$ 249 $ 339
1n 1981 I designed the Backpacker Guitar. In 1992 (after we had made nearly 1,000 Backpackers) C F Martin and I entered an agreement whereby Martin would make and sell the Backpacker under license from me. It is now 25 years later, and Martin has sold close to 300,000 Backpackers. To commemorate that, for 2017 they are making an all Sapele (similar to Mahogany) model, quite similar to the all mahogany model that was one of the variations we made.
We are happy to offer the traditional Martin Backpacker (Mahogany Body with Spruce top). Quantities are limited. If you request it, I will gladly sign the guitar you purchase.
The whole concept of the Backpacker is, it's a guitar you can have with you, any time, any place. It has ridden the Space Shuttle, been to both poles, and to the high base camp on Mt Everest. It has made numerous passages of the Appalachian trail, kept spirits up for troops in the Middle East, and sailed the oceans of the world. At no time in these adventures, did the Backpacker sound like a great full-sized guitar. It is compact, light, and durable, and has a sturdy voice all it's own. Performers from Jon Anderson to Ani DiFranco to Oliver Mtukudzi have written, performed and recorded using that sturdy voice. Think of it like the dinghy to your big guitar...you go ashore and explore the Island with your dinghy, not your yacht!
Spruce Top: Steel String $249
$ 345 $ 525
The Micro-Bass is mahogany, with a built-in volume and tone control for the pickup, and even an on-board tuner. It is fretless with inlay strips where the frets would be playing fretless is easier than you might think because of the fret lines, and because its a bass. You have to pay some attention to your finger placement, but it is surprisingly easy to adapt to the fretless fingerboard, and the big bass kind of tone is worth it.
The Micro-Bass offers a comparable blend of craftsmanship, sound and value to the Strumstick (or else we wouldn't offer it!) and is a great solution for all those folks who have asked about Strumstick basses over the years.
"I have been using the GoldTone Micro-Bass for two years. My musician friends are consistently impressed with the full rich tone, and the Micro-Bass has been a welcome addition to many situations, from informal jams to polished performances. I'm really excited to be offering it on our website, it is a great musical complement to the Strumstick"
Bass is great! Any instrument ensemble sounds better with a bass involved, whether it is a bunch of guitars, a few Strumsticks, or a whole symphony orchestra. I am an "occasional bass player" pressed into duty playing bass in various bands and music gatherings. I have used full size and smaller electric basses, standup bass, and I have built and used acoustic bass guitars. We do not make a Strumstick bass, we have experimented and the virtues of the Strumstick and the needs of a bass instrument just don't fit together well.
In my musical travels, I came across a really cool bass made by some friends of mine, Goldtone Instruments, called the Micro-Bass. It uses thick synthetic "rubbery" strings, and a mini-guitar shaped body (about the size of the Baby Taylor or Little Martin). It is bigger than the Ukulele basses with these same kind of strings. Compared to Uke-Basses, the Micro-Bass has a bigger body and a more effective string length. Acoustically it is quiet, but loud enough to play with a couple guitars. Played with the built-in pickup, it sounds fabulous with a round, full tone with a lot of power, reminiscent of upright bass. Smooth with what I call a creamy texture.
I've used the Micro on stage, and in many informal jams, and I love the sound. So much that we are now offering the Micro-Bass on our website, for all those that wanted the minimalism of the Strumstick in a bass range. I think this is the way to go, and I have not used my regular electric bass or acoustic bass guitar since I started using the Micro-Bass.
These are some beautiful Ukuleles made by Makai in China. The company is owned by friends of mine, and I hand selected these several Instruments for their tone and striking grain. I would be happy to use any of these on stage. You can hear recordings of each of them below.
Myrtle and Willow Soprano sizes $310;
Laminated body, Solid Spruce tops
Rosewood Soprano size ($310) and Concert size ($350);
Solid Rosewood body, Solid Cedar tops,
$ 450 $ 525