ZAD80CE Review

manufacturer: Zager date: 05/06/2013 category: Acoustic Guitars
Zager: ZAD80CE
This is a standard dreadnought cutaway style acoustic electric guitar. Great fit and finish. Beautiful detailing. Electronics are pro grade.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.8
 Features: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.7 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 45 
reviews (5) pictures (3) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
ZAD80CE Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 02, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1000

Purchased from: Zager online

Features: Guitar ordered and delivered the next day It has a minor blemish that I have yet to find. The finish and inlay work is excellent and the playing is very easy. I have a Martin D28 from 1984 and this guitar plays easier all up and down the neck. I would say that the tone is at least as good as the Martin. I know it will get better as I play it more. It came with a well built case with a gauge for humidity as part of the case. Active electronics by Fishman, with 5 tones and a tuner were included. Grover tuners, and a free lesson and a weed of access to the video library lessons were included. // 10

Sound: I play a variety of styles, often just with myself. This guitar has good sound with a nice bass tone. It is easy to fingerpick and the notes sound clear. The electronics allow me to change the tone when played through an amp but the sound is both bright and full without amplification. I am going to have to not play so hard as this guitar sounds full and loud without heavy flat picking or finger picking. I have a Fender acoustic amp that has reverb and chorus. With the brightness control on the Fishman pickup I can get a lot of control right at the guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came out of the box ready to play. It had a final inspection by the owner, Dennis Zager before it was shipped. It had dropped half a tone on some of the strings so the included tuner was necessary to bring it back into tune. The temperature today is closes to 80 and it was in a UPS truck until noon, so that would account for the slight change. I can see nothing wrong with the guitar as it arrived. As I said, I received a discount on the guitar because there was a flaw on the head stock. I cannot find it so it must have been very small. The guitar still has a full warranty and guarantee even with the reduced price. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar seems to be very sturdy but does not seem heavy. The bracisn is well done and the workmanship is very clean. It fits together perfectly and there is no sign of bad workmanship. The finish is well done and consistent around the guitar. The inlays are precise and fit with no rough spots or snags. It feels smooth and as I look inside the guitar the same high level of finish is found there. The tuners are grover and of the same high quality as the rest of the guitar. I can see this guitar lasting for a long time with the sound only getting better as it ages. // 10

Overall Impression: I play contemporary fold, blues and this is a good match for me. I have a Martin that I will not be playing with this new guitar. I usually play acoustic but sometimes use a Fender acoustic amp. This guitar will let me adjust the volume at the guitar instead of needing to go to the amp to adjust tone and volume. If I lost this guitar I would definitely get another one. As I said it is only one day old but I already like it so much that I am writing a review. I would encourage anyone to take a look at this guitar when they are buying a new instrument. The workmanship, sound, and customer service are all top rate. // 10

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overall: 9
ZAD80CE Reviewed by: Chris Lester, on may 06, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Zager online

Features: This is a 2013 Zager ZAD80CE acoustic guitar. Here are the specifics taken from their website: - Style: Dreadnought - Style: Venetian Cutaway - Top: Western Red Cedar - Back & Sides: Indian Rosewood - Neck: Mahogany - Headstock: Indian Rosewood - Bracework: Zager Design (hand scalloped) - Inlay: Full Abalone - Fret Marker: Pearl Cross - Pick Guard: Tortoise Shell - Pickguard: Gloss Black - Back Detail: Zipper Stripe - Finish: High Gloss - Truss Rod: Custom Adjustment Setting - Built In Transducer: Genuine Fishman - Built in Automatic Tuner: Genuine Fishman - Built in Equalizer: Genuine Fishman - Tuning Machines: Genuine Grover - Nut: Zager Hand Carved - Saddle: Tusq Hand Carved - Strings: Zager Custom Lights (by Martin) - Frets: Zager Soft Touch (hand filed) - Warranty: Lifetime - Dimensions: 41 x 20 x 11 - Hardshell case // 9

Sound: This guitar is perfect for my style of playing which covers country, rock, pop, folk, etc. The Zager has a nice full sound without being boomy or having a harsh top end. The Fishman electronics are great and sound incredible plugged in. I have had quite a few Fishman products but this combination is my favorite so far. There is no noise added when you bring the treble EQ up in volume which is usually the case with my other guitars. I usually run the guitar into a mixer and then into my JBL speakers. If I'm on tour then it goes into a direct box and then to the front of the house PA. I think the Zager can cover any style of music. It's very versatile and does picking or finger style equally well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The setup was outstanding. Normally I bring my new guitars to my luthier to set them up but this was perfect for my tastes. Obviously everyone is different but I was very happy with it. The top and back have beautiful bookmatching and the abalone inlay is a nice touch. The was a minor scraping sound against the frets when I would bend strings but it was minimal and seems to be decreasing the more that I play the guitar. Certainly nothing to raise concerns with but I thought that I would mention it. All of the hardware was properly secured. The tuning machine work really well and there wasn't any issues with tuning stability. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will hold up just fine for my touring and local live playing needs. It is built as solid as any other guitar that I have owned. It seems to be perfectly dependable and I have had absolutely no issues with it. I don't forsee any problems with the finish or hardware. I would use this guitar with no backup at a gig but I always bring a backup no matter how reliable the guitar is. I can be fairly hard on my guitars but the Zager is solid. I can't wait to hear it through a big PA system in a few weeks on tour. // 9

Overall Impression: I play pretty much everything as far as style goes (country, rock, blues, folk, pop) and the Zager is perfect for my needs. I have been playing professionally for over 25 years. I have owned Guild, Larrivee, Gibson, Alvarez, Takamine, Kalamzoo, Silvertone, Washburn, Yamaha and other acoustics over the years. They were/are all great guitars but the Zager plays and sounds fantastic and I think this will be my main guitar for quite some time. If it were destroyed or stolen I would absolutely get another one. I may get another one anyway. // 9

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overall: 9.8
ZAD80CE Reviewed by: Louis_090, on october 12, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1195

Purchased from: Zagerguitar.com

Features: Cedar top - Rosewood back and sides (beautiful grains) - Fishman Clearwave60 system including onboard tuner - inlay around entire face - Gold plated Grover tuners - cross fret markers - scalloped bracing - zipper stripe on back - lifetime warranty. This is a standard dreadnought cutaway style acoustic electric guitar. Great fit and finish. Beautiful detailing. Electronics are pro grade. Similar woods to a Taylor 410CE I owned a few years ago that was ruined in an accident ($2300). I also purchased the Zager pro grade ABS case with digital humidity reading and plush interior, leather Zager logo strap, custom Zager picks, custom light gauge strings. Who doesn't love freebies. // 10

Sound: The Cedar will give you that mellow deep sound. I like this because I play in church a lot and so it fits my style to a T. Noisy in a great way. Sound rings out nicely. Rich full sound, yes. It's getting richer as time goes by. Love it. Using a Fishman Loudbox. Nice little amp to go with my nice little guitar. Great combo. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Well Zager's main selling point is their playability so I was excited to test it out myself after reading this and that online. (Part of the reason I'm posting good vibes now). Yep, plays easier than my cheap Seagull, and even my mid-range Martin I must say. I'd have to spend a couple grand to get this sort of action and even then it's not guaranteed. Grains on it are nice to look at. No flaws. They have top notch quality control because they're a rather small family company. // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far so good. Finish is quality. All parts are solid. Amp jack sturdy. I can definitely depend on it, yes. Stays in tune real long. Lifetime warranty is a nice thing to have too. I don't play live other than at service, and this guitar has gained my trust. I keep another in the back room, but haven't needed to use it yet. Zager is a reliable instrument for sure. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a great guitar. For under $1500 for the case and shipping I feel I definitely got my money's worth. It didn't have the upper strap peg but that was an easy fix. I of course would have liked to play the guitar before I bought but the sound demos weren't bad, and I had the money in my wallet to spend... If it didn't work out they would have heard from me the same day UPS dropped it off. Didn't want to return it after that first hour. Great player. I would buy another Zager if something happened, unlike the Taylor 410. When it was gone I felt it was time to try a new brand. I lucked out there. One of my favorite features is the sound but better than that is the nice n easy action. That's my story. // 10

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overall: 10
ZAD80CE Reviewed by: Euripedes Upman, on april 03, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1195

Purchased from: zagerguitars.com

Features: Made in 2012 in the USA. - Style: Dreadnought - Style: Venetian Cutaway - Top: Western Red Cedar - Back & Sides: Indian Rosewood - Neck: Mahogany - Headstock: Indian Rosewood - Bracework: Zager Design (hand scalloped) - Inlay: Full Abalone - Fret Marker: Pearl Cross - Pick Guard: Tortoise Shell - Pickguard: Gloss Black - Back Detail: Zipper Stripe - Finish: High Gloss - Truss Rod: Custom Adjustment Setting - Built In Transducer: Genuine Fishman - Built in Automatic Tuner: Genuine Fishman - Built in Equalizer: Genuine Fishman - Tuning Machines: Genuine Grover - Nut: Zager Hand Carved - Saddle: Tusq Hand Carved - Strings: Zager Custom Lights (by Martin) - Frets: Zager Soft Touch (hand filed) - Warranty: Lifetime - Dimensions: 41 x 20 x 11 A few months ago, I was snooping around on the web, looking for a nice acoustic that would be well suited to finger pick, hoping for a deal on a used Martin or Taylor, when I stumbled onto Zager. Hard to Imagine that they could make a high quality instrument for the prices they're asking. But, because they offer a full refund and free ship both ways, I decided to go for it. Dennis uses Grover tuners and Fishman electronics, and that got my attention. He also includes a set of Zager (Martin) strings, which is a nice touch, too. // 10

Sound: The ZAD80CE has a bright, full sound, a nice ring to it. Stands toe-to-toe with the more expensive Martins and Taylors I've played and heard. As you might expect, the onboard Fishman gear delivers a sweet, clean sound when it's amped up, lots of clarity, great depth and really nice mids and highs. But for my money an acoustic is only as good as the what it sounds like unplugged (I tend to go unplugged anyway), and I like the sound of this Zager a lot. Really wows, and I can't wait to gig with it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Because I've wanted to improve my fingerpicking, I needed a guitar that I could practice with for hours, and this is where the Zager really excels. Action is the lightest and easiest I have ever played. No difficulty anywhere on the fretboard. I've been willing to sacrifice action for sound in the past, but this Zager is giving me a huge dose of both every time I play it. Quite a bit easier to fingerpick the Zager than my other dreadnoughts. Dennis is a professional musician, and he does a top-notch job on the set-up... Even adds some nice extras that I didn't expect, but they were a sweet surprise. This guitar was tuned up and ready to go from the moment I opened the box. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've only had my Zager for a couple of months now, so the test of time is in the works, so to speak, but everything looks, sounds and feels good so far. Particularly loving the Cedar top, the luxurious finish and the nice detail work. Based on what Zager uses (rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck), and after carefully inspecting it, you can say it's well-crafted with the intent to last and be very reliable. All the hardware looks, feels and sounds right. Comes in a nice hardshell case, very plush. // 10

Overall Impression: My Zager has very quickly become my go-to guitar, maybe my favorite of any I've owned. I've got two Adamas', a 6 and a 12, and have been playing them for decades, but I'm picking up my Zager first these days. Excellent bang for the buck. If Dennis ever makes a 12 that sounds and plays like this ZAD80CE, I'll grab it like a shot. What's been beyond impressive is how well the Zagers take care of you after the sale. They've been really nice to me, very helpful and easy to reach. Overall, I'm really happy with this guitar and with the experience of buying it. No question that I'll be buying from Zager again. // 10

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