The Guild Limited Edition Bob Marley Signature A20 Dreadnought is a wonderful tribute to a man who left an incredible impression on music and the world. Modelled after Bob Marley's at home songwriting guitar, Guild has crafted an instrument that's full of heart and soul, a true must-have for any fan Bob Marley fan. Nick Jennison tells us more.
There's no question that Bob Marley was one of the greatest and most beloved songwriters of all time. His impact, both musically and culturally, was profound and resonates with music lovers around the world to this day. So what better way to honour his legacy than by recreating his favourite acoustic guitar.
Based on Marley's at-home songwriting guitar, the new Guild A-20 is a great sounding dreadnought at a very appealing price. The recipe is one that's stood the test of time - spruce top; mahogany neck, back and sides; 25.5" scale length; 14th fret neck join. It's a classic combination, and the A-20 is a fine example of this style of guitar.
Straight out of the box, the A-20 feels classy in a way that far exceeds its modest price. The satin finish feels great under the hand and adds a rich lustre to the mahogany back and sides. The open-gear tuners look fantastic, and the understated binding and rosette look beautiful without being gaudy. Despite this being a tribute guitar, it doesn't exhibit too much "signature-itis", with just a small Marley signature on the pickguard, an "M" logo on the truss rod cover and a golden lion logo inside the soundhole.
Sonically, the A-20 is very big and bold, with great forward projection and a nice balance across the frequency range. It comes set up with what I'd describe as a "strummer's action", with plenty of clearance for aggressive chordal playing. That's not to say that more intricate playing styles don't sound great on this guitar, but your left hand might have to work a little harder to make complex fingerstyle and flat-picking passages work. That's the price you pay for a big, bold, strumming voice, though, and that's really where this guitar excels.
In keeping with Marley's environmentalist values, the A-20 makes use of sustainable building practices - both the guitar (with Guild pledging to plant a tree for every Marley A-20 they make) and the gig bag, which is made of recycled nylon. It comes with a bunch of cool accessories that commemorate Marley's life and works, and it retails at a price that puts it within reach of most players - empowering aspiring musicians to get their songs out into the world without a huge financial barrier to entry.
The Marley A-20 is a fine tribute to one of the great songwriters of our time, and it's also a great sounding guitar for not a whole lot of money. Whether you're a Marley enthusiast, or just a guitar player looking for a killer affordable dreadnought, this guitar is definitely one to check out.
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