Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar with Bag, reviews, comments

Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar with Bag
Solid Spruce Top
Solid Tonewood Back and Sides
Unique Contour Neck Shape
Features 24-Inch Scale Length
Features 15 Frets

Comments / reviews:
I ordered this guitar as I tend to travel a lot, and I just returned to playing regularly. I read plenty of reviews for the travel guitars in this price range, and I went with the Martin.

There's so much good to this guitar, it's hard to find the negatives. At only two pounds plus some change, this little guy is super light and easy to carry. The packaging is solid and sturdy, and when I opened the Martin box, the guitar was packaging in a padded bag. I tuned it up, and with a little stretching, it kept its tune within a few hours.

Despite being a bit odd looking, the backpacker is easy to adapt to. I'm not sure if folks need a reminder: this is a travel guitar. It's designed to be small, so that comes with a price tag.

1. The strings are great--it comes with Martin strings, and they sound great.
2. The sound on this is phenomenal. I've been playing on el cheapo I picked up a few years ago, so this was like heaven. Yes, it does sound a bit "pluckier" than your average guitar, but not in an annoying way. It's a great fingerpicking guitar, but I can only strum with decent ability right now.
3. Yes, you lose some volume. Look at the size of this thing: physics, folks. But it's almost magical in the way it projects, and if you strum strong and loud, you'll definitely get plenty of volume for travel.
4. The action is NOT high. Maybe someone got a weird one, but the action is perfect and low. Having played on a nightmare for the last few weeks, this is incredibly easy to play. The fret board has a solid, natural feel, so the transition was very easy.
5. The strap solves the ills of the heavy neck. It's super neck-heavy, no question, but the strap, properly adjusted, fixes the problem. I find it a bit more comfortable to stand with, or to sit on a stood with, but either way, you'll be able to play. Hand placement is an issue for the right side, but I figured out a way that works just fine for me.
6. You can't been the price or portability on this little guy. He's sweet to play and listen to, and he's perfect for travel.

I would highly recommend for experienced or beginner musicians. Lots of fun, and a great purchase for its intended purpose.

Great, great quality backpacker guitar! Before buying, went and I checked this out at Guitar Center, so I knew exactly what I was getting, but the price was better here, plus here it came with a good sling and a quality padded soft-case (although the case only has a single strap which on a backpacker guitar 2 straps just makes more sense). The guitar itself is top notch. Wood quality is outstanding. Fit and finish is impeccable. Not the tiniest defect anywhere, mine arrived simply flawless. And it holds tune, has true, full, rich sound, and for its smaller size is surprisingly just as loud as its full-size Martin counterparts. This last feature surprised me and left me wondering why they even make guitars any bigger than this. Anyway, great purchase, no buyer's remorse at all. The only thing I have yet not found is a factory hard-case as, again, this is a backpacker guitar and since it turned out to be so nice I now fear scratching it when out camping.

Realized I never reviewed this! I got this about four years ago now. I've traveled with it to 18 different countries and it's still in one piece, holds tune well and sounds great. Everyone I meet is insanely impressed by the sound and every guitar player falls in love with it like I have. Takes a bit to get used to how to hold it, I always use the strap, but you'll find what works for you after using it a few times. Couldn't recommend this more highly, it was so so worth the price. It easily fits in overhead compartments and most airplanes will not charge you for the instrument. I've brought it as my carry on, plus a laptop bag on most flights. I usually like to pack in some clothes and a book or snacks into the case as padding and because you can't bring another large carry on. Some airlines are weird about carry ons so just double check with ones you're unsure of. Typically they won't understand the meaning of a small guitar that fits in the overhead so just keep saying, it has no problem in overhead bins.

I bought this to take with me on a vacation to europe and for the odd business trip for practicing. It traveled nicely on the europe trip. I was apprehensive about how well it would fit in the overhead bins, but it fit very easily. I made sure the loosen the strings before traveling just to avoid any issues w/ air pressure or other bags. However, I've found this guitar to be so enjoyable to play, I actually play it as often, if not more often than my go-to full-sized acoustic. The small form factor and low action (with extra light strings) just make it so easy to play. No doubt, the unique body style takes a bit of getting used to. For starters, you definitely need to use the strap, as balancing on your knee won't work. For the same reason, i lose some leverage for barre chords that I otherwise enjoyed with a full-size, but some of this is made up for with the aforementioned playability.

It is worth mentioning that the body shape also restricts "anchoring". I've found (although I never realized it before) that for certain songs, typically fingerstyle arrangements, I like to anchor my pinky finger in the neighborhood of where the pick guard would be to aid with accuracy. But with the small profile, there is no place to anchor, so I've been forced to change my style of play somewhat. In the end, this may be a good thing since I've found that freeing myself from anchoring allows me to play more loosely and with more speed.

The sound is definitely different, kind of a cross between a guitar and a ukelel. However, I find that for my style of play, which is to say I practice by myself in preparation for my eventual world premier and subsequent skyrocket to super-stardom, the sound is just fine.

This is a solid, quality guitar. I paid for next day shipping, which was a joke (it was delayed by 5 days) but the guitar itself is beautiful and plays well. The string height was a little on the high side, but sanding down the bridge is an easy fix for that. There's also no truss rod in this guitar, but the neck is super thick, and they recommend using super light gauge strings exclusively, so i don't think warping will be a problem. The bag and strap they include are both quality, and the fit and finish are top notch. It really is more beautiful in person. I'd recommend this guitar to anyone, whether you travel a lot, or just jam on your couch. Once you get the string height right by sanding down the bridge, it's a joy to play. I'd absolutely buy another one. Just don't pay for next day shipping, because it's a joke lol

I bought this guitar because I go to college in the West coast of the US but live in the East coast of the US during breaks. As such, I travel quite a bit, and it can be a hassle to lug around a full-sized guitar, especially on airplanes where bringing a guitar along for the trip might lead to extra baggage fees. The Martin Backpacker fits perfectly in overhead compartments in airplanes. To make things even better, the guitar packs quite a sound for its small size. It really has a nice tone, a hybrid of sorts between a guitar and slight ukelele sound. Holding the guitar took a bit of getting used to due its strange shape but its nothing that won't work itself out with practice and time. I highly recommend using Martin's Silk and Steel Folk Strings with this guitar, it makes finger-picking (my preferred style of playing) such a joy and ease, and really brings out some warm tones. It is no longer just my travel guitar, but my go-to guitar.

Buy this guitar if you want to bring your guitar with you wherever you go, especially if you mainly travel by plane. Again, don't be too concerned about the sound of the guitar. It is a Martin, after all, and it manages to provide accessibility without sacrificing volume and sound. This is my favorite guitar yet!

Wow...I'm traveling the US for a year in my van and didn't think I had room for my acustic so gave it away - was looking for something small I could play on the road and ran across this. I don't leave a lot of reviews but was so impressed with this little guitar thought it would be a disservice not to. The size is perfect, easy to play, quality made instrument, and decent sound quality. Love the feel of the wood and how solid it is - I couldn't have imagined I could find a high quality, perfect sized guitar to take with me but this is it.

Im in the military and use this whenever I go TDY or am working extra long shifts and have downtime. Bigger sound than I expected for such a small package, but its a sound you have to get used too. Obviously it doesn't have the full sound that a regular guitar does, but I grew to like it. Great for when you wanna jam real quick but dont wanna worry about it getting in the way. It has a special purpose so I feel good about adding it to my collection.

I read some reviews comparing the sound to a ukulele that had me concerned but after a week playing this, I love it. Yes it doesn’t have the richness of a full sized guitar, but it in no way sounds like, a uke; the sonic qualities are quite nice. Build is solid and the machines hold tune even after a week of traveling in very different climates. If you like the idea of playing guitar anywhere without the weight and bulk, get this.

Love the size and sound of this guitar. Bought it for my girlfriend for Christmas, and she has really enjoyed the playability at a compact size. The neck is very well shaped. It is a nice medium size, not too wide or deep. Takes a second to adjust to the small size, but the transition is minimal. This thing is loud as well! Has a nice bright tone. If you travel around a lot and want to have a guitar with you, this is the go to for sure. You wont be disappointed!

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