Right now, next to me, I’ve had the Martin DJr-10E Dreadnought Junior as my desk guitar for the last few months. Keep in mind, the new Martin Dreadnought Junior is not as diminutive as the LX Little Martin or Baby Taylor and is nowhere near a full-sized Martin Dreadnought, so its body size almost kind of exists in a dubious “Goldilocks” universe. All of which has me mulling over how I feel about this mid-sized Martin acoustic guitar, and the answer is simple: I can’t put it down. The Martin Dreadnought Junior is an acoustic that ticks all the boxes for comfort, feel, playability and portability, but most importantly, sound. Not as thin as most travel-sized guitars, nor as boomy as its Pennsylvanian big brothers, the Martin Dreadnought Junior possesses a pleasing and uniquely voiced acoustic tone.
The Dreadnought Junior is handsomely presented and retains the classic Dreadnought look in a shrinked-down version. Martin’s shallow 000-body depth, along with its 24–inch scale length, gives it a proper balance between playable comfort and compactness. It features a Sitka spruce top with Sapele back and sides, a satin finish, a 14-fret mortise and tenon neck joint, scalloped X-bracing, a Richlite bridge and fingerboard, 1 ¾-nut width and Fishman Sonitone electronics with controls for volume and tone tucked inside the soundhole, and comes with a form-fitting gig bag.
The Dreadnought Junior is one of those acoustics I can recommend to just about anyone, whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned player or even someone who’s looking for a weekend travel guitar. The slim tapered neck profile makes it super easy to play, and you’ll get a kick out of being able to stretch over multiple frets when attempting complex chord voicings because of its shorter scale. And not to leave the pickers behind, its supple string tension is as fast as an electric guitar. The Fishman Sonitone electronics are decent for plug-and-play applications and don’t get in the way of the Dreadnought Junior’s tight low end and crisp highs. There are so many other great things I can write about this Martin, but as I mentioned earlier, that would require me to stop playing it constantly.
STREET PRICE: $799
MANUFACTURER: C.F. Martin & Co., martinguitar.com