Martin DX Johnny Cash Review & Prices

Martin DX Johnny Cash Review
Add to Compare
FIND IT ON:
Sweetwater logoAmazon logoMusician's Friend logo
Set a price alert
  • From Martin's 2019 Custom & Special Editions series
  • Johnny Cash Signature
  • Made in Mexico
  • 6 strings
  • 25.4"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • HPL top
  • HPL back
  • HPL sides
  • Black Birch Laminate neck
  • FSC Certified Richlite fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fishman MX (Preamp/Active)
  • FSC Certified Richlite bridge
  • Acoustic Performing Artist Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Chrome Enclosed Gear tuners
  • Weight between 5.05lbs (2.3kgs) and 5.1lbs (2.3kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 81
Build quality 68
Value for money 79
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Martin DX Johnny Cash
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Mexico
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $800, which means that the Martin DX Johnny Cash is around 19% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Mexico.

SET PRICE ALERT

These are affiliate links. We may earn a fee if you purchase after clicking. These prices are prone to error. Make sure you're buying the right product after clicking on a link from our site. We are not liable if you buy the wrong product after following these links. As an Amazon Associate site we earn from qualifying purchases.

Videos

Martin DX Johnny Cash Guitar - How Does it Sound?
UNBOXING | Martin DX Johnny Cash Guitar
The Martin DX Johnny Cash - One Of The Best Acoustic Guitars Of 2019!
FOLSOM PRISON BLUES - Country Fingerpicking on the Martin DX Johnny Cash Guitar
Martin DX Johnny Cash | feat. Corey Congilio
More Videos

Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

Vote

Tuning stability

Vote

Neck speed (thickness)

Vote

Neck access to high frets

Vote

Neck profile shape

Vote

Fret edges

Vote

Pickups noise

Vote

Pickups power

Vote
View all user feedback

Explore All From Martin >

Is it Easy to Play?

The Martin DX Johnny Cash meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Martin DX Johnny Cash
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Martin DX Johnny Cash's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Martin DX Johnny Cash weighs between 5.05lbs (2.3kgs) and 5.1lbs (2.3kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Martin DX Johnny Cash's 25.4" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Martin DX Johnny Cash Scale Length Comparison
Martin DX Johnny Cash's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale, but slightly shorter than what's commonly found in acoustic guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, strings will feel stiff and more difficult to bend, but the tone will feel brighter. It will also be less likely to produce fret buzzing and rattling when strumming hard.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Martin DX Johnny Cash Neck Profile
Martin DX Johnny Cash's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Martin DX Johnny Cash has a 16" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Martin DX Johnny Cash Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Martin DX Johnny Cash's fretboard radius compared to others

This fretboard radius is really different than Stratocasters, but it's also a lot flatter than Les Paul fingerboards. It'll heavily favor soloing over playing chords. This doesn't mean you can't use it for chords, but it will be more comfortable to play chords without muting strings in a more curved fretboard. Bending and sliding without losing sustain will also be more likely in a flat fretboard like this one.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Martin DX Johnny Cash has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.4'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.4'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
15'' Fretboard Radius
24.9'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
15'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Martin DX Johnny Cash Nut Width
Martin DX Johnny Cash Nut Width

The Martin DX Johnny Cash has a nut width of 44.5mm (1.75''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Martin DX Johnny Cash Fret Size Comparison
Martin DX Johnny Cash's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Martin DX Johnny Cash's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

HPL wood pattern used for guitar building
HPL Top, Back, Sides
Birch wood pattern used for guitar building
Birch Neck
Richlite wood pattern used for guitar building
Richlite Fretboard

HPL Top, Back and Sides: HPL is a man-made, resistant material made to sound like wood. It's a high-pressure laminate made from multiple layers of paper or fabric that are impregnated with resin and then fused together under high pressure and heat.

Birch Neck: Birch wood is a hardwood with a light color and a fine, even grain. It has good dimensional stability and is resistant to warping. It's used as a cheaper replacement for maple. The tone produced by birch wood is typically described as being warm, clear, and resonant.

Richlite Fretboard: It's very similar to Ebony, but it is much cheaper to make. The main reason is that it is made from resin-infused paper. It is very durable and soft, so it's often used for fretboards and tops.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fishman. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

Sound Score

Sustain 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 81

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Martin DX Johnny Cash is made in Mexico. This is the country that some American brands choose for building really good, but cheaper guitars. You can expect a guitar that offers a good price-quality relationship, although they don't get the same quality control as the ones built in Japan or the United States.

Bridge

FSC Certified Richlite: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Martin DX Johnny Cash has a Corian nut. It's a synthetic nut made to be similar to Bone. It's easier to work with for the luthier when compared to Bone, but it's not as hard and doesn't have the same lubricating properties. Still, it's a good material for guitar nuts.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 48
Features 85
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 68

All Specs

Martin DX Johnny Cash
General
Brand: Martin
Year: 2019
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: Mexico
Series: Custom & Special Editions
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: Yes
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: HPL
Bridge: FSC Certified Richlite
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Chrome Enclosed Gear
Fretboard: FSC Certified Richlite
Neck Material: Black Birch Laminate
Decoration: White Plastic and Custom Ink Inlaid Stars and CASH Custom Ink
Scale Size: 25.4"
Shape: Acoustic Performing Artist
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 16"
Nut: Corian
Nut Width: 44.5mm (1.75'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Fishman MX (Preamp / Active)

More Popular Comparisons With This Guitar

User Reviews

Help others by sharing your opinion about this guitar. Note: to avoid spam, your review will be submitted for approval before appearing here.

You're reviewing as anonymous. to comment with your account.
Your Rating: