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Martin D-35 - Rate and Review

Martin D-35 Reviews
Name or Forum username: stephenrhymer
Date: 12/02/2012
Review: Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes:Everything.  Tone, intonation, feel, resonance.... you name it, this guitar has it.. it's not as boomy as a 28 and is excellent from low to high. I've never been disappointed with it.

Dislikes: Nothing

Additional Comments: I have a 1973 D-35 and a 1979 Custom 15 (HD-28).  While the Custom is everything you'd want in an instrument (everything!), the 35 is better in every respect.
Name or Forum username: Lito
Date: September 15, 2012
Review: Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: I like the balance, projection, the punch of the tone. Intonation from lowest to highest frets is perfect. The longer you play the better it sounds. The older it gets the better the tone. This is one reason it can be a good investment. Other guitar brands don't have this attribute.

Dislikes: Nothing I dislike. I tried almost all the guitars in the music store. Bought,brought it home, played and record but nothing match D35 martin except the D45 for the added beauty but same quality tone.

Additional Comments: If your finger style, use lighter gauge string and you will still hear the punchy sound. Heavy strummer must use the medium gauge .13-.54
Name: Bob W
Date: 04/18/2012
Product you are reviewing: Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Sound is just awesome. Has a great mid-range and bass. Finger action is perfect for me and my big hands.  Love the style of the back.

Dislikes: The case is a little tight, making it hard to put a strap in there with it. Absolutely beautiful case otherwise

Additional Comments: Wanted a Martin guitar all my life. I found the perfect guitar for me and my style of music, which is traditional country flat picking. I do not want to buy another guitar ever again. I have found a guitar to play for the rest of my life.
Name: Simon Yoong
Date: 11/09/2011
Review: Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Very good tone and balance. Clear and strong bass projection. Great sustain, clarity, tone, action and playability. Perfect for all kinds of genre and playing style. I am a fingerstyle, finger-pciker. so far it has been awesome!

Dislikes: I haven't found anything that I dislike about the guitar.

Additional Comments: Everything about the guitar, from the build, feel, sound, playability and ergonomics are perfect. This is a 2nd acoustic that I purchased, the first one is a cheap Morgan Monroe dreadnought. It sounded good, but there are issues with action, and intonation problems.

The Martin D35 is like dream come true to me, whereby everything sounds and play perfectly, packed with a punch and very sweet sound. I strongly recommend this guitar to people who wants to get a perfect sound with a lower budget compare to buying insanely overpriced custom-made guitars.
Name or Forum username: mark k.
Date: Oct 19, 2010
Review: Martin D-35

Likes: great full sound.

Additional Comments: I would say it's the best Martin I ever played, but once I played Don McLean's smaller Martin and it rang out so clear and fresh that I've never forgotten it. I have a model made in 1969; had a LL Baggs pickup installed into it from the place that did Larry Carlton's guitars. Totally invisible and generates a totally pure sound electronically.
Name or Forum username: - - M.
Date: 06/22/2010
Review: Martin D-35

Likes: Tone woods. Timbre. Beautiful three piece back and white finger binding. Overall build quality. Versatile. It is a quintessential Martin guitar; a classic!

Dislikes: Difficult to keep the lid on the 640 case to stay open. Instrument is large and takes some getting used to for proper fretting with small hands. Attention to the action by a good luthier (suggest "West Coast Style" set-up) makes for excellent playability. Factory set-up is fairly high, as many Bluegrass players with hydraulic hands prefer.

Additional Comments: The D-35 is amazingly versatile. John Fahey played a D-35 fingerstyle, often with his favored open tunings for which the instrument is well suited. When tuned down, it still has plenty of headroom to voice any notes asked of it. Tone literally improves every day.

Date: 12/25/09
Review: Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: I bought my D-35 in 1976.  Although my picking has gone from OK to semi-awesome, the D-35 has always blown everything else away.

Dislikes: None


Name: Bob
Date: 4/9/2010
Review: Martin D35
Rating you give the Martin D-35: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Superb playability. The solid Mahogany Neck adds superb tone to it. It's also very easy to keep tuned and it has superb intonation. It's the best sounding, easiest playing acoustic guitar that I have ever played and I have played many and the "quality build" is superb as well.

Dislikes: None.

Additional Comments: I wish I bought a Martin D35 years ago.


Name:  BARRY
Date:  6-12-08
Review:  MARTIN D35
Rating you give the Martin D-35:
  5 - Best guitar I ever played

Likes:  Beautiful deep sound with great  fretboard action.Smooth and easy on your fingers.

Dislikes:  Well when you play a martin people will hold you up to a certain standard because you are playing the best.

Additional Comments:  I have a 1996 martin d35, a 1999 d15, a 1965 gibson and a 1980 takamine.  Martin smokes them all.


Forum username:  The Mukumbre Brothers (Aswaga)
Date:  January 11, 2008
Review:  Martin D35
Rating you give the Martin D-35:
  5 - Best thing I ever played
Like about the Martin D-35:  The big sound. It stands out very well against the rhythm of steel drums and other West African purcussion instuments.

Dislikes:  The plastic guitar case which has a tendency to disfigure and warp when left out in warmer sub-tropical climates/temperatures while the instrument is being played onstage outdoors.

Additional Comments:  The low-end response of this guitar is very powerful and intense, to the point where we were able to dismiss our regular bass player. The money saved will eventually allow us to purchase a new touring van as well as new costumes.


Name or Forum username:  Pepper 'Pepe' Gonsalves
Date:  Oct. 1-07
Review:  Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35:  3 - Good product give it a try

Like about the Martin D-35:  A cannon with deep bass.

Dislike about the Martin D35:  Sometimes too much bass and not enough midrange or treble.

Additional Comments:  Like humans, there are outstanding examples of D-35s and a few mediocre and/or disappointing ones out there. Best to demo before buying. The first one I tried had good bass but was kind of boxy sounding with minimal sustain. The subsequent one had less bass and a tad more tonal balance but also was plagued with moderate sustain. Finally and about 6 months later, I came across a d-35 with both the trademark bass as well as good sustain. Tonewood density plays a major role here and though the component parts like sides, back and top are miled to certain specs, there is no way of microscopically investigating the cellular structure of the woods as they relate to good tone. You've just got to run with your ears and scrutinize the sound.

Maury's tip:  When looking for a guitar pay speical attention to the following when comparing guitars:

  • Strings  - Are they dead or new?  Are they the same brand/ metal/ gauge strings that were on the first guitar you tested?
  • Picks - Use the same pick when comparing guitars.  I know it's hard to believe but the pick does make a difference.  Heavy picks sound bassy and thin picks sound bright.
  • Room - Try to compare the 2 guitars in the same room.  Lots of retail outlets have super acoustic rooms designed to make their guitars sound awesome so be prepared to hear a difference when you get your guitar home in your environment.
  • Play time - How much play time does the guitar have?  The more a guitar is played the more it will open up and have a better tone.

My point is, know exactly what you are comparing and compare apples to apples.  I think you'd be surprised at how close Martin guitars within the same model sound surprisingly close to each other. 


Forum username:  guitarshopper
Date:  17/05/07
Review:  Martin D35
Rating you give the Martin D-35:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D35:  Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Neck feels great. Nice simple looks. Perfectly set up. Nice resonation, but not too much -- glassy high notes -- consistent and warm overall. finger picker's dream -- good strumming as well. fingerboard feels great, easy to play. Just feels right.

Dislike about the Martin D-35:  Literally cannot think of anything, except that the decor on it is sort of dull -- but this is good, as it is meant to be played.  You know you are spending your money on 200% guitar and over 200 years of craftsmanship and tradition. Not paying for pearl inlays.

Additional Comments:  Compared to Yamaha LL500 -- night and day -- the Martin is easily worth 3 times the money of the Yamaha, and the Yamaha is still a dman nice guitar.  Compared to Taylor 810 -- Taylor is a fantastic strummer, with excellent resonance, but for blues and finger picking, the martin is better. Compared to the HD28 -- the scalloped bracing of the HD28 resonates like crazy, but almost too much, like you can't turn off the reverb or something.  The D35 had perfect sustain, and not too much resonance -- there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  As previously stated, the D35 is just perfect.  Though I am obviously biased as hell since I just bought the thing.  But certainly worth trying out.


Name:  jeff
Date:  1-27-07
Review:  Martin  D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D-35:  great sound no matter what style your playing.


Name:  Chuck
Date:  12/27/06
Review:  Martin D-35
Rating you give the Martin D35:  4 - Highly recommend it

Like about the Martin D-35:  Awesome, huge sound. This guitar sounds like an accoustic should sound like. Clear highs, resonant deep bass.

Dislike about the Martin D35:  As previous reviewer states, Would look niced with tortoise pick guard. I also think some small improvements to the case can be made.

Additional Comments:  The only reason I didn't give this guitar 5 stars is that I've been fortunate enough to have played some true classic electrics; Gibson, Fender, etc., so cannot say best I've ever played, however, can say best soudning steel string accoustic.


UMGF username:  StringPlucker
Date:  02/27/2006
Review:  Martin D-35
Rating you gave the Martin D35:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D-35:  The D-35 is a very versatile guitar. Its sound ranges from the growly bass of the blues when played hard to a more balanced choir like quality when played lightly. What it lacks in ornamentation is more than made up for in its sound! This is Martins best overall guitar IMHO.  The three piece rosewood back is stunning and the overall quality of the wood used in this guitar is a thing of beauty. The D-35 is Martin at its best with great sound and simple good looks!

Disliked about the Martin D-35:  The all black pickguard is all right, but I think the guitar would look better with a tortise style pickguard. Also the 600 series case that comes with the D-35 has to many rough areas in the lining and this has left scratches on the finish of the guitar. Really should come with either a 300 series case or 500 series case. Martin should drop the 600 series cases IMHO.

Rate the Martin D-35
 5 - Best Martin I ever played
 4 - Highly recommend the Martin D-35
 3 - Good Martin, give it a try
 2 - Did the job, nothing special
 1 - Save your money, forget the D35

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