GEAR EXPO 2021: Whether you are a beginner just getting your fingers around your first A minor chord or an seasoned 'picker, there has never been a better time to play acoustic guitar.
The past few years have seen some of the boldest new takes on the instrument, blurring the lines between electric and acoustic, changing our perceptions for what tonewoods mean for our sound.
Expect this trend to continue apace this year. Our selection New Year releases has something for all budgets
Taylor Grand Theater new models
Taylor welcomes two luxury models to its Grand Theater range in 2021. Joining last year's Grand Theater Urban Ash we have the spruce-topped and rosewood back and sides GT 811e, plus a most eyecatching all-koa K21e.
Both feature Andy Power's C-Class bracing, with the GT 811e features solid Indian rosewood back and sides, solid Sitka spruce top and Crelicam smoky ebony fingerboard. Electronics are Taylor's Expression System 2 and it comes with a Taylor AeroCase. The US Street Price $2,999 – a big step up from the $1,600 we're seeing the Taylor GTe Urban Ash on sale for.
The GT K21ce is even more special with a US street price of $4,699. But for that you get Solid Hawaiian koa top, back and sides to really show off that tonewood's frequently stunning figuring with Shaded Edgeburst finish in a 4.5-ml gloss. The fingerboard is Crelicam ebony, an ecological choice and further evidence that the company's Ebony Project – in which they purchased a Crelicam ebony sawmill in Yaoundé, Cameroon – is bearing fruit.
For more info visit Taylor.
Martin DJR-10E Streetmaster
Martin is not just super-premium acoustics and high-end price tags. Its hugely popular Road Series is perfect for the player just getting serious about the instrument, while the StreetMaster range includes affordably models such as this compact DJR-10E Dreadnought Junior.
This Dreadnought Junior comes with sapele construction throughout (including a distressed finish that we think looks great), a thinner body and 24” scale-length neck for added playing comfort.
The pickup system is a Fishman Sonitone USB making it ready for both the stage and your home studio.
For a guitar that looks like it will never leave your side, and sure to be a permanent couch/travel companion in the years ahead, the street price of £714 / $699 is tempting indeed.
Martin Road Series Ziricote GPC-13E and D-13E
We mentioned the Road Series above, and this year's new models see two ziricote electro-acoustic models in Martin's Grand Performance cutaway and dreadnought body shapes.
The new GPC-13E and D-13E have similar builds, with Sitka spruce on top and fine ziricote veneers on the back and sides. Ziricote is a highly figured, dark-coloured tonewood that looks incredible under the gloss finish and will ensure that no two models look alike.
Under the hood there is X-pattern scalloped bracing and Fishman MX-T electronics and a soundhole tuner.
As with the others in the Road Series, Martin uses FSC-certified Richlite for the fingerboard and bridges, which performs like ebony but is made of recycled materials.
The GPC-13E is priced £1,399 / $1,299 street. The D-13E will set you back £1,299 / $1,249.
See Martin for more details.
D'Angelico new Aged Mahogany finish for its affordable Premier Series LS
D'Angelico has unveiled a new look for its Premier LS acoustic guitar series, a range that's priced for beginners but dressed with all the New York company's signature flair.
Now there are five Aged Mahogany finishes to choose from for the Tammany, Gramercy, Bowery, Fulton and Lexington. Each comes equipped with D'Angelico's MG-30 pickup and preamp system, which features an onboard tuner and controls for volume and tone.
The Tammany is the smallest of the five, an OM-sized acoustic measuring 15" across at its widest, with a 43mm nut width an accommodating proposition for small hands. If you are looking for something boomier, the Lexington dreadnought or Bowery single-cutaway dread might be more your speed.
They're priced at just £225 / $299 street.
See D'Angelico for more details.
Gibson Modern Acoustic Collection J-45 and SJ200
Gibsons new Modern Acoustic Collection is laden with features that the contemporary player would love, such as Slim Taper necks, flatter fingerboards, and state-of-the-art pickup and preamp systems.
This year's Modern Acoustic Collection [pictured above] welcomes the J-45 Standard 12-String, a J-45 Standard with a hot Cherry makeover. There's also a Hummingbird Standard in a more muted Vintage Sunburst, and an SJ-200 jumbo that is resplendent in in Wine Red and Autumn Burst.
See Gibson for more details.