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Top brands for acoustic folk guitars

The best brands for acoustic folk guitars
  • 1
Acoustic Guitars Steel String Guitars

Today is the turn to list the top brands for acoustic guitars. Indeed, after having done the same with electric guitars, we decided to let acoustic guitar players express their opinion.

So we polled our French readers to vote for their favorite acoustic guitars. And the winners were three American folk guitar giants: Martin, Taylor and Gibson.

Martin & Co D-28 : Martin & Co D-28 (43503)

However, there is a significant gap between the first place and the rest. Martin seems to have yielded a profit from its rich and passionate history to seduce contemporary guitarists proclaiming itself as the acoustic brand by excellence. The multitude of mythical models manufactured by the inventor of the Dreadnought certainly has a lot to do with this (who has never dreamed about a D-28 or a D-45?).

The other mythical manufacturer to make the podium was Gibson, which landed the third position. This is even more remarkable when you think that not many brands have managed to make themselves a name both in the electric and acoustic worlds. Apart from the Les Paul, SG and Flying V, the J-200 and J-45 and even the Hummingbird are deservedly among the most popular guitars around.

There was a third, unexpected, brand that managed to make its way among the legends we just mentioned. There is no doubt that Taylor deserves the good reputation it has earned, but it's still only a newborn compared to the other two giants. Judge by yourself: Martin was established in 1833, Gibson in 1902, and Taylor in… 1974! But despite its young age, it has succeeded in establishing itself as a major player with well-balanced guitars that are a real treat to play. Not to mention their vintage spirit and unflinching character. Their ability to cut through any mix is outstanding. This has resulted in the brand being widely emulated and you can find lots of models with the same aesthetic look and typical Taylor format... Like the Martin Dreadnought Jr. and Gibson HP series, for instance.

Further down the list everything is much more homogeneous and international with Asian brands like Yamaha and Takamine and the Czechs from Furch. North America is nevertheless overrepresented with the likes of Canadian brand Godin (Seagull, Larrivée, Art & Lutherie, etc.) and Guild from the US. The only French representative in the list is Lâg, in seventh place, which probably indicates that it's not exactly what we do best in France right now.

  • Vesuvious
    New AFfiliate
    2 posts
    Prolly totally against the grain here - but I test drove a wall full of Martins - all new and all very pretty. Soundwise they went "thunk" and had so little resonance that I thought they all came stuffed with dirty socks from the factory employee's laundry.

    Whazzat all about?

    Martin was THE go-to name for what seems forever and now they appear to be gathering money to move to Belize as the executives get older and wiser.

    So - in the same store they had RAINSONG I picked one up on a lark and honestly I was greeted with the sound that the Martins didn't have - sweet resonance and full sounding reverberating richness.

    These aren't cheap ----> $1200.00 plus or minus a little.

    TBH > I'm a Fender fanboi - that or the headstock has to have my logo on it (I build slab bass and acoustic and slab guitars and have started on some mandolins for a while.

    I don't shill for anybody - not even myself as I don't build to sell. I tend to keep all that I make but I might've been commissioned once in a while.

    Anyway - I think the Rainsong guitars bear a tryout by people looking for a guitar that sounds good, is a very good conversation-starter and certainly won't warp in humidity changes. You can use one for a canoe paddle and then shake the water out and play it. Try that with a Martin - or even a Johnson!

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