FL1AC review by Cole Clark

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (20 votes)
Cole Clark: FL1AC
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Price paid: A$ 1299

Purchased from: The Acoustic Centre

Sound — 8
I play mainly Folk rock/Acoustic rock and this has no problems at all, obviously. This guitar has a strange, but pleasing effect of being absolutely beautiful sounding, no matter what style of music you are playing. Just practising, I play a fair variety, from soft finger picking licks, to up beat chord progressions. Even some Hard Rock/Metal riffs when I can't be bothered changing to my electric. Maybe its just me, but it sounds incredible all the time. When I bought my amp, a Vox vt 30, I intended only to use it for my electric, not having a plug in Acoustic at the time. But through this amp, you can get some pretty cool, chilled out sounds when using one of the clean channels and a bit of delay or echo. I should mention at this point, that this guitar is perfect for percusssive styles of playing. I dabble a little bit with this style of music but trust me, if that is your thing, this is the guitar for you. The solid top and satin finish means you get a really good, natural tone out of this guitar. It isn't choked by a heavy lacquer. My only critisicm to the tone would be that it lacks a prominent low end. The Bass notes are there, but I find myself having to change the EQ when playing chords so I don't get too much of the high end if you know what I mean. Sometimes its just nice to be able to hear the changing baseline when changing chords, and for the style of music I play, this is important. I gave this an 8, but I'm unshure about that rating. I want to give it more, but then again, I'm pretty sure if I wasn't being super critical, I'd give this guitar an 11/10 on all accounts.

Overall Impression — 9
Wow is my overall impression. For the price, this blows most acoustics I have tried out of the water. This guitar really has its own personality and style. I'm not so keen on the other finishes, and I don't think I would have bought this guitar had it not been in this, as I like a bit of an unusual look, rather than the plain old wood. If this were lost or stolen, I would hunt down the person who took it and strangle them with a bottom E string. A rather poetic death I think. If I couldnt find them though, I would buy another one as soon as I could track it down. Before buying this guitar, I spent about six months looking for a plug in Acoustic and tried a range of things from epiphones to fenders and everything in between. And I mean everything. I even stooped to trying a low end legacy. I know its all subjective and they want you to be as impartial as possible, but I love this guitar. Pure and simple. As soon as I played it, I knew it was coming home with me. Appart from the slight lack of bass, I can't really fault this guitar. Get one while you can, because these babies are a keeper. If I don't still have this guitar when I'm 90, something has gone horribly wrong and I deserve to be slapped for not hanging onto it. I'll never outgrow this thing. Never.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Ill start off by saying that despite the fact that the finish is just incredibly beautiful, it does show scratches and marks very easily. Being a satin finish though, the more you play it, the more it shines up. In just a couple of weeks you can see the difference to the neck. It takes on more of a gloss finish than matte. It still looks awesome though. The Hardware is solid enough, and this guitar really keeps in tune well. Nothing moves or jiggles about as you would expect. I didn't have to tighten anything once I got it home and in my experience, this goes for most acoustics. It seems to be only electrics that have this problem, especially with loose strap buttons. I find the strap buttons on this to be a tiny bit too large, but its nothing I wont get over. If I was stupid enough to gig without a back up, it would be with this guitar, I can't see anything going wrong with it, unless a string breaks. Hence the backup.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The reason I'm not writing much for this section is that there really isn't a need to. Out of the store, everything was set up perfectly. I can see no flaws in the finish or anywhere on the neck and the way it is suits me down to the ground. The neck does not have any of that tacky cream binding on it, just straight fretboard to neck, all planed and sanded. The Pickups are just truly amazing. The sound and clarity you get from a blend of the face sensor and the bridge pickup is bright, warm and depending on your style of playing, can also be punchy.

Features — 9
First off, good luck finding one of these guitars in the same finish as this (Satin, Black) as they are pretty rare. Made sometime between 2005 and 2008, it sports 20 jumbo frets, Bridge and soundboard sensors, Active Cole Clark Pickup with volume, pickup blend, Treble, mids and bass. Rosewood fretboard with pearloid dot inlays and grover chrome tuners. Its a bit hard to tell the type of wood they have used for the body because of the matte black finish, but I assume it is the same as all guitars in this series (solid carved AAA Bunya tops, and Queensland Maple sides and back). The Guy who sold it to me also threw in a genuine Cole Clark case, worth about $185. One Thing I would add to the electronics of this guitar is a bypass, found on some Seagull acoustics I believe. Its not that its too much of a problem, I just like having it there.

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