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Opeongo OO acoustic

The following reviews have been left for this content:

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 20:10 by ajedlen

Quick review of my Opeongo: Detailed, high-bar construction and materials. Lovely, balanced tones from the surprisingly rich low-end in a parlor instrument, to clear, present mids and highs. Despite the evident attention to visuals, the builders were obviously fiercely listening as they built this instrument. I know, over the top wordy, but these guys deserve some serious praise. Don't you dare tell them, but they could have doubled the price of this guitar and still found an enthusiastic public. Big kudos.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 15:22 by lafatt

The Opeongo was exactly what I was looking for in a parlor guitar. Dimensions of the smaller body with 12 frets to the body, combined with a C neck profile, shorter scale length, wider nut width and perfect action to make a pleasurable and comfortable playing experience.

Couple this with balance and clarity across the tonal range from treble to mid to bass notes, good projection and nearly non-ending sustain and you have amazing sound from a very versatile instrument. It is well suited for my finger style playing on the couch. I find it also suitable to strum or flat pick a few tunes when I want. There is excellent intonation up the neck.

The slotted head stock and simply appointed solid spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides has a very smooth open pore finish which is attractive and lends to a very natural, vintage look and nicely shows the wood grain. I believe the finish will allow the guitar to mature and open up very nicely. And it could be a great heirloom to pass on.

I could find no flaws in the fit and finish on this guitar from headstock to fretboard and neck to body and saddle.

All the boxes of my criteria were checked off with excellent marks: looks, sound, playability, fit & finish, and value for price. A very nice hardshell case is included.

I did some research to find an all solid wood parlor style guitar and could not find any company that came close in price. There is no buyers remorse here. I confidently placed my order. This is truly a real value.

I am very appreciative that I learned about MacKenzie & Marr guitars. They live up to their guiding principles. Again, my own research led me to believe this. Everything they say on their web site is true. I like honesty and integrity throughout the entire process from customer service response to delivery of product.

I admire that they have chosen to sell their guitars only online, which as they say is “slightly inconvenient.”. To overcome this, they will let you try any of their guitars for a week. If you don’t like it, they will give a full refund including shipping cost. This might alleviate some hesitance to buy without playing. It is confidence on their part. This is a very difficult way to do business in a very competitive market. The product direct to customer savings is real and a much simpler process. There was one other guitar maker I found in the United States that made a similar try it or return it for a full refund including shipping. My research revealed some inaccurate claims and much higher prices. Conclusion is I am pleased and happy with my choice. It does more than hold its own against guitars that cost two to three times more made by a company in Pennsylvania. I know because I own several.

Cécile Doo-Kingué is playing an Opeongo in a video on the M & M website. Go to her website: to listen and buy more great music of her singing and playing blues guitar. She also has videos on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 17:15 by joelindzius

Thanks to Mackenzie and Marr, for this Opeongo guitar. When I opened the case it asked to be picked up like a baby, ha. And thanks for safely servicing the order in these unusual days of isolation. I think Opeongo and I will become great friends as we become acquainted. She is a beauty and I love the simple design, and smooth open pore look and homey feel with character and soul in tone to boot. I must say that you have built a winner and I feel fortunate to have found such an instrument at this price point. Keep sharing fine craftsmanship and art and the gift you have in building fine instruments, with service and info you readily offer in quick response. Thanks you guys.

Monday, April 13, 2020 - 15:42 by bakerma

I'm not in the habit of leaving reviews - but I'm going to make an exception for the M&M Opeongo. This guitar sings the moment you open the case. It's got a rich low end harmonic, an engaging mid-range and a ringing, non-pitchy high-end. It's light, but its voice carries well. The design and construction are superlative--but it isn't a piece of art masquerading as a guitar. Now - it took a couple of hours to get used to the neck width at the nut, I'd have liked a slightly darker tone on the top and the strap button at the base of the neck seems unnecessary - but these are inconsequential things. Just take it from me - the Opeongo is the real deal.

Friday, January 3, 2020 - 16:24 by dlichtenstein

I have been playing the Opeongo for about a month. I bought it to keep at my office so I could play during the day. At home, I have a number of more well-known guitars including some with comparable smaller bodies. From the start, I have been impressed by the resonance of its sound, by its feel and excellent playability, and by the quality of workmanship. The guitar is still new and still opening up, but it already holds its own among more expensive guitars in terms of both sound and playability. The simplicity of the design and the high quality of the workmanship are admirable as well. It arrived well set-up and has held its tuning.
The Opeongo has a distinct and pleasing tone character, more resonant in the highs and lows than in the middle tones. I imagine the bigger M-M bodies have both fuller base and middle tones, but the Opeongo has good balance and the concentrated sound typical of smaller body guitars. Overall I am delighted with it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 09:42 by denverbronco_1

I have had my Opeongo now for a couple months now and could not be more satisfied. The build quality is excellent! It has great feel, setup was good, and the volume and tone is fantastic. I see that they are sold out now on the website now, but do yourself a favor and buy one when they are available again.

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 13:53 by peppyspaw

Upon making my decision to purchase the Opeongo, I left an email for someone to call me about making the purchase. John Marr called me promptly and I ask "if I purchased the guitar online today if it could ship today" He stated he "just left the warehouse" but he would go back and if I made the purchase by 3:00 (it was already 2:50) he would take care of it. I quickly got on their website and ordered the Opeongo. Shortly there after I received my order confirmation. I have never experienced customer service like this before and I really appreciate it. A big heart felt thanks to John.
I received the Opeongo in less than a week, from Montreal to Lincoln Nebraska. The case that came with the Opeongo is a well built case with The Mackenzie And Marr logo stenciled on the top, nicely done. The first thing I notice about the guitar is the Spruce top being very uniform in color and the wood grain being tight, very nice AAA spruce. The fingerboard color is beautiful and frets are nicely done. The open pore finish I like very much and I inspected the construction quality very closely and I find it to be excellent. The string height at the nut and the saddle height is what I expected, slightly high allowing me to set it up to my liking which was very easy.
The guitar is built very light which contributes to the open woody sound it creates. I am overall pleased with my purchase, would I purchase another guitar from Mackenzie and Marr? Yes!
Thanks, John! I appreciate the great service and great guitar.
The sound and build quality makes me want to pick it up play as often as possible.

Kevin A. Lincoln Nebraska

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 16:06 by r.h.blues

Well let's start with the 7 day love it offer. Took a chance and LOVE this OO and play it almost everyday. Yes, I have the major brands in my arsenal as well and it stacks up quite nicely. Now my go to for couch, porch, and back yard and just dropping by a friends house here and there. Really can't beat the great sound and playability. Very comfortable, light, plenty loud for jamming but you can also play it softly. Just can't go wrong with a Mac&Marr Guitar. I will be buying another early next year after I retire. GO FOR IT ! You have only a big win coming for your leap of faith.

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 23:02 by brad1

I got my Opeongo a little over a week ago. Boy, do I like it. I took it to my guitar lesson today, and my teacher loved it, too.

You know how guitar people are - one is never enough. This is my fourth guitar: two Yamahas and now two Mackenzie Marrs. My other Mackenzie Marr is Canada 150 (which I have reviewed). I love it. It is a beautiful guitar. I mean it just looks great! And it has great tone. It is rich and very balanced from lows to highs. It is not quite as loud as my Yamahas. Not surprising since it is a somewhat smaller guitar. I like my Yamahas, especially my 45 year old L-5; but the Canada 150's tone is more balanced and mellower.

So what about the Opeongo? Why do I like it so much? Why is it the guitar I reach for first? Because it is just so comfortable to play. It is smaller and because it is smaller, I just fit around it better. I am not a small person (5' 10" and shrinking every year), but still the smaller Opeongo just fits better. And the Opeongo is so light! It's like picking up a ukulele. Please, don't misinterpret that! It doesn't SOUND like a ukulele, but every time I pick it up, I am struck by how light and comfortable it is. It is also very, very easy to play, easier than the Yamahas and even easier than the Canada 150, and ease of play was why I got the Canada 150.

There are goods and bads to the sound of the Opeongo. It doesn't have the richness of the Canada 150 or the Yamaha L-5, but there is something about its sound that is quite appealing. I find this particularly true for finger picking. It just feels and sounds nimble. Each note stands out. Maybe this is because there is less blending in a smaller sound box. I don't know. The technicians at M-M could, no doubt, explain it. But I will say that it is a wonderful guitar for finger picking.

Is there any downside to the Opeongo? Maybe two, to be completely honest. It is not a LOUD guitar. Again, I suspect that is result of the smaller soundbox. That is fine in most situations I am in, playing for myself or with a small group in a small room. It might not be quite so good for a bigger venue. By the way, I did not get the pickup installed into it, so I have to live with the volume of the guitar unamplified. The other downside is the length of the neck or placement of the neck on the body. My Yamahas and my Canada 150 have a total of 19 frets, with the body starting at the 14th fret. The Opeongo has 18 frets with the body starting at the 12th fret. This is not often an issue; however, today at my lesson, my teacher had a piece, part of which was played on the 13th and 15th frets. That works fine for the Canada 150 and Yamahas, but that 13th fret and especially the 15th are hard to get to on the Opeongo. Would I send back my Opeongo because of this? Absolutely not. There are not that many cases where this is an issue and, what the heck, I have 3 other guitars I can turn to. But, if you are somebody who likes to play high on the neck, this is not the guitar for you.

I don't want to end on a negative note, so instead let me end on this. The finishing on the guitar is beautiful. Everything fits together so perfectly. No rough spots. No bumps. Just beautiful workmanship. I even like the flat finish. It is a bit unusual, but just makes this guitar a little more special.

I give it 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 13:42 by ftiffney

I bought the Opeongo 00 2 weeks ago. Initial reluctance to spend the money online on an untried instrument was allayed after several emails with John Marr himself and his assurance in the return policy. As it turns out, I love my guitar and they can't have it back.
This guitar ticked all of my boxes which included portability and comfort, wherever I want to play. The small size and the neck action are just what I wanted. I'm just an average guy who thought he deserved to treat himself and I'm so happy I did. These are reasonably priced acoustic guitars and I recommend that anyone wanting one should give Mackenzie and Marr a try. Heck, even the guitar case is a keeper and the guitar fits beautifully.
As I mentioned, I communicated with John Marr and he certainly impressed me as a man to trust. My whole buying process was professional, but also very personal. Thanks.

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 17:22 by clifbarnhart

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.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 11:06 by Bigdjm
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.
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 22:10 by Hal Webre

I'm not really a musician, but I love playing the ten finger style tunes I know over and over until my wife leaves the room. A few years ago I decided that I wanted a parlor guitar. I bought a pre-war Regal guitar. It has a sweet sound, but is difficult to play due to a thick neck and high action. Didn't matter for a while, but then I got sick and ended up with peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet. Couldn't play guitar, couldn't type for a couple of years. When I improved some, I thought I could play again if I had a more a forgiving guitar than the Regal with which to work. That's when I ordered the Opeongo.

I'm not a stranger to Mackenzie & Marr. As a birthday gift, I gave my son one of the Ian Tyson models when they were released. So I expected high quality and extraordinary value. And that's what I got with the Opeongo. It is virtually the perfect guitar for me. Even with neuropathy in my hands, the Opeongo feels better than any other instrument I own. There is virtually nothing I can say about it that is negative. I admit to being a little surprised by the matte finish. It's fine, I just expected a gloss finish. So, the instrument's form and finish are beautiful, the setup is excellent, and the materials seem to be of very high quality. I'm not an expert at judging sound, but it seems plenty loud and balanced to me.

In short it is everything I had hoped it would be ... plus an extraordinary value. For anyone in the market for a new 00 size parlor guitar, I can't imagine a better choice ... at least not without spending thousands. I'm so pleased, I'm considering learning an eleventh tune.

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 11:53 by Bayousailor46

I love the blues and enjoy playing and learning as much as I can. The Opeongo is wonderful guitar for my passion, with a sweet sound, easy to play and beautifully crafted. I own two, which is a long story, one stays at home and the other goes to sea with me. It's size makes it easier to carry and store onboard. If you're a fan of acoustic Blues you should check out this guitar. It has that sound.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 13:06 by proutland
I have received my "long waiting for" Opeongo Guitar. While I am only a beginner player at 86 yearrs of age; (and already own 5 other quality guitars) ... I have to place my" Opeongo", as the most beautiful craftsmanship, and quality of sound guitar in my collection. My level of ability is low, (but improving) but my appreciation of quality is high. Thank you for your excellence of workmanship !
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 15:06 by ksproul

What an absolutely lovely guitar.  First of all the sound is splendid, but I suspect that goes without saying when it comes to a MacKenzie & Marr guitar.  What I really want to talk about is the comfort.  I can just sit anywhere with this guitar and feel really comfortable, even more recently often sitting with it in front of my home office desktop as I consult the www for various songs to play.  To be honest, I don't think I was even aware of the "parlour" sized guitar before I saw the Opeongo.  While other reviewers reassure that the sound of the guitar is loud enough I want to emphasize how nicely it fits with the singing voice of a rather soft-spoken person.  I can actually sing with this guitar without being drowned out!  Buying a MacKenzie & Marr guitar was on my shopping list for maybe 5 years and I'm delighted that my delay coincided with the arrival of the Opeongo.  It was also delightful meeting John Marr!



Ken Sproul, Toronto

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 15:41 by slakramer
When I started taking guitar lessons 6 years ago, I didn't have the experience to explore the kind of acoustic guitar I really needed. My husband originally ordered a Tofino for an anniversary gift and due to some unforeseen delivery problems, Mackenzie and Marr offered me an Ian Tyson Ltd. Edition with pickups. I thought this would be my one and only acoustic guitar for life. Fool Me! Anyone passionate about guitars knows that one guitar is never enough! So, one Ian Tyson, one Les Paul Studio, one Baby Taylor later, I found myself searching for the perfect acoustic guitar with comfort and ease of play, with a rich balanced sound. I had already been to several guitar stores and played a few high end acoustics and thought I would be spending in excess of 2 thousand to get the sound and comfort I needed. As luck would have it, the Opeongo was born! So, after talking to John on the phone and listened to the artists play this little beauty, I confidently placed my order. My wish list was realized. What a great guitar!!! The perfect materials and flawless workmanship used to create this small guitar delivers clear balanced acoustic tone weather you play quiet finger style or strum with passion! Everyone that plays guitar has their favourite and when I walk into my music room, my Opeongo is the first one I gravitate to. When you order your guitar from MacKenzie and Marr you will get a high quality guitar with beautiful sound at fraction of the price of a high end brand name guitar.
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 22:25 by colvine2

After months of semi patiently waiting my Opeongo arrived. I ordered this guitar as the picture reminded me of a small body guitar I had in 1972 made by SADA. I opened the box and was happy to see a decent hardshell case. Opened the case and liked the look of the guitar immediately. Even out of the case the tuning was pretty good. Tuned her up and the sound was great. The neck feels comfortable in my smaller hands and the action was impressive. I also have a Martin D16 which I really like but the Opeongo sounds as good and possibly better. I think the action is better on the Opeongo. From what I can tell this guitar is very well made and the intonation is better than the Martin as judged by my electronic tuner when I compare bar chords. I am truly impressed and happy that I bought this guitar. Showed it to an experienced guitar player who manages a music store and he too was quite impressed.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 14:05 by disaac2

My experience with Mackenzie and Marr started with a pre-order of the Opeongo followed by an agonizing wait. Within a couple days after the guitars arrived in Canada, I met John Marr briefly to pick mine up. He was very flexible scheduling a pickup, just so I wouldn't have to wait an extra day. My first impression was that the case was quite nice. It feels quite robust, is nicely lined on the interior and has a small storage space on the inside. It came with a little key, although it's not a unique key - the 'lock' can be turned with any thin flat object. Visually, the guitar is great. The design, materials and worksmanship are impeccable. The satin finish feels and looks wonderful and is nearly flawless. I say nearly because only by running my fingers over the entire guitar did I find 2 deviations so small that they could only be felt, not seen. The design and finish of the headstock is my favourite part of the guitar. I am not a particularly experienced or adept guitar player, but the moment I picked up the guitar I felt a huge difference. The neck is very comfortable for me - both while playing bar chords and fingerpicking. The action feels good as well - it is very easy to play. This is due in part to the light D'Addario strings that came with the guitar, which definitely sound like a good match. The tone of the guitar is where it really starts to shine. The sound can range from laid-back and smooth when fingerpicking lightly, to vibrant when plucked more aggressively. The sustain is impressive and the and the sound is very rich. While letting an open string ring I could readily pick out individual overtones. Each string can pick up the vibrations from the others and ring slightly, further enriching the tone. The richness in the mid-range is especially appealing to me. I can definitely verify the claim that you can hear the "True Wood" when playing this guitar. The intonation is good. It stays in tune reasonably well - I expect it will improve as the strings are further broken in and the guitar continues to get acclimated to its new environment. The tuners used are very good and comfortable to use as well thanks to the integration on the slotted headstock. Conclusion: I am very happy with the guitar and the service from Mackenzie and Marr. In my hands the Opeongo sounds very good, in the hands of a better guitar player I bet it'll sing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 18:59 by bluegrassgirl

Played the Opeongo today and I was pleasantly surprised by everything about it. Firstly, the ease of play is beyond comparison. I was worried about the neck being slightly wider than what I am used to but the feel of this neck is just beautiful. It is well rounded in back like my vintage Framus, and just cradles the hand with comfort, making moving up and down the fretboard nothing but fun. I love this feature. For the size, the sound resonates loud and clear with a beautiful rich warm tone. This is exactly the guitar that I was looking for.... A small guitar with a vintage parlor look, crafted with attention to sound quality, comfort and outfitted with present day niceties. Great times a coming with this!! Purchased.

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