Purchased from: guitar center
Features — 8
The FG730S is a full size acoustic made in China. There is no build date but it is a current model and it was purchases in 2013. It has a solid Sitka spruce top with rosewood back and sides. The body has a flawlessly applied gloss finish that shines against the satin finished nato neck. The entire guitar is bound from head to toe with a cream binding and a triple black purfling on the body. The standard closed tuners hold the strings in tune over the nicely set up plastic nut. It came with older strings that had been played quite a bit at the music store but that had. to be expected when you end up at a guitar center where thousands of kids pick up anything they can.
Sound — 10
This is not a loud acoustic that will jump out at you. You can't jump out over a screaming fiddle or a booming Martin. It has a quite mellow tone. That is not a bad thing. This allows each note to ring out equally and it really has a balance that I can only compare to a Gibson. This makes it easy to sing without having to play too softly or push your voice too hard if you are not using a mic. This allows me to play classical on a steel string without really having to worry about plucking a string too hard or that annoying string slide sound. However if you play with someone who is using a fiddle or that Martin, you will most likely find yourself in the background or playing supporting leads rather than jumping on the front burner and standing out above the rest.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The setup on this guitar was flawless. The strings are at a nice height with no fret buzz. The neck seems to have the correct relief and the frets were smooth and rounded off better than a lot of the more expensive guitars at the music store. There were only two issues I have come across. There is a small chip out of the back of the headstock. This could have happened at the store. Now the problem that stood out was on the back of the neck at the 10th fret. It's barely noticeable but I can feel a tiny depression. It doesn't effect the playability, but it is there.
Reliability & Durability — 9
There is not a lot to say about the durability. This guitar feels solid. I've played it quite vigorously and it has stood up to it with ease. The tuners feel like they might wear out at some point. They are pretty solid right now but you can tell they just don't have the guts to last forever. The Sitka spruce top is a little thicker than some of the other/louder acoustics out there. This gives you more a a sense of security while you're playing in less than ideal circumstances. The gloss finish really helps when a beverage gets dribbled on the body. It also helps when you play those long sessions in the sweltering heat of the mid summer camp site.
Overall Impression — 10
Ok, I play everything from classical to metal. I've dabbled with violin, piano, harp, bass and drums. But the guitar has been the constant for 20 years. I recently had my electric gear stolen so I thought I would try another guitar. I went shopping with $2000 and full intentions of buying something in that price range. I wasn't even going to look at something like this but I was starting to get frustrated. Everything I played did one thing well but lacked in something else. The FG730S sounded smooth and even. If you are looking for a singer, songwriter guitar then this is the one for you regardless of price.