Price paid: $ 199
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 7
The sound of the Lucero LCT 250CE is pleasant, although not as full as more expensive guitars with solid tops. It's got a good enough acoustic and amplified sound for student and intermediate use. The intonation is spot-on at the 12th fret, so low and high notes ring true and sound nice. The stock nylon strings are low-tension strings, and I'm going to try some high-tension strings to see if that brings a bit more brightness to the sound (although I'm happy with it the way it came from the shop).
Overall Impression — 6
It has a pleasant sound, it feels really great to play (which is what sold me on it) and it has the built-in pickup/preamp that I wanted for playing open-mics and coffee houses. I've had other classical guitars over the years, and this guitar has a good set of features for a $200 guitar. The only drawback to this guitar is the stupid placement of the battery clip, but I don't expect to be changing that very often, and my "extension cord" make it easier to do. If it were lost or stolen, I'd probably look on eBay for the same model, and see if there were any good prices on a Cordoba C5-CE.
Reliability & Durability — 6
The guitar I bought seems to have no manufacturer defects. The bridge/body joint is nice and flat with no sign of lifting at the back. This guitar seems sturdier that some of the more expensive guitars I've tried. I wouldn't be too worried if it gets knocked into things. It seems pretty sturdy and has a decent sound, features and finish for a $200 student classical guitar. I would play coffee houses with it with no backup, but it's probably not the best for a Concert hall.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
What made me decide to purchase this model instead of a more expensive model is how comfortable it is to hold and play. I really like the thinline body, the shape of the neck, the low action, and the full-width nut and fretboard. The tuning machines are good quality, and are easy to adjust, and hold pitch very well. The black finish with binding is also very cool. The main problem with this guitar is the placement of the 9-volt battery inside the body of the guitar (clipped to the back of the preamp). It is very difficult to replace the battery. VERY difficult. To solve some of this difficulty, I bought two 9-volt battery snap connectors and wired them together to make an "extension cord" for the built-in battery clip. This allows me to slack the strings, reach in the sound hole and pull the batter from its clip and pull it out of the sound hole to disconnect the battery and connect a replacement. In short, I LOVE how this guitar feels and plays, but the battery placement is nothing but stupid.
Features — 6
The Lucero LCT 250CE is a slim-bodied "thinline" acoustic classical (nylon string) guitar with a cut-away to allow higher fret access. It is available with a natural finish and a gloss black finish (I bought the gloss black model). The top is laminated spruce, and the top, neck and headstock are all bound (with a white binding on the black model). The Lucero LCT 250CE has a built-in active pickup with 12db boost and cut for volume, treble, and bass. The preamp/pickup is powered by a 9-volt battery that is unfortunately mounted on the back of the preamp, inside the body of the guitar.