Viscount Review

manufacturer: Wesley date: 07/11/2008 category: Acoustic Guitars
Wesley: Viscount
The Viscount electro-acoustics offer the beginner or inexperienced player the opportunity to enjoy playing a full-sized quality roundback guitar at an affordable price.
 Sound: 6
 Overall Impression: 7
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7
 Features: 7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7
Viscount Reviewed by: MrFlibble, on july 11, 2008
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Price paid: £ 46

Features: This is a blueburst roundback electro-acoustic. No serial number so pretty much impossible to tell exactly where and when it was made, but I think Wesley's guitars are mostly made in China, and I think this could only be a year old at most (probably made early 2008). The front is allegedly Ash, though looking at the sound hole edges, it's clearly a laminate top over god-knows-what. The back is a medium-sized bowl, no information on what it's made of. 24 fret rosewood fretboard, though because of the construction, you can only really access up to fret 15, as is pretty common with acoustics that don't have a cutaway. The soundholes are the more modern design of several smaller holes near the front (rather than one large hole in the middle, as is more common with acoustics). Tuners are generic, no indication on Who made them or where, there's nothing special about them. One generic pickup under the bridge, and on top a 3-band EQ (treble, mid and bass), a volume control, and a simple battery power check. Guitar just came in a cardboard box, as many online-purchased guitars do. Nothing extra came with it, though it did arrive fully set-up perfectly, which I was impressed with. The provided strings are a bit rubbish though. All-in-all, fairly standard, but good considering the low price. A note on the price: If you buy this direct form the Wesley website, it's 99 plus shipping. However, Wesley also have an official EBay shop, where you can also buy their guitars right away at full price, or sometimes they will put random selections of their guitars up for a regular auction, where you can get them much cheaper. Definitely wait for the guitar you want to be in an auction. They still come fully set-up and Brand New like the ones you buy right away, but you can save a lot of money. I got this for 31+15 shipping, which in total is less than half price. I do think their 15 shipping charge is a little ridiculous considering other online stores can ship a much bulkier and heavier full amp stack for 8 these days, but since the base price of the guitar was so low, I can't complain really. // 7

Sound: Sounds nice and full, a decent enough tone for unplugged acoustic playing. It's a tiny bit quieter than a full dreadnought style acoustic, which I actually like as this guitar is a more 'sociable' natural volume. Good natural sustain, just nothing to complain about in this respect. Plugged in though, it's pretty noisy, and the cheap EQ doesn't have a huge effect except at the very extremes. I wouldn't bother using this plugged in at all in fact, even just for home use. I wouldn't advise people buy this if they're looking for a serious, great-sounding electro acoustic to amp up and use on stage, but as a regular acoustic for casual playing around the home or for practise/songwriting sessions, it's not bad. Not great, just 'not bad'. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: Set-up right out of the box was spot-on, except the strings provided are pretty poor. The fretboard could also do with either being buffed a little better or being properly treated, as it's a little rough in some patches. Around the soundholes, some excess frayed wood has been left, which spoils the presentation. The 'Wesley' decal on the headstock is clearly put on wonky and at an angle and off-centre. As I mentioned earlier, the blueburst Ash top seems to be a laminate too. That said, until you get up close it looks great, and there's no fretbuzz or poor fretwork or anything that actually effects playability and sound. The back of the neck has a nice smooth satin finish which makes playing pretty easy. Action is very low by acoustic standards. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would withstand Live playing, but I wouldn't advise you use it for that anyway simply because it sounds so bad when amped up. For casual use though, or perhaps for unplugged jam sessions or busking, it would be fine. Everything seems pretty solidly made, better than I expected for such a low price. // 8

Overall Impression: I got this just to have a cheap acoustic around to mess about with and travel with. The fact it was an electro-acoustic seemed like a bonus, though considering how poor the electric side of it turned out to be, that part is actually just a waste of time. Still, as a basic acoustic, it's great for this purpose. The key with this guitar (and all Wesley guitars in fact), is you have to remember how little they cost. I've played acoustics in the 150 range that are barely any better than this, and it's not until you hit the 200-250 range that you'll really notice much improvement over this. At this price I was expecting much, much worse. You really absolutely can not complain. No, this guitar is not perfect. It has quite a few flaws. But for 46? You can't really lose. // 7

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