Sound — 9
Unplugged it sounds like a pretty standard country acoustic, but powered the L.R.Baggs Element Pick-up makes it a whole new animal. Even through a clean channel on a thirty watt Marshall amp. With all the controls pointing up you get a soft country blues-tone but adjust the settings and you notice a range of deep lows and sharp high's. However the variation of sound isn't spectacular although you it has the ability to produce sharp trebles that doesn't mean it sounds good. Without a doubt the quality of the sound would stand up well to both studio recording or Live play however it's cheap enough, attractive enough and good enough for those Who just play guitar as a hobby.
Overall Impression — 9
In this price range there is a variety of electro acoustics to choose from but not many of this quality. It's not a Gibson or Martins but for a fraction of the price your getting a guitar of excellent quality and you don't need to sell a kidney to pay for it either. I've been playing for five years and that means I've made a few bad judgments when buying guitars but this acoustic is without a doubt a quality instrument and I would replace it in the event it was lost for example. Finally I know that I'm not alone on this but this guitar stood out to me when I was looking for a cheap and cheerful electro acoustic and this is definitely a contender.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It's strong and sturdy but that doesn't mean it's void of any drawbacks. The only problems I found were surface deep; firstly to fuel the built in tuner and play plugged in you need 9V batteries, three weeks into buying the guitar I found myself forking out 3.50 on a new battery in order to play, I imagine months of hanging on a wall stand occasionally being tested by customers has led to this quick consumption of power however I'll be eagled eyed over the next few months to test what could be a frustrating flaw in it's design. A week after purchasing there was a slight hum on some bass notes that was easily mended by returning to the store for a complimentary set up.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Fresh out the wrapping the action was low and perfect for my playing style. It came equipped with custom light strings that were well held and responsive with the machine heads. It's an example of a simple acoustic style done well with no noticeable flaws. The fret board is indian rosewood with snowdrop position markers which are a nice touch although likely not to be to everyones taste. Generally it looks good but a little flashy which means years of play will definitely wear the glossy finish away.
Features — 7
There's nothing strikingly original about the look but when it sounds as good as this aesthetics aren't that important. At first glance it's a traditional cutaway but turning it around in my hands the details in the craftsmanship was undeniable. A nice feature is the built in tuner that is responsive. As an orchestra model it's comfortable to play yet not out of proportion when sitting on the stand. I bought this guitar from an independent village workshop and out the box the action was comfortable and the standard strings light enough for even the daintiest of fingers. The gold machine heads were responsive and attractive, although they look good after a year or so the finish will inevitably dull. It has a glossy satin finish, fastidious trim and appealing fretwork. It is all well put together with a well-fitted control panel with the usual, bass, mid, treble. The guitar is light yet tough and would take some abuse however how you could Hurt something so beautiful I'd never know.