PETER from Shorewood writes:
I have been a serious player since 1970, and owned far too many acoustic guitars than any rational person should. Some I had to sell (the poverty of youth), and some I traded away (with a few regrets), but this year I acquired two beautiful MacKenzie & Marr instruments. Let me first comment on the Algonquin 12 string.
First, the setup: I am a finger-style player, having studied classical guitar for nine years long ago. Finger-style on a twelve string with the ability to move all over the fingerboard (inversions, overtones, pedal tones), can make a good twelve string become "Magic Music". Over the years I have had a Guild 212 jumbo, a Martin D-35-12, and an exceptional Taylor V-Class instrument. Frankly, only the Taylor had a setup that allow me to both play all over the fingerboard along with great tone from my fingers.
That changed with my Algonquin. It is the easiest fingering I have ever experienced on any twelve string, and an absolute delight to play. Despite eight top-line six string guitars, I am first drawn to the Algonquin.
Second, the Tone: Most 12 string guitars have fairly good tone in first position. I realize that few 12 string players are playing bar chords in the 7th position, but, I do. The tone needs to be balanced on all strings at all positions on the fretboard. The tone also needs good projection, especially in the upper strings and upper fret positions. The tone sustains itself both at very soft as well as very loud volumes. I found this true whether using a flat pick or strictly my fingers. The Algonquin put itself in a class of 1 on these terms.
Next, my thoughts on my new Ian Tyson Inspiration. Being a finger style player, the action needed to be spot on, particularly since I am frequently at the ninth fret and higher. The Tyson delivered. It's playability is right up there with a 25 year old Lowden, a Gibson Parlor, and a custom built Hoffman. I can't give it higher praise than that! The tone and volume dynamics are still there on the 15th through 18th fret. Balance of the tone is important to me; In general I am not a fan of dreadnoughts, as I don't need the "boomy bass" usually there in a Martine D28; I am playing melodies with bass lines, where balance is critical. Once again the Tyson is right there, and the tone is well rounded all over the finger board.
What is so amazing is that the Ian Tyson Inspiration delivers musicality that is absolutely equal to instruments in my collection that would cost over $7,000 US to replace. Pretty amazing for the price point of this instrument. Bottom line? No matter which of my collection I chose to play, I ALWAYS include the Ian Tyson (if it wasn't the first choice)!
Finally, the response time on any questions or concerns I have had about the instruments has been rapidly and effectively answered and dealt with by the M&M team. I don't think you could go wrong on purchasing either of these incredible instrument.