Price paid: € 569
Purchased from: Feedback Rotterdam
Sound — 9
I picked the Orchestra Model because I mostly play fingerpicking style, but this guitar is perfectly suitable for strumming. It is quite loud for a relatively small guitar and really fits my playing style (compare it to John Mayer, who alternates fingerpicking with strumming). I mostly use this guitar without amp at home, this is for 2 reasons. An acoustic guitar sounds at his best when it's played like an acoustic guitar: without an amp and because it is loud enough for home playing. When I do have a gig, I just plug it into my Spider Valve MKII amp, which has a preset for acoustic guitars and does the job well enough. The guitar's sound can be best described as rich, full and ringing. I absolutely love the sustain I get out of this beauty, and the deep lows and de singing highs are a joy to hear. This goes for both fingerpicking and strumming, which makes this guitar very diverse, more diverse than the Dreadnought version of this guitar in my opinion.
Overall Impression — 9
The guitar really suits me well. It's perfect for my style (John Mayer mostly on acoustic guitar) and this is just a great match, keeping in mind that John Mayer himself prefers Orchestra Models too. I've been playing since I was 7, I'm now 17 so that makes 10 years. I never owned an steel-string acoustic guitar (I've only played electric guitars) but this is one of my three showpieces, along with my Fender American Standard Strat and my customized Indie ES model. If it were stolen I'd go crazy but that's completely normal. Overall I really recommend this guitar. Please try it and compare it to a 2000 dollar/euro Martin guitar and you'll be surprised how close this darling comes. I'm so happy with it and I'm sure a lot of people will come after me, also satisfied!
Reliability & Durability — 8
The time will tell if the guitar will withstand live playing, but I think it will do. The guitar looks solid to me and so does the finish, my god. Did I already mention it's astonishingly beautiful?
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was set at a middle height, which is perfect for acoustic playing. No buzz or what'soever, yet comfortable enough to play. The guitar is equipped with Elixir strings (.011) and I'm planning to keep buying them: they sound very full and they last ridiculously long. The guitar contained no flaws and was a joy to unpack and play with right away.
Features — 8
This guitar is an Orchestra Model electro-acoustic guitar with a solid spruce top and mahogany neck, sides and back. The finish is natural gloss (absolutely beautiful if you ask me) with Ivory ABS binding. The bridge pins are also made out of Ivory ABS, whereas the bridge is made out of rosewood, and so is the fingerboard. The guitar is equipped with a Fishman Sonitone pickup underneath the bridge and the controls (tone and volume) are set underneath the edge of the soundhole, to maintain the historic look and feel. Last but not least, the tuners are open-back Waverly tuners which add to the historic look mentioned before. No accessories were included.