs being written right now in CCM is the I – Flat VII – IV – Minor IV, which is that sounds weird, but this is what it sounds like and it’s got that like swampy feel to it.

Like it’s, *imitating cadence* you know what I mean? That I think is really cool. And for some reason I just feel like playing that on this guitar. So maybe it’s just because that chord progression is in my head, but potentially something with that kind of a swampy feel to it would be good on his guitar.

 

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