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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.

Anthony from Welland

Thu, 11/11/2021 - 11:10

My Opeongo arrived last week and I absolutely love it! The fit and finish are immaculate and the setup was perfect right out of the box. I wish I had discovered the joys of a small body, 12 fret much earlier- it is just so comfortable to play. The sound is fantastic(apart from my mediocre playing), so much tone from a small instrument. To say it exceeded my expectations is an understatement.

paal from Dollard Des Ormeaux

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 19:05

I love this guitar! It's made with the attention to detail normally seen in custom work; maple binding, a profusion of abalone, and a great, blemish-free finish which allows for the wood grain to scintillate under light. The Western Red Cedar top, often paired by luthiers with one of the several available mahogany woods, (The Tofino X uses the African mahogany, Khaya Ivorensis) gives a warmth of tone and a mid-range punch which is a departure from the boomy, somewhat trebly sound of a Sitka spruce and rosewood instrument (which I still love for playing Bluegrass tunes). This is my first mahogany back and sides, cedar top guitar, and it's a real pleasure to play. (The iconic Martin D-18's made in the seventies used Khaya Ivorensis, and Doc Watson's Gallagher dreadnought was built with the same African mahogany.) I By the way, a high-gloss finish yields a brighter tone, and looks better on stage (and up close too!) than the so-called “satin” finish, which I equate with a mere primer coat. (but if you're playing this guitar, or any guitar, on stage, under lights, remember to first wipe off those smeary-fingered contrails!)When I ordered the Tofino X, I had assumed I'd have to take it to a luthier for a fine-tuning, but this was unnecessary – the set-up is great, right out of the packing box! I play up the neck a lot, and the playability is totally fine the way it is. The neck has an adjustable truss rod, for any future time when and if adjustments are called for. Tonally, the volume is even across the strings, up and down the neck. There's no flat spots. One thing about mahogany back and side construction – it'll fit in with other instruments more easily than, say, a guitar which may turn out to be better for solo work. (However, this point may be less of an issue than, say, with violins, which must be chosen tonally for how they're to be used – orchestral, baroque ensemble, string quartet, or solo.) One thing about cedar topped guitars – one school of thought says that they respond well to light to medium pick action (and finger-picking) but their acoustical ceiling is reached more quickly than a guitar built with topboards of Engelmann, Sitka, or Adirondack spruce – which means harder playing yields more volume than their cedar-top cousins – that being said though, one of the first things I noticed with the Tofino X was how loud it is! Another thing: the instrument case that the Tofino X came in is beautiful! The guitar fits snugly, and the deep maroon plush lining is a pleasure to behold. The latches and hinges all work smoothly, and the case is rigid, light, and strong. Based on the quality of this guitar, I've ordered the Riverboat Dreadnought for a projected January delivery. One more additional note - The neck feels great, and I'm happy it's not in a gloss finish - varnish can make your hand stick when making fast position changes in a hot room, or in sticky summer weather. Good job here!

Stewart from Colorado Springs

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 12:03

As a new guitar player you will, as you might expect, find a plethora of guitars to choose. From smaller bodies, dreadnauts, jumbos, 12 strings, sitka spruce, Adirondack spruce, koa, mahogany, rosewood, pure acoustic, acoustic/electric, the list goes on and on. But if you have been playing and collecting for over 50 years you pretty much know what's out there, what you like and the best value for your spendable budget. I knew I wanted a new guitar to celebrate my 70th birthday as I did for my 50th. I've had all of the big names, Martin, Gibson, Taylor, Guild and many others including a couple of custom guitars sporting all the most popular woods available. So, what did I want, what didn't I have and which company could provide what I was after? Originally I was looking at a different guitar maker whose ads would appear from time to time on FB when I saw my first ad for MacKenzie & Marr guitars. Damn, these looked too good to be true. I started to look for any information I could find about these guitars, I watched the segment on "Dragon's Den" and being a fan of the U.S. "Shark Tank" series I figured if Mr. Wonderful wanted a piece of the action then perhaps this guitar company was worth considering. I had my own checklist in my head; Solid top wood - Check Solid Back & Sides - Check Quality Tuners (Grovers) - Check Attractive and functional guitar shapes - Check Acoustic/Electric as an option - Check Beautiful Appointments (Trim/Inlay) - Check Outstanding Warranty - Check Quality Hardshell Case Included - Check Price - Wow... I mean Check Now, which one to choose? I had recently bought my first cutaway and loved it and the only wood combination I hadn't tried was cedar top with mahogany back & sides. The Dionisio fit the bill. They offered the Dionisio X 10th Anniversary model at a special summer price so I jumped on the offer. Upon arrival I gave the guitar a very close inspection to see if there were any flaws in the workmanship. Flawless. The choice of wood is beautiful, the abalone trim is gorgeous... this is one stunning guitar. The sound as I would expect from cedar was velvet smooth and mellow but not dark yet this guitar still has bite! I like this guitar (and company) so much I've created a Facebook page called Friends of MacKenzie & Marr Guitars. So, my advice to you? If you're seriously considering buying one of these guitars, I'd jump on the chance before management decides they want to make more money by raising prices.

John from Riverside

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 12:01

The review of any new guitar suffers from the fact it is new.  Hauling out a lookalike from 1934 or even a high quality import from a half dozen years ago isn't exactly a level playing field.  Maybe it's best to start with the things which are obvious. The Tofino is the only guitar with a wonderfully sleek matte finished neck.  The shape resembles the vintage instrument but it is much, much thinner and comfortably less wide.  Ebony bars are no match for a modern adjustable truss rod.  The square and diamond position markers are vintage copies in a colorful abalone rather than pearl and spaced perfectly to match the light gauge strings.  This attention to detail can be found everywhere on the Tofino.  The Tofino appears to have the thinnest frets of the three instruments. The body shape is not a direct copy of an "auditorium" body style.  The body is notably deeper and slightly more curved.  The tap tones of all three tops fall closest to the fifth string A.  The tops are all carefully chosen.  The vintage top is uniform in color compared with the younger sitka but neither compare to the tight pattern and uniform color of the Tofino.  Is this more of MacKenzie and Marr's legendary high altitude cedar? The finish on the African mahogany is warm and clearly shows the natural beauty of the wood - a real plus.  Despite the larger size, the Tofino appears to be the lightest of the three instruments Almost all aspects of the finish and trim of the Tofino are superior.  The body is bound in curly maple with a tasteful b/w accent while the top and rosette are trimmed in a rich colored shell design that is or resembles Paua abalone. The neck and headstock are also bound in maple.  The tuners are gold Grover Rotomatics.  The headstock size is identical to the other guitar with a simple gold decal. The old guitar came with a pickguard, the Tofino and the other guitar came with an optional guard in the case pocket.  They are pretty well tied for ugly.  My Tofino black guard will make a fine template someday for something nicer. Time to put the rosewood guitar away and see how the mahogany guitars compare.  The strings are heavier on the sitka guitar.  It is loud and every note has a bite.  The lowest two strings don't match either the volume or sustain of the top four.  On the Tofino all six strings are equally well balanced.  The volume and sustain are excellent.  The initial slap of the hard pick doesn't sound percussive, it's musical. The Tofino is beautifully balanced at all volume levels and equally at home with flat or finger style playing.  The neck is the most comfortable shape I own or have ever played.  I'm looking forward to getting out and showing it off.  I can only imagine what the review will say a few hundred songs and a half dozen sets of strings from now.

Greg from West Chester

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 11:51

Have owned for about a month and love it. I had been looking at guitars for quite a while and just happened to run across M&M. Other than a rather lengthy wait, everything was thumbs up. Whenever I send a note for a status update, I received a timely response. Now that I have it in my hands, I could not be more satisfied. Sounds great, and is easy on my fingers. I have been plinking a guitar for about 60 years and am far from accomplished, but it gives me great pleasure to play. I have two other guitars, a classical and an Ibanez acoustic that I purchased new in 1977. Still play it but the Tofino X is my favorite. I feel I am finally progressing in my ability, and will consider the 12 string in the future.

Bennett from Elkins Park

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 11:44

My new Tofino X arrived a few days ago, and I am thrilled with it. It sounds good, feels good, and looks good. It is comfortable to play using the finger picking style I favor. I'm very glad to have this instrument.

Jerry from Davison

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 11:39

The Guitar is more than I expected! It looks amazing and sounds great! The case, although it was free, it has a six inch cut on the outside cover, which someone attempted to glue?

Deric from San Diego

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 12:03

I've been in possession of my Dionisio for one week now and it has at least 25 hours worth of play. Having received my Ian Tyson earlier in the year I had no reservations ordering my second Mackenzie & Marr guitar. My Ian Tyson is pretty much flawless in everyway and my Dionisio arrived in the same condition with a very nice setup, medium low action and intonates as good as you could ask for. The quality of materials and the craftsmanship of their luthiers is second to none. These instruments play and sound beautiful. I've put a Riverboat on my bucket list. Thank you John and Co. for keeping quality and customer service at a high level.

Ron from South Riding

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 08:15

Nice guitar, though smaller than I am used to as a D-28 player for decades. The size difference also translates to less bottom end and a bit less volume. I'm not sure if some of that may also be the red cedar top. I have only placed spruce until now, but the top does look great, as does the rest of the woodwork. Strings seem heavy, so I plan to change them to at least one size lighter. Action arrived a bit high for me, but I'm comparing it to a $5K Martin. Other than that, I wish I had sprung for the pickup. Maybe on the next one!

Dan from Stephenville

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 08:12

Well made, very beautiful instrument. The sound is magnificent! The guitar could easily sell for twice the price. I highly recommend Mackenzie and Marr Guitars Even though the company offers the opportunity to return the guitar, i am definitely keeping mine! Thank you for the privilege of owning a wonderful instrument!

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