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Martin D-13E Ziricote
 
An affordable dreadnought with a great sound and upscale looks.
February 22, 2021
 

Martin Guitar’s Road Series has long been a favorite of players looking for an entry point into the company’s line of guitars. This year, Martin added two models to the Road Series, a dreadnought and a Grand Performance–size guitar, both of which are built with ziricote back and sides, and I had a chance to check out the D-13E Ziricote. 

The D-13E Ziricote follows Martin’s dreadnought template. It’s a non-cutaway guitar with standard dimensions and fairly restrained appointments. However, as its name indicates, the guitar is built with ziricote back and sides, which sets it apart from more traditional dreadnoughts. Originating in southern Mexico and Central America, ziricote is often compared to rosewoods in terms of its tonality and its tendency to show distinctive grain patterns, figure, and beautiful coloring, and it has become popular with many custom builders. On the D-13E, Martin uses a layered kind of ziricote, which explains its use on a relatively inexpensive guitar, but I was impressed with the appearance of the wood, which gave an extravagant vibe to our demo guitar. Martin chose a solid Sitka top for the guitar, and again, the cosmetic appearance of the wood was excellent. The guitar also combines standard white body binding and black-and-white purfling with a mother-of-pearl rosette, and it has fingerboard position dots similar to a style-28, as well as gloss finish throughout.

The D-13E Ziricote’s High-Performance Taper neck gave it a more contemporary feel than a guitar with a traditional Martin neck. Strummed with a pick, the guitar had a muscular voice that worked great for strumming, and it had excellent balance as well as respectable volume. Its balance and clarity also helped when playing single-note lines. The guitar includes Fishman’s MX-T electronics, and not only did these sound great when plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amplifier, the system’s soundhole-mounted tuner is a great feature whether you amplify the guitar or not. 

Overall, the D-13E Ziricote is an impressive addition to Martin’s affordable Road Series. The guitar’s solid dreadnought performance speaks for itself, and the beautiful woods and Fishman electronics make for a highly attractive package!

SPECS: Dreadnought body. Solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped X-bracing. Ziricote back and sides. Select hardwood neck. Richlite fretboard and bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₃₂-inch string spacing at the saddle. Enclosed chrome tuning machines. Fishman MX-T electronics. Made in Mexico. $1,249 (street). Martinguitar.com

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The Santa Cruz founder and flatpicking virtuoso team up for a presentation about the company at Organic Sounds Guitars.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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