Reviewing Palmer Acoustic Guitars: Quality, Sound, Accessories

To the untrained eye, it seems just another six-string. But, as my eyes scan its contours and my hands cradle its body, I recognize it for what it is; exceptional. For twenty long years, I’ve crafted, played, and reviewed guitars. But this is my first time getting intimately acquainted with a Palmer acoustic guitar. The occasion? One I’m thrilled to share with you, yet withholding its essence a while longer. Because a revelation like that is worth the wait.

Hi there! I’m R.M. Mottola, a dedicated luthier with two decades of experience and an engineering background that seeps into my love for guitars. My journey with Palmer guitars is a tale that’s just beginning to unfold, and I invite you to join me as I delve into the fascinating world of these American-born beauties.

The anticipation of plucking its strings for the first time, the reverberation of each note hummed – that’s what awaits us. But, we aren’t just about the music; we also let our fingers trace the material, appraise the craftsmanship, and appreciate the acoustic guitar’s overall quality.

Is there a secret behind the famed Palmer USA label? What draws so many to it, and why in my twenty years as a luthier, am I only now discovering its charms? There are myriad questions to answer, and together we will, step by step, strings and tuning pegs, body and bridge.

Strap in and tune those ears, folks. We’re about to embark on a deep dive into the world of Palmer acoustic guitars – the sound, the quality, and even the accessories that accompany each piece. Are you ready? Because, trust me, it’s a journey that promises to be as mesmerizing as a beautifully strummed chord.

Palmer Acoustic Guitars: An Overview

Acoustic vs Electric-Acoustic Palmer guitars

Acoustic vs Electric-Acoustic Palmer guitars

In the realm of Palmer guitars, categories split chiefly into acoustic and electric-acoustic variants. Both classes fall within the broader splendor of acoustic string instruments, a segment in which I have rendered years of precise exploration and analysis. Diving deep into Palmer’s offerings, stark differences, yet equally captivating qualities, exist between their acoustic and electric-acoustic guitars.

Acoustic Palmer guitars are steeped in tradition – the resonance, tonal warmth and natural echo are unparalleled. These guitars are designed for those seeking a raw, undiluted acoustic experience, as the sound is produced, amplified and shaped naturally within the body of the guitar itself.

The electric-acoustic guitars, alternately, strike a marvelously versatile chord. These hybrids retain the natural acoustic tone while providing the additional benefit of amplification, enabling them to excel in live performance scenarios. Electric-acoustic guitars fall within the realm of acoustic string instruments, yet they allow you to control the volume, tone and shape the sound reflexively through an onboard preamp.

Herein lies the beauty of Palmer’s selection – the opportunity for personal preference to take main stage. Some might argue that the explosion of acoustic sound from their traditional guitars is untouchable. Others might champion the electric-acoustic’s adaptability and vibrant projection capabilities when plugged in. Either way, it’s less a contest and more an exploration of varied audio potentials.

As we progress through this symphony of an overview, the resounding notes are much of the same. Palmer excels in curating an acoustic experience that is authentic, versatile and unique, whether it’s through their traditional acoustic or the electric-acoustic guitars. Therefore, your choice between these two opens a door to a facet of sound uniquely catered to your liking and requirement.

These nuances in the acoustic and electric-acoustic offerings do not diminish their common ground – the quintessential quality and performance that Palmer is acknowledged for. Moving ahead, the next section, ‘Quality and Performance’, will delve more explicitly into these common features, for a more comprehensive understanding of Palmer’s remarkable blend of authenticity, innovation and musical excellence.

Quality and Performance

Sound Quality

Sound Quality

As we delve deeper into the ‘Quality and Performance’ category, we need to dispel any questions about sound quality, particularly in the context of Palmer’s Acoustic Guitars. After all, the strings may strum and the body may hold, but the true test of a guitar’s worth is its tone and auditory depth.

As an active contributor to American Lutherie journal, it’s been my mission to dissect the sound quality of countless string instruments. The breadth of assessment involved, particularly when it comes to quality sound, is immense. So, when I turned my attention to Palmer’s acoustic guitars, what did I find?

The sound quality of Palmer’s acoustic guitars can be best depicted as a mixture of warm base notes, articulate mid-tones, and bright upper registers. This musical balance is key for a well-rounded acoustic output, especially when one needs to cover a range of musical genres. But there’s more to the story when it comes to the subtle complexities of sound quality.

I’ve spent time, tuning, testing and above all, listening. The results? Each strum offers a resonant depth that sustains and fills a room effortlessly. There’s a character to the sound which is rich, full-bodied, and imparts an intimate connection to the performer. This showcases Palmer’s dedication to maintaining a high quality standard in their instruments’ sound production.

Apart from the exquisite sound, the versatility of these guitars to adapt to various playing styles is commendable. Be it for fingerstyle playing, strumming rhythms, or lead guitar work, these guitars deliver a consistent quality of sound. In this prowess resides Palmer’s triumph—the ability to deliver an instrument that not just plays well, but sounds extraordinary too.

In the next section, we will explore more intricate elements of the Palmer’s musical character – from the unique playability traits to its sound projection. Sound Quality is undebateably a cornerstone of ‘Quality and Performance’, but there’s still more that goes into the make of a phenomenal guitar. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say Palmer’s acoustic guitars tick the quality sound checkbox with a sharp, resonating ‘yes’.

Guitar Playing Nuances

Guitar Playing Nuances

In the realm of Palmer guitars, it’s the subtle, but profound, guitar playing nuances that significantly contribute to their quality and performance. For music connoisseurs and professional guitarists like myself, these nuanced characteristics profoundly impact the clarity, resonance, responsiveness, and overall artistic expression of the guitar.

Fine craftsmanship is at the heart of Palmer guitars. The expertly sanded bracing, precise fretwork, and comfortable neck profile all contribute to superior playability. These guitars offer distinct nuances like a comfortable playing posture and effortless tuning stability. Their smooth fret ends and well-set action translate to an almost effortless play, allowing players to focus more freely on the music, and the minutiae of their execution.

The tonewood selection in Palmer guitars also contributes to these nuances. Carefully selected and aged woods resonate more fully, conveying a wider range of frequencies, enhancing the guitar’s tonal balance and sustain. This culminated expertise is often the distinguishing factor between an average performance and a transformative musical experience.

Moreover, the acoustic design significantly influences the nuanced aspects that differentiate Palmer guitars. The unique soundhole design contributes to a more evenly spread resonance, while the shape and size of the guitar affect the volume, tone, and projection.

Hardware, bridges, and tuners may seem trivial, but in the realm of guitar nuances, these elements significantly impact the sound quality and ease of play. Palmer guitars ensure all these components are precision-crafted for dependable and lasting usage. Their commitment to craftsmanship is illustrative of their dedication to the small details, further enriching the playing experience.

To sum it up, the subtle, yet meaningful, guitar playing nuances of Palmer guitars contribute immensely to their quality and performance. These nuanced aspects offer a transformative musical experience, elevating every note played. Whether it’s impeccable craftsmanship, superior tonewood, unique acoustic design, or precision hardware, each element underscores the exceptional qualities and performance of these guitars. And as we venture into the next section of this review, we will explore the range of accessories that further enhance your Palmer guitar experience.

Palmer Guitar Accessories

Palmer Guitar Accessories

In the many years that I’ve strummed various guitars and tinkered with a myriad of accessories, there’s one understanding that I’ve come to accept unreservedly – an instrument does not merely exist in a vacuum. Just as the violin needs its bow, a guitar too needs its parameters enhanced with the right amps and preamps to explore higher realms of sound.

Palmer guitars are no exception. For our acoustic lovers, the vital networking of guitar and its accessories becomes all the more significant in carving out the concluding sound. However, from my plethora of experiences, I’ve observed that all accessories are not created equal, and there are certain gems that stand out in this sphere, like the Palmer Pocket Amp.

What if great sound isn’t just about the guitar itself, but also about the accessories you pair it with? Would that make us rethink our approach to achieving that perfect palette of sound? It sure did for me.

The Palmer Pocket Amp, which doubles as a preamp, has been a delightful game-changer in my musical journey. With its compact design, it is a highly portable and convenient option for playing on the go. The diversity in sound modulation it provides, from the texture of ‘vintage’ to the bite of ‘modern’, often makes this small piece of hardware an indispensable extension of my Palmer guitar.

When delving deeper into the specifications of guitar preamps and amplifiers, it’s evident why Palmer’s Pocket Amp is such a standout. It offers the ability to control the details of our music, from tuning the gain to adjusting the mid-frequency range. It’s not just about creating sound; it’s about sculpting it.

Working seamlessly with other Palmer guitar accessories to provide a fully immersive playing experience, it offers on-the-fly tweakability that complements various playing styles. In my usage, I’ve found it to be more than just an accessory – it’s a tone-shaping tool that brings my guitar’s potential to the forefront.

Let’s also not overlook how it serves as a medium to directly connect the guitar to the recording equipment. In my studio, it’s a regular practice to hang on to the Pocket Amp for ensuring a clean, amplified signal that brings out the character of my Palmer guitar when recording.

To newcomers and seasoned players alike, I would say this – give Palmer accessories, especially the Pocket Amp, a chance to accompany your guitar. They are not just ‘add-ons’; they represent a world of possibilities that can elevate your guitar playing experience.

Remember, true magic happens when a synergy between the guitar and its accessories is achieved. Just as the artist and their canvas make a masterstroke, using the right set of accessories with your Palmer guitar could be the secret ingredient in defining your unique signature sound. So, go on, explore and experiment. The sound you’ve been searching for might just be an accessory away.

Price and Purchase Options

Price and Purchase Options

So, you’ve seen the craftsmanship, listened to the serene melodies these guitars can produce and you’re thoroughly impressed with the bundle of accessories which accompany a Palmer. But now, it begs the question: What’s the real cost of owning a Palmer guitar, and how can you find the best deals?

As a guitar maker myself, I’m usually more focused on the acoustic properties of a musical piece. Yet, I fully grasp the weight the element of cost carries in influencing your final purchase decision. Thus, let’s delve into the realm of Palmer guitar prices together, guiding you on how to snag the best bang for your buck.

For a brand with such a distinguished reputation and a history steeped in quality, you might anticipate the price to mirror the high-end market. However, the appeal of Palmer guitars stretches beyond their acoustic supremacy and lies in their unexpectedly affordable price range. Yes, quality does not always have to break the bank.

This may leave you wondering, ‘how can a guitar duet quality and affordability?’ Well, the answer lies in Palmer’s dedication to the democratization of music. Their mission, as I’ve come to appreciate, is to design instruments that produce a captivating sound, embody admirable craftsmanship and yet, remain within the financial reach of most aspiring guitarists.

The assortment of models available under Palmer also caters to a spectrum of budgets. For instance, if you’re just starting out, you may find their beginner models, like the Palmer PD20, more in sync with your tight budget. However, if you’re an intermediate player or a seasoned pro seeking a guitar that reflects your musical maturity, opting for their high-end models could be worth the investment.

That said, sourcing a Palmer is not restricted to physically stumbling across it in a music store. Online platforms like Amazon and eBay, as well as specialized music websites, present an array of Palmer guitars. These online spaces can turn into goldmines for the best deals and discounts. But remember, cost should not be your single guiding light. Keep in mind the nuanced differences this brand offers in terms of sound, quality, and accessories.

Palmer runs the gamut from affordable to luxury, embodying its commitment to make music accessible to all. However, remember, owning a guitar is more than just paying its upfront price. It’s an investment. Not only in terms of the ongoing maintenance it demands, but more so, in your musical journey that it can potentially enrich.

Whether you’re just tiptoeing into the world of strums and chords or you’ve already composed your symphony, the right partner can tune the rhythm of your progress. And with my years of expertise in guitar making, I can assure you that a Palmer guitar can be that partner, facilitating your musical growth with its balanced juxtaposition of quality, sound, and financial accessibility.


What is the quality of Palmer Acoustic guitars?

Palmer Acoustic guitars are known for their superior quality and craftsmanship. These guitars are constructed with top-quality materials which account for their durability, longevity, and consistent sound performance. Every guitar goes through detailed quality checks to ensure the best standards are met.

How is the sound of a Palmer Acoustic guitar?

Palmer Acoustic guitars produce a rich, full and resonant sound that appeals to a wide range of musicians. These guitars feature excellent tonal balance and good projection, making them suitable for both solo and ensemble play. Whether you’re strumming chords or picking out single-note melodies, you’ll find the sound of a Palmer guitar to be distinct and pleasing.

What kind of accessories come with Palmer Acoustic guitars?

Palmer Acoustic guitars come with a variety of accessories to enhance your playing experience and maintain the guitar. These often include a high-quality guitar bag, strap, picks, a set of replacement strings, and sometimes even a stand or a tuner. This makes them an excellent value proposition for both beginners and seasoned musicians.


Being a luthier has taught me that it’s not just about crafting an instrument; it’s an everlasting journey of learning and understanding the intricate world of guitars. This intimate relationship with the art is what has made my review of Palmer guitars a deep dive into the heart and soul of acoustic guitars.

I hope that through the journey we’ve embarked upon together, from the initial overview of Palmer acoustic guitars, through the comparisons and detailed investigations into quality, performance, and sound, you’re now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision. So, do you know enough now to make an informed decision about Palmer acoustic guitars?

Diving into the intricacies of a Palmer guitar, from its nuances while playing to the sound quality it produces has been an enlightening endeavour. The inclusion of the essential accessories that come with a Palmer acoustic guitar only enhances the overall value, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to a comprehensive understanding of what you’re investing in.

After a detailed evaluation, it’s evident that Palmer guitars offer a blend of quality, sound, and features that cater to the needs of both beginner and experienced guitar players. Whether its the warmth of the acoustic or the versatility of the electric-acoustic, Palmer extends a range for everyone.

Moreover, the overall affordability of Palmer guitars without compromising on quality or performance is a key highlight. Exploring multiple purchase options ensures you find one that aligns with your preferences and needs.

In conclusion, I believe that Palmer acoustic guitars certainly offer value for money with their unique features and sound quality. From the wood quality to the intricate construction details and accessories, Palmer has proven to drive a product targeted towards guitar enthusiasts who value quality and performance.

All things considered, the final decision is in your hands. I just hope I’ve been able to arm you with everything you need to make it a well-informed one. As always, feel free to delve into the FAQs for further insights. Remember, choosing the right guitar should reflect your musical journey and aspirations. Here’s to making the best choice for you!

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