Today I’m lucky enough to have a brand new Martin in my hands, just waiting to be played. The OOORSGT is part or the OOO Road Series which are made in Mexico. It comes with a polished gloss sitka spruce top, sapele back and sides and a solid sipo neck. The RSGT is a small body guitar, similar to the Martin style 18 Auditorium, and has the warmth and tone you would expect from a Martin.
This is a great looking guitar which features a black Richlite neck, white dot inlays, chrome tuners, a single ring rosette and black Boltaron binding. Appearance, tone and integrity are part of the Martin legacy and this guitar ticks all the boxes.
I haven’t played a lot of Martin guitars and wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve heard people say that you can’t buy a bad Martin, so I figured it would be a decent guitar and was keen to give her a play. It didn’t take me long to become a true believer and this model really took me by surprise.
For a small body guitar I was surprised at the depth and volume it had, and the tone warm while still managing to keep a bit of top end sparkle. I’m a fan of small bodied acoustics, so this was comfortable for me to play right from the start and the set up was also spot on.
The guitar has as 25.4 scale length, with a modified low oval neck shape and quite a flat fingerboard which makes for easy playing. The sound was well balanced across the strings and up and down the neck, and while it was brand new out of the box, I could tell that this guitar would really open up with some more playing.
When it comes to plugging in, the RSGT comes with a Fishman Sonitone pickup system that includes an under-saddle transducer with sound hole-mounted volume and tone controls. The pre-amp uses a 9V battery, with the battery compartment located next to the input jack, making for an easy battery change.
Keeping up with technology and the current trends the guitar even includes a USB port which allows for easy plug and play with todays computer-based recording packages.
The pickup sounded nice when plugged into a PA system and gave an honest reproduction of the acoustic sound of the guitar. With just one tone control you don’t have a great deal of tonal options on board the guitar, but any adjustments can be made on your mixer or amp and once again, this is a great instrument considering it is a lower end performance model.
With the expected Martin craftsmanship, a great sound and an attractive classic look, this is the sort of small body guitar that could easily hold its own on a gig or in a jamming situation, and at the very reasonable price of $1895 rrp (with case) it’s a very affordable option. Like most guitars it will fit certain genres of music more than others, but as an all round acoustic this is a winner.