Price paid: A$ 1000
Purchased from: Guitar Centre at the Gabba
Sound — 10
I mainly play rock styles as well as Folk (Neil Young, Bob Dylan etc) and other experimental acoustic styles and this guitar suits them perfectly. When I choose to run it through an amp I run it through a 16-watt Kustom (for small venues) or the clean channel of my Peavey Bandit. It has a great un-plugged sound with crisp highs and warm, mellow lows. Mainly I use strings that will give me a nice warm sound as I tend to like that kind of tone better, although I sometimes do aim for brighter sounding strings for certain occasions. This guitar sounds just as good as a Martin or a Taylor and for a fraction of the price gives you fantastic sounds. I can only give it a 10.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar seems to be made for me, it fits my style perfectly. The tone-woods and the materials that Cort have chosen are flawless, for the price you can't get anything better. I have been playing for five years and own a Peavey Bandit and Kustom 16-watt acoustic amp as well as a small Vox Pathfinder (haven't played the MR through it yet though). If it were lost or stolen I would have no hesitation in buying it again (although I'd be annoyed, it isn't any $100 guitar after all). I love its look, build quality, versatility and most of all its knock-out sound quality. I basically saw this guitar and after researching its materials and playing it a few times decided that it was for me. I also played the odd Taylor and Martin and honestly thought this one matched up to them. For the price, though, this came out as the winner. I would recommend this guitar to anyone wanting to buy a great quality acoustic guitar on a budget. You simply can't get anything better.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is certainly fit for Live use, as I have already used it on numerous occasions. The hardware is good, although I am a bit worried about whether the tuning pegs will tarnish, only time will tell. The strap buttons were a bit flimsy, so I put strap-locks on when I am playing seriously. I would use it at a gig without a back-up (although I don't have another acoustic so I have no choice). The finish seems to be fine and I do not think it will have any problems. Pity about the strap-locks though.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set-up at the store where I bought it from, so I cannot comment on the factory set-up, but judging by the immense attention to detail that has been given to this guitar I can assume that it was all good. The finish was flawless and the wood was of fantastic quality. All good.
Features — 10
This guitar was made in 2004 (I think) and was handcrafted in Korea. It has an AAA Engelmann solid Spruce top with Indian Rosewood back and sides. The neck is mahogany, which is a fantastic neck material and the 'board is ebony and is jointed with the body with a dovetail neck joint. The finish is satin which gives a nice feel and look to the wood. The neck is around a medium scale and it has 21 frets. The body style is a dreadnought with a venetian cut-away (great for access to the higher frets). The bridge style is a standard acoustic bridge with bridge pins. The nut and the saddle are both made of bone, which gives a better tone than synthetic or plastic nuts. The pickup is a Fishman Prefix Stereo Blender and Fishman Matrix pre-amp and is active (when or if you choose to use it). A case was included but I bargained it out of the guys at the store, not sure about what is included usually though.