The Martinez Southern Star series is all about the marriage of traditional style and modern production techniques. The MFPC-7C is a good example: it has a small ‘folk-size’ body construction and a smooth, rounded cutaway, giving it a bit of ‘old school’ and a bit of ‘modern boutique luthier’ look all at once. Of course, at this price point you’re not going to get a Breedlove or a Taylor, but it’s clear from even a cursory look that your dollar is going to the structural aspects of the guitar rather than the visual bling.
This guitar has a solid spruce top, which means that as the guitar ages it will break in really nicely and get better as it gets older. The back and sides are made of figured ebony with a mango wood centre strip that looks quite classy without being too over-the-top. The neck is mahogany, and the fingerboard and bridge are made of something called TECH wood, a composite with great warp resistance. This guitar also comes fitted with a Martinez Cadic preamp, which features a chromatic tuner, slides for bass, middle and treble, a phase switch and a notch knob for zapping feedback, plus bright and middle frequency knobs - and of course a volume knob. The guitar comes with Timberidge long-life strings and is sold in a quite beautiful Martinez ivory hardcase.
Sonically, this is a very sweet guitar. The lows are tight and the mids are present without being too overbearing. The treble profile is of the ‘super-dynamic, hit it hard for extra zing or pick softly to round it off’ variety, and the string separation is great for fingerstyle players. In fact I found myself more likely to play this guitar without a pick, even though it’s a great strummer too, such is the detail, clarity and subtlety available.
This is a great-sounding, great looking guitar that is only slightly let down by some production inconsistencies, but nothing that you should really worry about in this price range. The same rough fretboard edges on a $1500 guitar would be a problem, but here, not so much. And the case is a really nice bonus. If you’re in the market for a guitar that will play and sound really nice and aren’t too fussed about the flash, this is a solid choice.
Hits and Misses
Nice note separation
Comfortable neck profile
Great case included
Some rough finishing