Price paid: A$ 399
Purchased from: Turramurra Music
Features — 8
Probably around 2013. China. 14 frets plus cutaway. Solid sitka spruce top, laminate mahogany back and sides. Natural finish. Minimal gloss. Dreadnought with cutaway. Fishman pickup system. Fishman Presys - Sonicore pickup. No gig bag or case included.
Changed bridge pins and saddle to Camel Bone which I swear by. Really brings warmth to the guitar. Can rob you a little of sustain and bottom end but brings a huge amount of vibrancy and movement to a guitar. Really opens up the sound.
Sound — 9
This is one of the reasons I bought this guitar. I've owned 2 but gave the first one away, after I loaned it to a friend, who broke the neck within 48 hrs. He had it fixed and it works 100%. I've owned about 30 acoustics so far, many top end guitars. The Cort is my go to guitar. I leave it out, whereas all others are left in their cases. I love the sound and feel of this guitar. It has such a warm, woody natural acoustic sound that I really warm to. With Elixir pb strings, it has plenty of sustain and life, but still has a lot of warmth. With D'Addario pb, it has a real bluesy growl about it that i love as well. I keep the elixirs on cause I like the feel and sound. Regular pbs are a bit too hard for me to slide around the fretboard.
Overall, the guitar has a fantastic natural bottom end which I love, and a great even tone through out. It is really natural and a pleasure to play. I have owned several Baibcz, Breedlove, Gibson J45, Martin D16GT. Currently I have Martin D28, Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Standard, which is awesome, 2 x Maton CW80, Blueridge 180A, Ovation USA Custom Legend, plus others. I love this cheap, simple Cort. It really has much of what a fine guitar should have, and that's great warm, woody sound, sustain, not harsh, and a great bottom end. Choose carefully though cause 3 out of 5 don't have the bass. They vary hugely between individual units. When you find a good one, they are great. GREAT plug in sound as well. Big tip. Change pins to camel bone to get a real warm growly sound. Camel bone sounds very different to standard cow bone. Much more organic and open.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Action can be very temperamental when new. Persevere with it and it will settle down. Learn how to do neck adjustments cause it will need a few when new, more so than any other guitar I have owned. Same on both MR guitars I have owned. Settled down well after a couple of adjustments. Feel would be great with 11s but I go for 12s for the sound. Good straight neck, but is not the easiest guitar to play, possibly cause of narrow nut width. Is not a hard guitar to play but could be easier. Action is not high but could be a tad lower. I set this up for the best balance of sound and feel. Could go lower but the guitar suffers when the action is lowered. Distinct loss in bass.
I love the natural finish, although the fretboard could have had a bit more attention. A bit of attention could have made this a faster guitar. Overall the guitar has a really nice feel, although the lack of lacquer on the fretboard is where it falls down. This is my only complaint, however, maybe it adds to the warm natural sound I like.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Loaned my first one to a friend and the neck was broken with 48 hours. Had it fixed and it works really well now. Neck is most likely stronger than ever. I do feel that there is some cost cutting in the quality of the neck. It shouldn't have broken but it didn't take much. Be warned. These guitars are not made to last several generations. If you handle it with care it should last a long time, but knock it around a bit and I think you wont have a neck left. Other than that, electronics is high quality Fishman, and the guitar feels well made. Not a toy but a great campfire guitar, busking, gigging or don't have to care too much about it guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
The first time I picked up one of these I was looking for an electric piano. I was just mucking around when I picked one up. It floored me immediately. A cheap guitar shouldn't sound and feel this good. It has one of the most pleasant bass sounds, and overall balance I have ever heard on a guitar. As a blues guitar, with the original strings it was fantastic. Growly, woody and loud. I know it's a laminate back and sides but so what. It it one of the most fun, pleasant, and overall musical guitars i have ever owned, and I have owned and own many great guitars. Funny that my cheapest guitar should be one of my favourites. What's that about? I have owned top end Breedlove but sold them, same as Gibson J45. Just didn't do it for me.