Price paid: $ 230
Sound — 6
The dreadnought is a good acoustic for us rockers who like to use picks. A very classic and sharp steel string tone. When plugged into an amp it sounds dreadful. I've played some Ibanez and Yamaha acoustic electrics, and the pickups in this Kona is terrible, you won't be using this guitar if you plan to play this through the most perfect amp.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall? I bought this guitar to help my songwriting because I can't write nothing when I use my electrics. This is my first acoustic guitar, but I've played a lot of different acoustics, and in my opinion it's just a matter of feel and how much you get used to it. I think it's a really good beginners guitar since it's easy to use (with the tuner), and it's quite a good guitar for it's price.
Reliability & Durability — 5
Live playing? Well, not through an amp please. As mentioned already, the Kona pickups sound dreadful. Most of the guitar looks durable, except for the bridge. To be honest, it sounds pretty good, I can play this in a gig, but I would always prefer a Taylor. Of course, for the price, I think it's a bargain. Oh, and the looks of this baby is gorgeous, I would always play until it wears off before I smash it on stage.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Like most other Made in China products, you name it, you won't expect the best quality from this guitar. The flame maple top, nice herringbona pattern binding look very nice, and especially the unique bird-shaped fretboard inlays. I can tell right away the raw nasty bits of unfinished wood inside the guitar, the cheap wood bridge that broke bit by bit everytime I changed strings, and the tiniest bit of imperfectness on the binding near the fretboard. Otherwise, the Kona Gold is pretty nice, the whole guitar is well laminated (on the outside of course, just don't look inside the body) and everything feels smooth and friendly. The string heights are very comfortable, and the overall shape of the guitar is very smooth. Anyone can grab this monster and stuff it under their arm and start playing without hesitation.
Features — 8
Made in 2007, exported to USA from China (that's why it's so cheap). Natural gloss dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar with laminated flame maple top, back, sides. Maple body and neck, very neat herringbona binding down the middle of the back. Chrome diecast tuners. The extra feature that comes with this Kona Gold Series dreadnought cutaway is that it comes with 4 band EQ and tuner and dual 1/4 XLR jacks. It also comes with a cleaning cloth, manual and 3 black pickguards.