MacKenzie & Marr guitar owners' reviews

Please note: We publish all reviews exactly as they are submitted. Occasionally we may correct an obvious typo but that's it. The opinions you read are the owner's own words. Some of the earlier reviews mention long wait times for delivery. When the world first discovered MacKenzie & Marr Guitars we were flooded with orders. Backorder delays were common. Our production has now caught up with demand. Most guitars are in stock and can be delivered quickly. Current inventory and delivery times are on this page.

Opeongo OO

I received the Opeongo here in frozen Sheboyban. Delivery was seamless. And it arrived with no damage or issue. First impression was that it played great, is set up perfectly and fit and finish other than some very minor imperfections is quite good. I cannot tell that there is any twist in the neck. I'm just not used to the sound of a new guitar. It is somewhat shrill and rough. In fairness, when ever I go to a retailer to play some new stock, I find similar issues with guitars that sell for 3 or 4 times the Opeongo. Further, the setups I've seen on these new and expensive guitars are almost universally woeful. My guitars, Martin and Guild are from the 60s and have quite a polished sound as do my Taylors from the early 2000s. It's not a fair comparison. I'm hoping that it will mellow out with some playing. Looks like a keeper, so far, unless it suddenly self destructs.

The Tom Rush Naked Lady

I have been a Tom Rush fan since 1962 and am familiar with his original naked lady guitar and it’s demise. When I read about the limited edition Tom Rush Naked Lady guitar (TRNL) available from MacKenzie & Marr in Tom’s recent newsletter, I immediately went online and ordered one as a Christmas gift for myself. I received it the week before Christmas and can honestly say I cannot remember being more pleased with a Christmas present.
Spoiler alert: I purchased my first Martin guitar over fifty years ago and presently own eight. My #77 TRNL is an exceptional value and of equal quality and performance when compared to much more expensive guitars from the major manufacturers. The action is excellent and the combination of beautiful tonewoods provide brightness and balance with a bass response that is not overpowering. I no longer plug in, so I cannot comment on the Baggs electronics, but if Tom likes them, that is good enough for me. I like the hard shell case and the combination lock (if I can remember how to set it) and the keyed lock which I assume meets TSA standards for travel purposes.
To sum it up, thank you M&M fo my TRNL!


Opeongo OO

The Opeongo arrived a few weeks ago, delivered in a hard case in a well-packaged box with no issues. This is only the second time I’ve chanced buying a guitar online rather than taking it on a road-test first. I got a week to decide whether to send it back or not and clearly I chose for the Opeongo to stay.
I am familiar with 00 and parlour-style guitars. As you likely know, these terms are somewhat imprecise and can be confusing. The picture and dimensions on the M&M website is helpful - maybe this will help a bit more: This instrument is bigger than the somewhat skinny parlours that mimic the originals of a century ago. I have a parlour from the Godin Company that is smaller than the Opeongo. On the other hand, when put up against a 12-fret Grand Concert Taylor I have, it is somewhat smaller.
Like what somebody else said, I also expected a gloss finish. Keep in mind, the specifications on the website clearly say this guitar has a matte finish, so I have no room to beef. For me this was certainly not a deal-killer. I have a couple of other matte finish guitars, and as I pondered what I actually paid for this thing, the lack of a gloss finish quickly became a moot point.
Other than a 1967 Guild I own, I have no other steel-string guitar that is anywhere near this light. I’m convinced that is part of the reason the Opeongo has the volume it does. Sound is nicely balanced from lows to highs. The fit and finish were impeccable, including all glued spots, internal bracing, and the fit on the dovetail. The set-up was just fine to my liking. The action is medium-low, and the fretboard, frets and intonation were what you’d expect from a well-made acoustic. By the way, regarding the fretboard: I don’t think the website gives the radius in the spec’s, but it is rather flat feeling, suggesting the radius is pretty large. Now, that might not matter to many, but I fingerpick and can feel rather cramped on guitars where the nut is narrower than 1 3/4" or a radius that’s more curved. My fingers are not particular fat, but there feels to be lots of room between the strings, making sloppy contact with adjacent strings much less likely.
The edges looked a bit fragile as I first thought there wasn’t a binding on the edges. In fact, the binding is there; they just matched the top in color, and it’s wood rather than a plastic or synthetic binding material. (I paid extra for wood binding on a high-end guitar I own.) The spruce top, rated as AAA grade, really is top-notch regarding grain and appearance. This is an area where M&M has made a decision on quality that really pays off in appearance. It comes with a detached pickguard you can apply if that’s your thing. Personally, I wouldn’t want to detract from the beauty of the grain.
The guitar still smells very new, and the sound is typical of an instrument of newly cut wood and new strings, perhaps noticeable to the discriminating ear or when put up against a guitar with a few years on it to open up. I suspect the sound will mellow as the guitar begins to mature a bit more. The strings are D’Addario Exp, which may also influence the sound, and most of us have our favorites or try a few alternatives until we find the sound we’re looking for. I’ve played it up against several of my guitars, and John Marr is right – this thing really does have more projection and more low-end and sustain than one would expect from an instrument this size.
Balance, neck, etc. are all perfect for a fingerstyle player. Truss-rod adjustment is from the inside, so no truss-rod cover. No wrench came with it, but it looks like it uses a typical Allen wrench like you probably already have. (No adjustment of that was needed, by the way.) Tuners are open 18:1 Grovers. They also threw in an extra bridge pin in case you lose one when you’re changing strings, I guess. The pins look to be ebony. The locking arch-top hard case is nicely done with the M&M brand stenciled on the outside. Since the case is included in the price, that’s worth considering in regard to bang for your buck. I did not order the Baggs Anthem pickup. I guess I could get them to send me one for installation later.
Without mentioning other brands, if you read John Marr’s history of the development of the Opeongo carefully and then do a little web search of the Monterrey area, you’ll find a 00 online that looks quite similar in trim and dimensions (other than a ¼ inch difference in scale length) for a few thousand more from a boutique company. And I think that’s the bottom line here. For a lot more money, you can probably get a better 00 instrument, but when you compare this guitar to even higher-priced options, I think you’ll agree this is a heck of a value.


The Tom Rush Naked Lady

This is a FINE guitar. I've been a Tom Rush fan for decades and know he doesn't do a lot of endorsements, so I took notice when Tom endorsed this guitar.
It came out of the case beautifully set-up ready for tuning & play. I usually favor Elixir strings, so we'll see how the D'Addario's do longer term.
Aside from the intricate inlay on the neck, this guitar come with several upgrades that the Tom Rush Signature Dreadnought doesn't have, most especially the High Altitude cedar top.
The tone & volume are both outstanding. I have a couple of Martin's and a couple of Larrivee's that I really like, but the Naked Lady has easily become the best of the ones I have.


The Tom Rush Naked Lady

I recently received my Tom Rush Naked Lady, and it is everything I expected it to be. Easy to play, a beautiful, rich, chimey sound that's also quite booming. I normally play with a pick but for the first day I just used my fingers and was very impressed by the sounds that I could make using just my fingertips and mostly chewed off fingernails. Ha! When I finally decided to use a pick, the bells chimed out even more. You don't have to strum or pick hard to be heard on this one. I went through my whole repertoire up and down the neck and hit every note. It's a fun guitar to play, you just don't want to put it down. As for looks, you can spend hours just looking at it, (and I'm not solely talking about the neck inlay). It is just gorgeous. From the high-altitude cedar top to the rosewood sides and back, to the tuning buttons. John Marr couldn't be more accommodating either. He made sure I was happy with my purchase and went the extra mile. I have Gibsons, I've played Martins and Taylors, but this is something different. Something unique. Thank you.


The Tom Rush Naked Lady

I've had my Naked Lady for a bit over a month now, and it is my daily 'go to' guitar. Right out of the box it was my favorite to play...great sound, OMG playability, beautiful. I host a monthly song circle...the musicians at it last month all took turns playing it and loved what it gives them. I'll continue to use two Martins for specific stays tuned to open G...but the Naked Lady is played every day.


Gratitude Canada 150 - LTP

Great looking and great playing guitar. I love the neck and the action is indeed like an electric. This doesn't sacrifice sound though. Very balanced, low, mid, and high!

I had the Anthem pickup installed as well. Since I play live with a full band, this is a must and unlike other pickups, the Anthem is true to the acoustic sound, giving a natural fullness.

Excellent product to showcase Canada 150!


Gratitude Canada 150 - LTP

Canada 150 #3 arrived....And I love it! Well made, fine finish, perfect intonation on all the frets and well balanced tone. Did I mention it is LOUD? It has a big booming sound like a Dreadnought, but better balanced between the highs and lows. I will be recommending MacKenzie and Marr to others. Thanks so much!
Art Boebinger

The Tom Rush Naked Lady

My Naked Lady arrived a few days ago, all I have to say is where has this geeetar been my whole life. OMG wow. I've played many high end guitars and this my friends tops them all. Bar none. Amazingly deep full sounding with lots of undertones, and clean note separation. Also the harmonics it produces are second to none!!!!
Great company to deal with too. Talked to John over the phone and he is very honest. I will b buying more from these guys for sure. Keep up the great work.


Gratitude Canada 150 - LTP

Well, all i gotta say is I am very impressed once again!!! Great bass, yet rings like bell. The neck feels alot like my less paul neck. Awesome volume. I stopped goin by the music store to try the Martins/Gibsons. LoL, these play as good and sound better!!! I will be recomending Mac&Marr guitars to everyone I hear looking for a new one. Great job.



An Important Note Regarding Porch Pirates

When we ship a guitar we always send it with instructions to the courier that a signature MUST be obtained at the time of delivery. If no one is home to sign for the carton, it will not be left. We do this to ensure that your guitar does not fall into the hands of porch pirates (or other nefarious characters such as bass players or drummers).

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Try any of our guitars in the comfort of your own home. If you don't fall head over heels in love within a week we'll arrange to take it back and issue a full refund (including shipping).

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