Price paid: $ 835.24
Purchased from: Billy Hyde
Sound — 8
The spruce top and maple back and sides make for a very bright, tighter sounding guitar. The guitar has a lovely resonance that it holds right along all of it's 21 frets. In comparison to rosewood and mahogany guitars some may find it a little quiet, but in all honesty it produces more than enough volume for my requirements and it doesn't overpower my weak voice when singing along. The guitar certainly can't compete against higher end Matons, Martins and Taylors, but it will match or better anything else in it's price range and believe me I've played pretty well much everything around this price bracket. If your an Australian, you really won't find a better bang for you buck. It's just as good as a Maton E325C for a much more acceptable price. I would rate it's performance plugged in but I really have only plugged it in when in store, so my experience is limited here. Though from what I heard it was pretty impressive.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been for 17 years (God, that a lot longer than I thought) and play blues, rock and folk music. I'm mainly an electric player and this is my first real foray into the world of acoustics. I did a lot of research and played a lot of guitars before settling on the FL1AC, it had all the features and the quality of sound at a price that I could stomach. I am 100% happy with my purchase and whilw there are certainly better guitars out there, the bang for your buck you get with the Cole Clark is impossible to beat. Please note I've rated this guitar on value for money, not just on how good it is in comparison to every guitar ever made.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I believe it will stand up as well as any other acoustic out there. Of course the wood is solid and has a satin finish, so a certain degree of care must be taken with it, but this is no different to any quality guitar. But apart from that it feels as solid as a rock, albeit suprisingly light.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar is unique in its design as it incorprates classic spanish 'neck in body' design combined with modern computer routing, which makes for a very accurately made guitar. I haven't come across any flaws in the 6 weeks I've owned it. Personally I found the factory action to high, but as said that is a personal preference, others may like it.
Features — 9
Cole Clark are a small Australian based manufacturer and their Fat Lady series of acoustics are emerging as the only local competitor to the very dominent Maton range. This particular model is a 2006 made cutaway Fat Lady 1 Dreadnaught. It's an A grade solid spruce top with Queensland maple back and sides, Grover tuners and Cole Clark electronics. As a cool bonus, Cole Clark are small enough that they still hand write the interior labels, doesn't exactly make the guitar any better but it's a nice personal touch.