Price paid: C$ 300
Purchased from: Walters Music
Sound — 7
This is my first guitar, as such my review should be read with this in mind. The sound of this guitar can be classified to my inexperienced ear as warm and mellow, contrasting with bright Martin. Having played a few guitars, including Martins, Yamahas, and Fenders; this Norman certainly feels deep and warm in it's tone.
Overall Impression — 8
I am playing rock on this guitar, country, folk, and good ol' BBQ/campfire music. It's perfect for all of these genres. I've been playing a total of around 18 months or so. I use a Kyser capo with it that works nicely. I am currently working my way through the strings I can get a hold of to try to find the ones that work best to my ear. So far, I find Dr Rares to be excellent sounding with my B18. The sound produced is warm and delightful! I love my guitar and would have another in a heartbeat. I wouldn't change anything except maybe taking a friend Who can play to help me with my selection; then have them spot the setup problems from the get-go.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar seems very well built to me. It's survived a couple of accidental drops, some brutal string changes by someone Who had no idea what he was doing. The strap button seems very solid, as does everything on the guitar. Nothing wobbles at all and I don't feel the need for a locking mechanism for my Levy guitar strap. My 1 year old daughter has also beaten on it like a drum a few times and it seems to be coping well! As for gigging, I'm not the right person to comment; maybe one day I'll be able to update you all.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The setup was not perfect. The action is higher than I'd like down by the 12th frets onwards, and the neck was not straight. A five minute rod adjustment by a guitar tech at Long & McQuade helped a great deal, though I am considering taking it to a tech to have the saddle lowered to bring the action down even further.
Features — 8
My Norman B18 six steel-string acoustic guitar was made in Quebec, Canada, in June of 2006. This B18 features a solid Cedar top, with a laminated Wild Cherry body. The neck is maple, with a 21-fret rosewood fingerboard; the bridge is also rosewood. The guitar is dreadnought style and the finish is nice and warm and, importantly to me, non-gloss. The store treated me very well, throwing in a good quality gig bag, digital tuner, spare strings, chord booklet and some plectrums.