Price paid: $ 724
Purchased from: LibertyGuitars.Com
Sound — 10
The FA 100 exhibits a rich full sound which makes it good for a variety of styles. Resonators have a tendency to rattle but this is easily remedied by adjusting the spider bridges with a flat head screwdriver or similar object. The tone quality is totally different from any other resonator I've ever played. When using a brass slide in open tuning, the guitar will fairly cry on slow tunes and scream on the faster numbers. I've noticed very little string rattle when using a slide. The guitar has a sound quality all it's own and really can't be compared with the traditional "dobro" tonal quality.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for the better part of 30 years with emphasis on slide. Although I've played resonators in the past, this is the first one I've ever owned. If it were lost or stolen, I'd definitely buy another as I believe for the money, you can't do better. I love the sweet sound quality of this guitar because it best suits the style of playing I specialize in which is primarily blues. I compared this to a $2,000.00 National steel body and felt that at less than half the price, this was a better deal for me. The $350.00 Korean-built Fender resonator doesn't even come close. Overall, I'd rate this guitar very highly and as good if not better buy than guitars selling for a lot more. Buck for buck, it's hard to beat this.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I plan on using this guitar for gigs and can see no reason why it wouldn't withstand the rigors of every night playing. It is solidly built using the finest of woods and is designed to be played in any setting. Since this is going to be my primary instrument, I feel confident given its overall construction that I will have no problems with the the guitar self-destructing on me. Besides, it has a lifetime warranty on it and with proper care and handling should last a long long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar is set up at the factory to user specifications. Since I play predomninantly slide guitar, mine was set up with the strings slightly higher to eliminate string rattle. The bridge on my guitar had settled during shipment which made the instrument unplayable and required a trip back to New Smyrna Beach to fix the problem. After a two day turn around, I received the guitar with the bridge properly adjusted and ready to play. I could find no flaws on the finish anywhere. The guitar is set up for finger or flat picking as well as slide.
Features — 10
This is a 2002 model FA 100 resophonic guitar made by Liberty Guitars of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Bill Blue, the owner of Liberty and his shop hand build these guitars and set them up to user specs. This is their top of the line model with a Honduras mahogany body and neck, Brazilian rosewood fret board, and lacquered hand rubbed cherry finish. The guitar also features mother of pearl diamond fret markers, sliver frets 14 to the body custom "f" fanholes cut into the polished aluminum top, a 10.5 inch Quarterman resonator which, according to Bill Blue is the best made, Grover tuning machines and an adjustable truss rod. The guitar came packed in a very sturdy hard case which is typical for Liberty Guitars. My guitar came with a resonator pickup but no controls which is no big deal as I'll be using an outside eq anyway. The round neck is set up for finger picking as well as slide work and is very fast.