Martin OOO 15M

I've had this Martin OOO-15M for nearly two years and I gotta say, overall, this is a killer guitar, not only for the money, but in general, you can't ask much more of a OOO style guitar.

I had the pleasure of playing around with a Depression-era OO years ago that was just amazing even though it needed a neck reset. I knew then that someday I'd get an all-mahogany Martin and when I gave up my old Yairi I knew the time was right to get that Martin I always wanted.

Mine weighs four pounds and the top, sides, back, and quarter-sawn neck are all solid mahogany. You might notice from photo that I got mine from Sweetwater -- the first time I've bought an acoustic guitar without playing it first. My selection criteria was simply the lightest of the four they had in stock at the time. Honestly, I was worried, but all concerns quickly evaporated after I got to play it for a few minutes. I'd buy another from Sweetwater without hesitation if I had to replace this one for whatever reason.

Playability is superb. With the recommended string gauge (12s) it just plays itself with a buttery action. And the fretwork is sheer perfection (I see that they are Plek-ing these at the factory). The tone is wide but mid-focused, with a deep bottom and velvety highs without being boomy or shrill. Lovely. The workmanship is flawless and the satin finish (cost-saving stuff here) is serviceable and on the neck it wears to a non-sticky gloss.

You'll notice from the attached photo that the fretboard (not rosewood but Morado, a.k.a., Pau Ferro) is a light brown but in less than a year it had darkened up quite a bit with a lot of natural discoloration from playing it so much. It looks like an old beater at this point. You might expect the frets to have a corresponding amount of wear but, no, they are still in great shape. I fully expect to get 10+ years out of them before needing a grind and polish.

The guitar stays in tune well and the case gets the job done.

There's really no other guitar on the market that can deliver made in America solid tone woods at this intersection of price and performance.

One thing that might bug some players is the low, vintage frets but with proper technique (keep that thumb behind the neck and play with your fingertips not the fingerprints) you're in Nirvana. Also, the nut width is 1 and 11/16 inches, a hair tighter than the 1 and 3/4 inches that most finger pickers like. However, I hybrid pick (flat pick + fingers) and the string spacing is just fine for me.

Overall 4.5 out of 5. A great deal and I'd do it all over again.


Martin 000-15M 6-string Acoustic Guitar Features at a Glance:
  • 6-string Acoustic Guitar
  • Construction: Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint
  • Body Size: 000-14 Fret
  • Top: Solid Genuine Mahogany
  • Rosette: Single Ring
  • Top Bracing Pattern: A-Frame "X"
  • Top Braces: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16"
  • Back Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany
  • Side Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval
  • Nut Material: Bone
  • Headstock: Solid/Square Taper
  • Headplate: Solid East Indian Rosewood 
  • Fingerboard Material: Solid East Indian Rosewood (the 2013 is Morado or "Pau Ferro")
  • Scale Length: 25.4"
  • # of Frets Clear: 14
  • # of Frets Total: 20
  • Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1-11/16"
  • Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2-1/8"
  • Fingerboard Inlays: Diamonds & Squares - Short Pattern
  • Fingerboard Binding: none
  • Finish Back and Sides: Satin
  • Finish Top: Satin
  • Finish Neck: Satin
  • Bridge Material: Solid East Indian Rosewood
  • Bridge Style: Belly
  • Bridge String Spacing: 2-1/8"
  • Saddle: 16" Radius/Compensated/Bone
  • Tuning Machines: Nickel Open-Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs
  • Bridge and End Pins: Solid Black Ebony
  • Pickguard: Tortoise Color
  • Included case