Name: Stephen Date: 9/23/12 Review: Martin Steel String Backerpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 3 - Good product give it a try
Likes: It fits in the overhead bin on a jetliner. It enables me to practice scales and other exercises when I am away on trips involving air travel. That is all I ask of it.
Dislikes: The sound.
Additional Comments: There is no real tone, yet it serves my purposes perfectly. I play scales and other exercises when I'm on business trips. I'm not trying to make music on it per se. This is strictly a practice tool for the times I don't have a proper guitar available. For that, I like it. I would not hesitate to replace it if it were lost or stolen. Though, once I retire, I don't imagine I'll have as much use for it.
Name or Forum username: Martin J Date: 11-11-10 Review: Martin Backpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 3 - Good product give it a try
Likes: Lightweight and easily portable; fits in overhead bins on airplanes and luggage racks on Chinese trains. Allows me to still make music when I cannot or do not want to carry a good guitar.
Dislikes: Tinny, weak sound, BUT not bad for what it is. I don't expect it to sound like my 00-18 Tim O'Brien or Huss and Dalton TOM-R.
Additional Comments: I love my Backpacker. It allows me to have an instrument and to make music alone or with friends when it is inconvenient or undesirable to carry one of my good guitars. Taking it for what it is and with no expectations for it to be any better than what it is, it is a good product.
Name: Martin Date: 09/02/2010 Review: Martin Backpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 4 - Highly recommend it
Likes: Very portable and easy to play.
Dislikes: You need a ClipRest to play it on your knee without a strap.
Name: Bill Bernasconi Date: January 7, 2009 Review: Backpacker guitar Rating you give the Martin backpacker guitar: 3 - Good product give it a try
Likes: compact size, good volume in a little package, unique shape and sound somewhere between a guitar and a banjo. Overall it sounds better the more it's played.
Dislikes: unique shape makes this instrument a little harder to get use to but the use of a neck strrap helps alot.
Additional Comments: I received my backpacker as a gift from my daughter so I would have a extra guitar when she comes home to visit. It's great as a travel partner too.
Name: Billy Myers Date: September 30, 2007 Review: Martin Backpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 2 - Did the job nothing special
Like about the Martin Backpacker: Gotta give someone credit for coming up with a compact, take anywhere guitar.
Dislike about the Martin Backpacker: Not much volume & its unusual shape necessitates using strap of sorts making the player look even dorkier than the instrument. Chances are you will not be heard or playing this instrument onstage in a bluegrass band or at the next Live/Farm Aid concert.
Additional Comments: I actually found mine, having come across it while hiking through the woods quail hunting with my dogs. Wasn't sure if it was lost or left behind. I dropped it off at the Ranger station figuring that someone might eventually claim it. The attendant who logged it in thought this was some kind of 8th grade woodshop project until he saw the Martin name. 24 months later, it was still unclaimed and the supervising Ranger said I could have it. I then offered it to my 9 year-old nephew who was taking-up guitar & he refused to accept it. He felt somewhat insulted as he wanted a Stratocaster. This little Backpacker now sits in the garage next to my work bench. A neighbor has expressed an interest in having it & I'll probably pass it on to him. He's got a hobby collecting them at garage sales & so far he's accumulated about 4-5 Backpackers, one for as little as $25.00.
Name: Klaus Froeming Date: 14 September 2007 Review: Martin Backpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 2 - Did the job nothing special
Like about the Martin Backpacker: Interesting novelty item.
Dislike about the Martin Backpacker: Not much on sound.
Additional Comments: I received one of these models last week as an incentive award (Top Saleman/Paint and Wallpaper) from my co-workers who know I have an interest in playing guitars and various outdoor activities like camping, hiking, some mountaineering and cross-country skiing. At first I thought this thing was a joke or some kind of gag gift. If the store owners had truly appreciated my sales efforts they might have at least considered chipping-in towards a D-28 or something. Instead I received this elongated, triangle-shaped, fretted instrument that wasn't even manufactured in Nazareth though it said Martin on it. After strumming a few insignificant chords, I thanked everyone for their 'thoughtfulness'and took the rest of the afternoon off to begin floating resumes.
Name: James Dalton Date: 9-13-07 Review: Martin Backpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 2 - Did the job nothing special
Like about the Martin Backpacker: Compactness; price; concept.
Dislike about the Martin Backpacker: Its overall size limitation can not match the depth & resonance of a dreadnaught.
Additional Comments: A very versatile instrument; it can be played either as a guitar or tuned to ukelele pitch (concert size) offering the versatility of a six-string uke. Would like to see Martin offer upgraded models in Koa or Rosewood with some subtle inlays. For those interested in experimenting with tone, I installed an older Barcus-Berry pick-up I once had on one of my older Martins into the Backpacker. I then ran the Backpacker into a 100 watt Orange head and a 4-10 cabinet using Boss Compression/Sustain and Blues Driver effects pedals. The combination a fat sound like Leslie West & Mountain playing Missisippi Queen on an LP Jr. through a Marshall stack with full clipping & feedback. I later found another Backpacker at a garage sale & bought it for around $50. I installed a volume pot to the top to control tone/feedback & added the Barcus-Berry. You have to be real careful drilling into the top as this is a flimsey model. Though somewhat of a novelty now, the electrified Backpacker + a smaller Fender Blues Deluxe amp cranked to about 8 now blows people away at church gatherings & small folk club gigs, People initially expect sort of a Tiny Tim joke/portrayal but get blown away instead as I perform covers of Michael Shenker/UFO on this little tone monster.
Name: Conor Dunne Date: 16th August 2007 Review: Martin Backpacker Rating you give the Martin Backpacker: 3 - Good product give it a try
Like about the Martin Backpacker: Go anywhere, sturdy and scratchproof.
Dislike about the Martin Backpacker: High action. Has to be played while wearing a strap.
Additional Comments: For not a lot of money, you get a solid mahogany body and an amazing volume. Better made than a baby Taylor. Recommended as a second guitar.
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