Price paid: A$ 400
Purchased from: Coastal Music
Sound — 10
I play acoustic rock and Folk with this guitar and it suits those styles of music nicely. I rarely use it plugged in, but when I do use it with my Peavey Studio Pro I can get an amplified tone very close to the unplugged tone with eq adjustments. I love the tone of this guitar, unplugged it is dynamic and rich. It can have a deep warm tone or a quite bright tone depending on how you play it, so it is a very expressive guitar. Amplified, the 4 band eq opens up even more tonal variety but I always try to get a faithful reproduction of it's acoustic tone.
Overall Impression — 9
Again, for any kind of acoustic music this guitar would be a good choice. I've been playing for two and a half years, I own an Ashton AG132 electric guitar (great for the price) and an Ibanez RG1570. If this were lost or stolen, I would buy another in a heartbeat. Fantastic value for a great sound and a quality guitar. I love everything about this guitar right down to the looks, and hate nothing. The best thing about it though, is it's expressiveness. I compared this to cheaper Ashtons, and similarly priced guitars from other brands (can't remember which now). In this price range I couldn't find a guitar with better sound or features. Even before I went to the shop I knew this guitar would be one of the best as I was very impressed with the quality of my first Asthon electric guitar. I would recommend Ashton guitars (I don't know about their amps) if you're looking for affordable quality (I know I sound like an ad, but whatever). The only thing I wish it had is the built-in tuner which I believe is now included on this model. Of course, if you spend a lot more for a guitar you're going to get more. But at this price, this guitar lacks nothing.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar handles Live playing with no dramas. I've had this guitar for over a year and everything is as sturdy as when I bought it (and that is very sturdy), so it seems like I'll have this guitar for years. The gold-finished strap buttons are solid, it feels very secure playing with a strap. This guitar is dependable, I would use it on a gig without a backup any and every day of the week. The finish has very minimal signs of wear, so I guess it's going to last as well as the rest of the guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I would prefer the action to be a little lower, but it is very playable. The only flaw it had was that tiny specks of the gold finish on the tuners had been chipped off. Other than that, absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Features — 9
Bought this in early 2007, it's made in China. It has a solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck with dovetail joint, rosewood fretboard and rosewood bridge. The cutaway provides good access to even the very highest fret. The piezo transducer pickup is powered by an ARTEC HT-N Pre-amp with XLR and jack outputs. The preamp controls are volume, 4 band equiliser (bass middle, treble, presence) with notch and mid-band toggle buttons, and a phase button. This guitar also has gold die-cast tuners. No accessories were included with the guitar.