My favorite thing about this guitar is its looks and the plugged in sound. The worst aspect is the bolt-on neck and the condition of the frets from the factory. You have to know how to set up guitars and maintain them to keep this one. If you want a stylish jumbo sized fingerpicking guitar to play plugged in I recommend this one with the preceding reservations. As an acoustic alone I always select one of my other guitars.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $1000.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Sliger's Music, Redlands
This is a US-nade quality guitar. The back and sides are made of KOA wood. The sides may or may not be veneer. The top is a nice piece of spruce with pleasing abalone inlays. The acoustic pickup is a PreFix Plus by Fishman with an under the saddle pickup.It has a cutaway and 20 frets. The body style is a Tacoma Jumbo. Everything about the guitar is beautiful.
Because the neck is a bolt-on and is so thin fret buzzes have been a problem. The setup on the guitar was terrible. I had to level and polish the frets in order to get rid of an annoying buzz. I've had the guitar over two years and the bolt-on neck has needed to be tightened twice. Compared to my other acoustics -- a Simon and Patrick Dreadnought and an old Guild the unamplified sound is rather thin and lacking in bass. However, the reason I bought this guitar was for the electronics and the looks. When it is plugged in you can get an amazing range of tones with little effort. It has beautiful acoustic sounds all the way up to a jazz guitar sound. (It's the pickup and the electronics.)
If used as an acoustic-electric the sound is excellent. As an acoustic alone it is balanced but rather on the thin side. To play it I use a Peavey 212 Classic Chorus for jobs and a Rogue RA300 Acoustic amp for practices. A Nanoverb by Alesis completes the setup. I have the action setup for fingerstyle. It has been extremely reliable (except for the neck problems which I have conquered). The sound is great played through an amp and you can dial in almost an sound you want. I've even recorded it plugged straight into the board and the sound is wonderful.
It is reliable enought for steady live playing. However it is so beautiful to look at that I sometimes don't take it along to the rougher gigs because I don't want it scarred up. The neck is a compromise. It is so skinny and fast that it naturally reacts to changes in climate. You have to chase it around sometimes, but it plays like an electric guitar.
Excellant guitar for whatever use, I will probably find another guitar to take around as a beater. Great sound and finish for the money. The only guitar I've liked better is the Taylor "Cindy" model, around $3500.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $1100.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Mahoney's Drum and Music Store
U.S. Made is Washington, Solid top spruce with abalone inlays around sound hole and on neck. The backs and sides are koa, with a beautiful finish.
Nice fret action direct from factory. Neck is very pleasing to play, I think width was like 17/8". Not wide and flat like yamahas and gibsons, but more like a taylor.
Nice deep base tones and great highs. Sounds great through a p.a and a direct box. Haven't much need for effects. I play in church and in classrooms with kids, being a jumbo it may be a little loud for classrooms. Electronics can be upgraded to have built in equalizer, but we have a sound person to do that.
I feel this will be a very durable guitar, the weather is dry here and we use at least 2 humidifiers for our instruments. So far I've only had a minor buzz appear that was fixed quite simply with a little sand paper. Others that I play with are constantly having to get adjustments. Mine has held up beautifuly.