Master Class Pack review by Esteban

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 4.4 (22 votes)
Esteban: Master Class Pack

Purchased from: HSN

Sound — 6
This guitar was difficult to play for me, as the action was a bit high, but it is nice looking and didn't sound to bad compared to other lower end guitars I tried at GC. You have to really hold the strings down stay away from fret buzz. The 10 watt amp buzzes a bit if you move the gain much past 2, but it does work and for practicing at 2am it's perfect to let the rest of the house sleep while you mess around. I also have a Peavey amp (110efx 40 watt) that makes it a lot better.

Overall Impression — 7
It can't compete with $800 guitars, but it certainly can hang with those in the $250 to $300 range. This package turned out to be a pretty good deal and the instruction that comes with it is very good. I like the spanish style picking and that's what I do a lot of. It's improved my playing across the board and when I get out the electric I own I'm so much better then what I was before I started on Estebans DVDs. Would I buy another one? Not now, I've already purchased a more exspensive acoustic/electric, but I would do this all over again. It was a good deal for the money and the DVDs really helped me a lot and learning to play is whatit's all about.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It seems fine. I don't think I'd have a problem playing this anywhere without a backup. I've been on this thing 3 to 4 hours a night for over a month now and haven't had any problems that weren't there originally and now that it's been worked on it's great.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I don't know a lot about guitars and as far as construction it seems ok to me for what it cost. It is made in china, but has a nice finish (I got the black one). It was the action that made it difficult. My solution to this was take it to a shop and have it looked at. I had Martin SP 11 strings put on it, the neck straightened, and the action lowered. The results were amazing. It was so much easier to play and sounds a lot better. This only cost me $25 to have done and it breathed new life into this guitar. I'm very happy with it now. I'm rateing it 7 out of the box and 9 after work was done.

Features — 7
I'd been learning to play on a Dean electric (by DVD) and wanted to try acoustic. Read several reviews and decided to get one. The package comes with the guitar (acoustic/electric cutaway), 10watt amp, 10ft hookup cable, case, chord chart, picks, extra strings and 5 DVDs.

34 comments sorted by best / new / date

    wooow..PoS. man, beginner or not, you gotta go with sumthing that'll last you. sure, it's cheap as can be, but playing a guitar like this can do one of 2 things: it can give you a hell of a lot of insentive to save up for a new guitar, OR it can make you never want to play again because it's harder to learn on a cheap guitar than it is on one that plays well. My recommendation, get a Dean Performer acoustic/electric guitar. I got mine for 270 and it plays better than my friend's 600 acoustic/electric. Gah, this guitar blows man..
    I just got one of these in a trade a couple of days ago and to be honest, it's not really that bad. I'm 55 years old and have been playing for 43 years and do my own setups. I put some Lemon Oil on the fetboard, lowered the action and restrung it with some Gibson's and once I did that, it actually turned out to sound pretty good. I'm sure this is several years old and I don't see any signs of the neck falling off or anything else. I think these complaints are from people who don't take care of their shit.
    i have one of these guitars. i agree w/ most of you: the action is waaaaay too high for a beginner - which I was when I got it. also, the body is prone to cracks. and the amp - i don't get your deal with the amp. i use it with my laguna and all you have to do is play w/ the volume a bit - keep the amp volume at about 2, 2 1/2 and its fine.
    I got one of these babies, and yes, I had to have it setup because my fingers were bleeding. Action is F'ed. Hard to play POS! Cracks are starting to show up on the body, I'm waiting for it to imploid while I'm in the middle of a Social Distortion song! Yep, it has 5 DVDs, 4 of them still have the wrapper on them. Truth be told, if you can play this guitar, you can play anything! This guitar has been a hell of a learning experience for me, both playing and understanding what works and what doesn't. I know I need a better guitar, and now I know what to look for before I buy it. Thanks Estaban for making me a guitar player! Isn't that the point?
    lol. there is a reason tey dont sell em at stores.. i mean if someone actually tried one before they bought it.. the latter would happen and why would you buy a guitar without being able to try it out in the first place?
    HOw did you chnage the action to get it lower ? Was it done at the neck/nut or down at the saddle part ? I got one and strings are way high. Thanks
    this guitar has gotten some bad rap. i dont see what the big deal is. all i did was change my strings and mine sounds great. mine doesn't have any buzz or problems. i bought mine for $250.00 so i dont know if i got a good one or not, so.... its no the tool its the tool's user. ohh and whoever posted the thing about not being able to control the distortion on the overdrive, u can, u just have to play around with the volume on the amp and guitar.....
    to be honest just get a squir pack or a ibanez pack or get a yamaha pacifica any one of those is better than estebans gutair."oh look mother of pearl stickers isnt that amazing!"
    It seems there are many mixed reviews of this guitar set. What would you recommend instead for around the same price and getting the same things included?
    sorry, its not the same one, it a worse one from a couple years back. so yes, ive been puttin up with this amp for a while now.
    i have one, and wow. just horrible. the amp is so, so, so, f*cking bad. luckily, i was able to upgrade to an epi sg, but just can't afford a new amp. i dont really play acoustic that much, so i dont know how it holds up to others, but the amp just makes me angry. if you play without overdrive(which is just a button, you cant change the amount of distortion), it sounds like sh*t and sound like it is slightly distorted.
    mp3stalin wrote: ROFLCOPTER! ESTABAN!
    cgibin wrote: Honestly, a student of mine purchased this guitar and it's a PoS. It's ridiculous; the tone i horrible, the action is horrible, the overall feel of the guitar is horrible, and it's a complete waste of money. Sorry, Esteban, your guitar is a no-go in my book.
    Quotes for the win!
    check it out, i'm a manager at a guitar shop in cali, and we have a full service center. when these guitars come in for repair (which is quite a few times a month), my tech will basically refuse to work on them because they are so horribly constructed and the cost of repairing one is more than they're worth. if you've heard about the necks ripping off, then you're right. they also have a horrible bracing system in the body and most of the time, the piezo pickup under the saddle doesnt work out of the box. i dont know if any of you are in the music business like me, but if you're not, then you probably havent heard that Esteban is getting sued by Fishman pickups because he has falsely advertised that he uses Fishman pickups to sell his crap guitars and Fishman has never sold his company any pickups. all in all, i have chinese guitars under the price of this that are so much better, check out Walden guitars, they're awesome.
    Gabe Hawkins
    Esteban lies about the quality, but if you're just looking for something to start, I'd buy it. You sure as hell will get callouses fast with the high action. I don't own this guitar but all of Estebans guitars have a high action.
    The action on these is comical and my epi les paul has a better acoustic tone. I don't think that's a good thing. No, I *know* it's not a good thing. I got a different one as a gift, it's nice looking, and I've thought about getting it set up, but I'm not totally convinced it'll survive the procedure. The crazy thing is these are really intended to be beginner guitars and the action will make you want to quit. Just try to bend on those lower frets, I dare 'ya!
    i love in the infomertial wher hes like "you can switch it into overdrive and play like metallica and all of those bands!" and he plays some lightly distorted classical thing. im just like "jesus! stop it!"
    tortillamaster wrote: i heard the necks fall off of these or something. plus the commercials are just a stunning eexample of bs. "why look here cathy. you know my guitar is good because its made with wood, has metal tuners, and steel strings"
    LOL thats exactly how it is
    haha, i swear to god, the infomercial was saying the amp was better than others because "it has an overdrive feature" i mean good lord, who buys that.
    It is harder to play, but much better now. i use it as a handicap. I start all my new stuff with it then when I switch to my Dean V-Wing it goes really well. Again i'm not saying the esteban is a great guitar, but it's better then what some of you are saying. I bend strings on it, hammeron, pulloff, whatever. It's holding up.
    more like thin thin pieces of plastic. imagine a pearloid fender pick... the tip of it... hole punch it out... there's your fret.
    Seriously, What do you expect. If you consider the cost of the package. You paid maybe $25 for the guitar and with the work I had done on it it's now a $50 guitar. Your not going to find anything better for $50. Honestly though the dvd's for a beginner is worth the price. I have about a dozen other "learn guitar" dvd's and I was playing better with Estebans stuff in 2 hours over the 4 months with the others. I learned alot and that made it worth it.
    CORT noob
    Yeah, I bought an Esteban, but I don't think it was this one. The action was high, and the strings still buzzed! The tuners had loose gears in them, and would rattle while playing. I bought it for $15 and I hated it so much, so I sold it for 20$.
    LMFAO. dude i saw an infomercial for one of these at like 5 in the morning... looks like a decent lil deal =P
    i heard the necks fall off of these or something. plus the commercials are just a stunning eexample of bs. "why look here cathy. you know my guitar is good because its made with wood, has metal tuners, and steel strings"
    Honestly, a student of mine purchased this guitar and it's a PoS. It's ridiculous; the tone i horrible, the action is horrible, the overall feel of the guitar is horrible, and it's a complete waste of money. Sorry, Esteban, your guitar is a no-go in my book.
    LMFAO My grandfather wanted to get this for me when I was first starting to play and I was like "no, i'm okay. I'll play my first act for a while" lol
    For the price, its not bad. My girlfriend got one for Christmas, and for being cheap, its not too bad. The action is high out of the box, but the DVDs seem pretty good for someone starting out. All in all I'd say good for someone just looking for something cheap.
    ive seen one of these babies in action lemme tell ya, complete junk ud think a respectable classical guitarist wouldnt sell out like this, but there goes Estebans credibiltiy if he ever had ne