Unplugged or amplified, these superlativ­e six truly deliver

- Words Nick Guppy


Taking its cue from Gibson’s famous ‘workhorse’ J-45, the G-45 has a regular soundhole plus a second ‘player port’ on the top shoulder of the bass bout to let the player hear their guitar closer to the way an audience would, with unmasked treble and increased volume. Together with the Advanced Response neck profile, the G-45 is a real player’s instrument.

MARTIN SC-13E £1,599

Martin’s SC-13E is aimed more at the electric player, with an S-shape asymmetric cutaway body plus a clever chamfered heel design that allows unlimited access right to the top of the fretboard. Thanks to innovative (and very un-Martin-like) design and Fishman’s MX-T pickup, the SC-13E sounds just as good amplified as it does when used as a pure acoustic. www.martinguit­

IBANEZ JGM10 £3,049

Acoustic virtuoso Jon Gomm gets a signature model that’s truly worthy: the JGM10 marries pau ferro back and sides to a premium Sitka spruce top for a powerful and highly responsive tone. Amplificat­ion is taken care of by two Fishman pickups and an internal microphone, a unique triple-source system that can run in mono, stereo or with all three signals split.


Taylor’s GT stands for ‘Grand Theater’, a new mid-size scale length that’s about halfway between a full-size acoustic and a travel guitar. With reclaimed-ash back and sides sourced from felled urban trees, it’s a positive environmen­tal move from Taylor, plus there’s all the build quality and fretting at which the company excels. Ideal for fingerpick­ers in all styles. www.taylorguit­


Emerald’s Virtuo is a guitar for the player who needs to handle everything from one instrument. It’s an acoustic that can turn into a twin-humbucker electric at the flick of a switch and also packs a MIDI pickup with the standard 13-pin connector. Fishman Fluence pickups and a Graph Tech Ghost Piezo take care of the electric and acoustic signals. www.emeraldgui­


Lowden’s Baritone model teams superb tonewoods with peerless craftsmans­hip to create one of the ultimate modern acoustic guitars, at any price. The fan frets make the guitar easier to play, with more definition and power in the low-end, while staying perfectly balanced. George Lowden likens it to the difference between a baby grand and concert grand piano. www.lowdenguit­

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