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  #106  
Old 06-22-2019, 09:39 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
Did you really have high expectations?
No, of course I didn't have high expectations for a $200 Martin Backpacker.
At that size and shape it's clearly intended to be better than nothing for backpacking, camping, and the beach.
I was just expecting better sound, considering the name on the head.
IMO by making these ultra low end guitars, Martin tarnishes its lofty image.

Over 55 years I've had over 25 guitars, from the early 1960s S&H Green Stamp GOS (guitar shaped object) to a Martin Authentic.

Even taking into account the lower expectations for the lower price, the Martin Backpacker was by far the most disappointing.
Martin still sells this clearly successful product, so lots of folks like them ... so as always YMMV.

Last edited by Tico; 06-22-2019 at 11:41 PM.
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  #107  
Old 06-22-2019, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tico View Post
No, of course I didn't have high expectations for a $200 Martin Backpacker.
At that size and shape it's clearly intended to be better than nothing for backpacking, camping, and the beach.
I was just expecting better sound, considering the name on the head.
IMO by making these ultra low end guitars, Martin tarnishes its lofty image.
I agree -- I've had canoe paddles with better tone, BUT ... when the Backpacker was introduced, there was really nothing else like it that had a full-size neck and that was truly "backpack-able" -- something you could take on multi-day trips in the backcountry when weight and space were critical considerations. So while I was disappointed in mine as a travel guitar, it's not Martin's fault that I used it for purposes it probably wasn't intended for.
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  #108  
Old 06-22-2019, 11:26 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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I haven’t had any truly disappointing acoustic guitar purchases for a long, long time, since back in the early 1990’s when the whole industry was recovering from the general slump of the 1980s. My base point since taking up the hobby again has been the Yamaha FG line, and the instruments have all been outstanding for the price and for reliability.
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  #109  
Old 06-22-2019, 11:36 PM
gmel555 gmel555 is offline
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1973 Martin D-18 bought new. I believe I was one of the unlucky ones who had one with the bridge mis-positioned, as it is now known for that era. Intonation/general tuning was terrible, hated the Grovers. And the back seam developed a crack within the first year. To make it all the more painful in recollection, I now wish I'd had the bridge issue fixed and then kept it. I'd now have cool 46 year old D-18! But we didn't know what the issue was back then.
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  #110  
Old 06-23-2019, 12:17 AM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Although I've owned over a dozen great Larrivee's which eventually led me to an artist deal there was one out of the bunch that I had to return within 48 hrs because it was underwhelming. Mind you, this was before they offered me an endorsement, but a certain shop used to sell a lot of custom Larrivees exclusively in all kinds of wood combos and I was keen on having a cedar/walnut L-03 and when I got it I realized why Larrivee doesn't do cedar for any of their standard series guitars....it just didn't agree with their bracing/construction methods...it was just mushy, unbalanced and uninspiring.

Full disclaimer: I've owned and enjoyed Sitka, Italian, and Engelmann-topped Larrivee's with all kinds of backs from Indian rosewood to Madagascan rosewood, Peruvian walnut, Claro walnut, Ziricote, mahogany, maple, and even Malaysian blackwood and they are consistently great (or I wouldn't have agreed to a deal with them) but it had to have been the Cedar that just made it feel a little "off".

I'm certain Jean or his sons could build a great cedar guitar otherwise but maybe from a large scale production standpoint Jean is picky about the consistency in quality of red cedar (same as why he doesn't use Engelmann anymore). Who knows.

I never like to bash guitars that are made in a factory either, its no surprise to me that more than half the responses here are Martin or Taylors....every guitar is different just like every piece of wood is different. That comment about the Backpacker gave me a good chuckle though
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  #111  
Old 06-23-2019, 05:48 AM
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M19 M19 is online now
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I ordered an ES-175 Steve Howe in 2000 and got one of the first off the line. Countless delays and missed ship dates, and three rounds of returns (1-factory and two local) for fit/finish issues made it a totally exasperating experience. Soured me on Gibson/Nashville big time.

It was a fine guitar after all that. I sold it (here) as the final step of my de-electrification process.
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  #112  
Old 06-23-2019, 07:14 AM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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I just remembered another one that might be worse then the SC. I bought a use Razo guitar that I was really looking forward to. It arrived with a clean break across the neck so I had to send it back.
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