Ryan from London writes:
My Mac&Marr Riverboat dread arrived 10 days ago. Overall, I am fairly pleased. The guitar manufacturer has very little to offer in terms of in-depth reviews, which made me very hesitant to purchase. So, I hope this helps someone who is deliberating their next purchase! Guitar was packaged fairly well, cardboard box had some visible damage from the shipping process. I left the guitar to get acclimated to my home for ~8 hours, opened case, and loved what I saw.
The craftsmanship is pretty good, the high gloss finish on the body looks great, the neck is very smooth and matte-finished. The tuning keys have a bit of black "gunk" on them that I can't get off, perhaps from a guitar tech's sticky fingers during the setup? Not sure. I also noticed some damage on the back of the headstock where the volute was carved into the wood - you can see the file marks ("V" shape).
The frets and nut were finished... Meh. Weren't polished to a high polish, very rough feeling when attempting to bend - strings would get caught on the frets. Nothing a bit of elbow grease or a Dremel can't fix, though. Strings are also catching in the nut when tuning, which made a loud "ting" noise when tuning strings D and G. The nut also had file marks from rough shaping and wasn't finished or polished very well. Once again, nothing some elbow grease can't fix. Kind of a shame though, my Yamaha LL6 had better fretwork out of the box and it's 1/2 the price. I also found the maple binding on the edge of the fretboard appeared quite dirty? Like metal filings/grime from fret leveling and sanding was left over - this came off easily with a cloth and some guitar cleaner. Additionally, I also noticed some scratches/dents along the fretboard binding, and a small hairline scratch that runs the entire length of the fretboard on the bottom side of the fretboard binding (i.e., facing the floor). This was likely caused by a file during the fret dressing stage. Not terrible, but also tells me that care wasn't taken.
The action and intonation are great for me, no fret buzz or issues with barre chords... Feels quite comfortable to play. The intonation is slightly off, but this is to be expected in my opinion.
The guitar sounds fantastic - very loud, resonant, clear. The Guitar came with a high-quality arched top case - fits like a glove, gorgeous red velvet interior... Can't complain. However, I later noticed that one of the rivets holding the hinges on was falling out.
Great guitar from a little-known brand out of Canada, manufactured in China. Quality woods, reasonably good craftsmanship, some little snags here and there that can be corrected by the average educated layperson/guitar player with some help from YouTube. Guitar is gorgeous, and I don't think you'd get a guitar of similar quality from Martin, Taylor, Gibson, etc, for a similar price. The guys at Mackenzie & Marr offer a 7-day return with paid return shipping... I won't be sending mine back, though. John Marr entertained all of my stupid questions via email prior to purchase, which is nice.
To see some pictures, check out my review on reddit at: