An affordable Martin 12-string?  Martin X-Series D-X2E Brazilian 12-String.

Posted: June 20, 2024
This is a great way to add some tonal variety to your playing and music for under $1,000 and still have many of the Martin features and built-in electronics and onboard tuner
Guitar Thrills Magazine
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Branching out into other styles of music or just adding textures to the music you’re creating now, typically involves the addition of some other guitars.  These might include a Nylon string Classical guitar, 6-string Acoustic, Dobro Resonator or a 12-string.  Several guitar makers are known for their 12-string instruments and Martin is definitely one of these.  Unfortunately, their 12-strings can be on the pricey side for American Craftsmanship crafted guitars. 

Now Martin has expanded their X-Series line with the D-X2E non-cutaway 12-string.  It is a no-nonsense guitar priced at $699.  Based on Martin D-14 body shape their new 12-string is easier to navigate and play than many other guitars of this style. The top is made of Spruce, but the sides and back are made of stunning Brazilian rosewood pattern HPL (high pressure laminate).  They obviously help hold the cost of the instrument down but are also stunning visually.  Instead of binding, which adds to the cost, Martin has rounded the front and back edges of the guitar making it easier on your forearm and body. The tuners on the D-X2E are closed back Satin finished Chrome and the strap buttons match that finish.  Martin doesn’t identify what kind of wood, but the neck, fretboard and bridge are made of hardwood and not a composite. 

Electric guitar players will appreciate the high-performance tapered neck on this guitar making it closer to the shape of an electric guitar than a full sized 12-string acoustic.  Martin E-1 electronics are installed in the D-X2E 12-string featuring volume, tone, built-in tuner and a phase switch all tucked inside the sound hole.  I found the 12-string sound full without overwhelming bass frequencies unplugged.  Plugged into an amplifier and PA I was able to dial in just the right about chime and the tuner is a big asset. 

The only adjustment I would need to make for my playing style is to lower the action a bit by shaving the saddle, but that is a personal matter for each player to decide. If you prefer a 12-string with a cutaway Martin also offers the DC-X2E Brazilian 12-string for $749 in the updated X-Series.  I still feel that the D-X2E 12-string is a better deal at $699 since you will seldom need to venture past the 12-fret n a 12-string guitar.  This is a great way to add some tonal variety to your playing and music for under $1,000 and still have many of the Martin features and built-in electronics and onboard tuner.  If you’re looking to widen your sonic palette Martin’s D-X2E 12-string is a cost-effective way to accomplish just that and a padded Martin gig bag is included too!

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