21 Hot New Acoustic Offerings

For acolytes of the unplugged, this year revealed that a fair amount of companies were revamping and/or evolving their acoustic-guitar lines, the ukulele explosion still had legs, and many manufacturers expanded their efforts to use sustainable woods for building their guitars.
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For acolytes of the unplugged, this year revealed that a fair amount of companies were revamping and/or evolving their acoustic-guitar lines, the ukulele explosion still had legs, and many manufacturers expanded their efforts to use sustainable woods for building their guitars. Other than that, there was simply a lot of jangly goodness to take in. Here are some of the new products that caught our eyes amidst the noise and crowds at NAMM.

Fender
Kingman ASCE

A dreadnought kissed with a little California sun, the Kingman has the classic Stratocaster headstock, solid-spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a maple neck, and Fishman electronics. $899 retail

Alvarez
Grateful Dead Series

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Fly your freak flag with official Dead artwork over a western red-cedar top, a rosewood fretboard, and a 12th-fret lightning-bolt inlay. $399 street

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Ernie Ball
Aluminum Bronze

This blend of aluminum and copper offers increased projection and clarity, as well as corrosion resistance. $7.49 street

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D’Addario
EXP Acoustic Sets with New York Steel

The NYXL strings that brought strength and tuning integrity to electric players are now available in EXP Phosphor Bronze ($11 street) and EXP 80/20 ($10 street) sets, as well as selected banjo sets.

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Bedell
Angelica Bella Voce

Designed for fingerstyle players, the Bella Voce orchestra model offers a western red-cedar top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, and an ebony fretboard. A parlor guitar—the Bellissima—is also available. $4,990 retail

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D’Angelico
EX-63

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Swing with some New York groove with this sophisticated archtop that includes a Fishman INK-4 preamp/pickup system. Price TBD

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ESP
Tombstone Series

The ESP team really strived to revamp and improve its affordable acoustic offering with its new auditorium, dreadnought, and jumbo models. Shown is the A-300E with solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a B-Band T35 preamp. $349-$629 street

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Cordoba
Solid Top Mini Guitars

These cuties can travel with you nearly anywhere. The models are the Mini M in spruce/mahogany ($199 street, shown), the Mini R in spruce/rosewood ($249 street), and the Mini O in ovangkol ($279 street).

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Avante By Veillette
Gryphon

Joe Veillette’s “mini” high-tuned unison 12-string is now handcrafted in Korea—which means you can save a bundle over his Woodstock, New York-produced models. It features a solid-spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, and a rosewood fretboard. $1,495 street

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Breedlove
Oregon Concert CE 25th

Built completely with Oregon-grown tonewoods—hence the name (the “25th” refers to Breedlove’s 25th anniversary this year)—you get a Port Orford cedar top, myrtlewood back and sides, an ebony fretboard, and an LR Baggs EAS VTC preamp. $2,665 retail

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Epiphone
Masterbilt AJ-45ME

Evoking the J-45s loved by Hank Williams and John Lennon, this Epi features a solid Sitka-spruce top in a satin sunburst finish, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, a rosewood fretboard, and a Shadow Sonic preamp system. Price TBD

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Seagull
Artist Concert Hall

A beautiful sunburst, an LR Baggs Element pickup, a solid spruce top, and a mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard—this stunner should wow audiences at both concert halls and coffee shops. $1,395 retail

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Hartke
AC50

Portable (25 lbs) and powerful (50 watts), the AC50 also offers dedicated guitar and microphone inputs, chorus, reverb, 3-band EQ, feedback suppression, and an onboard tuner. $249 street

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Ibanez
Artwood Vintage AVN2

This charmingly earthy parlor guitar is all mahogany (top, back, sides, and neck) with an open pore finish, a rosewood fretboard, and vintage-approved Grover Open-Gear tuners. $499 street

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Kala
Comfort Edge Ukuleles

Tired of your arms scraping against your uke’s sharp edges? These models provide a touch of relief with their beveled and bound padauk edges, and your fleet fingers also get a Florentine cutaway. Price TBD

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PRS
SE Angelus A10E

This awesome-looking all mahogany guitar also includes a rosewood fretboard, undersaddle electronics with Volume and Tone controls, and a bone nut and saddle. $599 street

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Michael Kelly
Triad 10E

For a different take on the traditional 12-string, try this 10-string model that doubles the first, second, third, and fourth strings. It also has a solid spruce top, flamed okoume sides, a three-piece flamed okume and Ovancol back, and a Fishman Sonitone preamp. Price TBD

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GHS
Custom Shop Artist Curated Ukulele Strings

Peer Power! Based on feedback from players, this new series of ukulele strings enhances tone and playability. Price TBD

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Washburn
Woodcraft Series Parlor Guitars

These parlor pups feature solid-cedar tops, mahogany necks, rosewood fretboards, and Fishman Sonitone systems. The WP26SENS ($500 est., shown) has rosewood back and sides and stylized pearl fretboard inlays, the WP21SENS ($483 est.) offers dot inlays over rosewood back and sides, and the WP11SENS ($423 est.) boasts mahogany back and sides.

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Squier
SA-105

Squier’s return to acoustic-guitar making produced this lovely black- or sunburst-finished dreadnought with a maple neck, a rosewood fretboard, and laminated basswood top, back, and sides. $99 street

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Taylor
600 Series

Leave it to Taylor to transform the usually bright tonal characteristic of maple into a lush, warm, and dimensional sounding maple guitar. $3,798-$4,138 retail

More Goodies to Check Out!

BC Rich: BCR1, BCR2, BCR4, BCR6.
CleartoneStrings: Grand Light Series (designed expressly for jumbos).
Cole Clark: Angel 3 Series in America redwood grown in Australia.
Collings: Waterloo Series WL-14.
Cort: New Vintage Collection includes the 300V, L300VF, and CJ3V.
D’Addario: Clip-On Headstock Tuner, and NS Artist DADGAD, Classical, and Drop-Tune Capos.
Dana B. Goods Grace Harbor Line: A new series of acoustics with laminated or solid spruce tops.
La Bella: Vapor Shield Acoustic Phosphor Bronze, No. 200 Uke-Pro Series ukulele strings.
Lâg Guitars: Occitania Line, 44 Series entry-level models, 66 and 80 Series classical guitars. Also, TSE701 with snakewood back and sides and a Sitka spruce top. Lowden: F50 African Blackwood/Redwood with 38 style appointments, F50c Fan Fret, new Original and 35 Series models, and Wee Lowden designed for Ed Sheeran. Recording King: Dirty 30’s Harmonella models with solid spruce tops, bound soundholes, and tailpieces.
Riversong Guitars: Graduated Series with fanned frets, new Flexitone material, and a new SLAP pickup that will be incorporated into the Don Alder (a Guitar Player’s Guitar Superstar champion) Baritone model.
Tanglewood: Sundance Delta Historic Series (mahogany models), Evolution Deluxe Series (new wood combinations), Evolution Viscount Series (sexy jumbos), Discovery Series (entry-level guitars).
Takamine: This year’s limited-edition LTD-2015 inlays showcase the Renge-so flower that grows at the foot of the Takamine mountain. It has a solid-spruce top, rosewood back and sides, a mahogany neck, an ebony fretboard, and a CTP-3 preamp.
The Loar LH-204 Brownstone: A vintage-style blues box with a brown satin finish over a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, and a rosewood fretboard.

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