Product Review: Martin Guitar 000RS1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar


As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 3 – Ladies Rock the Blues – June 2018

Martin Guitar has an amazing reputation, and the Martin 000RS1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar from the Road Series does not disappoint. It is very affordable for a solid-wood guitar, let alone a Martin, and has the sound and projection of a much more expensive guitar. It has a lovely sound right out of the box, and I am sure that it will only improve with age. It is an instrument that will reach its potential with a little breaking in.


Founded in 1833, Martin has been a name associated with quality guitar-making in America for just as long. The home of Martin Guitar is in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Part of the cost-cutting measures for the Martin 000RS1 is that it is manufactured in Novajoa, Mexico. Don’t let that steer you away from this lovely guitar. The craftsmanship is still exactly what you would expect from a Martin.

The top, back and sides of this guitar are made from solid Sapele, which gives the guitar a very warm and rich sound. Overall, it is a very comfortable guitar to play. I especially enjoyed the good bass response and the low action. Several students and teachers in my music studio gave this instrument a go, and they all had an easy time bringing a great sound out of it. It is very well suited to fingerpicking but also a joy to strum.

The Sapele also gives a really endearing stripy look to the body of the guitar that gives it a very approachable personality to match the quality of craftsmanship. An instrument can sound incredible, but the look of the guitar is really what makes people fall in love. This beautiful instrument feels very down-to-earth to me. 

Another factor in the affordability of this guitar is the fretboard which is made of black Richlite, an eco-friendly material made from resin-infused paper and used as a replacement for ebony. It truly does look and feel like ebony. The materials used allow for an exceptional entry-level Martin to not only sound great but also be more environmentally friendly.

This acoustic-electric guitar is rounded out with a Fishman Sonitone electronic system. For me, I didn’t find the soundhole controls super easy to access, but I also didn’t find this to be too much of a problem, especially considering how well out of sight this keeps the electronics. It is a fantastic guitar for both gigging and the studio with awesome plug-and-play output. Playing live is just easy with this guitar. 

For anyone who wants the history, reputation, and sound of a Martin with a lower price tag, this is the perfect guitar for you. It will ground you in the history and tradition of guitar making and playing that has been a staple in America since Martin’s founding while helping you meet your potential as a musician.

Paige Harwood

Paige founded Paige’s Strings Music Studio in 2017, and she has been teaching private music lessons for over 15 years. After receiving her bachelor’s in Music Education from Berry College and her master’s in Ethnomusicology from Queen’s University Belfast she taught English abroad in South Korea and Thailand before returning home to Atlanta. She is committed to fostering a musical community where all students can learn and grow together. She teaches violin, viola, piano, and of course the ukulele. Her studio also offers guitar, bass, mandolin, and banjo lessons in the Chamblee area.