The Best New Acoustic Guitars In The World Right Now, According To Your Vote

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The evolution of acoustic guitar is typically quiet radicalism, with technological advancements hidden beneath the soundboard, in new bracing patterns that accentuate the guitar’s sound, improving resonance and performance.

It often happens that new materials look like old ones. What looks like ebony is actually a composite. What looks like mahogany is a more durable alternative. Performance and durability are key drivers of innovation, with the latter a growing concern as guitar makers – and, indeed, players – become more aware of dwindling inventories of tonewoods and habitat preservation.

This year’s reader poll is proof that sometimes this evolution isn’t so quiet, and sometimes design to challenge norms and push boundaries is one that captures the imagination of the guitar playing public. Even if their first reaction is one of disbelief, it was surely at NAMM that Martin unveiled the guitar that was at the top of your list… Electro-acoustic that redefines performance.

1.Martin SC-13E

It’s not just the body shape that makes the Martin SC-13E look so aggressively modern the first time you see it. Flip it over and discover the Sure Align neck system. This allows you to make pitch and intonation adjustments via the soundhole. Convenient.

Wrap your palm around the neck and you’ll find it’s comfortable, the action is super low – like in the bass levels of Jackson/Charvel electric guitars. On closer inspection, you might notice that the neck profile is asymmetrical, but chances are you’re too busy playing.

The unique offset body shape is certainly different. It is a fairly shallow body. It all adds up to an electro-acoustic that offers unparalleled playability for guitarists of all styles, with a cutaway that exposes the entire fingerboard. Its balanced voice flatters fingerstyle players. Its lower average power is ideal for strummers.

The SC-13E shows itself well through an amplifier. The MX-T pickup and preamp do a good job. By then you should be completely back to that body shape. Koa veneers over Sitka spruce catch the light in all the right ways, with a touch of azure and a touch of modernist demo from the design team. They deserved it.


2. Taylor American Dream AD27

The American Dream series was born out of the economic upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, it is the least expensive USA-made range that Taylor has ever made. The AD27, without electronics, costs £1,619. Not cheap, but cheap like American-made Taylors, and it’s an amazing build.

The AD27 adopts Taylor’s 14-Fret Grand Pacific shape, an exclusive take on the round-shouldered dread, and features a solid mahogany top with Class V bracing, with solid sapele on the back and sides, and a Mahogany Neck Carved In The Sweetest. V-shaped. The assembly is meticulous.

There’s enough room at the nut to accommodate the fingerstyle player, but with its organic, rooted tone and superlative projection of this Class V bracing pattern, you might consider the AD27 an all-rounder.


3. Taylor Grand Theater Gte Urban Ash

A compact electro-acoustic that sits somewhere between Taylor’s GS Mini and its full-sized siblings, Urban Ash’s Grand Theater Gte strikes a happy medium with a 24/1/8″ scale. The Gte evokes- Does it have any sort of sporting excellence?Well, performance-wise it offers a very comfortable ride.

It’s the kind of acoustic you’ll sit on the couch with for hours, but if you wanted to play with it – and with that impeccable build and tone, why wouldn’t you? – it is equipped with Taylor’s impressive Expression System 2.

Now let’s get serious. This is all very familiar. What is less is the combination of a solid Sitka spruce top with Urban Ash on the back and sides. Now, that’s where innovation was born out of a desire for sustainable tonewoods, with Taylor sourcing trees felled from the streets of Southern California and using them for his guitar.

Master luthier and partner Andy Powers says it’s no different than Honduran mahogany, and certainly complements spruce. Good for the planet, good for your tone. What’s not to like?


4. Larrivee C-03R-TE Custom

A “homage” to Tommy Emmanuel’s much-loved Custom C-10, the Larrivee C-03R-TE Custom is luxurious acoustics with a Florentine cutaway and an air of sophistication.

Sit down to finger play and it will reward you with exceptional dynamics and enough upper-mid treble and sparkle to bring out every detail in your playing. range.

The finish is breathtaking, satin-finish, flawless, with a tried-and-tested cocktail of solid spruce top and solid Indian rosewood on the back and sides, resulting in a well-balanced and authoritative sound.

If you think that sounds a little polished, pull out a pick and strum a few open chords and there’s a great exuberance that could make for a good imitation of a Terror. We often talk about certain acoustics favoring certain styles, but when they’re done that well, it all seems out of place. This is resonant musical acoustics that are impossible not to love.


5. Cort Little CJ Walnut

A three-quarter jumbo at a very tempting price, the Cort Little CJ Walnut would give entry-level Martin and Taylor acoustics a hard time.

The build is tip-top. You have a solid open-pore spruce top complemented by laminated walnut on the back and sides, with an extremely comfortable mahogany neck that adopts a V-profile and accommodates an ovangkol fingerboard.

With such compact dimensions, what you lack in bass boom, you make up for in treble clarity and an expressive upper-mid that will make your cowboy chords pop.

The on-board electronics aren’t bad either – Fishman Presys II complete with Volume, Bass, Treble and Phase switch. Oh, and a built-in tuner too.

All this for £369. Little CJ, you’re fine!


6.Cort Gold-OC6

Don’t be fooled by the low price of the Cort Gold-OC6. This cutaway electro-acoustic would look great in any business.

Quality begins with the choice of tonewoods – solid Sitka spruce on top, okoumé on back and sides – and extends through construction and finish, hardware and components. We have a bone nut here to cry out loud…

On the headstock you’ll find a set of Grover Deluxe Vintage gold tuners, a bit of bling to offset the Macassar ebony fingerboard and bridge. Under the hood is a Fishman Flex Blend system, with a nice bright LED tuner – all discreetly mounted on the shoulder and a very nice piece of kit. Percussive players will love it.

A small abalone flower adorns the rosette. The decorative frills are well thought out. It also comes with a carry bag. Very impressive.


7. Atkin the Forty-Three

With the Forty Three, the clue is in the name. This is a British built and designed acoustic that lovingly recreates the vibe of the wartime J-45 headstock for a contemporary player who wants to pop some chords on a vintage flat top but doesn’t want to. doesn’t quite have the room.

Indeed, the illusion created by Alister Atkin and his team is so strong that you might just find yourself pulling out the ration book the next time you visit Tesco.

It adopts the round-shouldered dreadnought shape, with a solid baked spruce top and mahogany on the back, sides and neck. The firing is important, artificially aging the wood and giving the instrument a brilliant response and detail in its midrange that one might find in a vintage instrument.

From the distressed three-on-plate tuners and white buttons, to the cream binding that makes it look like the Marlboro man once owned the guitar, the Forty Three is all about that vintage appeal – a horse-like acoustic. battle to fuel folksongs or play earthy Delta blues. It’s really cool.

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