Price paid: £ 299
Purchased from: Skylark Guitars
Features: Not sure about year of manufacture, but it's fairly recent. Solid AA grade spruce top, scalloped x-brace solid sapele roundback body with gloss finish, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Plastic nut and saddle, EQ4 under saddle transducer, semi enclosed tuners (both more of later) It looks stunning, tho' is deceptively heavy, and came with a fitted hard case. The roundback body is constructed of 9 separate pieces of sapele, with a lighter wood separating them giving it a striking striped appearance. // 9
Sound: This is the first nylon strung guitar I've played since my schooldays, so I'm no expert, but it sounds good to me and my guitar tech echoed this opinion. The EQ is excellent, with bass, middle, treble, presence and volume options, giving a wide choice of tone. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The action was a tad high for my liking, tho' I appreciate the lower tension of nylon strings means a higher action is needed, it still played well. Overall, the actual finish was superb, tho' problems soon appeared with the transducer and later, a tuner. The transducer problem was that the volume across all 6 strings was hopelessly unbalanced, the G string drowned the rest while the top E was barely audible, then came a tuner issue. The top E tuner soon packed up, I could only tune it so far before the cog started slipping, unforgivable on a guitar at this price imo. // 5
Reliability & Durability: It'll be for home use only in my case, but I would imagine it standing up to live use quite easily. No strap buttons fitted as standard, tho' Skylark supplied a pair for me to do so should I wish. I have noticed the finish on the headstock seems rather thin compared to the body and could mark easily if care isn't taken. // 6
Overall Impression: I notified Skylark about the transducer issue and it was returned, at their cost and this was put right, a big thumbs up for that. On return however and but a few days later the tuner issue started. Again I notified Skylark and was promised a replacement set of tuners, but as they were slow in arriving, I bought a set of chrome coloured Grovers, which are vastly superior to the stock tuners.
It has since been in for a full setup, fret dress, etc, my tech has managed to lower the action to match, if not beat, most steel strung acoustics. It now plays as well as it looks and sounds.
I wouldn't buy another if it was stolen, but that's not to say I don't think it's worth the money, imo it is. The idea behind my getting it was to hopefully replace my other acoustic, which is a tad too bright when recording, and the Skylarks mellow tone does that easily. // 7