Price paid: $ 316
Purchased from: Tom Lee Music
Sound — 6
I like the sound of it. I bought this guitar to replace my classical guitar. I started playing for my church and I needed a different sound and amplification. Like a woman at first she was warm, and full. Almost dreadnought full but without the bigness. I really didn't know what I was looking for in a guitar but to me the tone was pleasing. Later on I longed for brightness. I couldn't cut through the wall of sound coming from the piano, drum and bass even with endless adjusting on the EQ. I was playing through a Behringer's ACX1000. Often I sounded more like a bass than a guitar. It had gotten too warm and I needed to open a window.
Overall Impression — 5
I play mostly modern gospel music. In my spare time I like to play some Eric Clapton, Damien Rice, Ben Harper on this instrument. I have been playing for almost 8 years. The first 5 were spent learning classical guitar. I made a switch to accoustic and transitioning again to electric cause I want to play more than just chords. I also own a classical guitar, 12 string and Fender Strat. If it was lost or stolen I would be a blessing in disguise I think. I am really frustrated with this guitar and it being gone would finally motivate me enough to stop spending my money on snowboard gear and get another guitar. This has left a bad taste in my mouth for Art & Lutherie. I realize this isn't their best product but for your entry level line, it would seriously discourage any one learning on this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 7
It stays in tune fairly well. Construction on this guitar is not a problem. It's a well built tank but I don't want a tank. This is my main instrumet on sundays. I do begin to long for more out of a guitar though. I wouldn't even sell this to my friends who are just learning guitar because the strings are too high and tension is too great that it would discourage any noob. Bar chords are still fatiguing on the fingers. It is easier to bar my 12 string than this one.
Action, Fit & Finish — 3
On board EQ. The first compromise I noticed was the really basic onboard EQ. Only three adjustments. I also had to remove the strings before I could replace the batteries. This has resulted in me asking little children to reach inside with their small little hands to get the battery out for me. Action. After a year my playing style changed from simple chords near the head of the guitar to denser chords and some solo's higher up the fret. My fingers kept stumbling. At first I thought it was because I was use to playing a classical guitar with nylon strings but I still got cramps even after a year holding down bar chords. After a comparison with my friends Tak D series I realized how high the action was. In fact I dare you to find a guitar with higher action. The bridge I have named Golden Gate cause it reaches to the sky. I sanded the bridge down to half the height only to come into two problems. Massive fret buzzing that I first though was due to the gauage of my strings. Secondly the pickup wouldn't register a signal from my high E string. I took it into the music store and the sales man said the reason why these guitars come with such a high bridge is because the pickup is cheap. This guitar needs a stuntman cause the action is way too high and there is really nothing you can do about it without worry about your pickups. Pickups. The pickup needs a certain amount of tension on it from the bridge and a sever angle is needed fromt he strings to the bridge to create that tension. Basically the high bridge is nessary. Also the pickup is very fragile. Scratching the surface can cause an intruption in the signal and render the pick useless (which was pretty basic to begin with). The though of swaping out the pickups did cross my mind but I have grown tired of the tone and I really don't want to invest anymore money into this guitar.
Features — 5
This was my first electric accoustic. This guitar was a instrument of compromise. I later realized this about a year into the purchase after I really started advancing in my skills and moving up the fretboard. Made of Cedar with a rosewood fretboard. 21 frets. It came with D'Addario light strings that I have stuck with. I also liked the clean finish. Onboard EQ but I mention more about that later.