Purchased from: Steves Music Toronto
Sound — 10
This guitar suits my style just fine. I mainly use it to play for church, but I'm more than sure that this guitar is very adaptable for all music styles. My music teacher at school picked it up and played finger style with it, and it sounded amazing. I get a fretbuzz on the low E string because of the low action, and still need to get that fixed. Otherwise, the guitar sounds amazing for what you pay. The sound is very bright, but has a very present bass that isnt "boomy." the sound is clear and crisp. just how a guitar should sound. I compared my guitar to a Takamine, Ovation, and Yamaha. There was no comparison. My guitar definitely sounded the best.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar matches my church music style very much. I've been playing for about half a year, but I have a musical background with piano, clarinet, drums (which is my main instrument), and bass, so picking up the guitar was a breeze for me. I also own a Tama RoyalStar drumset(not that that really has to do with guitars, but the question in the reviews is asking me for instruments), an ESP LTD B-55 bass, and some clarinet made by Amati. If this guitar were to be stolen, I would probably huddle in a corner and cry for a week, then go out and either buy another A&L Cedar CW, A&L Folk Cedar CW, or possibly (if I had the money), a Seagull S6 of some sort, probably a guitar made by Godin (Simon & Patrick, Norman, etc). What I love most about this guitar is the sound I hear when I'm sitting behind it, strumming away. It's looks are quite plain, but still beautiful. It's got a simple inlay(that actually protrudes, so I guess it's an outlay), and has a "sunrise" colour, which looks amazing. There is basically nothing at all, that I hate about this guitar. the only thing I dislike is how hard it is to change the highest strings, but that's a common problem. When I was buying guitars, the only brands I really considered were A&L, Seagull, and Ovation. I had to cross Seagull off my list because it costed a lot more than I could afford. I also took off Ovation because it just wasn't comfortable to play while sitting down. The sound was good, but it sounded a bit one dimensional and flat, whereas the A&L has this percise, bright, but bass-present sound that just makes you want to play the same chord over and over again.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar would be just fine for Live playing. I've already done it a few times. The guitar seems like it'll last for the good 6 or so years I plan to have it before I buy a new guitar (which will probably be a Seagull). My guitar only came with 1 strap button, but the music store I went to installed one on the top for me. it was a simple $1 and 10min job. I can certainly depend on it. If I couldnt get a backup for this guitar at a gig, I would still use it. it's always a better idea to have a backup in case a string snaps, because you never know what will happen. Well, there's not much of a finish to begin with. but that doesn't really concern me. scratches give a guitar character.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is a bit too low, and is giving me fret buzz. It's been about a month since I've got it and still need to get it fixed. The pickups work quite well. The only problem I can see is the finish on the guitar. It's got a matte finish, which means that if I lefy my guitar outside on a windy day, it could probably carve it's name on the top of my guitar. Heck, does it ever scratch easily. I've already for like, 4 scratches in it. Other than the finish, I see no problems.
Features — 10
My guitar was made in 2007 (I'm assuming). It was made in a small town in Quebec, Canada in the same factory that they make Seagull guitars. The top is a solid piece of Cedar. At the store, I was told that the reason that the A&L's had solid Cedar tops is because they come from woods that werent quite good enough for Seagull and the other brands that Godin owns. For the price, I can't complain about this at all. It's still quite a steal. The sides and back of the guitar are laminated cherry wood. The neck is made of silver leaf maple, which is quite smiilar to mahogany. The body style is a dreadnought. the bridge style is your standard acoustic bridge. The Godin Q1 electronics in this thing are very good for the price you pay. It only has volume, bass, and treble, but it should be more than enough for the beginner or even intermediate player. I also got a cutaway for looks. The tuning heads don't have a brand, but they really keep the guitar in tune. I almost never have to tune it. They seem quite solid and will probably last me a while.