I’ve been a six-string acoustic guitar player for almost thirty years now, and I have probably ten or so six strings spread around the house, from a cheap $100 Yamaha that was my first guitar (and is now my take camping guitar) to a wonderful mahogany Taylor that rarely leaves the house, and many sundry six-strings in between. The Taylor has been my favorite since I acquired it, and it opened my eyes to the wonders of all solid wood construction on a guitar. A solid top, back and sides on a guitar simply blows away a laminate instrument, and for this reason I made the decision to only purchase solid wood guitars from here on out.
But when I got the itch to try a twelve string, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay Taylor prices (or, god forbid, Martin) for an instrument that I might only use 10-20 percent of the time. Luckily I stumbled upon the Mackenzie & Marr website and this Algonquin 12 guitar. Sure, I was reticent at first. Their guitar listings all sounded too good to be true, and I’ve never bought a guitar without playing it first. But, between the positive reviews and the ‘return it in the first week’ offer, I decided to give it a go. Man, am I glad I did.
Took a couple weeks for the guitar to arrive, but when it did, I was blown away by the instrument right out of the box. They weren’t kidding—this baby is like a work of art. The Sitka Spruce top is flawless and the grain tight and even. The Rosewood back and sides have the most amazing wood coloring and grain patterns, and I love the little strip of lighter heartwood that runs down the middle of the back. Both woods are further enhanced by the beautiful high-gloss finish that adds such an incredible depth and clarity to the guitar’s look. My hand effortlessly glides up and down the satin finish of the mahogany neck, and the ebony fingerboard looks and feels stunning, as do the sparkling brass tuners and glossy headstock.
But all that gleam and glitz would be meaningless without a good sound and playability. Well, I’m happy to report that this guitar has both of those as well in abundance. Right out of the box, the instrument was set up perfectly, and I only had to tune it up two steps to get it in tune. I’ve also heard twelves can be a nightmare to tune, but this one was no problem. I’ve spent many hours at guitar shops trying out twelve stings and some play like you need a vice to fret the strings, but this guitar is as easy as my Taylor in its action, almost like playing a six-string. And the sound is out of this world. It sounds as good or better than the twelve string Martins and Taylors I’ve tried, but for a third the price! And the included pickup sounds awesome as well. There is just so much sound when you plug this thing in, from the throaty, freight train lows to the bell-like clarity of the highs, and the warm mids in between, this guitar has it all. I could go on and on, but suffice to say, this was a great purchase, and I will likely be back for another Mack & Marr in the future!