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by Martin
| 3 answered questions

List Price: $374.00
Price: $209.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $165.00 (44%)
Only 3 left in stock.
Sold by Springdale Music and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
  • Model# 11GBPC
6 new from $188.95 2 used from $159.99

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  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "MARTIN BACKPACKER TRAVEL GUITAR - ACOUSTIC 11GBPC" and save 57% off the $374.00 list price. Buy with confidence as the condition of this item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the "Amazon A-to-z Guarantee". See all Used offers.

Frequently Bought Together

MARTIN BACKPACKER TRAVEL GUITAR - ACOUSTIC 11GBPC + Martin M130 Silk & Steel Folk Guitar Strings, Light
Price for both: $213.99

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 36.2 x 10.1 x 4.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B0002IL37Y
  • Item model number: 11GBPC
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,564 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: April 13, 2004

Product Description

The sky's the limit for portability! The steel-string Backpacker travel guitar is lightweight, durable, easy to play (and tune) and is shaped to fit into the smallest places. Constructed of solid tonewoods.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Be prepared to either file down the saddle and nut yourself, or pay to take it to a luthier.
I bought this not for travel, but to have a guitar to stick in the corner of my bedroom without taking up much room, so I could pick it up when inspiration strikes.
John D. Ramsey
I've heard its sound as described as somewhere between a guitar and a banjo, with more guitar sound.
Ray Riddle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Fowler VINE VOICE on May 10, 2005
The Martin Backpacker instruments are very useful for the person who:

1. Wants an instrument that "feels right" - meaning the frets are in the right place, the intonation is accurate, the scale is correct, etc.

2. Wants an instrument that you can literally throw into a duffel back or backpack and carry into remote places. (Many American Servicemen I know took them on deployments.)

The tradeoff is that the teeny-tiny sound-box produces a small, tinny noise that is weak in volume and almost metallic in tone - the closest thing I can think of to describe what it SOUNDS like is one of those old hand-cranked jack-in-the-boxes.

It DOES play right, though, and if you want an instrument that will keep your fingers in shape, is decent to practice on, and you CAN take it anywhere you can sling it over your shoulder - then the Martin Backpacker is right up your alley.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By D. Reinstein VINE VOICE on December 1, 2005
After having read many reviews of this instrument, I decided to take the plunge anyway - at a point in my life where a good many long-distance trips are coming up and my 40-year old (hard to play and wonderful) Harmony Sovereign full-size Western Flat Top) is just too cumbersome to travel with. Many of the criticisms leveled by other users are certainly valid.

It is a very small and oddly shaped small instrument with a proportionately small sound. It would, indeed, be easier to play if the saddle were lowered a bit and if it came out of the box as the manufacturer and designer recommended re strings - it does not. It is awkward to hold.

All of that being said, I am able to honestly recommend it - perhaps because my old Harmony is even harder to play! I have never been spoiled by the experience of owning a really well made guitar (like a full size Martin or Gibson)- so, to me, it plays easily and produces a sound much like I feel it is reasonable to expect from such a small body.

I have had it for about a week and am enjoying it a lot.

Of course, it sounds best in small spaces, wired with thin gauge (bronze 80/20) strings and played with a thin pick.... something that is taking some adjustment on my part - having always used medium gauge picks before.

Because the instrument is disproportionately heavy on the tuning-peg end, playing it standing (pretty much a requirement) works a lot better with the strap tied to the tuner - rather than connected with the hardware installed on the neck side of the Backpacker's mini-body. Otherwise, the tuning end is drawn by gravity making it harder to play than is necessary.

The prices have come down quite a bit - partly, I expect, due to the poor reviews both here and at other sites.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon on November 21, 2006
The cool thing about this guitar is that it's very portable, but don't compare it to your regular, full-size acoustic.

It's a bit hard to get used to, as the guitar wants to twist and turn in your hands, and it can't be rested on your leg when you play sitting. You have to use the strap, even when seated, and you kinda rest your forearm and elbow on the "side" of the guitar to offset the weight of the neck. Once you get the hang of it your hand will fall right over the strings and the instrument becomes very playable. I got mine because of a shoulder injury, and when held properly I don't have to reach over the top of the guitar as my elbow is pretty much right at my side. And while the neck is a bit thick, it plays and feels much like a normal size guitar.

I took the advice of another here and put Martin Silk & Steel strings on it. Wow, what a difference. While it doesn't sound like a D-18, it really sounds like a guitar now. Go ahead and play it with the included strings, but I highly recommend changing over to hear the difference. You'll lose just a bit of tone and sustain from the steel strings, but in my opinion it's well worth the tradeoff. That banjo sound, which some like and some hate, is gone now.

The guitar seems to be made extremely well, and looks like you could use it to paddle down the river, beat off a few wild animals yet still play tunes when you get back to camp.

I gave it 5 stars for what it is, and I would not recommend this as an only guitar or a first guitar for a beginner or child. It really is made for travel, to have as another unique guitar for your collection or just to have fun with. However, once my shoulder healed I still pick it up a lot.

Do watch our for cheap knockoffs that look like the Backpacker. The Martin is made of all solid tonewoods and sounds like it. It's not a toy.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Godfrey Boyd on February 13, 2005
Well this will never become your primary guitar but if you're into bringing your guitar with you when you travel this is probably one of the better options.

Technically the sound is a little thin and holding it can be difficult to master. In addition I think most people have a bit of a post-purchase "why did I buy this!" But once you have played it a bit and especially after you have travelled with it I'm sure you will find it to be indispensable. Personally I actually have begun to like the sound of the guitar - it's quite unique and can offer all sorts of nuances if you take the time to find them out. So I often find myself at home using the Martin rather than my `good' guitar.

I have mostly used the guitar when travelling interstate for work and on the odd overseas holiday. Its size and sturdy construction mean it can put up with all sorts of treatment and still provide great sound. I have also have a Yamaha Silent guitar which has been a few places but I always find myself coming back to the little Martin. It feels much nicer to play and is so easy to carry about. Combine this with a good selection of sheet music in PDF on my laptop and I'm pretty much set for any destination.

The only advice I'd offer a new owner is to have a look at the strings. I got some really nice sounds from the guitar using Augustine Blues which were well worth the price. I also met a guy who said that pretty much any Flamenco guitar string was worth trying on the Martin.

Also take the time getting used to using the strap before you go the `surgery' option and start using knee rests or attachable frames. It will feel very strange for quite a while until you get used to how it feels. One word of warning - once you get it right don't let anyone adjust your strap ;o).
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