Backpacker review by Martin

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (23 votes)
Martin: Backpacker

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Pawn Shop

Sound — 8
I love the sound of it. It's a little thin, but I like it. I hardly ever use a pick, though. When I use a pick, the sound gets way too thin, but strumming with my fingers or finger-picking gets a nice sound out of it. I play mostly Folk and Blues music on this guitar, but I've always played Country and Pop music.

Overall Impression — 10
I guess every Backpacker is different. Just make sure you play it before you buy it. Also, if you're planning on buying it and taking it on a trip, buy it a few weeks before and get used to this guitar-it's very different. There's a stabilizer made by a company called KraftBoy that makes it possible for the Backpacker to be played without the strap; the stabilizer is called the Compadre. It's pretty cheap and makes the Backpacker much more enjoyable.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Around a campfire, this guitar is perfect. It's easily loud enough to entertain a hand full of friends. I would take it on a trip without a backup in a heartbeat. It's very dependable. The only thing I have a problem with is that if you're playing with anyone else with a standard size acoustic, it's hard to hear the Backpacker. This guitar seems to be able to withstand changes in temperature well, and I haven't had any trouble keeping it in tune like some other reviewers have had with their Backpacker.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I was at least the second owner of this guitar, but when I got it the action was pretty low for an acoustic. Eventually, I might have to replace the pens because they are thin and fragile, but otherwise the guitar is perfectly put together.

Features — 8
I'm not sure what year this guitar was made, but it is one of the later models. Made in Mexico. 15 frets, rosewood. Mine came with a brown Martin strap and the black gig bag.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Just got one today from Sam Ash for 179 (price matched it). Plays really well. The tone is very cool. I'm really an alternative/indie, blues, thrash metal player so it really suits that playing style. I recommend getting one.
    My main use of this guitar is for tabs and fingerpicking. Because of the odd shape of the instrument, I have to hold it as I would with a classical guitar. Having changed out the Martin strings for some D'Appario nylon/brass strings, I really like the intimate and bright sound of the backpacker when I play it. Since I hardly ever use a pick to strum, I don't mind the lack of guards. I also rarely play above 11th fret, so I appreciate the design of the neck and body. Last thing -- since it has no finish on the body, there's nothing to mar; that's nice
    i just have a questing, does anyone know where you can get a better gig bag for it, like something that doesnt let it wiggle as much