Sound — 9
I bought it because it sounded so so good. There's nothing like aged wood. The sound was loud, clear, and really well balanced with strong (but not overpowering) lows, warm mids and crisp highs. I wasn't crazy with the strings that were on it so I later replaced them with a set of D'Addario's (E series/EJ16 - phosphor bronze/light) and she sings even sweeter now.
Overall Impression — 10
Over the past 35 years I have played Taylors, Martins, Arias, Guilds, Yamahas, Alvarez, Ovations (the top of the line models), and just about every major well known brand as well as the knock off cheap ones. I own a Takamine M360 which is a gorgeous blonde maple, a Washburn D68-SW, and an Ovation 1769 Custom Legend. I also have owned an Ibanez, Alvarez, Horner, Yamaha and some others over the years that I can't remember. This Hyostar Dove stands up to them all and blows some of them away. It would be a stretch for me to say that it would be on par with a higher end Taylor or Martin, but certainly gives their mid and lower end models a run for the money. Compared overall to the Gibson Dove, I would give it an 8.5 with the Gibson being a 10 (but given what I paid for it, I'd give it a 15). It is truly a classic and I would not trade it or sell it for anything. This guitar is really something else!
Reliability & Durability — 10
It prety obvious that the guy who owned this guitar originally took great care of it. Having said that, the guitar is still 30+ years old and it's held up great and looks a lot younger. I always treat my guitars like babies and I don't plan on beatin' this one, so I would think it will outlast me too.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Whoever set this axe up did a really excellent job. The set up is just perfect for me. The action is low, but not too low and is perfect for pickin. The only thing that I can say as somewhat of a negative is that the fretboard just isn't quite as smooth or as comfortable to finger as some other guitars that I've played. But for the $400 bucks that I paid, nothing comes close. The satin finish has held up super for a 30 something year old guitar. It's even all around with little signs of wear and almost no discoloration. No rust or oxidized hardware, the tuning pegs are tight and she holds a tune very well.
Features — 9
I was moseying around at an estate tag sale when this guitar (what at first I thought to be a Gibson Dove acoustic) caught my eye. Well, it was a Hyostar Gibson Dove copy from the early '70s. Anyway, I was attracted to its looks (with the dove inlays on the pick guard and bridge) and I thought it would look really cool hanging on my wall along with my other Vintage guitars. Then when I played it, I was truly surprised. This wasn't your typical third world knock off. This was something special. The guy hosting the sale told me that it belonged to his deceased father who had bought it back in the early '70s. I had never heard of Hyostar before and even after I tried Goggling it, I haven't been able to come up with much information at all. My guess is that this is a pretty rare bird. It is made in Japan and seems to have a solid spruce (possibly maple) top with either rosewood or mahogany back and sides.