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MF MD HG Live Sound monthown the stage 05-05-16
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512392 000000000

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...Read More

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    $22900
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OVERVIEW

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.

Built for portable durability . . . and great sound.

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 90 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (55)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (21)
  • Good feel (16)
  • Stays in tune (14)
  • Consistent (10)
  • Good audio (9)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (18)
  • Jamming (8)
  • Small venues (3)
  • Travel (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (23), Professional musician (5), Novice (3)

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 90 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Just what my husband was looking for

By Maryinredding

from Redding, CA

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Practicing

    Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

    This is a Christmas present for my husband. When we travel in our RV a regular guitar takes up too much space. This little guy will let him play but not take up a lot of room. It comes with it's own bag so he can actually hang it in the closet. A great buy.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Get something else

    By Drew

    from Flower Town

    Ask me a question

    Pros

      Cons

      • Flat Sound

      Best Uses

        Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

        You are traveling and a guitar is too big. Problem is, this thing does not sound or play like a real guitar. The fretboard is pretty true to life, but the body feels so weird, and the size is wrong. It also sounds horrible. I mean, really bad.

        Much better to my mind is a baritone ukulele. They are about the same size, are cheaper, play better and sound much better. There's only four strings, but they are identical to guitar tuning. A regular uke is even easier to carry, but a baritone uke to me is just as close to a regular guitar and much more satisfying.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Would not buy personally

        By DaveBob

        from Asheville, NC

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Stays In Tune

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Practicing

          Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

          If you are looking for smallest travel guitar able to fit into overhead on airplane, current options are this guitar or the Washburn Rover. Backpacker guitar is of excellent quality, very good finish, tuners. Neck is chunky, but I got used to it, since I play old Gibsons. Compared to Washburn Rover, sound is much better. Soft gig bag is marginal. Biggest complaint is body design. Very narrow and hard to keep hold of. Martin could fix this with wider body, potentially improve sound. This guitar is better choice than Rover, IMO. Still I couldn't get used to it enough to play for any length of time. Others might get used to it

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          1.0

          Worst Sounding Guitar I've Ever Heard

          By Chomper

          from Seattle

          About Me Novice

          Pros

            Cons

            • Tinny Sound

            Best Uses

              Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

              Sounds like a cheap souvenir ukulele like you get at the airport in Hawaii. Seriously the worst sounding instrument I have ever heard. Played it for 5 minutes and sent it back. I bought an Alvarez MSD1 instead and the difference is astounding.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great for what it is

              By Deanvandamme

              from nashville, tn

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Fun To Play
              • Great For The Price

              Cons

              • Flat Sound

              Best Uses

              • Practicing

              Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

              As far as this goes it is great for what it is. If you want a guitar that's portable, inexpensive and performs well, you'll be happy. Couple of points about this instrument is the neck is pretty thick so if you can't live with that you may be disappointed. Second, the overall tone is not as good as a full sized acoustic. As long as you don't expect these guitars to be more than what they are, you'll be happy. It has great value for the money!

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent travel guitar and beater

              Profile Image

              By x

              from x

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Stays In Tune

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Practicing

                Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

                The good: Excellent beater guitar for on the go practice that is compact enough to go pretty much anywhere. It's durable... no cheapie 3/4 guitar would endure the beating this thing has had. I'm very protective of my gear and obsess with humidity and temperature control, but wanted something that I wouldn't have to even think about at all. I'm somehow less emotionally connected to this- perhaps since it looks nothing like a guitar. With that emotional distance comes the freedom to take this anywhere and play more. I've let the elements have a go at it. It's stood up under 95 degrees, 85% humidity, and whole workdays in my car. It's (surprisingly) undamaged every time I take it out of the bag and it's actually pretty close to in tune. The log-like neck is impervious and is still absolutely straight.

                The rest: It is hard to hold. The neck is chunky, but I don't mind that. It sounds a bit better than you'd expect a little 2x4 with strings on it to sound. But it sounds enough like a guitar to get good practice in on the fly. An hour of picking at lunch makes an hour in the evening MUCH more productive. Some reviews said it was expressive, et cetera... not so sure about all that. For me it's there to get mechanics down on a new song or just get the hours in getting comfortable with licks I'm working on.

                I pretty much fingerpick exclusively... and strumming or flatpicking this thing seems harder and more awkward than it should be because of the relative weight of the neck and headstock. Without your hand on the body it wants to swandive into the ground neck-first.

                I'd buy this again if it were stolen or if it finally dies in the heat and humidity. But I honestly don't expect that it will.

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                4.0

                would buy again,

                By Mike

                from near Stevens Pass, Washington

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fun To Play
                • Stays In Tune

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

                    I have a Martin Mini and the Backpacker has better tone quality and a good action

                    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    5.0

                    PLEASE...DO NOT EXAGGERATE THIS LITTLE GUITAR...

                    Profile Image

                    By Santino Gaeft

                    from Gresham, Oregon

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Jamming
                      • Practicing

                      Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

                      This little guitar is a wonder... I changed its guitar string #s 3-4-5-6 to extra light gauges(24-32-42-53) for strumming and plucking style and its sound good... The original guitar strings that was on it is ideal for a very mild and controlled strumming only... Using capo while playing will dramatically enhance the tone of this lovely backpacker... The only way to make it sound "big" or like a full size guitar is to play about a foot in front of a wall...(-:

                      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      I would not buy this guitar again!

                      By fishunter

                      from Grand Junction, Colorado

                      Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

                      The first thing I noticed is that I could not tune the guitar until I changed strings. I expected more from a Martin product. If this indicates the Martin quality, I will probably go to another brand.

                      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      5.0

                      Does the Job

                      By Nick

                      from Baytown Texas

                      About Me Experienced

                      Ask me a question

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Fun To Play
                      • Good Feel
                      • Handy Handy Handy
                      • Stays In Tune

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Practicing

                        Comments about Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar:

                        High quality and great fretboard feel. Must be played with the strap, but very playable. Sound is better than you would expect from such a small body. Absolutely the best answer if you fly a lot and don't want to neglect practice time while away. EZ carry on.

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