Price paid: $ 830
Purchased from: A DAWLIAH - Riyadh KSA
Features — 10
Manufacture Date: Nov. 19 2009
Made in Taiwan
Frets: 20 medium (I think)
Fingerboard: Rosewood (with binding)
Neck: Nato (matte finish)
Sides and back: Rosewood
Top: Solid Spruce black finish
Scale Length: 25 9/16
Tuners: Chrome Die Cast
Pickup: One way piezo
Preamp: Yamaha ART series preamp
Controls: Volume dial, Tuner button, low mid and high sliders, an AMF slider, and a digital LED for the tuner.
Battery: 9 volt
It didn't come with any case or bag so I bought a Proel Hardcase FORC3 Series which fitted great.
Sound — 10
It has a great full sound, great for country, blues, jazz, rock. The low, mid and highs are perfectly balanced (unplugged) which makes it great for chord progressions as well as lead single note picking as every note is delivered with great clarity. The lows are punchy, unlike the APX or CPX models unplugged, but then again, the APX and CPX were said to have been made mostly for plugged-in playing. The highs are clear, not tinny or too bright, but definitely pronounced and delivers great clarity for single note lead runs. Plugged-in takes a lot of getting used to as you usually need to fumble around the low, mid and highs to balance out the tones. Usually sounds great plugged in when the mids are set to low. I use a Fender acoustasonic 150 and it sounds awesome. But mostly I use this unplugged and mic'd which already sounds awesome in itself.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Out of the box, setup is great! (which I felt very lucky for as other reviews of this guitars mentioned some issues regarding the action being too high). Not too high nor too low, which suits my playing style. Top of the frets were evenly polished, though the fret edging could have used a little more filing work as some seemed too squared, though this is definitely not a deal-breaker. Initially I felt unlucky as I had to purchase the one on display, as the sales rep said that that was their only FGX730 in stock, but when I got to play around with it at the store, it felt and looked awesome as I didn't find anything to complain about except for a few scratches on the scratch plate, which anyway still had the factory plastic on it, so no complains there ;)
Reliability & Durability — 10
I honestly haven't played this in a gig, but I would imagine this to withstand live playing and will definitely cut through the mix as it delivers tones through and through with thundering clarity, which I am really surprised to hear from a "mid-jumbo" style dreadnought. The hardware are pretty rigid... definitely set tightly into place, i.e. preamp, battery holder, strap buttons are solidly locked into place. If I were to gig with this, there wouldn't be any need for a backup as this is a solidly built axe. Though I would probably buy another one just for the road, as the finish seem naturally thin, probably to ensure the tone characteristics of the wood shines out. Though being a solid spruce top, as well as rosewood back and sides, this will probably age well.
Overall Impression — 10
In more than 25 years of playing, I usually play classic rock, grunge, blues, punk and classical pieces and this plays through great in all genres, which says a lot. I have recently purchased this a few days back, but I definitely forsee buying another one just to keep a spare if it got lost or stolen or banged up pretty bad. I own other acoustics like Fender, Aria and some local brands, but this one is growing to be my favorite as it out plays my other acoustics in terms of presence and tonal variety.
I only wish it had strap locked buttons as opposed to the traditional strap buttons to add more to the "safety factor"... But overall, I've definitely got nothing to complain about as this is truly a guitar that's worth every buck. I had compared this to an Aria Japan dreadnought semi jumbo and this by far wins hands down! Will definitely recommend it to both beginners and intermediate players alike.