SIERRA > Compass ST10 w/ Bag

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Sierra Compass ST10 is full of surprises (good ones). Every one of my guitar-playing friends has, without fail, picked up it up and declared, “What a cool little guitar!” With a solid spruce top and mahagony back and sides, the Compass has a wonderful bright, punchy tone. While it seems that guitar players have increasingly leaned towards the bulky, big-sounding dreadnoughts and jumbos over the years, I’ve always been nostalgic for the little parlor guitars that were once the standard guitar size.LISTPRICE: $399.00
WEBSITE

The Sierra Compass ST10 is full of surprises (good ones). Every one of my guitar-playing friends has, without fail, picked up it up and declared, “What a cool little guitar!” With a solid spruce top and mahagony back and sides, the Compass has a wonderful bright, punchy tone. While it seems that guitar players have increasingly leaned towards the bulky, big-sounding dreadnoughts and jumbos over the years, I’ve always been nostalgic for the little parlor guitars that were once the standard guitar size. (The largest body size available for a Martin guitar in 1926 was a 000!)

And where the the initial intrigue of such a small guitar might border on “cuteness,” this impression gives over quickly to sincerity. Sierra Guitars are cleverly marketed as organic and natural (their web-site is complete with John Muir quotes), and the brand has certainly caught on with like-minded consumers. The thing is that the 34 inch Compass does seem to embody a kind of musical purity, earthiness and simplicity in the age of SUVs. The best touch of all is a small compass-shaped inlay on the 12th fret, to keep you on course, of course.

While marketed as a “travel guitar,” I originally thought the Compass would be great for a beginner, perhaps to teach your son or daughter on. (I remember the pain of learning to play guitar on a big dreadnought.) But, after a recent road trip I took the Compass along for, I think I’m going to keep it for myself.



3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

July/August 2008 Lyric Spotlight Q&A: David Rodgers

DEAD CONFEDERATE: On the Horizon