Price paid: $ 84
Purchased from: Ebay Auction
Sound — 10
This guitar is LOUD! When you strum an "E" or "G" Chord it sounds like you just hit a bass drum. Excellent sustain and projection. I was debating whether to install a pickup on this guitar, but I am beginning to think it may not need it. This is the loudest guitar I have ever played. It has the traditional deep bass from a normal dreadnought, but multiplied by 10! I can best describe the sound and tone by comparing it to a similar sounding guitar, the Martin D-28! I am dead serious about that claim!
Overall Impression — 8
The guitar is fantastic! I am very pleased with this purchase. I am just glad I was able to restore this guitar back to it's original glory. I have read different reviews and message boards about these guitars, and I have yet to find anyone who didn't think it was an incredible value or a great sounding guitar. I believe Recording King makes the descendant of this guitar which is the RD27. From what I have heard, it's the same guitar without all of the abalone details and butterbean tuners that the Johnson had. If you want to get a newer version of this guitar, you should check it out, or just keep an eye on eBay and see if you can get one of the Carolina Series guitars for yourself.
Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar will survive live playing. I believe this guitar in particular would survive anything after the beating it has taken over the years! It is in "good hands" now though. I will treat it like a baby, the way I do with all of my guitars. After playing a multitude of Chinese made guitars, I must say, I have no problem with their ability to build a fine crafted guitar. If this guitar was assembled in the US, it would have costed a couple thousand dollars. With it being made in China, it retailed for around $500. I think it's great that the average person can pay $500 to get a little taste of what it's like to play a Martin or Taylor. A lot of people, self included, could never afford a USA made guitar with all solid wood.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This guitar was made in China. It appears to be put together very well. I have seen no flaws from the original assembly, however, the previous owner didn't take the best care of the guitar. It has 2 or 3 minor dings in the top, and one major ding on the neck. None of these flaws affect the way the guitar is played. The saddle appears to have been custom shaped by the previous owner or the factory where it was assembled. I have changed the strings recently on this instrument and the intonation is "dead-on" so I left the saddle untouched.
Features — 8
The Johnson JD27 (a.k.a. Carolina), acoustic guitar. First let me start this review off saying that this guitar was purchased in an eBay auction. It was listed as a "project," and the seller was right. It was a project! But after a few weeks of work, it is back to being "fully functional." There are some minor cosmetic blemishes that need addressing, but that will be ok for now. Anyway, back to the review. This guitar is all solid wood. Engelmann top, Rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard and bridge, bone nut, saddle, and bridge pins. The guitar came with plastic bridge pins, but I upgraded that with buffalo bone ones. I believe these guitars were made in the mid-2000s. The JD27 was a part of the Carolina Series II guitars from Johnson which were all solid wood, the series I guitars had laminate back and sides. Oh yes, this guitar also has a sweet abalone inlay on the headstock of what looks to be a few flowers from a dogwood tree.