Price paid: $ 345
Purchased from: Zager.com
Sound — 8
It doesn't play quite as loudly as I thought it would which is a plus. I lean toward camp fire songs, you know, a little Bob Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary. Music like that. Being Mahogany the sound is rich and full though not like a huge Dreadnought its a little quieter and softer. I may look into installing a Fishman type Pickup for a little amp work but no rush. I have a micro G&K stack I put together years ago to amplify an acoustic/electric Alvarez violin and I think it'll be perfect for this Baby Zager.
Overall Impression — 10
My general impression is that I chose well. It's a perfect match for my intended use of this guitar. Its smaller than average, lighter than average, quieter than average. Its low string tension and playability is a plus. Construction quality means it'll hold tune and last probably longer than me. I look forward to teaching myself to play more of the music I enjoy with this nice Baby Zager. If it were destroyed, lost or stolen, I'd buy another without hesitation though I would look into having Dennis install a Fishman style of Pickup for the Baby. Right now I can't find anything I dislike only plenty I like. It didn't come with a case and I didn't think to ask so that's something I'd look into as well. A hard case would be a plus. I'm genuinely thrilled with the Baby Zager and glad I stumbled onto the Zager web site. Its clearly head and shoulders above the other 3/4 size name brand guitars that it competes with. I still can't believe the quality of this guitar for what little I paid. I'm still just blown away!
Reliability & Durability — 10
As far as reliability and durability it new so its hard to tell "BUT" when I compare it to my other instruments including my Martin D18 I fully expect it to hold up just as well as the Martin. Its finish doesn't give anything away to my Martin. When it arrived the first thing I did was inspect it with an eagles eye and I wasn't able to find one flaw. Not one. Not even a little sloppy work on the finish. If it looks this good on the outside I fully expect it to be just as good on the inside. When you put your name on it and their is a guy named Zager who sell his guitar, quality control isn't just a concept. Its mandatory and It shows.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
It arrived a few days after I ordered it on-line ready to go, well, I needed to tune it just a bit. It holds its tune rather well especially for a new guitar with new strings. The string tension is noticeably less on this guitar than other 3/4 guitars I tried which is one of the many qualities that attracted me. Zager doesn't make it a secret that his guitars are set up to play with less string tension than your average guitar. The neck feels good in my hand so the thickness and shape agree with me. Its size is perfect for a practice/travel guitar. The more I play it the more I'm pleased and I have difficulty wipping that stupid smile from my face. Then I remember I paid $345.00. I'm smiling now! For that price this should rate an "11" but its not a choice in the drop down.
Features — 8
I was looking for a new smallish acoustic guitar that wasn't to expensive but of good quality and sound not made entirely in China that would be somewhat easier for a beginning guitarist to learn on. I already play the violin/mandolin/ukulele/ banjo and I also play the guitar just a little bit. I thought it was time to expand my horizons a bit more. Travel size guitars of the quality I wanted were typically near 1K. Being a travel size guitar is also important. I looked at all of the 3/4 size name brand acoustic guitars and I came away feeling cold toward their offerings. Then I stumbled on Dennis Zager's web site. He made a lot of claims that I simply didn't believe. Solid woods, lower tension strings, good volume and last but not least, great sound. A few of these qualities, maybe but all of them, no way. Just more internet bull. Well, I'm glad to say I'm wrong. I ordered his Baby Acoustic Mahogany model 3/4 size guitar and I'm blown away with its construction quality, sound, playability. Oh yah, price! If this Zager holds up and I suspect it will, I'll know I made the right choice.