Price paid: $ 379
Purchased from: local music shop
Features — 9
My model was made in 2013, in Indonesia, but I bought it in Dec. 2014. It is a dreadnought body with a "violin burst" finish. It has a scale length of 25.5" with 20 medium frets. The neck is solid maple with a SlimTaper D (mine seems to have lots of "flaming" throughout... in the neck, & headstock, which I love). It came with Grover tuners 14:1 which seem solid and hold tune well, so far. It's comfortable, feels good in your hands, and is fun to play. It's not "heavy" but it does have a little weight to it.
Someone with a "smaller" hand can easily overcome it's "D" neck profile. The Slim neck feature will help with this. The neck is "glossed" but doesn't impede playing in any way. One feature I like about the Dove Pro... The double parallelogram inlays on the rosewood fingerboard, and dove inlays on the rosewood bridge. It's very pretty, and unique-looking. Kinda looks "a little country", but, it sounds "rock & roll." The top is solid spruce, and the back & sides are laminated maple. This guitar has a nice cream-colored binding along the neck and around the edges of the body, dressing it up. Overall finish is gloss.
Sound — 9
Since I purchased this guitar, I have not yet "plugged" it in to hear how it sounds, so I have no opinion of that at this time. However, it does have a Fishman Sonitone p/u which is mounted in the soundhole, rather than "through" the side of your guitar. It can be accessed with ease by using just your fingertip.
The sound of the Epi Dove Pro is pretty impressive "unplugged." It's loud, full, and bright. And it has depth, with crisp highs and punchy lows. No muddy, muted, or tinny sounds. To me, it doesn't lack umph "unplugged" at all. Picking OR strumming sounds great too. Both play clean/distinct. Sure there may be 'better' guitars, but it honestly sounds AS GOOD as many higher-end guitars I've tried out. For $300 or so, you are getting more than a $300 guitar as far as craftsmanship, affordability, and versatility... on top of sounding great.
My playing style is mostly based on what suits my mood... Mostly Pink Floyd, but anything from classic rock, blues, funky jazz, spaghetti western-type stuff (I'm experimenting w/ a slide)sounds good on this guitar. This is a feature I really like about it because, any style of music can be played on it. Well... Maybe if your looking for something "twangy," the Dove is not really "it." You can "make" it twang, I suppose... But there's no twang "in it."
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory set-up on my Dove Pro was as it should be. Not expecting too much for a $300 guitar though, I went ahead and scrutinized it for flaws, but, much to my surprise I was unable to find any. Everything measured up, no neck twists or bows, crooked or sharp fret wires, mismatched woods, loose or poorly installed/misaligned hardware, bridge, or nut were found. Not even a scratch, ding, dent, or chip. One foreseeable issue may be the wearing away of the pick guard picture. No big deal though. It's "pad printed" and will probably wear away in time... although replacements are available. My only knock would be the "guy-wires" it came strung with (. 012-. 052), which takes zero away from the guitar itself. Still get good "bends" on the 12's, but I prefer a thinner gauge. The finish is flawless.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It is my opinion that this guitar will withstand "live" playing quite nicely. And without question, a back-up to count on. The hardware seems pretty solid... no reason to change it. Strap buttons are solid but, strap locks are a good suggestion for anyone. I am quite impressed with the overall rock-solid construction of this guitar, and would depend on it for a gig without hesitation. The guitar itself looks to be very durable. If taken care of, it should prove it's worthiness for the "long-haul," I say.
Overall Impression — 9
Considering the price-point of this guitar, I'm very surprised that a review has not already been submitted on the Epiphone Dove Pro and of how great it is. I've been playing on & off for years with both acoustic and electric and have since learned to discern a good guitar from a bad one. And I would have to say, in spite of brand-baggers... or anything like that, I would recommend the Epiphone Dove Pro to anyone looking for a rock-solidly built, and great-sounding affordable guitar... regardless of your skill level. As great as I think the Epiphone Dove Pro is though, don't take my word for it... TRY ONE. You'll be pleasantly surprised. You may even end up getting one yourself.
If this guitar got stolen, I would be inclined to buy another one, or, the Epiphone Inspired by 1964 Texan. Another really nice, affordable guitar that I would like to be the proud owner of. As of right now though, I'm very satisfied with my purchase.