When planning all those wonderful leisure activities that surround the days of summer—swim dates, nature hikes, camping trips, parties, vacations, and general hanging out—don’t forget to invite your music along. If you want a groovy new acoustic guitar for your al fresco solo concerts, these recently released models—and a summer NAMM scoop or two—look cool, sound great, and offer price tags from nearly pocket change to hefty limited-edition bucks.
The stunning wood crop-circle inlays might just steal eyeballs away from the tanned and lovely men and women at the beach. The Freja 133 also includes a solid Sitka-spruce top, curly maple back and sides, a satin-finished Spanish cedar neck, and an oil-finished rosewood fretboard.
USA SERIES CONCERT DAY LIGHT MAHOGANY
The gorgeous, solid Honduran mahogany top is as warm as a beach campfire, and, at 3.5 pounds, the Concert Day is also as light as a summer breeze. Breedlove used Honduran mahogany for the neck, back, and sides, as well as African ebony for the fretboard. Electronics are from LR Baggs.
AJ-210CE ACOUSTIC/ELECTRIC OUTFIT
If your idea of summer fun is river rafting, bouldering, or paragliding, the AJ-210CE includes a hard-shell case to protect itself against extreme-sport (or other garden variety) mishaps. It features a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, a rosewood fretboard, and a Shadow Performer Tuner Preamp and NanoFlex pickup system.
This could be the season’s super deal—a sunset-hued beauty with electronics for less than you’d pay for one of those dusty summer music festivals. The O120CESB includes a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, an Indian rosewood fretboard, and an onboard preamp with 3-band EQ.
PM-2 PARLOR ALL-MAHOGANY NE
This compact beauty can make the scene at a barbeque, and it’s sassy enough—thanks to the checkerboard binding—to get there in a Fiat Spider convertible. The top is solid open-pore mahogany, with solid mahogany back and sides, a rosewood fingerboard, and a compensated bone saddle.
LEGACY PARLOR FP 14 M
With a vintage sunburst finish that evokes woodies, surfers, and thatched-hut bars, the Legacy Parlor offers up a solid mahogany top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, and a tiger-stripe ebony fretboard. An acoustic-electric with a Fishman Isys+ preamp and a Sonicore pickup is available for $489.
ORLEANS STUDIO 12
If you plan to smack up some snoozer singalongs with a bit of Byrds, Bowie, or Lead-belly, this 12-string in see-through black satin would be an awesome partner. The Orleans comes with a solid cedar top, mahogany back and sides, and a Fishman Isys+ preamp and Sonicore pickup.
COASTLINE MOMENTUM HG A/E
Evoking the sun-drenched pull of sandy shores everywhere, the Momentum rocks a solid cedar top and wild cherry back and sides, along with a silver-leaf maple neck and rosewood fretboard. The pickup is a Fishman Sonitone with sound-hole-mounted Volume and Tone controls.
This sleek, sophisticated parlor guitar would be right at home wowing the country-club set with some blues, folk, country, or fingerstyle jazz. Excepting the rosewood fretboard, the GY11ME is an all mahogany affair, and it includes Takamine’s TP-4T preamp with onboard EQ and a tuner.
If you want to be the boss of the campout, playing the 916ce-SB is like bringing your own fireworks show to the festivities. This Grand Symphony model has two new features for dramatic flair—a tobacco-sunburst top and a Florentine cutaway—with Sitka spruce for the top wood, Indian rosewood for the back and sides, a West African ebony fretboard, paua edge trim (top), a comfy armrest, and an Expression System 2 pickup/preamp.
LJ16BC LIMITED-EDITION BILLY CORGAN SIGNATURE JUMBO
What’s better on a starry night than playing a star’s signature model? The Billy Corgan jumbo is an elegant stunner based on Yamaha’s reimagined LJ16R. For the global run of just 400 guitars, each one features a vintage natural (or an exclusive brown sunburst) finish, Corgan’s signature on the label, a solid Engelmann spruce top (treated with Yamaha’s Acoustic Resonance Enhancement), solid rosewood back and sides, an ebony fretboard, and a passive, under-saddle S.R.T. pickup.