Makana AMG361 | The Hidden Gem


I have never been more impressed by a travel guitar.


Travel guitars, by virtue of their build (34" or 36"), are plagued by a feeble airy tone commonly described as boxy or boxiness. As if the body is made out of hard cardboard which does not resonate well.


But from time to time, I encounter some gems.


One time I went to City Music to try on Martin LXs and DJrs but ended up more impressed with the lesser-known Custom Acoustic MJ1E (City Music in-house brand).


Another time I went to Swee Lee to try on baby Taylors and GS Minis but ended up squatting at next door Ranking Sports & Music checking out their Makana guitars.


There were 2 models: MG3601 and AMG361.



At first, their clean and sleek designs caught my eye. So I picked up MG3601, strummed an E chord, half expecting to be greeted by a boxy sound. But the little one gave a full and resonant roar.


I would have already been impressed had it been from a full sized guitar. But coming from a travel sized guitar, I was amazed.


Naturally I googled "Makana guitars" to find out more about their background. But the brand has practically zero digital footprint. In fact, they seem to only make the above 2 guitar models.


From what I gathered from the friendly people at Ranking, Makana is a China brand which is better known for making ukuleles. That's all the information available.


But that's not a bad thing either.Without much data to cloud our judgement, let's find out more about the posher of the two models: Makana AMG361.



36" Grand Symphony GS-shaped.




Solid spruce top with satin finish.




Mahogany back and sides.



Mahogany neck; rosewood bridge and fingerboard.




Rosewood headstock veneer.




Boutique installments like scooped cutaway!



And beveled armrest!



Rosewood-abalone soundhole rosette.



Rosewood binding and purfling.




Notice the round soft rounded edges which makes the guitar so comfortable to cuddle for long periods!



Sneak peek into the reversed kerf linings and parabolic braces!



Now for the sound!!



With addition of AMG361, I now have 2 travel guitars in the house (the other: Maestro ET-1). With the Marie Kondo in my head screaming "spark joy spark joy!", I am torn over which to keep.


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