#1
Hello all. I was hoping I could obtain some feedback from this site as to whether I should keep my newly acquired Zager or return it and buy something else.

Allow me to provide some background on myself. You could classify me as a novice with very little guitar knowledge. I've been learning guitar and decided I wanted something nicer and a little easier to play than my now sold Alvarez RD8. This lead me to eventually buying a Zager ZAD50CE (http://www.zagerguitar.com/guitars/zad50cespecial). Zager allows you to buy and try the guitar, and if you don't like it, they pay return shipping and provide you a refund. It appears to be made from the same factory that makes Sigma. I believe it comes to Zager for finishing. The closest model to mine appears to be this one: http://www.sigma-guitars.com/index.php?id=257

Now, here's where I'm at. I've had the guitar for ~ a week now, and since that time, I've stumbled upon a lot of naysayers throughout the forums for Zagers guitars. Initially, prior to purchase, I read all of the favorable responses on this guitar. What I'm having trouble with is delineating between the honest favorable reviews and the perceived Zager planted reviews. I'm also having trouble delineating between the members on the forum that have owned or played a Zager versus those that are merely regurgitating what they've heard/read from others. I'm hoping to obtain feedback from those that have owned or played these guitars.

I should add that during the last week I have spent a decent amount of time at the only two guitar stores in my local area. Similar guitars to mine with cut away/pre-amp available locally that I played are:
- Crafter GAE8/N: When really hammered on by the salesman, the guitar sounded like it outperformed the Zager 2:1. That being said, I don't think I will ever really hammer on a guitar like that man. Perhaps more importantly, the neck felt somewhat chunky.
- Alvarez (~$500 model): Sorry...didn't get the name. This seemed like a similar guitar to the Zager.
- Art & Lutherie--one of the CW models: This played well but the con to these is the durability to the finish.
- Yamaha FJX720SC: This also appeared similar to the Zager.

When comparing the Zager to the other guitars, it appears comparable. It has:
- Solid Sitka Spruce top
- HPL Mahogany sides/back
- Mahogany neck
- Grover tuners

The Zager has played well for me and I've certainly played it longer than I ever played my Alvarez. I did just recently change the strings from X-light to light to see how it changes the tone.

You can probably tell that I don't know much. Ultimately, I want to make sure I can live and grow with the guitar I settle with. I'm asking for those with personal experience on these guitars provide some feedback. Thnx!!!
Last edited by grimloktt at Feb 12, 2014,
#2
if only for the sake of your sanity and honor, send it back ! they rank right up there with Estebans and First Acts( i actually have more respect for forst act, they're honest about what you get).
never, ever tell anyone that you were the guy that bought it.
hope this helps. i'm trying to be as impartial as i can.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#4
Thank you for your responses. As mentioned, I'm looking for informed responses. So, if you could provide rationale for your recommendations, that'd be ideal.
#5
I would not spend any time on Zager period. You have been already given the best and most honest advice . Send It Back!!! Cheers
#6
Thank you for your replies. Since originally posting, I was able to search and read through all the threads on this site that contained the word Zager. I believe I now have the information needed to make an informed decision.
#7
You have posted once in 2 years, and it just happens to be about Zager. Now you believe you have all the info you need. Just dig a hole stick the skinny end in, and use it for target practise. Cheers
#8
Quote by grimloktt
Hello all. I was hoping I could obtain some feedback from this site as to whether I should keep my newly acquired Zager or return it and buy something else.

Allow me to provide some background on myself. You could classify me as a novice with very little guitar knowledge. I've been learning guitar and decided I wanted something nicer and a little easier to play than my now sold Alvarez RD8. This lead me to eventually buying a Zager ZAD50CE (http://www.zagerguitar.com/guitars/zad50cespecial). Zager allows you to buy and try the guitar, and if you don't like it, they pay return shipping and provide you a refund. It appears to be made from the same factory that makes Sigma. I believe it comes to Zager for finishing. The closest model to mine appears to be this one: http://www.sigma-guitars.com/index.php?id=257

Now, here's where I'm at. I've had the guitar for ~ a week now, and since that time, I've stumbled upon a lot of naysayers throughout the forums for Zagers guitars. Initially, prior to purchase, I read all of the favorable responses on this guitar. What I'm having trouble with is delineating between the honest favorable reviews and the perceived Zager planted reviews. I'm also having trouble delineating between the members on the forum that have owned or played a Zager versus those that are merely regurgitating what they've heard/read from others. I'm hoping to obtain feedback from those that have owned or played these guitars.

I should add that during the last week I have spent a decent amount of time at the only two guitar stores in my local area. Similar guitars to mine with cut away/pre-amp available locally that I played are:
- Crafter GAE8/N: When really hammered on by the salesman, the guitar sounded like it outperformed the Zager 2:1. That being said, I don't think I will ever really hammer on a guitar like that man. Perhaps more importantly, the neck felt somewhat chunky.
- Alvarez (~$500 model): Sorry...didn't get the name. This seemed like a similar guitar to the Zager.
- Art & Lutherie--one of the CW models: This played well but the con to these is the durability to the finish.
- Yamaha FJX720SC: This also appeared similar to the Zager.

When comparing the Zager to the other guitars, it appears comparable. It has:
- Solid Sitka Spruce top
- HPL Mahogany sides/back
- Mahogany neck
- Grover tuners

The Zager has played well for me and I've certainly played it longer than I ever played my Alvarez. I did just recently change the strings from X-light to light to see how it changes the tone.

You can probably tell that I don't know much. Ultimately, I want to make sure I can live and grow with the guitar I settle with. I'm asking for those with personal experience on these guitars provide some feedback. Thnx!!!
You'll never know what a joy it is for us to explain that, "Zagerization", is merely a run of the mill, doable by almost anyone, "setup".

There are videos on YouTube about setting up an acoustic, any number of fine tutorials on the subject, not to mention that quite a few brands come playable right out of the box.

So, all the ad hype that Mr. Zager puts into his sales effort, all the deceptive language and pictures, really don't stand up to the information availability, and commonality of interests, now in play on the web.

So now ask yourself, "In the year 2525, will bullshit still survive"?

BTW, all around the web, many of these posts start with the same question as yours. Since you seem to be on a ""quest for knowledge", here's a 24 page thread @ Harmony Central", captioned pretty much the same as yours: http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Acoustic-Guitars/Zager-yes-this-post-is-different/td-p/15158003/page/23

I'll accept that as the last word, and you should as well.

Plus, it'll save me a crap load of typing. (Not to mention I could care less what you do with your Zager guitar).
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 15, 2014,
#9
Quote by tuxs
You have posted once in 2 years, and it just happens to be about Zager. Now you believe you have all the info you need. Just dig a hole stick the skinny end in, and use it for target practise. Cheers


I'll expand. Since my post above, I've had more time to use the search function in this and Harmony Central forums and read tons of posts on Zagers. The recurring theme is that Zager used Sigma type guitars, applied a setup and sold them for a mark-up. From my research, the closest Sigmas are (retailing for $740):
http://www.sigma-guitars.com/index.php?id=257
http://www.sigma-guitars.com/index.php?id=426

Here they are on ebay (selling for ~$700):
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=sigma+drc-28e+guitar&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=2
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIGMA-OMRC-28E-CHITARRA-ACUSTICA-ELETTRIFICATA-SERIE-STANDARD-OOO-/131039007113?pt=Chitarre_Acustiche&hash=item1e82889189

I payed $695 for mine from Zager. So, perhaps I payed ~$100-150 for set-up and lifetime warranty over what it cost them to get the guitar. "Lifetime on all guitars. A quality instrument should last a lifetime and if it doesn't it wasn't a quality instrument to begin with."

Now, the Sigmas aren't exactly like the Zagers in that they don't have the same wood combinations nor abalone inlay. So, it reasons that the same plant that made the Sigmas make the Zagers to similar specs, albiet not a Sigma. Then, as everyone mentioned, it gets shipped to NE to receive a setup.

The construct and materials appear similar to similarly priced local guitars.

So, in the end, I feel like I know what I bought, what approximate quality it is and that I also paid for the setup. Do I believe the setup is magic compared to setup that can be had locally? No. However, I do feel Zager did apply a setup that does help a novice guitar player.

P.S. Here is a long thread I read through and participated in on Harmony Central: http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Acoustic-Guitars/Zager-guitars/m-p/36399451#M581576

Thnx for those that replied!
Last edited by grimloktt at Feb 15, 2014,
#10
don't understand what all the commotion is about. the guitar is beautiful..it plays great. the sound is great. i don't care who made it. It is wonderful
#11
Quote by mkelly415
don't understand what all the commotion is about. the guitar is beautiful..it plays great. the sound is great. i don't care who made it. It is wonderful
So, why were you so moved to join today, post to a dead thread, and tell us all about your new guitar?
#12
troll under the bridge ! there's a troll under the bridge !!!
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#13
I have a Zager 80 and I love it. I sold my Taylor 210 ce to buy my Zager. Give your guitar playing a year or so to develop. Practice, practice, practice and then decide which guitar is best for you. I wouldn't trade my Zager for any of the Taylors. Maybe I would trade it for one of the high end Martins, maybe.
My guitar teacher told me my Zager was very high in quality, and its Voice-tone was one of the best he has heard.
BTW the Zager people are wonderful to work with, Taylor was not.

I do not work for Zager as some of these folks have suggested. I think a person should play a Zager a week or so before they make rash comments about this guitar. I don't care where it is made it is a very nice guitar. If you think All the Taylors or Martins are made in the USA you don't know what you are talking about.
Last edited by charlie636 at Jul 29, 2014,
#14
Why do the people at Zager insist on plaguing this site with their bullshit? It's so transparent and annoying. Anyone with a handful of brain cells will see this marketing scheme and be turned off to the manufacturer and want nothing to do with it.

If I ever see a Zager guitar in my life, I'd be tempted to smash it to bits.

/rant
#15
Quote by chrismendiola
Why do the people at Zager insist on plaguing this site with their bullshit? It's so transparent and annoying. Anyone with a handful of brain cells will see this marketing scheme and be turned off to the manufacturer and want nothing to do with it.

If I ever see a Zager guitar in my life, I'd be tempted to smash it to bits.

/rant
I think he's using web robots. The join date is always the same as the post date. With a commercial email account, I expect you can trump up as many disposable email addresses as you please.

I wouldn't call Zager a "manufacturer". These are strictly Asian OEM imports re-branded.

He likes to try and make you think they're USA made, by displaying heaps of boxes at his site, with "USA" stamped on the side.

I just bought an Epiphone, which is actually made, (very nicely, I might add), in Indonesia by Sammick. Epiphone brings the guitars into the USA and has them setup here. It's not the same bullshit extravaganza though. The call it the same as we would, "setup and quality inspection", not some "Zagerization" nonsense.....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 28, 2014,
#16
Quote by Captaincranky
I think he's using web robots. The join date is always the same as the post date. With a commercial email account, I expect you can trump up as many disposable email addresses as you please.

I wouldn't call Zager a "manufacturer". These are strictly Asian OEM imports re-branded.

He likes to try and make you think they're USA made, by displaying heaps of boxes at his site, with "USA" stamped on the side

Some of them reply with relevant responses, so I doubt they're spambots. Either way, what I really meant by "people" was those who work at/for Zager, and how this passes for them as a reasonable marketing scheme.
#17
Quote by chrismendiola
Some of them reply with relevant responses, so I doubt they're spambots. Either way, what I really meant by "people" was those who work at/for Zager, and how this passes for them as a reasonable marketing scheme.
Don't be so sure. A web robot named "Willy", boosted the price of a bitcoin to $1200.00, before millions in the crypto currency mysteriously disappeared.

You may be right, but web robots can be seemingly be more articulate than the bot net crap you're used to seeing, advertising stolen credit cards and fake ID.

Short story on Mt Gox Bitcoin Exchange collapse: http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/news/report-mtgox-fraud-led-to-1200-bitcoin-price/2014/05/25

EDIT: A "web robot" isn't always what you think it is. In their most prevalent form, they locate and index data. This is how Google can return, ten gazillion search results, in 1/10 of a second.

In any event, Zager's "indoctrinee's" posts usually occur on the first day they join, and read very mechanically, as would a form letter. There are many forums on the web concerned with acoustic guitars, and by extension, possible Zager customers.

Does Zager hit every one of these sites daily, and by manual means. That seems a daunting task, when you consider he should be "Zagerizing" guitar by the gross.

This leads me to believe the system could be partly by program, and partly by humans. A hybrid, "bot/windbag" joint effort, so to speak.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 28, 2014,
#18
I have a few questions.

How much did you pay for the Zager compared to the cost of the Sigma you think is similar?

What gauge strings do they feel like, compared to the ones you used on the Alvarez?

Did you ever have a set up done on the Alvarez, or had it checked recently?

What I'm getting is that all acoustics need a good set up, and that costs maybe $100. If the premium on the Zager was much more than that then it isn't a good choice. You would be better off choosing a guitar you like, then paying for a set up. Also Zager might be using very light strings to improve the feel of the guitar, but it will be at the expense of tonal potential.

If your only argument against the Alavarez was playability, then a good set up would probably have fixed that.

FWIW, I played some of the ew Sigmas recently, and thought they sounded pretty good.
#19
Quote by Tony Done
I have a few questions....[ ].....
Tony, an honest to god zager guitar owner, needs to be talked down and brought back to reality by trained professionals, not unlike the treatment given to those rescued from a cult.

They are brainwashed in every sense of the word, and mindlessly repeat the dogma of their, "captors".
#20
Quote by Captaincranky
Tony, an honest to god zager guitar owner, needs to be talked down and brought back to reality by trained professionals, not unlike the treatment given to those rescued from a cult.

They are brainwashed in every sense of the word, and mindlessly repeat the dogma of their, "captors".

and if that fails... there's always the grape Kool-Aid option
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#21
When I first decided I would try the guitar I listened to all the reviews, good and bad and decided it was worth a try because action is one of the most important things about a guitar to me. The negativity about Zager guitars was hard for me to fathom. I mean, if you don't like a guitar fine but it almost seemed to me like people who didn't like Zager's had a personal vendetta. But any way with their pay shipping both ways back guarantee I felt I had nothing to lose. BTW, I am not a bot, my name is Harp and I'm on Face Book, I live in Western Mass. I've been playing over 30 years, I play in a band called Friends With Benefits and I play electric also. I've pretty much played every well known brand out there. I'm going to do a longer review when I figure out how to do that but for this thread just let me say, I am beyond thrilled with my Zager. I've heard a lot of the nay sayers talking about how easy it is to set up the action on a guitar and that may be so but I haven't seen anyone do it yet. Not like this guitar. I've never played a guitar like this. I've only had it a few days and I love it more each day. My fingers feel like they are flying over the fret board. I feel musically reborn. I expected the guitar to sound good but not as good as my other. Well, it blew mine away. I honestly feel you could pay $5,000 for a guitar and not get a better sounding instrument. Obviously, people have their preferences, you may like Adelle more than Jewell but can you honestly say one is better than the other? For me I love my Zager, and every day I love her more and more. I wish I had known about this guitar 30 years ago but I intend to make up for lost time. Oh for what it is worth, mine is the 80ZAD CE.
#22
OK first, welcome to UG. It's the place to pontificate about Zager guitars! However, I'm one of the staunchest agnostics here.

I am, and will always remain, mystified as to why people join the site to the singular end of running on about much better their new Zager is, than any other guitar on the planet, regardless of race, creed, price, or national origin.

First keep in mind there is no such thing as a "Zager"guitar. These are Asian OEM guitars, branded for Zager. Many believe they are Sigma guitars. Thus it follows logically, a Sigma should sound as good as an equivalent Zager.

The state of guitar quality vs price has never been better around the world. Excepting of course, for the people who manufacture them. They work for slave wages.

With that being said, there are so many quality OEMs across the entire Pacific Rim. It gives one pause to wonder how clever Bob Zager must be, to always manage to get the product which sounds better than most, if not all, the most expensive and highly regarded guitars on the planet.

As someone who is here touting their, "over 30 years of playing experience", you'd think you'd have a roadie or three, to do your setups for you by now. Or, at the very least, know how to set one up yourself.

All of the regulars here are capable of, "Zagarizing" our guitars, without help from any guru, mystic, or one hit wonder.

We would like to think we can judge sound quality and perform routine maintenance on our instruments in an autonomous manner, without interference, and pass that information on to newcomers at the forum without any cost to them. This would be for the sole end of helping them obtain satisfaction and better playing quality, in order for them to continue in their pursuit of music.

However, the individuals who join to the perhaps selfish sole end of assistance with a problem,will always receive more respect than the Zagar zealot who joins to assault us with outrageous, hyperbolic, blather, about some new Asian guitar.

Now "HNGD" threads need to be accompanied with pictures, perhaps a sound clip, and a review of the instrument.

Zager owners threads never seem to meet these criterion, and most likely should be reported and then removed.

As you pointed out, you'll most likely start a thread about your new guitar. When you do, please heed the regulations I posted above.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 29, 2014,
#23
Quote by nutsorry4u
When I first decided I would try the guitar I listened to all the reviews, good and bad and decided it was worth a try because action is one of the most important things about a guitar to me. The negativity about Zager guitars was hard for me to fathom. I mean, if you don't like a guitar fine but it almost seemed to me like people who didn't like Zager's had a personal vendetta. But any way with their pay shipping both ways back guarantee I felt I had nothing to lose. BTW, I am not a bot, my name is Harp and I'm on Face Book, I live in Western Mass. I've been playing over 30 years, I play in a band called Friends With Benefits and I play electric also. I've pretty much played every well known brand out there. I'm going to do a longer review when I figure out how to do that but for this thread just let me say, I am beyond thrilled with my Zager. I've heard a lot of the nay sayers talking about how easy it is to set up the action on a guitar and that may be so but I haven't seen anyone do it yet. Not like this guitar. I've never played a guitar like this. I've only had it a few days and I love it more each day. My fingers feel like they are flying over the fret board. I feel musically reborn. I expected the guitar to sound good but not as good as my other. Well, it blew mine away. I honestly feel you could pay $5,000 for a guitar and not get a better sounding instrument. Obviously, people have their preferences, you may like Adelle more than Jewell but can you honestly say one is better than the other? For me I love my Zager, and every day I love her more and more. I wish I had known about this guitar 30 years ago but I intend to make up for lost time. Oh for what it is worth, mine is the 80ZAD CE.



First off, I think it is great that you recognise the importance of set up. The fact that you are happy with the guitar is a big thing, because it means you will want to play it.

I don't know much about these guitars, but most of the negativity seems to come from the marketing methods more than the instruments themselves.

I did a bit of research. You paid about $1300 for it, for which you get (I assume, because it isn't specified) a solid cedar top and laminated rosewood b&s. You can check the laminated thing by comparing the grain patterns on the inside and outside of the back if you think I'm wrong. That is a classic combination discovered by Takamine decades ago for brightening up laminated b&s guitars. IMO, great for fingerpicking, and similar combinations are found in many good (fingerpicking) guitars I've tried at less than half the price of yours. However, IMO it lacks headroom for heavy duty flatpicking.

Each to his own, but for less than that kind of $ I would have been looking at an MIM Taylor 200 series, and a good set up. Those Taylors have a good reputation and reasonable resale value, and the bolt-on neck is easily reset with a couple of shims in a few minutes. This means that they should last a very long time without high maintenance cost. I've played a few, and they are one of my all-time favourite guitar series for design and construction, though the very open sound isn't my cup of tea.
#24
I have a Zager ZAD80ce. it's almost identical to my Samick guitar. the samick doesn't have as much bling and the headstock isn't Martin-esque like the Zager. other than that, they are identical. same woods, size, preamp. even the fret markers are the same. they play the same, they sound the same except the zager has what I figure to be uber-ultra lights and the samick is strung with mediums as a dread should be. I won't tell you how much I paid for either but new, the samick was much much less than the lightly used zager.
the only reason I bought the zager was to see for myself what you Ad-Bots keep preaching. all the regulars here will tell you that I'm prone to doing stupid things like that. I spend a lot of money on guitars just so that I can offer a real opinion here to the members that haven't tried them. I don't offer an opinion on a guitar unless I've spent a few hours on it at least.
the zad80 doesn't play/sound any better than the samick. the samick(which has the correct string gauge for a dread IMO) has a lot more tone and depth than the zager. the zagar is a touch easier to play but that's because the strings are so light.
there's no way that it sounds better than my taylors and martins. your zager will never sound as good sonically as my $5000 custom taylor or even my lower end 324. I can state that because I own both . heck even my GS mini pushes out more volume !
(yeah Cranky, if you were a righty, I'd send ya the zager so you can really have a good laugh.. and an experienced opinion on them)
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
Last edited by stepchildusmc at Jul 29, 2014,
#25
Quote by stepchildusmc
...[ ].....(yeah Cranky, if you were a righty, I'd send ya the zager so you can really have a good laugh.. and an experienced opinion on them)
Hot damn! I'll start a thread asking if I can restring it for a lefty, forthwith!

Apparently, I keep referring to Mr. Zager as "Bob", when his real name is, "Dennis, Denny", or something along those line. Does this mean I'm sorry, or that I intend to stop? No, it does not. "Bob" and "Bot" are so conveniently close in spelling, and in keeping with the indoctrinated nature of Mr. Zager's minions.

I investigated this morning to determine why one's fingers, "fly all over the fret board" on a "Zagerized" guitar.

It seems Bot isn't adverse to dropping other's names when it's to his convenience.

It turns out the Zager's are strung with, "Zager Custom Lights, (by Martin)". Those are strings for girly men, plain and simple. My Sonoran has them, I'm using them to see if I can't stop the soundboard from showing signs of pregnancy. Did you ever notice that, "pregnancy", ends with "Nancy".....

Well I have to say, my fingers fly all over that fret board too, especially now that I've "Crankified", the action...
#26
I have had a Zager 20 since February and I love it. I have the 80 cde on order now,but it will be awhile until I pay it off.

I also have 2 ovations,one an old Balladeer from the 70's,and a celebrity deluxe about 4 years old.

I have had a Martin D35 since 1977 also and the Martin has bigger volume,but the Zager has a great sound. I like the Zager so far.The Ovations are just ok in my opinion. I bought the Ovation Balladeer for rough use..camping,etc.

Everyone enjoy your guitar and be happy with what it can do with the right operator.