Martin 000X1AE Acoustic

Martin 000-X1AE Acoustic Electric Guitar Ultimate Review

If you are looking for the Martin 000X1AE review, your best answer can be found here!

C.F Martin and Co., better known as Martin Guitars, is one of those legendary guitar manufacturers whose guitars are found in every professional player’s collection. Martin and Co., established in 1833, has been one of the leading guitar-makers for almost two centuries. They have set industry standards like the “Dreadnought” size and X-bracing. The Martin players list includes Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley, and Paul McCartney.

Martin 000-X1AE Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

Martin has been making the 000-sized guitars for almost a century now, and most of the acoustic guitars we see are modeled after the shape of this 000-size. One of Martin’s most affordable 000-size guitars, the X1AE, offers the build quality of a flagship Martin with a low price tag. Like all of the X-series guitars, it is built of an alternative material – HPL (High-Pressure Laminate), which combines many layers of wood and gives a natural-wood finish.

The fretboard is also made of a new material – the Richlite, an eco-friendly product that functions like ebony. These may seem like corners cut by Martin to keep the guitar around the $500 range, but it makes the X1AE perform well while being a lightweight and comfortable small-body guitar.

Martin 000X1AE Review

Not many small-bodied guitars have been as influential and famous as Martin’s 000 series. It has set the standard of an acoustic guitar template and has provided the right balance of sound, build, and price. The Martin uses unusual materials for its body and comes at a very unusual price for a brand like Martin. Its “Made in Mexico” tag may throw some doubts regarding the craftsmanship, but there is nothing to worry about. The X1AE is an excellent guitar at an excellent price. Let me tell you why.

Martin 000X1AE Review: How It Looks

As mentioned before, the X1AE is made of new materials. The sides and back of the guitar are made using HPL, which has been given a “photo finish” to make it look like natural wood. In this case, the photo finish is done to make the guitar seem like it was made of Mahagony. And it does. The smooth chocolate-brown color of the body is well-implemented, and you won’t be able to tell the difference in the wood of this and other Mahagony-guitars unless you look closely. The Martin comes with a complete Satin polish which adds to the natural look and feel of the guitar. The body has no cutaway, and the electronics are inside the guitar’s soundhole.

The Martin X1AE comes with a tortoise-color pickguard which suits the light brown Sitka top and HPL sides. The soundhole is kept simple and features only a black and white pattern rosette of inlaid Boltaron. Coming to the top, there is the golden logo of “C.F Martin and Co.” on the headstock, with the “Est. 1833” etched under it too. This name is, for many guitar players, enough proof to convince people that the guitar will be quite ahead of its competition.

The X1AE looks pretty standard, and unless you scrutinize it thoroughly, you won’t be able to tell that the wood inside is not the standard Nato laminate, Mahagony, or something else. It looks simple and smooth outside because of the Satin finish and Mahagony-look laid on the guitar. You won’t have anything to complain about the looks of this one.

Martin 000X1AE Review: How It Builds – Build Quality

Many people doubt this guitar because of its composition. It uses new materials not found on most guitars and has that “Made in Mexico” branding. But this guitar is a pure Martin standard with impeccable craftsmanship. The sides and back of the X1AE use HPL, the top is an excellent Sitka spruce top, and the neck is made from Stratabond – a material more like a hardwood laminate. This is a pretty different specs-lisspecs list guitars, making the X1AE a very different guitar.

The usage of HPL for the sides and the back has increased the durability of the guitar and reduced its weight, making it very comfortable for beginners and travelers. The best thing about the build of this Martin is its top – Sitka spruce. Because the top of the guitar body affects the sound of the guitar most significantly, Martin made an excellent choice in giving the 000-X1AE a Sitka top.

It is strong and resonant, giving the guitar a warm tone with good sustain. A substantial body coupled with excellent hardware makes for a perfect guitar, which is what the X1AE delivers. The chrome tuners are excellent, and there is no problem with detuning or changing action. The excellent tuners, a muscular neck, and a spruce top – all top features add to the quality of this Martin and make it worth its price, which is also not very high considering its brand and finishing.

The neck, made from Stratabond, is a modified low oval neck, which makes it more comfortable to hold and play on. The Richlite fingerboard is also smooth and tight, making it easier for left-hand finger movements. All in all, there cannot be any downsides to the build of the Martin 000 X1AE, and you can expect it to last many, many years of rough playing with ease.

Martin 000X1AE Review: How It Sounds

The guitar’s body is a good balance of comfort and strength, and so is its sound. The Martin 000 X1AE produces warm tones with a sufficient volume. The guitar has excellent playability and is especially good for finger-picking due to its midrange sound and compressed tones when played around the middle of the neck.

There is a good balance of the bass and the treble without the boom of the D-style Martins. However, this strength of the guitar may also be its only flaw. The midrange sound is quite literally – right in the middle. The guitar’s tonal range is slightly less than that of a pure Mahagony-bodied guitar, and there is not a high variation from bass to treble.

Besides this somewhat limited pitch range, Martin’s sound quality is beautiful. It is loud, rich, and transparent. The X1AE comes with Martin SP Cleartone strings, which are very good and give an excellent long sustain with decent clarity. There is note-to-note clarity, and when played at the guitar’s ideal range – not too softly nor too powerfully – the sounds are full and loud.

Because of its great strings and perfect body, the guitar delivers very well. But for the more demanding player, the Martin X1AE comes with Fishman Sonitone electronics. The electronics are hidden inside the guitar’s body, with the pickup under the bridge and the controls for volume and tone placed right inside the soundhole. The guitar starts to shine when plugged in, and you get a clear tone with a soft bass, which is especially perfect for fingerpicking and folk music.

Overall, the sound is what you expect from a Martin. It is balanced and rich, though a little concentrated in the midrange, leaving some room for some more sound detail. Though not the best, the pickup provided with the X1AE does its job very well.

My Personal Opinion

I have no hesitation in recommending this guitar for a beginner with a decent budget. The Martin provides excellent value for money and is undoubtedly to last many years of playing; being a Martin, its sound will improve and grow on you as you play.

I have played the Martin X1AE once and found it suitable for my playing style. The body is light and comfortable, making it easier to move around with the guitar. I found the low-oval neck very fast and smooth, and it fits perfectly in my smaller-than-average hands. The guitar sounds very bright and balanced and rewards good fingerstyle techniques. It plays the best in the middle of the fretboard and gives a more excellent range of sound when you make your strokes a little more robust.

The Martin 000X1AE is a perfect instrument to use with an electric track or for live shows because its sound is warm and balanced. It would go well with a good fingerpicking pattern and a decent amplifier. While you can’t drive the guitar for pure blues and country rhythms, you can’t drive almost any guitar like that for less than $700-$800 – if you want a branded yet affordable guitar with a rich, warm sound and a comfortable body, the Martin 000X1AE should be your top choice.

Pros And Cons Of Martin 000X1AE


  • A very durable yet lightweight and comfortable to hold the body with a thin and fast neck.
  • Excellent tuners and a decent electronic system will bring out the best in this guitar when plugged in. There is no problem with detuning, and the action is nicely set right out of the box.
  • A balanced sound overall, with wider tone variations coming when fingerpicked and strummed with a little attack on the soundhole region.
  • The brand Martin promises great build and sound, and its excellent range of even better-quality guitars, if you decide to upgrade after a few years.


  • The range of tones is a little compressed. The sounds are more concentrated in the middle ground, with neither a weighty bass nor a bright treble.
  • Though this is not very noticeable and not a problem that other guitars of this price don’t have, it may be significant for players who sing at different scales frequently and play many styles with the same guitar.
  • If the sides and back had been of Mahagony or similar, the X1AE would have been one of the best acoustic guitars made under $1000. But this would have come with a severe bump in the price tag of the Martin 000X1AE.

The Final Thought

The Martin 000X1AE is a very comfortable guitar. It has a great body that can handle rough use and a warm, balanced sound. The strings, tuners, and electronic pickup system is surprisingly good and needs no replacement.

The sound is excellent and beats numerous guitars in the same price category. I highly recommend it to any player looking for a durable guitar from a great brand like Martin.

You cannot go wrong with this one at this price.

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