Best Review - Top 16 Non Traditional Yet Awesome Acoustic Guitars For Flatpicking

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veryone knows that the Martin D 28 and the Martin D 18 are the most well know and used models or templates for acoustic guitars in flatpicking folk, bluegrass, and Celtic music; but what about some non traditional ones? Oh, there are many, and here's a few of them for you.

Me Playing My Mother's Martin 00 17.
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Top 1

The Gibson J 200 and SJ 250 Monarch


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This guitar is huge, is literally massive. Originally it was a Rosewood body guitar with a spruce top, but now it's a maple bodied guitar with a spruce top. It may well be the world's best know and most sought after acoustic guitar, but that is debatable. It's LOUD, and produces very clear notes with long lasting sustain. You don't even need amplification for this thing in a small club. Outstanding and legendary!


Top 2

The Gibson Nick Lucas Special


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This guitar debuted in the 1920's, but it's been reissued, and due to the playing of Norman Blake has become a new sensation in the flatpicking realm of American music and musicianship. It's a guitar with twelve frets clear of the body, rather than the typical fourteen, and this affects the tonality in such a way as to make the notes more "punchy" and immediate.


Top 3

The Martin D 15 Acoustic Guitar

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The Martin D 15 is an all mahogany guitar, and is easily the best deal that the Martin Guitar company produces. It's an all solid wood construction yet full sized guitar that will provide a lifetime of enjoyment for a lower cost than any other all solid wood construction guitar that Martin makes.


Top 4

The Taylor Guitar Company


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Any guitar made by the Taylor Guitar Company is going to be just as fine an instrument as those made by the legendary Martin Guitar Company, but Taylor guitars cost less, they are not cheaper; they cost less because Taylor is a newer company that doesn't have the name recognition that Martin has, but they will, so you'd best buy one quick!


Top 5

Larrivee Acoustic Guitars

Larrivee Guitars are outstanding, and very fairly priced. They often have some truly beautiful inlay on them, and are made in Canada.


Top 6

I Fell In Love With A $600.00 Alvarez Acoustic

Most people who are into acoustic guitars are chasing a brand name - but a brand name on the headstock of a guitar is not what makes a guitar great. So often Japanese made acoustic guitars are under rated, and under valued. I've seen many examples of Japanese Acoustic Guitars that trumped comparable and more expensive American Models.


Top 7

The Ovation Legend Guitar

Designed by Ovation to the specifications of the legendary Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola, the Legend really delivers. True, it's not going to be as loud as a Martin unless it's plugged into something - but it comes from the factory ready for just that, and sounds fine just the same.


Top 8

Yamaki Acoustic Guitars

Yamaki made a wide range of styles and various quality levels of steel string acoustic guitars - but some of these are very, very fine guitars that in my opinion are as good as some C.F.Martin & Co. guitars. The Yamaki Deluxe, with it's Western Red Cedar top, is a very fine guitar, and despite the non traditional solid wood sound board of cedar instead of spruce - delivers all day every day, and in every way you could possibly want it to. There aren't a lot of these guitars around, but I'd surely suggest that you grab one if you see it and are able.


Top 9

The 000 28EC, by C.F. Martin & Company

Both the 000 28EC, and the 000 28ECB are Eric Clapton signature model guitars - you can't top that, can you?


Top 10

The Gallagher Seven String Steve Kaufman Model Acoustic Guitar!

So, why would someone make a 7 string guitar? The answer is: Because Steve Kaufman, a world renowned master musician wanted one!

Simply put, you can do things with seven strings that you can not do with "just" six strings. The seventh string is a "D" string, and is a larger string in diameter than is found with a six string guitar. Logically, the "D" string is directly above the large "E" string that is the largest string on a six string guitar. Without the seventh string, the large "D," what is often done is that a guitarist will have to use a "Drop D" tuning - which is simply, lowering the large "E" string to a "D" tuning. With the seven string guitar - and there isn't a finer one on the market than the Gallagher Steve Kaufman Model - one can play "Drop D" tunes, and also have the low "E" string to enhance them, as it is still tuned to "E," and there's no need to "Drop" the "E" string's tuning!


Top 11

The Ovation Legend Guitar.

This guitar is the Al Di Meola model guitar, and Al tours the entire Earth with one - who's going to argue that it's NOT a great guitar? Oh sure, some folks have problems with the rounded plastic back - get over it. I've played one of these many a long hour, and they are great guitars.


Top 12

Martin SWDGT Smartwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

A "conscious" guitar, made in keeping with ecological responsibility, the Martin SWDGT features a solid Sitka spruce top, certified solid cherry wood back and sides, mahogany neck, and a certified katalox bridge and fingerboard. The neck has a low profile shape and an adjustable truss rod. Appointments include pearl dot inlays and a natural satin finish for enhanced tone. Made with specifically ecologically sustainable woods.


Top 13

The Gibson Everly Brother's Guitar

Phil and Don Everly are not just American musical legends - but musical legends throughout the English speaking world - their close harmonies and ferocious rhythm guitar playing is legendary, and THIS is their Custom Gibson Guitar!


Top 14

The Gibson Dove Guitar

Maple is a wonderful tonewood, and nobody has used it as such with as much success as has the Gibson Guitar company. The Gibson Dove guitars have been used by people such as Elvis Presley, and many another fine luminary of the acoustic guitar. This guitar's physical beauty is obvious with all of it's Mother Of Pearl inlay, and bird themes - there are many variations available to discriminating musicians, and all are wonderful American made vintage instruments.


Top 15

The Martin D12 - 28

Who exactly DOESN'T LOVE the sound of a twelve string guitar? The Martin D 28 is the world's benchmark for a fine acoustic guitar, and this is the twelve string version of that instrument.


Top 16

The Martin M 38 Guitar

What is a Martin "M" guitar? Well, that question is answered here as best as I could answer it - it's just a different body style that was created with the feedback of Steve Goodman and Tom Paxton when they sought an acoustic guitar that could be miked on stage with less feedback.


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These are all awesome acoustic guitars that are non traditional so far as flatpicking or Bluegrass circles are concerned, but no less valuable so far as making great music with an acoustic guitar is concerned!

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