John from Riverside writes:
Mackenzie and Marr guitars have a curious ability to sound unique. Some models have distinctive shapes and woods so the difference in sound is to be expected. What about an iconic dreadnought shape with a rosewood body and an Adirondack top? Maybe that one should sound somewhat familiar? It doesn't.
The guitar is physically lighter that some of the lookalikes. The beautiful Bolivian rosewood body has the familiar sapwood back stripe - a combination which has become a personal favorite. The wood is just prettier than Indian rosewood with a colorful brightness that allows the grain of the wood to shine through. There's a new thin zipper inlay at the rear peg - a nice touch that isn't a copy of anything.
The body, neck and peghead are bound in curly maple with some additional wood accents. The abalone binding and rosette are familiar and welcome. My spec says the fretboard and bridge are also Bolivian but neither wood matches the body. The board is a variegated brown and the bridge looks like ebony. It's hard to imagine a tree with such a palate of colors.
The neck is the only thing left to a CNC process, If you like the M&M neck, this will be no exception. The tuners are Grover gold Rotomatics - I prefer the open butterbeans which reduce the weight. To each their own, I suppose. I was overruled.
I could have written this much within a few minutes of unpacking the guitar. The sound, however, just left me scratching my head.
My old Martins D-28's are more than a little bass heavy. Apparently it made the Hawaiian players who requested such an instrument happy, There wasn't a bass slide guitar or bass ukulele and they had need something in this register. Early country musicians just needed something loud and after Earl joined the Bluegrass Boys there was need of a banjo killer.
The Boat isn't in this tradition.
So maybe it sounds like a D-18 with little less bass and a little more treble? That's not quite right either. My boat is almost even across all six strings with the slightly dominate ones being the 4th and 5th. Neither the 1st or 6th strings fall into that category. The 28 style is all about a loud 6th. The 18's are often VERY bright with a very strong 1st in the treble. The Boat falls happily in the middle. Very happily, for a singer.
The guitar can be LOUD as needed but still wonderfully responsive with a much lighter touch. The smooth string balance can be fingerpicked and resemble the sound of an old OM or 000 which is not that common in a D body size.
This was the first M&M I order but the fourth to arrive. It was well worth the wait and I'm anxious to learn what the plan is to do next.