Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Dietz
Sound — 9
The sound, on the other hand, is simply amazing. It matches guitars $600.00 more expensive with ease, both in volume and in tone. That being said and can be a tad bright with new strings and I find that I must change them quite frequently in order to keep the tone from becoming dull because this guitar sounds awful with worn strings (I mean isn't that true of all guitars?). I find that this instrument sounds the best two days after its been strung and lends itself well both in volume and playability to any style of music. I play mostly blues, gospel, and rock and I can get some killer tones out of this instrument. I've out played Taylor's and Martin's hundreds and hundreds of dollars more expensive, however that may have more to do with the player than the instrument.
Overall Impression — 9
I truly love this guitar with its brilliant tone that has allowed me to hold my own in any situation playing against instruments that, strictly by price tag, should have shamed my sound. The action is sweet, if not temperamental at times, and lies low and loose. The weakest part of the whole ensemble is that the finish is very, very light. Get a case and get a stand, otherwise you're going to have one beat up instrument. With some TLC this guitar can take you anywhere you want it to. It has the ability to play anything you can throw at it as long as you don't throw it!
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've had this guitar for just over a year now with only a little nick in the finish and a weird polished spot from how my hands have worn the light and delicate finish. The tuners are still holding strong and the bridge is doing well (thankfully it doesn't have pegs in the bridge which I always have an issue with). Like I said it has a very light finish that is easily damaged and that applies to not just the body but the headstock as well. This is probably the weakest part of the guitar... So I would not suggest to one who is not spatially aware of their surroundings or not careful about where they place their instruments.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came setup (something that store I got it from is so good at) nice and low and smooth. Its an easy adjustment of the truss rod if so desired (located in the bottom of the neck accessed through the sound whole). There is no cut out, but playing on the upper frets is pleasant enough and not uncomfortable for those with the skill to access it. Bends are easily done on this instrument and I find the action to be pleasantly loose. The one thing that I find to be obnoxious is that it seems to want to be set up every time one changes the strings, which can get a little on the obnoxious side.
Features — 7
Your standard dreadnought style body with a real Cedar top and a light Cedar finish. The fretboard is unmarked rosewood (dots are on the side of the neck) and the frets themselves are unobtrusive. A word on the finish is that it is pretty easy to nick and scratch up. I am fairly gentle with my instrument since gouging it. Another odd thing: It probably has a lot to with how I play the instrument, but since there is no pick guard and I play in a percussive style that anchors my hand where the pickguard would be I have inadvertently polished that area with the oils from my hand and it is now very shiny and smoother than any other section of the instrument... Odd but not a bad thing. This guitar is pretty darn barebones: no pickups, just a little bit of finish, no inlays.