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Martin M-36 - Rate and Review

Martin M-36 Reviews

Name: Mark Mitchell
Date: 03/05/14
Review: Martin M-36
Rating you give the M36: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: This guitar is an absolute joy to play. There are no 'flat' spots anywhere with the sound / resonance and the action is a delight. It is also very comfortable to play than dread with the narrower body.

Dislikes: Absolutely none. This guitar is an absolute gem. Even the case is beautifully crafted.

Additional Comments: I could not be happier with this Martin. It is very hard to put it down. Great for finger style, in particular.

Name or Forum username: amannes
Date: 2/5/10
Review: Martin M-36
Rating you give the Martin M36: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: This was a must buy for me once i played it. The balance is amazing. The volume is in between a dread and OM. It is the most comfortable guitar to play, from the smaller body, to the super fast neck. My action is low and it plays like a dream. I have been searching and trading guitars to find the one i can call my own, and this one is it for sure. The road to this one... Traded martin DC aura, bought a cole Clark FL2AC, traded that for the M-36. Amazing guitars but this one is staying with me forever.

Dislikes: Not many. I love the sounds Gibsons give off but Love the playability of Martin. Its a trade off.


Forum username: JDP
Date: 5/23/09
Review: Martin M-36
Rating you give the Martin M36: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Mine is a 1983 M-36 and I bought it used, in great condition. I was shopping around for an old D-18 or D-21 and came across the M-36. Playing it sealed the deal...this guitar is one of the best sounding guitars I have ever played, bar none. It projects well through the entire range - no "soft" spots tonally - and has volume similar to a dreadnaught. It holds up very well in a bluegrass jam for rhythm and solos and fingerpicks like a dream - rags and blues seem to simply flow. I have played newer models of this guitar and they sound great, but it is clear that mine has "aged-in" considerably. I have changed out the bridge pegs for bone and the original saddle for a compensated one - both good moves tonally.

Dislikes: The neck is just a little narrow by about 1/8-inch and this can cause the 1st string to slip off the frets in certain fingering positions. Even so, this can be overcome with practice and playing time, so it's not that big a deal.

Additional Comments: The M-36 is a very comfortable guitar to play.


Forum username:  RBpicker
Date:  3/23/08
Review:  Martin M36
Rating you give the Martin M-36:  4 - Highly recommend it

Like about the M36:  The M, or 0000 sized Martins are exceptionally comfortable to play.  I have always played dreadnaughts or 000 sized guitars.  I am finding the dreads a bit too large these days, and have always wished for a little more fullness (or something) from the smaller guitars I've had (including an OM42).  This guitar fills the area between these two sizes exceptionally well.  It is very full when strummed (even Neil Young tunes sound very good), but is responsive to fingerpicking... which is my main style.  It seems to have very good volume and, of course, that warm, rich signature Martin rosewood sound.  The three piece back may contribute to that, but I think the forward-shifed, scalloped brace configuration on that large top is what gives it its unique presence.  The setup from Maury was good, but I did lower the nut slightly (personal preference).  I installed ebony pins, but went back to the original plastic ones, as the sound is more focused with plastic.  I am using Martin Medium/Light PB strings and think they are the perfect string for my playing style on this particular guitar.

Dislikes:  I am not crazy about the aging toner and bright white binding combination.  I think they contradict one another... the aged look provided by the toner is defeated by the bright bindings.  Over time, that will change as the bindings start to yellow, however, so it isn't a show stopper for me.  The top does have a bit of runout, something that I would have preferred not to have but the guitar plays and sounds so good, I've dismissed this cosmetic issue... I figure that if my wife can love me with my face, I can love this guitar with its flaws I am also not crazy about the light rosewood bridge, but again, it's strictly cosmetic... the combination of rosewood bridge and ebony fretboard seems to work well, tonally.

Additional Comments:  I would recommend this guitar for fingerstylists, light strummers, singer-songwriters, etc.  I haven't played it in a jam yet, so can't speak for how it will hold up against dreads, but it seems plenty loud and I think the projection is going to be very good, given the shallow body dimension.

Rate The Martin M-36
 5 - Best Martin I ever played
 4 - Highly recommend the Martin M-36
 3 - Good Martin, give it a try
 2 - Did the job, nothing special
 1 - Save your money, forget the Martin M-36

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