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Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar 

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Don't let the diminutive size of the Martin Backpacker Acoustic Guitar fool you. A braced, solid tonewood top with a solid mahogany neck, back, and s...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Built for portable durability . . . and great sound.

Don't let the diminutive size of the Martin Backpacker Acoustic Guitar fool you. A braced, solid tonewood top with a solid mahogany neck, back, and sides gives this cool little guitar a surprisingly big projection. Built to withstand the rigors of camping, hiking, and off-road traveling. Includes high-quality chrome-enclosed tuners. Weighs less than 2-1/2 lb.

FEATURES
  • Solid top
  • Mahogany neck, back, and sides
  • Enclosed chrome tuners

Who says you can't take it with you? Put it in the cart.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MartinSteel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar
 
4.3

(based on 95 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (57)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (24)
  • Good feel (18)
  • Stays in tune (17)
  • Consistent (13)
  • Good audio (10)

Cons

  • Flat sound (3)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (21)
  • Jamming (10)
  • Small venues (3)
  • Travel (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (25), Novice (6), Professional musician (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Gypsies Must

Buy a bone nut, and use your head. This little guy is a talk box. It can and will teach you more comfortable ways to play and find your voice in guitar. The...Read complete review

Buy a bone nut, and use your head. This little guy is a talk box. It can and will teach you more comfortable ways to play and find your voice in guitar. The stock specs are a quirky at best but this is an impressively durable and affordable 6 string. The gig bag is a joke but it's rarely necessary. I play with a 3 peice in the the rockies and with a golden gate thumbpick there's not stopping the cigar box sound. Not only has it lasted the odd weather changes out here, but with thick bronze strings it sounds great. It's stayed true to intonation, even after 2 years now of Django thumping and Grisman grinding. I love it. Best guitar that ever happened to me..

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

...give it a chance...

I like the full fat neck and I think it sounds interesting. It's different. I dont care for the high action and it is a little too top heavy, but that's what the...Read complete review

I like the full fat neck and I think it sounds interesting. It's different. I dont care for the high action and it is a little too top heavy, but that's what the strap is for I guess.
This thing is funny," I read the 50/50 reviews and decided to give it a try. Took it out of the box and I was like ""What?!?"" But I decided to give it a chance. Grab a cold beer from the fridge", take your backpacker and go outside on the back porch. Yeah, it's top heavy. Yeah, you've got to use the strap. Yeah, the action is a little high. No, it doesn't sound like a full sized guitar, but for some reason I love it. It was easy to get used to. You rest your arm on the back to balance it out. It's actually quite comfortable to play once you get used to it. I've got to say, it's been a blast so far. I find myself plucking on it all day. Took it work for lunch time shows.

Reviewed by 95 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Gypsies Must

By Gooch mang

from Denver, CO

See all my reviews

Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

Buy a bone nut, and use your head. This little guy is a talk box. It can and will teach you more comfortable ways to play and find your voice in guitar. The stock specs are a quirky at best but this is an impressively durable and affordable 6 string. The gig bag is a joke but it's rarely necessary. I play with a 3 peice in the the rockies and with a golden gate thumbpick there's not stopping the cigar box sound. Not only has it lasted the odd weather changes out here, but with thick bronze strings it sounds great. It's stayed true to intonation, even after 2 years now of Django thumping and Grisman grinding. I love it. Best guitar that ever happened to me..

(10 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

...give it a chance...

By Craig Rebo

from texas

Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

I like the full fat neck and I think it sounds interesting. It's different. I dont care for the high action and it is a little too top heavy, but that's what the strap is for I guess.
This thing is funny," I read the 50/50 reviews and decided to give it a try. Took it out of the box and I was like ""What?!?"" But I decided to give it a chance. Grab a cold beer from the fridge", take your backpacker and go outside on the back porch. Yeah, it's top heavy. Yeah, you've got to use the strap. Yeah, the action is a little high. No, it doesn't sound like a full sized guitar, but for some reason I love it. It was easy to get used to. You rest your arm on the back to balance it out. It's actually quite comfortable to play once you get used to it. I've got to say, it's been a blast so far. I find myself plucking on it all day. Took it work for lunch time shows.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Success!

By Theroast

from Chicagoland

Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

I ordered this and like some other reviewers I started to doubt it before it arrived due to the general 50/50 reviews out there. When it arrived I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Too many people are looking for a full-size sound and don't understand what the Backpacker is made for. The build quality is great and the set-up was perfect as well. It does have good projection and you can get some bottom end out of it as well depending on your pick attack. To be positive I went to a local GC and tested out 5 other travel guitars from the Martin LXM, Yamaha, to Baby Taylors. They all seemed to have a muddy tone about them with the exception of one Taylor at $500. Where the backpacker may seem a little thin at first, it certainly is a bright sounding tone that let me know I made the right choice, and not having the 3/4 size frets was a bonus for me. I wanted something I can take on canoe-camping trips and over-seas trips and the backpacker definitely fits the bill. Just don't expect full-jumbo style tone, love it for what it is and that's all I can say. Simply a nice little knock-around guitar you can get used to and never want to put down.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Backpacker has exceeded expectations

By 3rdwaverider

from Portland, Oregon

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Stays In Tune

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Outdoors
    • Travel

    Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

    I am so pleased with this guitar! It is better than expected in many ways. Other reviewers have been critical of the guitar's sound but I find it projects well for so small a box. With respect to tonality I didn't expect to compare to a dreadnaught; for travel or patio playing it is perfect . If you are looking for a primary acoustic guitar and are on a tight budget you should keep shopping. But if your lifestyle makes it difficult to be at home every day and you don't want to let that interfere with your guitar playing then this is a great solution.

    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Amazing little acoustic traveler

    By Brett Gregory

    from Livermore, Ca

    Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

    Before I bought the guitar, I was a little worried about the tone but I figured the space saving size on camping trips would make up for it. It is a perfect size, as I figured, but I am surprised at how good the tone can be with one exception: it does get very thin sounding (for me) if you play with a pick. I got much better sound results by using fingerstyle picking and fingertip-strumming. I also have no problem with holding the guitar as long as I use the strap, cinching the strap up a little higher for when I am sitting and a little lower for standing, and I was able to find a very comfortable position for my pick hand/arm. I am very happy with this guitar. On a side note, I just took it on a camping trip, played it while I was covered in sunscreen and mosquito repellant, fell on a steep hill with the guitar strapped on my back (it hit the neck on the ground and I thought for sure it would have broke the neck off - it didn't) and it dropped once from out of the back of my van when I opened up the back hatch while it was in the soft case. I came home, wiped it off and it cleaned right up and looks and plays brand new even with all the abuse it went through! :) The neck is very stout (especially towards the 12th fret area) as it has no truss rod but it is a very comfortable guitar to play. I am looking forward to many years of playing this guitar while hiking and camping. Thank you Martin Guitars, you made me a very happy camper.

    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    GET IT!

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

    I read all of the reviews AS mine was being shipped, and I was nervous about some of the bad reviews I read. People stated that it was awkward to hold/play, didn't sound right, and/or it isn't loud enough. Once I got it,I knew I made an awesome purchase. With the strap on, it isn't awkward, it sounds wonderful, and it is perfectly loud enough. The low E string is loud enough too. I am very happy with my purchase! I haven't taken it on my trip through Germany yet, hopefully it will continue to impress me overseas!

    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Battle-worthy

    By Swellbone

    from texas

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

    I brought my Backpacker with me to Iraq. I entered country 20 March 2003 with this guitar. I played it, abused it, and wrote songs with it the entire deployment. I do not record with this thing, and rarely use it to jam. However, every camping trip I take, my Backpacker takes with me.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Easy Traveller

    By Farfal2013

    from NY, NY

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Rich Sound
    • Stays In Tune

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Hotel Rooms

      Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

      I am a Gibson guy, but I wouldn't want to take one on a plane. I wouldn't want to have to pay for another seat or risk checking for carousel delivery. This Martin fit in the first class closet, no questions asked, even though I was in economy. Plays just fine and I didn't miss the full body of a typical acoustic/electric -acoustic. Loosen the strings before flying, and only use extra lights.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great form and function

      By Stardog

      from The Great Beyond

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Great For Camping
      • Stays In Tune

      Cons

      • NONE

      Best Uses

        Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

        I did a lot of research before buying this little guitar, and Martin really delivers in terms of form and function. It stays in tune, sounds decent for the size, and is portable enough to take anywhere. Well worth the money. Wish I'd bought one long before now.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Annoying at first, but easy to get used.

        By Audie

        from Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

        About Me Novice

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Crisp Sound
        • Rich Sound

        Cons

        • Top Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Jamming With Friends
        • Learning
        • Practicing

        Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

        At first, this guitar was annoying to play. Being top heavy, it tended roll outward to the flat position (like a steal guitar). To rectify this, I tightened the strap and pulled it high on my chest. It was kind of awkward at first, but soon I was used to it and now it is comfortable.

        The sound is rich and the action is good. Right now, I am working on perfecting the E and A shape bar chords, and they are much easier on this than on my Washburn D-100 that I own in the States.

        For someone overseas with little personal space and/or travels around a lot, I would recommend this guitar. Otherwise, get a full-size guitar.

        Displaying reviews 1-10

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