Price paid: C$ 475
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Features — 10
I recently purchased a new LaPatrie Presentation classical guitar. This is an all solid wood instrument featuring a cedar top and rosewood back and sides. It also has a satin finish. Apparently I have to use up 500 characters. Not sure why that is a requirement. Anyway, the Godin folks can't tell me when this was made. I don't know if they don't keep records or don't really care when an instrument is produced. I can only assume mine is probably no more than a year and a half old. Hard to say.
Sound — 8
This guitar, to my ears, does not sound like a traditional Spanish hand made classical. But I don't think it is supposed to. It is a nylon string guitar, and should appeal to most players, especially coming from a steel string background. I play jazz and other instrumentals on this instrument. It has a lush bass and clear trebles and that's what I was looking for in a low price quality guitar. I suppose one could play classical music on it but to me it sounds better playing modern tunes. But in reality this is much more than an entry level guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This is where the guitar shines. From the factory it was perfect. Intonation was outstanding, and the action didn't need any adjustment. Inside the guitar was as clean as any acoustic guitar I've ever seen. The back and sides matched very well. All joints and surfaces neatly joined and aligned. No bridge gaps or gaps anywhere on the guitar. Tuners are ok but are not high quality. They do suffice however. The neck is perhaps a little chuncky compared to a Taylor classical, but that can be overcome with positioning.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't had the guitar long enough to comment. But I have had others from this manufacturer and they were built to last. I will probably put some strap pegs on this guitar at some point. It is painful drilling into the nice finish and wood to do that but when it is over, it is worth it. The finish is very light and can dent easily, that much is true. But I don't really care about that. A guitar is meant to be played. I don't collect guitars, I play them. And a ding here or there is going to happen.
Overall Impression — 9
As I mentioned earlier I play strictly instrumentals on this guitar. It matches my style 100%. There is nothing on the market that I've seen that even comes close to it in this price range or even double. I know that sounds cliché but I really mean that. I've been at this game for over 40 years now so I think I know a great instrument when I see/hear it. If you are interested please try one. Trust your ears. Don't just take anyone's opinion as holy grail. Just to fill some space I also chose this guitar as it is made in my country. I am tired of Asian instruments, especially from China.