The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is an excellent compact guitar that’s fantastic for both traveling and home use.
The Martin D JR-10 is an updated version of the previous iteration of the already great guitar. This compact version of the Dreadnought guitar is easier to carry around and travel with, as it's much more lightweight than the regular one. It's also cheaper, so you won't have to worry as much about damaging it during your travels.
The sound produced on the Dreadnought Jr. is still the authentic Martin sound, and the build is very similar to the regular Dreadnought, so you won't have to "re-learn" to play when you pick up the Dreadnought Jr.
In this review, we’ll discuss in detail the pros and cons of this guitar, provide some specifications, go over how it sounds and plays, and help you decide if it’s a good guitar for you.
The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is a 15/16th size variant of the standard Martin Dreadnought guitar.
Its length is 24 inches, and it has 20 frets with no cutaway. The top is made from Sitka spruce solid wood, while the neck and the rest of the body are made up of Sapele wood. The Dreadnought Jr. sits comfortably in the middle between the regular Dreadnought and the Little Martin.
The neck is attached to the body with a Mortise and Tenon joint, while the fretboard is made up of Richlite, an ebony material. The strings have a spacing of 54.76mm, which makes them very comfortable to use for most finger sizes.
The guitar features chrome sealed tuners that allow a steady intonation and tuning. White Corian is used to make the nut of the guitar.
The guitar has a premium finish, and the build uses high-quality materials. The guitar also comes with a nylon bag, which makes it very handy to travel.
There are several models of the Dreadnought Jr., namely the Martin Dreadnought Jr. E and Dreadnought Jr. 2. The "E" stands for electronics and uses a Fishman Sonitone pickup, while the "2" is a newer version with a Sapele top.
Here are a few good things about the Martin Dreadnought Jr., as well as some things that are not so good about it:
|Excellent build quality||Lacks the depth of regular Dreadnoughts|
|Portability||Lacks a double-action truss rod|
|Smooth playing||No cutaway|
|Punchy mid-range tones||Highs could be better|
|Comfortable playing experience|
|Comes with a warranty|
|Loud volume despite the size|
Most people expect a boxy sound at a restricted volume from a smaller-sized guitar, but that isn't really the case here. While it won't have the lows of a full-sized guitar, the Martin Dreadnought Jr. still produces a smooth and clean sound for its smaller size. The sound is warm with a rich texture and resonant mid-ranges.
The sound produced by the guitar isn't the most complex one out there, but it is punchy and has a balanced treble. This guitar is best suited for jazz, rock, and country music, in our opinion.
The guitar has a smaller size, which means there’s less projection and volume. However, this is still more than enough if you're practicing or playing it at a campfire. This is why we consider it an excellent traveling guitar.
The Martin Dreadnought Jr. plays very comfortably, similar to most other Martin guitars. This is due to several brilliant design choices made by Martin.
The space and the width of the fingerboard at the nut is more than that of other compact guitars. This makes it easier to hold, fret, and generally play this guitar. The shape of the neck is also very convenient and has a hand-rubbed finish that’s amazing to the touch.
This guitar has a very similar design to the Dreadnought, which means that switching from one guitar to the other won't have a vast learning curve. You can have the Dreadnought as your main guitar while you keep the Dreadnought Jr. as a practice or traveling guitar.
Regular Dreadnoughts are bigger, so it can be a bit tricky to reach the soundhole. It can cause fatigue to the strumming hand, as you usually have to angle your shoulder to reach the strings. This is especially the case for people with shorter arms.
However, the Dreadnought Jr. has a perfect balance between size and comfort, making it very comfortable to play.
The Dreadnought Jr. is often compared to similar guitars from other brands like the Taylor Big Baby or the GS Mini. The Big Baby is the same size, but the build feels a bit cheaper than the Dreadnough Jr. However, this difference is marginal, and other than the neck screws and the micarta saddle, there isn't much that stands out.
The Big Baby sounds a bit brighter and less deep than the Dreadnought Jr., but there isn't much difference otherwise, and it's just a matter of preference.
The Dreadnought Jr. has a more balanced tone and a better action than the GS Mini. It also has more customization options. You can read up a detailed comparison by clicking here.
The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is made up of solid wood entirely, which means that it's incredibly durable and has an excellent sound quality.
The Dreadnought Jr. is 15/16th the size of the regular Martin Dreadnought guitar. It's not much of a downsize compared to the standard model, as the difference is only a few inches.
The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is an excellent guitar for traveling musicians, and it’s also a great secondary guitar to have. It's much better compared to other guitars in a similar range and category.
The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is a great guitar that stays in the budget-friendly range while providing an uncompromised sound quality. It's portable, friendly for beginner guitarists, and sounds bigger than its size. The design is also very comfortable, and the price tag won't break the bank.
If you're someone who’s looking for a smaller guitar that doesn't compromise in quality, then this guitar is worth it for you, whether you're a traveling musician or someone who wants a smaller guitar to play at home.