I looked at several other small-bodied, folk guitars, looking for one with decent action, a truss rod, a solid top, etc. This was the best of the bunch. If it were stolen ... I'd probably buy a used Taylor as a replacement ... but I wouldn't be adverse to having one of these again as a backup. It's anything but fancy ... but it does the job.
An interesting thing I noticed, after browsing through different sites, is that the people who have bought this guitar have often paid anywhere between $300-400 dollars. That's too much! It's not a bad instrument, but I would have completely ignored it at that price. I was looking for something in the $200 dollar range ... and no more.
Model Year: 1997
Price: $150.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Blue Ridge, a music store in Asheville, NC ... no longer in business.
The guitar was made in Canada by a subdivision of Godin. The body is made of cherry, with a solid spruce top. The neck is mahogany, with a rosewood fretboard. It has a Fishman Active Matrix pickup. The guitar has a very thin, matte finish. The tuners on the guitar are not original ... I installed a used set of Grovers, because the set that came with the guitar didn't hold pitch very well. The price included a pretty nice hard case.
It plays surprising well for a guitar in this price range. It is a very good practice instrument. I have played it on stage, and it sounded pretty good. The playability is about average. The guitar has a truss rod, but it has never needed adjustment. There are no flaws ... it's a solid little guitar. There' s a little fret buzz on the lower E string (I may have that adjusted later on) but that is because I prefer light-gauge strings. I've considered putting medium-gauge on the guitar; but that would lessen the playability. The guitar is a little tougher on your fingers than a higher-end instrument, especially for things like bends. If I had to change anything ... I'd want the neck to be a tad wider, so those open chords could be fretted more comfortably. An A chord can be a tight squeeze ... and I don't have the world's biggest hands.
I use this guitar primarily as a practice instrument, although I've used it onstage in places where I didn't feel comfortable hauling out my more expensive Guild. Some stages are tiny ... and sometimes the patrons are not! LOL! The sound quality is fairly balanced, although the tone is a little shallow. The guitar is not that loud ... not much projection, as to be expected from an orchestral-style body. But ... it works well as an amplified instrument, and is not at all noisy.
But ... it sounds better, and plays better, than any other guitar I've tried in this price range. It would be a really good "first" guitar for a teenager.
I wouldn't want to use it on a regular basis, not if I was gigging, but for an emergency backup, or for just hanging out and playing with some friends, it's just the thing. The kind of guitar that if it got stepped on, or damaged at an airport, you wouldn't scream bloody murder, but you might buy another for the same purpose. It's a decent little instrument ... I was pleased to find a solid top guitar at this price, and cherry doesn't sound as bad as you might think. When using the pickup and a decent amp ... the tone might fool you into thinking that it was a larger, pricier guitar. It doesn't weight much ... but it is solidly constructed.