Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: online
Features — 9
This is an Indonesian made guitar bought brand new. On offer. This was cheaper than the non electronics version which was not on offer! Concert sized, laminated spruce, mahogany back and sides. Flat shoulders and deep waist. Rosewood fingerboard. Black teardrop shaped pick guard. It is thinner and shorter than a dreadnought and is comfortable to hold and play. Diecast tuners and one strap button at the bottom. Comes with a Cort CE304T pickup and tuner. Did not come with a bag or strap or anything extra except for an allen key and an extra peg and bridge.
Sound — 9
The sound is crisp, bright and surprisingly loud for its size. It came with D'Addario 012 strings which gave very pleasant projection but lacked sustain. I have changed it to extra light bronze and it sounds great and more balanced now. I only have a small 10w amp and it sounded duller when plugged in. May need some adjustments to the pre-amp for optimal results. I did not experiment long enough to make any final conclusions. It seems to sound nicer unplugged than plugged. Overall, it sounds like a very decent guitar and better than the its price would suggest.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action is low and there is no buzzing. With the original medium light strings, a strong capo is needed to get a crisp sound but once I have changed to light strings, this is no longer a problem. This guitar is does not have a high gloss finish on its back and sides. It is an open pore design where you can feel the texture of the wood. It has a classy look because of this but I believe it will not withstand scratches as well as a high gloss finish. Everything is well aligned and finishing is top notch. The fingerboard has inconsistent wood grain. This is the only imperfection. Some parts of the fingerboard is lighter in color and some parts darker.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is well made and is expected to last. I can foresee scratches to its back and sides if you are not careful due to the open pore design. It built quality is on par with the Yamaha budget models. However, Yamaha budget models do not come with electronics unlike this. The electronics are pretty standard for many Cort guitars and it looked pretty robust. The electronic tuners works consistently. The battery bay looks well made and does not look like it will come loose any time. There is no freeplay to the diecast tuners and it has been holding tune pretty fine.
Overall Impression — 9
I like this guitar for fingerstyle. It is easy to hold and will not tire you out. I believe this is a great alternative to the Yamaha F310. There is a AF510 without the electronics. Yamaha F310 is a wonderful guitar but it may be big for children or smaller framed persons. This Cort has become my favourite guitar. The size is right, it looks classy, it has electronics, it sounds good, comfortable to play and it is very affordable. I will be extremely unreasonable to ask for more. Best purchase for 2014!