FL2AC Review

manufacturer: Cole Clark date: 10/31/2007 category: Acoustic Guitars

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Cole Clark: FL2AC
Australian cutaway dreadnought acoustic guitar with patented Cole Clark piezo in-body pickup, made in 2007.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
FL2AC Reviewed by: Handparty, on october 31, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Rock Inn, Perth W Australia

Features: Australian cutaway dreadnought acoustic guitar with patented Cole Clark piezo in-body pickup, made in 2007. Solid wood throughout: bunya top, Indian rosewood sides and back, fretboard, Queensland maple neck with amazing-looking grain stripey pattern in the guitar head (unique feature from this particular piece of wood). Mother-of-pearl rectangular fretboard inlays. Grover tuners and machine heads. Came with Gator hardcase. // 10

Sound: I am no expert, but the sound is better than any guitar I have heard for under $5000 (e.g. Maton Messiahs might sometimes be better, but not all of them). When I looked around, it became apparent that guitars vary enormously between each other, even those with the exact same specs and wood. Some CC guitars I tried were slightly lacking in sustain and sounded a bit dead, others sounded too high/bright but I am told these ones are great when amplified. After playing about 100 guitars I found Matons more consistently good but less often brilliant/spectacularly good as Cole Clarks. You simply must try the actual guitar before you buy it! My FL2AC sounds rich and mellow with great midrange which I am told will only get better with age. As a solid rosewood body model it was a custom order which ended up turning up in my local shop, perhaps because it has a linear transverse grain flaw in the front bunya the orderer may have rejected, I think it looks cool like that. I arrived just as the guy was getting it out of its box from Victoria and he was marveling that it was still in perfect tune straight from the factory, and he was also oohing and aahing over its stunning sound. I just fell in love with it immediately and had to have it. This guitar stays in good tune for weeks of playing, it is amazing. Sound is a subjective preference but I think it is truly superb, rich, mellow, crisp, loud and everybody else Who hears it is in awe of it. I think I got lucky to some extent, I bet the rosewood body is the main reason it sounds so amazing but all the Fat Ladies sound at least very good to me, it's just that some of them are real jaffas. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar looks incredible, just beautiful and really special with the Qld maple neck patterned head and stunning solid rosewood body. It just calls me to pick it up and I am playing about 3 times as much as when I had a more ordinary but perfectly reasonable Yamaha. The feel, looks and sound of this guitar make me think about playing it all the time playing it is sheer bliss. The action out of the box is medium-low and absolutely precise right up to the top frets, very nice medium neck size, the fret bars are brass and very comfortable on the fingers. As mentioned, there was a purely cosmetic flaw in the bunya soundboard, with two 10cm and 5cm transverse grain flaws on the scratchboard side of the guitar. I think it just adds character to an already very individual/soulful instrument. Besides the natural beauty of the wood it is relatively unadorned with no binding and the satin finish is adequate but not particularly high spec. Otherwise it is completely perfect in every way. More than that, the wood used is just magnificant. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have no doubt the FL2AC will handle anything thrown at it in the way of gigging, although it is unlikely to ever see that sort of action in my case. It is extremely sturdy, being of solid wood and very well put together. It is going to have years of getting passed around the table, played by kids as they mature and traveling around the country and I am confident it will only get better with age, a few dings notwithstanding, and this is shy I sepnt the money to get a solid, Australian wood guitar I could keep until I die and pass onto my favourite Offspring. The finish is not top shelf but the incredible wood used more than makes up for that when compared to inferior wood or ply guitars which may be very well finished. // 9

Overall Impression: I'm a beginner to intermediate player who wanted a guitar to keep for life. I play mainly rock, blues, folk, also jazz and classical pieces. I have not yet used an amp. If lost or stolen I would definitely buy the exact same model guitar again, but I would try a few out first as it is hard to believe I could find one to match her. I was comparing it mainly to Matons, which are obviously great guitars but to me they lack the beauty (being a bit boring-looking), similar priced ones, while good (like the 335C) use plywood and didn't sound quite as good. As mentioned, you have to go to a Messiah to get a comparable sound and I am not kidding, go and try this comparison out for yourself. Obviously a Messiah has a speccie finish etc but I'm looking for great sound and character at the end of the day, and also having an extra $3000 in my pocket is appreciated. I didn't look at the CC Angel, but it is frankly hard to believe it could be better than my FL2AC. I think this has to be the best $2000 guitar on the market, by a long way. // 10

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