Price paid: $ 239
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 9
- Purchased in August 2016 in Guitar Center of Appleton, Wisconsin.
- Manufactured in 2014 in Indonesia.
- Slim Taper Mahogany neck, Rosewood fingerboard, 20 medium-sized frets, 25.5" Scale, 14" radius, 1-5/8" nut width.
- Solid Spruce Top, Solid Mahogany back, Laminated Mahogany sides
- Jumbo Shape.
- Rosewood bridge, reverse belly, compensated saddle.
- Wilkinson 14:1 tuning pegs, vintage style cream colored buttons
- Shadow NanoFlex pickup located just inside the top of the sound hole with strap button plug connection. Bass, treble, and volume controls. No on board tuner. Invisible to the casual observer.
Sound — 9
I like to play country, blues, and soft rock and it is suitable for all the above styles. I typically don't amplify, but I have used it with a Vox VT20X modeling amp on bypass and with light reverb and it sounds great. Not as bassy as a '40s-era Gibson Jumbo, but can hold its own. I use thin picks and can achieve crystalline sounds on the first three strings. Depending on your pick and strum/picking style this guitar can probably meet your criteria. This instrument is loud enough to play without amplification. Projects very well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action was a little high, but not enough to warrant and adjustments or setup. There appears to be a slight excess of polyurethane on the inside edge of the soundhole, but is only noticeable if you are looking at it from the side at the right angle in fairly bright light. The nut has a bit of a flaw, but only cosmetic, doesn't affect sound, intonation, or playability. Pickups can be a bit glassy and boomy if not properly adjusted. Stays in tune for decades! Other than a bit of excess polyurethane, the top, back, sides and neck finish is impeccable. Parallelogram "Pearloid" fingerboard and headstock inlays are classy-looking. Sexier than fingerboard dots.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've only owned the guitar for a month, and I only use it at home as I am not a professional musician, but more of a hobbyist. That said, compared to some of the other guitars I have played in that price range, NONE of them can compare to the feel and sound of this guitar. I play it for at least an hour every day and it actually seems to be getting better. Could be my imagination, but I don't think so. After a month there are no signs of wear except the frets are breaking in (fairly scratchy when new) and I expect to need new strings before too long.
Overall Impression — 9
It totally fits my preference for soft rock (Eagles and such). I was looking for a low-dollar temporary guitar to fill in the gap while my 1946 Southern Jumbo is being repaired and refurbished. I was lucky to find this with only minor issues (see above) on clearance in Guitar Center of Appleton, Wisconsin. It sounds great for what it is, better than you'd expect. You should see one in person before ordering. The color is somewhere between yellow and orange. Not my favorite color at first, but it's growing on me. In real life expect to pay between $400 and $450. It was a lucky day for me to find one brand new for $239.