Tony’s Top 3 Martin Dreadnoughts (Under $2000)

Today I want to share with you my top three Martin Dreadnoughts under $2,000. Dreadnoughts are killer guitars for flat picking, and Martin makes a great one. Here are my top three.

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  1. Betsy

    Hey Tony-

    Thanks for the review. Martin Dreadnoughts aren’t very comfortable for me. I’m a fan of Martin’s smaller body guitars for the couch. How about a review of smaller Martins under $2K or $3K street price (Martin 15, 17, 28, Etc ). A discussion on the characteristics of the various tone woods and materials for fret board, saddles, nuts, pins, etc., would be great, too.

    For van Adair and others shopping for their “move up” or “dream” guitar, many folks don’t know about the reputable used market that the Internet has enabled . You can safely buy a guitar that might be out of your range, if bought new. I’ve had great experiences buying nearly new used guitars on Reverb. It’s like a new car. You drive it off the lot, and there is big initial depreciation drop, but it still has a certain “blue book” retained value. If you buy mint/excellent condition, you pay a lower price, and you even get that new hole smell! Don’t ask me how much I’ve spent there. It’s a GAS addict’s dream.

    I will be back on TAC to pick up on the foundation lessons. Thanks for adding those ! I’ve let work and other hobbies, interfere with sticking to a lesson plan.


  2. Timber

    I bought the dcpa4 based off a earlier video tony did, and it has become my absolute favorite guitar I own. I have all solid wood Taylor’s, martins and a Breedlove. All of them are custom shop level, and cost at least twice as much as the dcpa4. I have a 314 and a 514 limited Koa that I thought were stellar, and are, but the Martin dcpa4 is the best playing and sounding. Only complaint is that the Taylor’s are quite louder, but that should change with age as the Martin is 6 months old.

  3. Keith Bates

    i agree almost verbatim to your choices. Your failure to slash in the D-16GT as a GREAT alternative for those who would rather have a solid mahogany back & sides, and a few bucks cheaper than the RGT, not good. Great sound and feel. A cheaper alternative to the D-18 style and sound. I did 2 gigs (one early, one late) with my D-16GTL last night and had a blast! Yes, it came down to economics and I acquired the D-16GTL. Beautiful, plays wonderfully, and I haven’t looked back. Loving it!

    1. Profile photo of Tony P
      Tony P Post author


      Great call on adding the mahogany version… I have always gravitated towards rosewood… my bad for leaving that necessary model out 🙂 Thanks for your comment!!!


  4. Richard Rasmussen

    Tony Do you have a link to that guitar arsenal shirt you were wearing in the 3 Martin guitars under $2,000.


  5. Allan Darling


    Three excellent guitars to be sure!

    I recently bought a Road series DRSGT with solid Spruce Top and solid Sapele back and sides for $1300 Canadian that sounds very good particularily with an amp.

    Great action set up that works well with my slightly arthritic hands

    Not as good a sustain as my HD28V or D15M but certainly a great campfire guitar.

  6. Profile photo of Gerry S
    Gerry S

    I had a D16GT and you are right. It played and sounded awesome. I also had a D15 and that was damn good guitar under $2k.

  7. van Adair

    Tony I’ve been playing about a year having fun I bought a used ibenez acoustic 250$ from guitar center should I be saving up for a martin ? I’ll be 60 years old in August .im a recovering addict been clean almost 4 years one day at a time! I’m fulfilling a lost dream playing guitar 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Myrna R
      Myrna R

      Congratulations on your sobriety, van Adair! Hopefully you won’t mind me putting my two cents in here. I started playing again a year ago after a long break. The guitar that I had wasn’t doing it for me, so I went into GC looking to trade that guitar for something more suited to me. Well, I played a bunch of guitars that day and I fell in love with a Taylor 414ce. This guitar felt and sounded awesome. It also was more than I wanted to spend. So of course I bought it:) I named her Elizabeth ( Taylor). All this to say that Elizabeth makes me want to play. I think you should always go for more guitar than you think your playing deserves because it will make you play more, and you’ll just get better and better along with the guitar. You are not only celebrating every day, you are coming up on a momentous birthday, one that will greet you with a smile and hug and say, ” Sit down and play me a song!” You deserve to get yourself a great guitar, whatever that is to you. Good luck!

    2. Profile photo of Tony P
      Tony P Post author

      Great question, and let me first say a big congratulations to you on your sobriety 🙂 I always tell students that you should get the best guitar you can, for some that means a lesser expensive one, and for others a higher priced one… but regardless of price make sure that whatever guitar you get you love… meaning you always want to play it and you can’t stop taking it out of the case!!!


  8. Mike Trentham

    I have a new D16RGT and I love it. Plays great and sounds great. Just wish I could get rid of the “new” guitar smell. LOL

  9. Profile photo of james f
    james f

    If you can find/get a 16 series PREMIUM, it will have a Macassar ebony fretboard and saddle in lieu of richlite.

  10. Profile photo of Robert P
    Robert P

    I honestly feel that the new D17 is worthy of consideration here as is the D15. They have Morado boards and bridges but sound and feel great. They aren’t as great as their 00/000 brothers but we’re talking dreads.
    But, with a little haggling , a D18 can be had new under $2k street and less if used, as can a used HD28 , and these are great guitars
    If anyone wants to know where and with who, contact me.

    1. Profile photo of Tony P
      Tony P Post author


      Very good point here 🙂 I could only pick 3 🙁 if I had my druthers that video very well could have been an hour long 🙂


    2. Steve

      I haven’t seen any HD28’s under 2k on any of the sites I roam

  11. Profile photo of Randy B
    Randy B

    Tony we’d love to hear them! I don’t know if you have any available but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d love to hear how they sound!

    1. Profile photo of Tony P
      Tony P Post author


      Sorry I don’t have ’em around to demo quite yet, but don’t worry that will be coming at some point in the future 🙂


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