"I've been following Martin Blackwell's guitar making for a few years now. I am continually impressed by how well balanced, comfortable, loud and beautiful in sound and construction they always are. I am now the proud owner of one of these great guitars, and I've played solo recitals and concerti with orchestra on my new guitar. I find that the guitar compares very favorably with the most powerful and best-known guitars. This guitar has a beautiful full and sweet singing tone, extremely full basses and great balance throughout. It is simply an excellent guitar which I am enjoying very much!"
- Daniel Bolshoy, www.danielbolshoy.com
"Martin Blackwell's guitars are exceptional - simple but elegant, the workmanship and attention to detail suggest a refinement that the sound confirms. They're responsive and easy to play, and magically combine the power of a modern guitar with the palette and nuance of a traditional one."
- Michael Partington, www.michaelpartington.com
"The Blackwell double-top guitar lets the performer embrace all its capabilities. What amazes me about this guitar is the way it projects throughout the concert hall equally, which is rare in a guitar. The sound envelops the room with its harmonics which is wonderful for the audience and player alike. Each note is well defined and there is a rare balance between all the notes on the guitar. The acoustic port on the side gives the player a better idea of the sound out front and makes it more fun to play. In the guitar makers’ world, Martin Blackwell represents one of the most important Canadian luthiers."
- Miodrag Zerdoner, www.mioguitar.com
"Wow! That was the word I used after playing a few arpeggios on my Blackwell spruce/cedar double-top. The sound coming out of this guitar was natural, pure and musical. The sustain was incredible as if he had built a church inside the body. Needless to say, I bought this guitar and to my surprise the sound has opened up and gotten even better. To my ear Blackwell’s guitars are simply the best."
- Pierre Marion, www.pierremarion.com (hear Pierre playing his Blackwell guitar on his site.)
"My Blackwell guitar has a natural and beautiful sound. I simply love playing his guitar. This is a true concert, and recording classical guitar, with projection, depth and character. It seems the more I play the fuller the sound. The guitar naturally adopted my personality and my way of playing. Martin’s artistry in building fine concert guitars is in my opinion at the top echelon of luthiers. I have played my Blackwell guitar at the Yamaha Six String Theory competition (winning the Grand Prize) at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica and on the Six String CD."
- Shon Boublil, www.shonboublil.com
"The Blackwell double top guitar is a player's dream. It has power, warmth, projection and incredible balance. One can literally switch from a fully fledged fortissimo to the sweetest pianissimo effortlessly! The guitar is easy to play and possesses many shades and colours to choose from. It has a refined lyrical sound that one associates with a great classical guitar and yet has the power and projection that most traditional guitars do not have. I tried the cedar/cedar double top at the Grand Guitar Salon in Montreal, and instantly got hooked. I felt like I could do so much more with the music I perform. It was exactly the guitar I had been looking for."
- Tariq Harb, Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Classical Guitar Performance Candidate - University of Toronto.
www.tariqharb.com + www.myspace.com/tariqharb
I first heard of the Blackwell guitar from my colleagues in the Vancouver Classic Guitar Society. I bought one right after trying it. The Blackwell guitar is one of the finest concert guitars I've played. The resonance, projection, and the sound suspension are very strong. My new spruce/cedar double top has very loud basses and trebles and the balance between them is excellent. The trebles above the 12th fret are impressively good. The tone is deep, clear, and piano like rich. The guitar reminds me of a Damman. The playability is also very good due to the wonderful sound response. The Blackwell guitar is an excellent concert guitar.
—Ming Huang, www.burnabyguitar.com
I knew that the Blackwell guitar was the chosen one the second I played it. It is an extraordinarily balanced and powerful guitar that challenges me to push music farther than I've ever been able to in the past. The depth of bass is almost difficult to believe. The sound coming from this guitar actually makes people do a sonic double-take.It's a very unique instrument and I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled upon it.
—Alan Marsden, Ottawa Folklore Centre, School Co-coordinator
Martin's guitars are light and lyrical, with an immediacy that reminds one of the best Granada-style classical guitars. They sing beautifully and are remarkably easy to play, in a class by themselves.
As a luthier I am always pleased to meet players.