OG2CE review by Oscar Schmidt

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (1 vote)
Oscar Schmidt: OG2CE
1

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: local shop barely used

Features — 9
Washburn makes all the Oscar Schmidt guitars and none is even mentioned here. One of the popular LP copies is an OS, but no one reviewed it either. The OGCESM spalted top dreadnought with electronics and a good build for cheap is a DEAL! It is from China and I am sure it is a 2016 year from serial S1607... I have to expect it is all laminated and maybe the spalted top is solid. Maybe. Active electronics have a good tuner. No case comes with it. The guitar was hanging and unmarked for $200 and worth it.

Sound — 9
This cheap guitar was strung with .010-.054 set and the nut slots needed to be deepened a bit. So I offered to buy it at full price if the shop guy (a skilled guitarist and builder) would touch up the nut slots and take off/clean up the ugly red pickguard. So, now the action is dead on. Nut and saddle are Nubone (synthetic bone stuff) and good enough on a cheap guitar. Nut slots are perfect depth and a bit of relief added at the truss rod allows for my .011-.052 light set, which I find long lasting and sounds just 'airy' enough.

Here is the point: For very cheap, this is a nice guitar. It plays really well, sounds impressive with a cxlear and resonant bass and pretty trebles. The balance is very good. It is not in the running with my $1100 Japan Takamine A/E, but for open mic and casual play, the OS catches the eye and sounds plenty good. For 80% of guitar guys, this guitar if set up correctly will do whatever is needed. It is a GOOD sounding and playing guitar for any price.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The fret steel is not top notch nor is the fretboard good rosewood. It's a $200 NEW guitar from China in Washburn's bargain brand, OK?
But the fret ends only needed a few swipes each of a fret end file and F-One fretboard oil on the bridge and fretboard. I gently smooth sanded the nut and saddle and then wiped a thin coat of poly for each, just to keep them clean and shine a bit. Bridge pins are the same materiab and are adequate. A bone saddle and pins (or equivalent) would improve sustain and tone complexity. So, take it for what it is... a good looking, nice playing dread A/E with the 12th fret gap at 1/16" and very light neck relief and light strings. I buy a guitar for value and if it is 2nd rate and not neatly made with good action and tone, I pass by it. This guitar surprised me... it is NOT a shitty and poorly made guitar.

Do not assume too much; the China and Indonesia guitars are getting better, faster. We are starting to get well made stuff from VietNam that is easily good enough (Cozart) for casual play. Some guys do not want to pay (or have) $800 for a good Fender or $400 for a good Squier. There is a place for different cost/feature guitars.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is new, but a guitar from Washburn factories is not going to crack or fall apart or get loose braces. There is no artistry in factory guitars... there is workable formula. Slick and nice finish; adequate (not impressive) tuners are pretty good. I rate it '8' since I have owned Taylor, Gibson, real Washburn and Guild and Epiphone acoustics. The OS is 'good enough' for a fun guitar that can be resold for 80% of what I spent. You should drop the bias against offshore/cheap guitars because the scene has started to change. You can get a guitar for cheap that is plenty good for most any player. So re-think why you are spending $1800 for a sweet Taylor if you are strictly a decent or pretty good player.

Overall Impression — 9
Rated '9' because it is CHEAP and SOUNDS/PLAYS GOOD. It is a value guitar and looks sharp on a stage with that spalted top wood. And it sounds surprisingly good: resonant and balanced. No tininess or odd stuff... it is solid and a well designed dread that is a strong and clear sounding. For a fingerstylist (I play with nails from classical study), this is a good choice. If it is ruined... big deal. But it is impressive acoustically and I assume the electronics is nearly equal to the Washburns.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    doug.henninger
    guitar note : if you are not doing it, get a pack of sponges at Dollar Tree for $1. Cut one in half and wet it and squeeze it out and put it in the case at the neck/body area. It keeps the guitar humidified and stable. Winter dry air will make a guitar crack; keep a damp sponge in the case all the time as a habit. And wipe the strings after playing and use FastFret or similar to keep the strings clean. 
    doug.henninger
    OG2CESM.... spalted maple top on mine. At $200 brand new, a very good value. I play with light strings on the 80/20 bronze formula to brighten it. Phosphor bronze type are a bit darker sounding .... 11-52 or 10-50 gauge are fine. A sharp guitar and not a good Washburn (owned by Washburn), but I have played $100 OS acoustic dreads that are worth every penny. Do not ignore them !