The Riverboat Dread - a Solid Wood Acoustic With an Adirondack Spruce Top | MACKENZIE AND MARR GUITARS

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The Riverboat Dread - a Solid Wood Acoustic With an Adirondack Spruce Top

A Powerhouse Adirondack Spruce and Bolivian Rosewood Dreadnought

The Riverboat Dreadnought

We are sold out of the Riverboat Dread until August. Preorder today to secure your copy of this outstanding Dreadnought.

A solid wood Dreadnought acoustic guitar crafted with sought-after AAA-grade Adirondack Spruce. Our tribute to the iconic Toronto coffee house on Yorkville Avenue. In its day, the Riverboat hosted every folk and blues performer, from famous to first-time artists.  

Suggested Retail Price: 
CAD $4,699.99
Your Price: 
Price:USD $1,299.99

A Dreadnought with unrivalled sustain and overtones.

Hallmark Features:

  1. Solid AAA grade Adirondack Spruce top
  2. Solid Bookmatched Bolivian Rosewood B/S
  3. Ebony fretboard
  4. African Mahogany Neck
  5. Genuine hand-set dovetail neck-to-body joint
  6. 18:1 genuine Grover tuning machines


Despite the additional cost we've never used any top wood of less than AAA grade. The Adirondack Spruce used for our Riverboat series has a pronounced "winter grain" These are the darker grain lines that define each annular ring on soundboards. It is normally desirable if the winter grain is less apparent. In Adirondack Spruce, winter grain is less avoidable, and most people expect to see it. The power, sustain, and harmonic overtones of the Riverboat Dread are unmatched in guitars costing thousands more. 

By far the most famous of all Yorkville's clubs was the Riverboat coffeehouse at 134 Yorkville. Owned and operated by Bernie Fiedler, the Riverboat opened in October 1964. It quickly became part of a prestigious North American circuit that included Detroit's Chess Mate and New York's Bitter End. Situated below street level, the club seated 120 people in red booths amid pine walls and brass portholes.

Every seat was near the stage, providing an intimate showcase of the top names in popular music, including Howlin' Wolf, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Tim Buckley, Ritchie Havens, Junior Wells, John Prine, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Guy, Kris Kristofferson, John Lee Hooker, Doc Watson, Tim Hardin, Jerry Jeff Walker, Janis Ian, Steve Goodman, Odetta, Seals & Crofts and James Taylor.

The Riverboat is where the protest folk singing star Phil Ochs wrote his popular ballad "Changes." When Eric Clapton was in Toronto with his band Cream, the Riverboat is where he went, with his hair tied in a bun as a disguise, to hear Tom Rush perform. When actor Jack Nicholson was in town shooting The Last Detail, he snuck in through the Riverboat's backdoor to catch some late-night music. Everyone played the Riverboat except Bob Dylan, although even Dylan was rumoured to have sat incognito in one of the back booths one night.


Owner Reviews

Stephen from Ajax

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 11:54

I purchased a Tyson model a couple of years ago, and thought of going for a Riverboat, after liking the Tyson so much. The web site said they were taking pre-orders for Aug delivery on the Riverboat. That sounded good as I had upcoming eye surgery and didn't know when I could play again. I placed the order on a Thursday and it was delivered just 2 days later, not 2 months. The play and sound are fantastic, just as I had hoped. There is a slight problem with the case, but the guitar is great. I play the occasional gig and lots of open mics. I have been asked what kind of guitar I'm using as people love the sound. Thank you MacMarr.

Frank from Cornwall

Sat, 06/22/2024 - 11:30

I cannot say how happy I am with the Riverboat Dreadnought I purchased a few months ago. The other guitars I have in my stable are definitely feeling unloved these days as I cannot bring myself to play any of them while the Riverboat is at my disposal. First of all, I have to say how impressed I am with its are all of my envious friends LOL! The adirondack spruce top and the rosewood sides with their high gloss finish, the mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard all put together are easily a "10" on any scale and especially when compared with their much more expensive rivals and competitiors. From a playing point of view, the low end is perfectly bassy and the high end has just the right amount of brightness creating a perfect balance. The guitar has a tremendous amount of sustain especially with the low end and its resonance fills a room. For the fun of it, I pluck the low E string while placing a finger on the soundboard and then the sides and the vibration can be easily felt. M & M's claim that the adirondack spruce top with its wide summer annular rings and narrow winter ones provides a springboard effect is not believable when one first hears this...until you actually play the guitar and feel the vibration yourself! The smooth satin neck and low action (with no buzzing) makes it easy to move up and down the neck. If you are looking for a high end guitar that looks great and plays even greater, I would definitely recommend this guitar...especially at 1/3 of the price!!

Evan from Lloyd Harbor

Thu, 02/29/2024 - 09:44

After my Riverboat Dread arrived I decided to go to a local music shop and try out some other dreadnoughts-- a Martin D-28 and similarly priced guitars from Gibson and Taylor. So nearly 3x the cost of the Riverboat. The only one that I was tempted by, in comparison to the M&M, was the Martin, but that may have just been the name. They were all lovely guitars in their different ways, but I left the store feeling happy with my M&M choice. Love the big sound it gives, and fit and finish are excellent. I am interested to see how it develops as I play it more.

Ryan from London

Tue, 10/17/2023 - 17:27

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. Overall opinions: 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.

Jack from Mount Shasta

Thu, 10/12/2023 - 00:07

My husband bought me the Riverboat for Christmas. I got to play it for seven days and will not see it again until Dec. 25th...... I'll miss it. It compares well to my D28. It's beautifully made with high quality materials and the clarity of the sound is out standing. I played it last Sunday in a worship set and have had several people ask me about it. It's beautiful and an exceptional value! I happily recommend it.

Thomas from SUN PRAIRIE

Sun, 09/10/2023 - 13:54

I have several Mackenzie & Marr guitars, but I've always been intrigued by the Riverboat Dread. That Adirondack Spruce top seemed like a real winner, especially after I obtained a used Baby Boat... it's become my favorite guitar, with excellent balance and LOOONG sustain! Circumstances allowed me to finally break down and order a Riverboat Dread. I wasn't disappointed. Of all the MacMarr guitars I've encountered, the Dread is, visually, the most understated. That has a charm all it's own. While the contrasting wood and abalone inlays on the others are quite nice, as are maple bindings, they tend to be a bit flashy. The Dread is a more low key instrument. I like that. IMHO it's quite tastefully done. I asked David for a Dread with the widest stripe of sapwood in the back that he had on hand; my Baby Boat has a prominent stripe that I found charming. He sent me one with a VERY handsome and broad back stripe. I'm pleased with it; this is a simple but quite handsome instrument, without any pretenses. The winter grain in the top is without a doubt the most pronounced grain I've ever seen in a guitar, but it fits in nicely with the rest of the aesthetics of this instrument. It makes the guitar individual, but without being intrusive. One reason the Baby Boat is my favorite is string spacing. I have sort of chubby fingers, and the spacing on it is near perfect for me. The Dread duplicates that. Tuning it up straight out of the carton and giving it a try was gratifying, to say the least! This is a duplicate of my Baby Boat, but it can REALLY sound off like the Baby never could! Well balanced, a low end that is powerful but not muddy and rumbling (unlike some Martin Dreads that I've had the chance to play). As with all of my MacMarr guitars, the setup was quite good; no tweeking was necessary right out of the box, unlike some other guitars I've owned. Like any brand new guitar, it will take some playing to make it's voice open up completely, but as I wrote shortly after my Dread arrived, this one WON'T be going back after 7 days... it's found it's Forever Home with me.

Christopher from HIXSON

Tue, 08/29/2023 - 12:06

I have two wonderful Martins and two wonderful Larrivees. On the day I received my Riverboat dreadnought here at work, I only had a few minutes to play it and I really couldn't make a good assessment of this guitar. However, after a few hours of actually playing it, I must say, WOW!!!! I like it better every single time I pick it up. I also enjoy just looking at it, and sending friends pictures just to show it off. It's so beautiful! The case is awesome too! Probably the most well made case I've ever received with an acoustic. I really can't say enough great things about this guitar. I'd put it up against my D-35 any time. I love the name and the background as well. Named after the famous Toronto Coffee House, The Riverboat, this axe simply begs for Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young songs to be strummed on it. It's Canadian roots are a big plus to me, since, as a 53 year old American, I have secretly wished I was Canadian myself since Middle School. If you're considering buying a Riverboat Dread, tarry no longer. Take the plunge into the great white north and find new inspiration with this incredible work of art.

Brian from Lanark

Wed, 08/09/2023 - 15:14

I have owned several high end guitars - Martin, Taylor, and Gibson - in my lifetime but my new Riverboat Dread is one of the best. The quality of the workmenship, the tone and the neck action are all superb and something you find rarely, even with comparably priced and higher priced instruments. My compliments to Mackenzie Marr for delivering on an exellent guitar.

John from Benbrook

Mon, 06/05/2023 - 15:51

Didn't know what to expect but thought the price was very good so I purchased the Riverboat Dread. Can't remember when I have been so pleased with a guitar. The only thing I had to do was tune it and play it. Right out of the box the action was perfect. Can't remember last time I bought a guitar and that happened. I would tell anyone that might be looking at it; Go for it. Oh, and the tone is warm and pleasant to hear. After I played this guitar for awhile I put it down and for kicks picked up one of my Martin's. Oh my gosh! What can I say. While I love my Martin's, This dreadnaught will get a whole lot of playing time. The sound of the Riverboat Dread is that good in my opinion. At least to my ear. Thanks for producing such a fine instrument.

Rex from North Little Rock

Wed, 04/05/2023 - 12:34

I received my new M&M Dread last week. Love it. Everything about it speaks quality. It's beautiful. Sounds and plays great. And the Baggs pickup carries through with the tone. I am only an intermediate guitar player and have only played a couple of expensive guitars (so I am not an expert reviewer) but I'll be treating this one as if it were worth 5 times as much. And I suspect someday, it will be.



Neck Profile: 
shallow "C"
Frets To The Body: 
Scale Length: 
646 mm (25.4 inches)
Fretboard Radius: 
14 inches (35.59 cm)
Neck width at nut: 
45mm (1.75 inches)
E to E string spacing at nut: 
3.5 cm (1.4 inches)
Body Style: 
Square shoulder Dreadnoght
E to E string spacing at saddle: 
55 mm (2.15 inches)
Width at Lower Bout: 
40 cm (15.75 inches)
Body finish: 
Neck finish: 
Fretboard and Bridge: 
Macassar Ebony
Afrcan Mahogany
Tuning Machines: 
Grover 18:1 gold finished Rotomatics
Body Back and Sides: 
Solid Bookmatched Bolivian Rosewood
Body Top Wood: 
AAA grade solid bookmatched Adirondack Spruce
Nut & Saddle: 
Genuine bone
Hand scalloped Spruce X bracing
D'Addario EXP16 light gauge (12-53) coated Phosphor Bronze
Professional arch top hardshell case (included at no additional cost)
Optional L.R Baggs Anthem pickup/preamp

Photo Gallery


The Riverboat Dread by MacKenzie & Marr


The MacKenzie & Marr Riverboat Dread in Drop D Tuning

The Riverboat Dreadnought

AAA Adirondack Spruce Top

We couldn't be more excited about re-introducing classic Adirondack Spruce as a top wood for the Riverboat series. Not only are we using genuine Adirondack Spruce but we've selected only AAA grade (or better) bookmatched pieces for the guitars. Our craftspeople have stepped up their game to a whole new level - tone tapping each pair and hand shaping braces to match the characteristics of the individual top.

Bolivian Rosewood back and sides

Our Bolivian supplier continues to amaze us with the variety of bookmatched solid Bolivian Rosewood backs and sides they send our way.
The Bolivian Rosewood back and sides
The Baby Boat and hardshell case

Professional hardshell case

Every guitar we ship is placed in a custom fit professional archtop hardshell case before it goes into the carton. There is no additional charge for the case.

The Montreal Walnut Twins

Our use of Walnut inserts on either side of the two-way truss rod has revolutionized acoustic guitar neck design. Low action, but no buzzing is a reality for every player.

The Montreal Walnut Twins

The Montreal Walnut Twins

Fall In Love In Less Than a Week

Try any of our guitars in the comfort of your own home. If you don't fall head over heels in love within a week we'll arrange to take it back and issue a full refund (including shipping).
*certain conditions apply.

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