Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Zzounds
Sound — 10
The sound with the factory strings is nice and loud, every note rings nice and clear. It was tuned from the factory and it was nearly perfect, I had to adjust it a little bit but once I did it stayed in tune well. The first (thickest) string rattles a *little* bit in drop D tuning, but I personally like this.
Overall Impression — 10
The one I got was in blue which is frankly quite beautiful, I got several compliments about it already and I've only had it for 2 weeks. One guy was surprised when I said that it was $200, he compared it to his ESP Electric and said that my acoustic was much nicer. I play a lot of Foo Fighters and Jonathan Coulton (geeky folk-rock, if that makes sense) and it works well for either. It sounds beautiful unplugged and plugged in, even distorted it's fun to mess around with. It would make an AWESOME first guitar or any other number guitar, it's just a nice little guitar that has all the basics and is fun to play, I have no regrets buying this.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything seems that it would last a long time, I'd use it on a gig without a backup I guess, I've never played a gig before but the guitar seems reliable. The body and neck are solid and the strap buttons hold well, though I must say that it's a LITTLE top-heavy and will start to nosedive if you don't gently hold it. I think I'll attach the strap to the top of the neck when I get a chance.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The finish is nice (except directly around the sound hole, it's the littlest bit off, but it's unnoticeable unless you look right at it from less than 2 feet away. Everything was spot-on: the intonation is perfect, tunes well, no knobs were loose or damaged, and the pickups (or microphone, not sure) make it sound awesome plugged in.
Features — 10
- Set-Neck Construction - 25.5" Scale - Mahogany Back & Sides - Spruce Top - Mahogany Neck - Rosewood Fingerboard - 42mm Standard Nut - Thin U Neck Contour - 20 XJ Frets - Chrome Hardware - ESP Tuners - Rosewood Bridge - ESP Piezo Pickup - ESP 2-Band Preamp w/ Onboard Tuner - Finish: STBSB (See Thru Blue Sunburst) ^The above is from their website.^ This guitar is a standard acoustic-electric (nice low action, cutaway, the whole nine yards). It's about an inch or two smaller than my Fender DG-8S which was my first and only other acoustic guitar. The AC-5E has a "mini-jumbo" shape, google it if you want a picture. The electrics consist of Volume, Low and High knobs and a tuner which works nicely. The guitar included one of those L-shaped metal pieces used to adjust the neck and a guide that shows you how but nothing else.