DR-90S-NA Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 05/12/2011 category: Acoustic Guitars
Epiphone: DR-90S-NA
The DR-90S is a solid top dreadnaught, made of Spruce with mahogany back, sides, neck, and fretboard (14 frets before it joins the body).
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7
 Features: 7
 Overall rating:
 8.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.8 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 9 
review (1) pictures (1) 1 comment vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
DR-90S-NA Reviewed by: MCDarth, on may 12, 2011
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Features: The DR-90S is a solid top dreadnaught, made of Spruce with mahogany back, sides, neck, and fretboard (14 frets before it joins the body). The tuners are not branded, but seem to hold the strings in tune well enough. The DR-90S has a glossy finish, with some issue which I will discuss below. I must also mention that I like most of the branding on the guitar, the Epiphone logo at the top of the headstock looks great as well as the "E" on the pickguard, my only complaint being the "DR" at the base of the headstock, the letters are oddly spaced and it seems like a terrible looking last minute addition, I would've much preferred either nothing there or another "E" much like on some of Epiphone's other models. Worth noting in particular is that on this guitar, unlike so many acoustics, is provided two strap posts/buttons/whatever you want to call them. When purchased new this guitar comes with a gig bag, pitch pipes, a strap, some picks, and an instructional DVD. I picked this guitar up second hand so it came with none of these things therefore I cannot speak to their quality. // 7

Sound: Sound wise it sounds very much like an Acoustic guitar... That is it generally relies on how you pick it and what strings you are using. I'm not entirely sure on the gage used but MusicGoRound strung my particular DR-90S with D'Addario strings they sound very nice, bright, warm, and loud. I have yet to encounter any dead frets though I did check for them (knock on wood) and I'm fairly certain that any buzzing produced by the instrument is mostly due to bad technique on my part. That being said a more expensive guitar will certainly sound better, but in the price range (>$200) it sounds very, very good. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I cannot say how the guitar played directly from the factory, however it was set up very well upon my purchase of it. As I've said previously I do have a few problems with the finish on the guitar, besides some minor errors in the finish itself, the guitar also seems to collect sweat wherever you rest your arm, leaving a residue, not a huge problem I recommend wiping the guitar down with a soft cloth before you put it away. Aside from my minor gripe the guitar is very well put together, I've noticed no flaws in it's overall construction. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I'm sure the DR-90S could handle all but a 1991 Nirvana performance, that is to say unless you're slamming it against an amplifier or something it should be fine, the tuners all seem solid (the strings have barely gone flat after playing nearly all day for several days straight) though I'm sure they will weaken up over time, the strap buttons are solid metal mounted in mahogany so I'm pretty confidant that they will hold up to quite a bit of punishment. The finish is a bit worrisome with my current problems with sweat buildup, after wiping the residue away the finish however remains glossy and nice, if I let it be though I'm sure it wouldn't fare so well over time. Would I use this guitar in a gig without a backup? That depends, as I'm currently using this guitar as a travelling companion/songwriting tool I would happily use this for an impromptu gig at say a friends house without a backup quite confidently. With time to prepare, however, and the opportunity to bring along a spare guitar I certainly would (why wouldn't you?). // 8

Overall Impression: My style of music is all-inclusive, I'll play anything that sounds good and the DR-90S chews right through any tune with me. If my DR-90S were lost or stolen I would buy another one given the opportunity, it's definitely worth the money. The headstock of the DR-90S is really a great shape and it's one of my favorite parts of the guitar, along with the unique two-tone wood grain on the fretboard, I'm also a huge fan of the stylized "E" on the pickguard as I've mentioned. Of course I've already stated my one problem with the design of this guitar, the letters "DR" at the base of the headstock, I have no clue why they are there unless this particular model was designed for a Doctor or something. MY personal impression of this guitar, despite it's flaws, is a 10, it's truly a joy to look at, hold, and play... However nothing is truly perfect. // 9

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