Price paid: $ 279
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 10
It's a very well balanced guitar as far as tone. It gets better through time. I've had this guitar for about a year and a half and it has improved greatly. When I plug it into an amp, I go through a DOD Overdrive pedal just to prevent from cranking the amp volume too high. I pleasant warm sound is produced through either D'Addario EXP strings as well as Ernie Balls Earthwood strings. Medium and light strings both work and sound great. I've yet to try Elixer strings, though I'm sure that those will work fine also. When strings go dead though, the guitar sort of dies with it, but not as bad as others.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I am pleased that I made this purchase. It's a beautiful guitar and should be a good investment because it's a limited edition guitar and there's only going to be so many out there. I play almost any genre really, but it gets most of it's work from playing worship music for my church. However, apart from playing for church, I guess I'd mainly use it for alternative, and punk. It's great for finger picking as well. I'd like to play more blues and country, but it just takes time for me to progress as a guitar player. I've been playing for 3 and a half years, though I haven't progressed for the past 2 years due to shifting focus back to school. During college I should be able to continue improving my skills at the guitar. I'm just fortunate enough that I'm not decreasing in skill. I also own a cheapo Johnson acoustic that actually isn't that bad. But I left that guitar in China as well as my first acoustic, some 3/4 sized guitar that had a brand that I don't even know still exists. Apart from the acoustics, I own an Epiphone G-400 that includes the DOD Overdrive Malmsteen signature, Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal and a Behringer Vintage amp..forgot what specific model, but it's not bad. I have some no-name brand workhorse amp in China as well. If this guitar gets stolen or lost, I would definately buy it again if I could get it at or around the same price. If not, then I'd probably go for a Taylor 410 just because that Ovangkol back and side really lures me in. I love everything about this guitar really. I just didn't like the fact that it didn't have that second strap button. My favorite feature of the guitar would probably have to be how smooth the inside of the guitar feels. I compared it with a few Epiphone guitars (DR300s, DR200s, AJ-1) and a couple of Ibanez guitars around the same price range. This one just blew them away because of what it's made out of and the tonal quality and the fact that I know the tone would just get better. It was a pretty close call between the DR300s and this one, but the Ovangkol back and side just looks a lot more attractive. And it came with a free case.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think it will be quite reliable. Despite being an all solid wood guitar, it has endured it's fair share of bumps. I play with it Live at least once a week, and it's done fine. Everything's holding up and it doesn't get out of tune often, even when I just installed new strings. The button strap before I installed the pickup was quite cheapo, and I would've prefered a steel strap button, but it doesn't matter for me now because the pickup replaced the strap button. It is very dependable and I would be able to gig on it without any backups, though backups are always nice. Finish is great, though I still prefer it if it didn't have such a high gloss. But it's going to last for a while.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I haven't taken this guitar to get a professional set up yet, but I don't think it really needs any setting up. The action is slightly higher than what it could be, but I prefer a slightly higher action just to keep my fingers stronger. The finish of the guitar could've had slightly more care since there was slight glue residue at random places, but nothing that really bothered me. I'd prefer it to not have that high of a gloss, but it doesn't really matter.
Features — 9
Dreadnaught Made in Indonesia, 2005. 20 frets (21 if you count that last one). Solid Spruce top, Solid Ovangkol back and sides. Mohagony neck and striped ebony fretboard. Natural glossed finish. Buzz feiten tuning system (though I'm too cheap to buy the tuner for it). Gold coated grover tuners (though mine started to fade quite quickly). A lot of fancy pearly designs all over, though not that excessive. Came with a Washburn deluxe case, very nice, but smelled horrible. I installed a Martin Thinline pickup system into mine. An extra strap button on the bottom of the neck joint or at the 45 degree angle would've been nice.