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Martin D-16RGT - Rate and Review

Martin D-16RGT Reviews
Name: Kelly
Date: OCT 9, 2010
Review: Martin D-16 RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: all solid classic martin rosewood dread...cheaper D-35.

Dislikes: tuners are unbelievably bad for a guitar of this calibre lose them asap

Additional Comments: this a great buy when considering that the higher standard Martin models are only marginally better and cost three times as much. Swap the tuners out for some waverleys or sperzels, and install a bone nut and saddle and you will have a banjo {blocked}er all solid MARTIN, not a copy, for around 1200 bucks which would compete favorably with anything out there...
Forum username: heenow
Date: 10-4-10
Review: Martin D-16 RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Sound, playability. Our group does "Question" (Moodys) with that Mach speed 12-string strum. My Alvarez twelver couldn't hack it, but off in the corner was the Martin D-16RGT. Picked it up, tuned it to open C, and we were off to the races. Sounds better than Justin's Guild.

Dislikes: None, really.

Additional Comments: Like any Martin guitar, a little pricey. But I have no regrets.

Forum username: b-bop
Date: march 30,2010
Review: D-16RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: This is the first Martin guitar I've owned, although I have played the D-18, D-28, and HD-28. Marvellous guitars. I saved up my nickles and dimes, and after 4 years, I had enough saved for a D-28. I went to the store, and made a deposit to hold the 28. Then, when I went to pay the balance and pick up my guitar, I saw the D-16. I picked it up, and knew right away that it had a big bottom end that the 28 didn't have. I almost bought a gibson J-45 for the bottom end. Although the fingerboard was Micarta, it had a good voice I fell in love with. I would have preferred gloss sides, I can live. And it was more than a thousand bucks cheaper. I bought it. I played it for a month, and then had the action set, and replaced the nut and saddle with bone. If I liked it before, I love it now. It has volume, good base tones, great middles and sharps. The action is quick and sharp, and allows me to do runs faster and with more confidence. I will replace the tuners, not sure yet with what, and have an active pick-up installed. I use Martin SP strings in a medium gauge, but I am going to put on light gauge for the next string change, to see how much volume it might lose. A great guitar, I highly recommend it. It won't be this cheap long.

Dislikes: Could use better tuning pegs, bone saddle and bridge. Mine cost 17 and 11 dollars respectively, installed after market. I don't mind the micarta fretboard, doesn't affect the sound, and will probably last longer than an ebony or rosewood board. Would have liked to buy one for a couple of hundred more with gloss sides and back.

Additional Comments: Including my after market costs, saddle, nut, pin replacement, set-up, and pick-up, I will have a professional quality instrument for under 2000 Can. You can't beat the price, and you get Martin quality. A great guitar!!


Name: Steve Graff
Date: 11/27/08
Review: Martin D-16 RGT
Rating you give the Martin D16 RGT: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Amazing sound, with a great ringing tone, the usual strong Martin voice, and great sustain.  It is also very loud and doesn't lose it's voice when played hard.

Dislikes: Action was set a little high, but I think it might have been the strings.  I put on a set of extra-lights, and the action improved.  Too much play in the tuners but that's not a big deal.

Additional Comments: This is an upgrade from a Martin DR, so I can see a difference.  Solid wood on back and sides is definitely an improvement.  But Martins are amazing.

Name:  John C
Date:  05/31/2008
Review:  Martin D16 RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT:  4 - Highly recommend it

Likes:  Lovely clear voice, it sings throughout its range. I play Jim Croce music, and it is perfect for that, clear ringing tome and warmth. It played perfectly out of the box a year ago, and is only improving.

Dislikes:  No sustain above the 12th fret for hammering-on, if I play E-Fsharp-G it can't do it on one pick. It just won't do it, it breakes my play a bit.

Name:  George
Date:  05/12/2008
Review:  Martin D-16rgt
Rating you give the D-16RGT:
  4 - Highly recommend it

Likes:  I am stunned with the sound of this guitar.  It is a canon after upgrading to fossilized ivory saddle and nut.

I bought a second hand guitar.  I strummed and finger-picked everyone.  It is my favorite guitar and first Martin guitar.

Dislikes:  The cheesy ping tuners, the pickguard, high default action and micarta fretboard. :(

Additional Comments:  Make sure to replace with bone saddle and nut and ebony bridge pins.  Don't forget to lower the action with local luthier.  It is a poor man D-28 with micarta.


Name:  Darrell
Date:  March 8 '08
Review:  Martin D16RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT:  4 - Highly recommend it

Likes:  The playability and sound. There is no doubt that you are playing a Martin, it has the bottom punch,  the strong Midrange, and sings like a bird up top.

Dislikes:  The tuners and pickguard.

Additional Comments:  I changed out the tuners to gold grover rotomatics, put a dark Martin tortoise pickguard on with martin tortoise inlay bridgepins, and buffed out the satin finish a bit. The buffing gives it a vintage look.  I have a pickin' buddy with two martin custom shop guitars (a D18V and an HD28V) and I can't keep mine out of his hands.


Forum username:  amberdog
Date:  august 15/07
Review:  Martin D16 RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D16RGT:  Would a lovely thing!!  The treble rings out like clear bells, and the bass, packs a punch.  They tell me in about 6 months the middle will open up and blow me away.  I demoed a D-28, and some kind of Taylor (nice playablity, low action, very bright...nice), but the D16 RGT was just the one for me.  Slender fast neck....and not sounding all that different from the infamous D 28, but a whole lot cheaper.  You can tell it is a quality instrument, and what a super price.  I can't stop playing (yes this is my first Martin so that's why I go on and on.  A life's dream come true at last!

Dislike about the Martin D-16RGT:  I truly don't have any yet.  Heard rumors from the rest of you about the tuners....we shall see.

Additional Comments:  A good guitar makes you a better musician.  You are rewarded by what you hear, and thus you play more and try new stuff.  Awesome!

Name:  Ken
Date:  6/17/07
Review:  D-16RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D16RGT:  Simply Beautiful Guitar! But with less frills - Don't feel I need to baby it like high end Martin's.  The action was perfect out of the box.  I have owned a few High end Martin's and this guitar sounds to me just as good/maybe better.  Construction is A+++!

Dislike aboout the Martin D-16RGT:  Might change out the Tuners to Grover Roto's otherwise its perfect.

Additional Comments:  Dollar for Dollar when of the Best Rosewood Dreds out there!
UMGF Username: martinDX12006
Date:  03/03/2007
Review:  Martin D16RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D16RGT:  I love the sound of this puppy,feels great to play. Its an all around great guitar for under $2000.

Dislike about the Martin D-16RGT:  the tuners.

Additional Comments:  Wish it came with a sunburst finish along with natural.

Name:  Bob
Date:  September 20, 2006
Review:  Martin D16RGT
Rating you give the Martin D-16RGT:
  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D-16RGT:  I like the rich sound that emerges from this guitar. It has the complete package, the highs are great and the lows are awesome. I've had this guitar for 4 years and it keeps sounding better every year. I also like the great woodgrain on the back side. I have had no problems with the tuners thus far.

Dislike about the Martin D16RGT:  can't think of anything right now, everything is good, i'm looking forward to seeing what it's going to sound like in another 4 years...

Additional Comments:  My guitar has been compared to a D28 several times and I just smile and thank them and tell them what they're really hearing. I have made some changes since i bought it. for example, i have put a tusq nut and saddle on it and switched pickups. the original was a Martin 332 Thinline. It now has a Fishman Acoustic Matrix Natural II
which i'm very happy with.  I play the guitar through a Yorkville AM 100 Acoustic Master amplifier.

Name:  John
Date:  May 20/06
Review:  Martin D-16RGT
Rating you gave the Martin D16RGT:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D-16RGT:  Great Martin rosewwod tone with lots of mid punch and great high-end zing.

Dislike about the Martin D-16RGT:  Hard to find any but i guess i could stick with everyone here and go with the tuners.

Additional Comments:  The rosewood back on mine has a real aggressive grain pattern, reminds me of brazillan rosewood!
Name:  Mike
Date:  May 16, 2006
Review:  Martin D-16RGT
Rating you gave the Martin D-16RGT:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D16RGT:  What a great guitar. Looks great, sounds fantastic. Big fat cords and I can really spank the strings and the guitar just responds.

Dislike about the Martin D-16RGT:  Tuners. Made by Ping. Can't find a high end tuner with a similar footprint.

Additional Comments:  A great price for a great sounding guitar. I can't believe Martin doesn't charge an extra $50 for high end tuners.
Date:  02/12/05
Review:  Martin D-16RGT
Rating:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D-16RGT:  Beautiful tone.A good sense of wood "ringing".  A sensitive, but strong touch... I own a Gibson MK-72, this Martin is something quite different and more like a real acoustic.

Dislike about the Martin D-16RGT:  Not found yet, I've done some tuning, but I think it's because of this low humidity in Finland.

UMGF Username:  Fstpicker
City/State:  Orlando, Florida
Date:  2/10/05
Review:  Martin D-16RGT
Rating:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Liked about the Martin D-16RGT:  Three years ago, I bought my D-16RGT over the phone from Buffalo Bros.  (Hey, Maury wasn't in business yet, then!  Sorry!)  I was looking for a solid rosewood guitar with that classic "Martin rosewood" tone for mostly flatpicking leadwork and rhythm strumming.  This guitar had the sound I was looking for.  I also liked the bound fretboard like a D-35 and the herringbone soundhole inlay.  This guitar is not too flashy, but with just enough features to set it apart from the others. I've been "accused" of playing an HD-28 by one older guitar player when he saw and heard me playing my guitar at a Bluegrass jam locally.  Before I bought this guitar, I a-b'ed many other rosewood guitars:  Larrivee D-03R (very nice BTW); Tacoma DR-12 & DR-20; D-28 & HD-28,etc., and found the D-16RGT to have the features I valued at a price that I could actually afford! I haven't been disappointed in this guitar once. It seems to have continued to develop and matured in its tone more and more, and has opened up rather nicely over the 3 years I've owned it. As has been said by many others, it probably has about 90% of the tone of an HD-28 for 1/2 the price. I couldn't agree more.


Disliked about the Martin D-16RGT:  The only drawback I've had with this guitar is the Ping tuners. I have to tighten them up periodically, and they don't stay in tune for more than a day or two it seems. I plan to upgrade them to Grover Sta-tites 18:1 ratio "butterbean" tuners as soon as I can. It may enhance the appearance to more of a vintage look even, who knows?


Additional Comments:  I highly recommend this guitar for someone who wants an intermediate guitar that is versatile for leadwork and strumming. It is loud and strong with good bass, strong midrange punch, and clear, fat ringing trebles. I've improved it by installing a bone saddle, ebony bridge pins, and lately a Fossilized Mammoth Ivory Saddle that I trade back and forth with my bone saddle depending on what sound I'm looking for at the time. I also string this guitar with D'Addario EJ-17 PB mediums which give this guitar great volume and rich tone.


UMGF Username: Broktun
City/State: Cumberland, MD, USA
Date: 06/17/2004
Review: Martin D-16RGT
Rating: 5 - Best guitar I ever bought


Like about the Martin D-16RGT: The D-16RGT is the "poor man's" D-28. It has that wonderful warm, rich Martin rosewood tone. Fit and finish is near perfect, and the bound fretboard really adds to the overall appearance of the guitar. You can tell the Martin people take pride in their workmanship.


Dislike about the Martin D-16RGT: The factory set-up was not 100% to my liking. The nut slots needed to be filed lower, and when the guitar settled in, the truss rod and saddle needed adjustments to get within Martin's specs.


The only other issue is the tuners. Apparently Martin uses Ping tuners, and they seem to have more "play" in them than Martin Standard Series tuners.


Additional Comments: I demo'd the following:
Martin D-16GT
Martin DC-16GTE
Martin DC-16RGTE
Martin SWMGT
Martin D-18
Martin D-28
Taylor 310
Taylor 410
Taylor: Special. Not sure of the model # but had rosewood sides and back.


Other than the D-28, the D-16RGT was the best sounding guitar I tried. My wife even agreed with me. The D-28 sounded a little better, but not enough to justify the extra $800.

Rate the Martin D-16RGT
5 - Best Martin I ever played
4 - Highly recommend the Martin D-16RGT
3 - Good Martin, give it a try
2 - Did the job, nothing special
1 - Save your money, forget the D16RGT

Total Votes:504

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