Price paid: $ 1100
Purchased from: Union Music
Sound — 10
I do a lot of fingerstyle and strumming and I find this guitar very versatile. First position chords sound full and colorful. Although it plays loud, it does not sacrifice any tonal quality and it offers a rich bass along with nice highs if you were to play on the upper frets. Using Elixir strings, the guitar sounds bright and alive. It almost reminds me of a Taylor guitar but with a less "tinny" sound and more warmth like a Martin. Playing fingerstyle guitar, it definitely carries over the notes and with great sustain to boot. When I was looking for an Acoustic guitar, I honestly couldn't find another one within $2000 that had the sound that this had.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is a great value. I dislike saying this, however, since it makes the guitar seem "cheap". The first thing that I would like to point out is that the guitar is on par if not better than many of the other acoustics under $2000, let alone in its own price range. The sound is immensely gratifying and if quality is what you want, I doubt you could find better for the same price. The only thing that I could really want on this guitar are some electronic pickups, but I can get them installed myself if I wanted to. All in all, this guitar is fantastic. The funny thing is, however, is that I wouldn't replace this if I were to lose it since I would never find another JV-05 again in this good of a condition!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would definitely withstand live playing. Then again, I haven't really seen any guitars that are in such a bad shape and quality that they wouldn't work in a live setup. The only thing I would keep an eye out for are the critical points such as the neck and bridge. Other than that, this guitar is solid. The finish on the guitar is still holding strong and is not as easy to scratch as one would think. The clear pickguard also helps against scratches.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought it used so the body had a few scuffs as well as the headstock. The action was nice and low compared to some of the Martins I was originally looking at and it is very playable, even for fingerstyle. The neck wasn't warped and was still perfectly attached to the body despite the guitar being almost ten years old. The abalone binding around the soundhole looks fantastic and the clear pickguard allows me to see more of the guitar. Personally, I like this more than the ordinary colored pickguards found on many acoustics. The small dot inlays on the neck are a nice subtle touch and the headstock has a nicely ornamented abalone logo. The tuning pegs on the guitar hold their tune very well and are easy to turn. The bridge was correctly compensated and the guitar was perfectly intonated. Other than a few scuffs and scratches, this guitar is flawless.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in California, USA. It features an all-wood construction with mahogany back and sides with a sitka spruce top. It has an ebony fretboard and bridge and a mahogany neck. The jumbo body pushes a lot of air and might be uncomfortable to hold if you are a small person. The guitar has a satin finish and the cutaway allows easier access to the 12th fret and beyond. The cutaway, however, doesn't fully reach the neck of the guitar and so you have a small piece of the body hanging down below the neck which may be annoying to some people. There are no electronics featured on this particular guitar but it is definitely loud enough to fill a medium sized room. My guitar came with a hardshell case but I bought it second hand so it may not come with this depending on where you buy it from. There aren't any strap knobs which is slightly disappointing but then again, I could only see myself playing this while sitting down since it is so big.