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The flatpicked guitar reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

161 reviews in the archive.

Aria: A586

Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 3/24/2018

Where Purchased: Browns Music, Connellsville, PA

Year Purchased: 1967
Price Paid: $50.00 ($US)

Sound

Nice sound for a $50 guitar- This is a classical guitar- got as a gift in 1967, but I put an under saddle pickup on it and flatpick it [ like Willy ] Not loud but you can hear it. Under saddle pickup installed later works well into an amp or PA system.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Good- I has some work done on the intonation and string height in the 1980s- but still fine.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Made in Japan, Classical looks- headstock looks pieced together from three pieces of wood. Spruce top- Rosewood back and sides-Cedar neck-- it seems solid wood

Appearance Rating: 6

Reliability

I've been playing this since 1967- only one fixup and one upgrade- plays fine. Amped it sounds fine- nice jazzy sound. It has held up well for 50 years- one of the reasons I've posted this review.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Don;t know- never tried- Aria still in business- as importer- who actually makes these things is a wild tale.

Customer Service: 3

Components

Spruce top, rosewood back and sides- mahog.[?] neck- headstock made from pieces but firm- hardware still good and never changed. Finish good and glossy- decal on sound hole and headstock.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

ALTHOUGH NOT ACTUALLY A GUITAR FOR FLATPICKING- THIS IS A FINE FLATPICKED INSTRUMENT- TYPICAL CLASSICAL SIZE AND STYLING. FLATPICKED IT SOUNDS JUST FINE.  I USE IT MOSTLY AS A JAZZ GUITAR. I LIKE THE CLASSICAL WIDE FINGERBOARD BUT WITH A FLATPICK.  THE UNDER SADDLE PICKUP WORKS FINE BUT I REALLY COULD USE A OUTBOARD PREAMP.  RIGHT NOW I USE AN OLD EQ  BOX AND REVERB UNIT. I PUT CLEAR STICKY PICKGUARDS ON IT [ DON'T WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE 'TRIGGER']  THEY HAVE HELD UP VERY WELL OVER THE YEARS-  GOT A NEW GOOD HARD SHELL CASE FOR IT TO- THE CHIPBOARD ONE DIED YEARS AGO. THIS WAS A CHEAP IMPORT BACK THEN [ HAY EVEN IN 1967 $50 WAS A CHEAP GUITAR] BUT IT HAS HELD UP VERY WELL AND I LIKE THE SOUND.

Overall Rating: 7

Alvarez: ARD 70

Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/16/2017

Where Purchased: Guitar Gallery, Canonsburg, PA

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: $350+ $50 for a ex. large case to fit it historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

12 fret Slope Shouldered slot-headed Dreadnought. Big Boomy sound. I changed strings to Martin montel
retro and it sounded even more retro and boomy

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Setup was shakey- strings rattled. I took it back for a store tuneup. They did a GREAT JOB. No buzzes or rattles. I may take it back to lower action- its a TAD high for me. If you get an experienced set up guy-its usually no problem. Imported guitars need a good set up to sound ok. I had to return it to lower sting height and a new set up- now much better.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Slot head slope shouldered 12 fret Dreadnought. Spruce top [matchbooked pieces] Rosewood laminated [dont know what kind] back and sides.-mog neck and head- no faceplate. Its a Chinese import but the fit and finish were very good. Very striking looking guitar. Its a BIG guitar. Slope shouldered - too big for my regular dread cases.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Seems substantial. Time will tell. I have another imported guitar and old Aria classical import from the 60s- It still plays well and looks fine, but that was Japanese not Chinese. Its BIG. They had find a case to fit it. Imports are getting better but are always ??? after a bit. Chinese imports are cheap $$ but will they last?

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

At GG they offer in store luthery. Very good. Experienced workmen. I haven't had a cause to contact Alvarez ;yet [ i hope never] so I don't know about anything except the online reg.

Customer Service: 8

Components

Tuners are iffy. With a slot head they are through the head [like a classical guitar only thinner] If something goes it will be these. Top [Spruce] seems nice for an import. Rosewood back and sides look sturdy. Mogh. neck is big and looks tough. Not solid but laminated woods I think.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I've had guitar problems for a while.  I play in a bluegrass band and need a BIG bluegrass guitar.  OK that is NOT a Martin [D-18/28] but being retired I really don't have the $$ for a new Dread [ Martin has reissued its own slope shouldered  model in 12 fret for about $5,500]- but the Alvarez is really NOT Martin quality. Chinese instruments vary greatly in quality from instrument to instrument   My daughter has an Alvarez-Yairi Dread.[made in Japan quality made]  VERY nice guitar.  I have a hand built Dread [ made my a friend of mine] for most gigs. But for weekly jams I wanted a boomer and something different.  A 12 fret guitar seems to fit the need.  Imports are about $300-400.  A Yairi is $2000+, a Collings or Martin= $5000+.  This seemed a fun choice.  It has the style I want with a price I can live with. Import guitars are NOT hand made Martins by any standard.  But I've seen a few good ones in my time and I'm hoping this will be one.  Usually Chinese made- low price guitars vary greatly in quality-  from VERY bad- to NOT so bad. but let us be real-- it's not a Martin or Gibson.

Overall Rating: 7

Martin: 00-17S Whiskey Sunset

Submitted by lcmac (see all reviews from this person) on 3/21/2017

Where Purchased: Schoenberg Guitars, Tiburon, CA

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This guitar is great for playing Old-time backup guitar. Nice and loud. It can be heard pretty well in a jam with fiddles and banjos. It's probably a good finger-picker too.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

This guitar was expertly set up at a local shop (Schoenberg guitars).

- it has proper neck relief
- string height at bridge ~= 1/2"
- string height at 12th fret (bass-side) 3/32"
- no buzz anywhere

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

I'm happy with all of the components. Tuners ("Golden Age Relic Nickel"), bone nut and saddle.

Some specs:
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at bridge: 2 5/32" (Martin's High Performance Taper)
Neck shape: Modified Low Oval

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Overall Rating : 10 (love this guitar)

Review in Guitar & Bass Magazine with photos:
http://www.guitar-bass.net/reviews/martin00-17sdc-18e/

 

Overall Rating: 10

Alvarez Yairi: Yarai YM-1

Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 6/21/2016

Where Purchased: CA House, St Clairsville, OH

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 1000 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Great big booming sound, Dreadnaught style, Martin Like bass side-

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

From CA House[St. Clairsville, OH] setup was good- no changes made

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Striking looking guitar, Cedar top [ not spruce] so it looks a little reddish, Mago, back ,sides and neck. Everyone wants to know what it is. Clear pickguard. silver chrome hardware, regular bridge [ not the in top only bridge on most high end Alvarezes.]

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

Very well made, hand made by K. Yarai in Japan from 1998-99- then discontinued. Cedar top is a bit delicate, Clear pickguard shows off the entire top. You have to watch the top for climate [hot/cold] conditions. Its not a beater.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I never had a problem

Customer Service: 9

Components

Cedar top makes for a great sound, bu-t its not as durable as spruce. Everything else is 1st class

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Great sounding guitar.  I use it mostly for bluegrass [ it has that Martin like BASS sound]  Very easy to play.  Even down the neck.

Overall Rating: 9

Simon & Patrick: Woodland Pro Folk

Submitted by 74rider (see all reviews from this person) on 3/11/2016

Where Purchased: Artichoke Music Portland

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 900 ($US)

Sound

I play Old Time and Bluegrass. It has a full balanced sound and bright enough to stand out in a jam, no "muddiness" here, which I'm suprised about and happy. It's has a bit smaller body than a dreadnaught but still has a lot of punch.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It was setup for light to med-light strings but can mediums no problem. I'll use lights until I see a need to change, but as of right now, they work well in my band. The action is awesome, best I've seen.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful, see my logo. It's a spruce top, mahogany sides and back. I had to add a pick guard but that's about it. They can be purchased with electronics but I opted not to include. Overall, love the guitar.


Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Definitely built to last.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Bought locally and Artichoke is great to deal with.

Customer Service: 9

Components

It did not come with a pick guard but this is understandable since it is folk guitar, but I added one for $20

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

It's made in Quebec and I am very pleased with the guitar overall. I thought about a Martin, but once I tried this one, I couldn't put it down. I can hear myself in jams and others can hear me too, which is nice. I like the body size compared to my other dreadnaught. I highly recommend this one.

 

http://www.simonandpatrick.com/33713_woodlandprofolk.htm

 

 

Overall Rating: 9

Fender: CD 60

Submitted by DroneAlone (see all reviews from this person) on 2/2/2016

Where Purchased: www.thomann.de

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 123 (Euro) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sound is very clear and direct. It is neither harsh nor sweet - it's somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. The sound is well balanced over all the strings and over the range of the fretboard (at least up to the 12th fret, I don't play any higher than that). The notes have a good attack.

The guitar works particularly well for fast single note playing (i.e. fiddle tunes). When playing chords with all six strings the sound is too full for my taste - the single notes don't melt together well, they seem to drown each other. Playing alternating bass backup works well, as long as you play only 3 or 4 strings in the chord part and you don't go in too hard. The bass lines have a good drive and punch.

To me, this guitar sounds best when flatpicked with a thick 1.5 - 2.0 mm pick. It is not for casual pop/folk strumming and singer/songwriter stuff.

For fingerpicking, the guitar seems to sound at least OK, but I'm not really a fingerpicker. I'd probably use different (lighter) strings.

This guitar sounds better than you would expect from a guitar that costs 4 times more.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The setup was as you find it on most new instruments: usable, but too high. I've lowered the action at the nut according to my taste. String height at the bridge works well for me.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

I have the red/black sunburst version. The sunburst looks cheap but kinda cool. I prefer it to the "natural" look of a cheap laminate top. The mahogany veneer on the sides and the back looks very nice. The guitar looks like a fun cheap guitar, it doesn't pretend to be anything else. There is no unneccessary bling.

The lacquer is not too thick (as often on cheap instruments) and has no blemishes.

The overall workmanship is flawless and surpasses what you'll find on many more expensive instruments.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

This instrument is built very solidly (it's laminate!), but not overbuilt. The tuners are of good quality, they're smooth and precise and keep the tuning well. Again, I've seen worse on more expensive instruments. I don't see how this instrument could ever fail. When I buy a more expensive instrument sometime, I will keep the fender as a campfire guitar

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I have not dealt with fender, yet. Service from thomann was excellent, as always.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Maybe I'll replace the plastic nut and bridge inlay with bone someday. I'm also tempted to replace the sealed tuners with open geared or kluson tuners, but thats purely cosmetical.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I first saw this guitar at a friends house. He was just starting to play guitar and bought a fender, because that was the only brand he recognized. My first thought was "if you had asked me for advice, you had probably gotten something better. Fender sucks for acoustic instruments", but I didn't want to spoil it for him. Later that evening I played a bit on the guitar and was impressed. The next day I ordered mine. In terms of how much fun I've got out of it, it's definitely the best 123 Euro that I've ever spent on any piece of music equipment.

I've owned maybe half a dozen guitars over the last 30 years, and guitar never really inspired me. They were mostly collecting dust in the corner. I mainly play banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Once I had this guitar, I started playing a lot, and began to methodically approach learning guitar (I'm working my way through the flatpicking essentials series). I'm neglecting my other instruments. I would love to buy a more expensive, better and more beautiful guitar, but within my budget of 1000 Euro (~$1000 at the moment) I haven't found anything that I like better. Maybe I'll save up for the real thing (Martin D-18). But I don't think I will ever sell this guitar - it's been too good to me ;-)

If I had given the ratings relative to the price, this would be a solid 12 out of 10.

Overall Rating: 8

Gibson: LG-1

Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 1/23/2016

Where Purchased: gift

Year Purchased: 1959/60
Price Paid: gift (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Great little guitar- It was a gift to our bluegrass club. Ladder braced but a clean bright sound - and pretty loud at that. [ no D-28 loud ]

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It was the original 1959/60 setup. Just new light strings. I had heavys on it but the light work much better. It needed some new bridge pins- the insert holes were reamed out by the old ones so i had to order a larger size.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Good for a well used 60;s guitar..Some nicks and bumps. a few scratches- i dropped it and put a small crack in the top, but its not that bad. Good rubbed finish- black fade to sunburst [ very dark sunburst]

Appearance Rating: 6

Reliability

Hardware good. Keys and tuners all orig. New bridge pins. Frets are good, does not need a fret job after 50 yrs. Really fun to play. I had an inner brace come undone. I had to send it out to a specialist to get fixed. Did nice job. Plays well now. BUT it is now about 60 yrs old

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I emailed Gibson for a restoration price-it was $2300. So for now- it will stay in its present [very playable] condition. Nice guys down there- very prompt answers. If i ever get $3k to restore it I may.,

Customer Service: 8

Components

Latter bracing on the LG-1. the LG-2 is X braced. Wood's good, Mahogany back and sides. Spruce top. Mahognay neck. Old wooden case was trashed so I got a new one. Hardware has that patina of old age. AND it smells like an old Gibson.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I have other guitars I use on stage with my high school bluegrass band, but this one I only used for practice sessions.  My big guitar was in the shop for neck work, so I cleaned this one up.  New light strings, replacing the old heavys [ what i lost in volume I got back in tone] Now I just use this-  IT has that  "Gibson sound" .   I would like a J-45 [but cant afford one].  Gibson;s sound 'country', not really that Martin bluegrass sound.  [ big and BASSY]   it's a more balanced sound.  I have Guild a-25 [1990's] and its a small guitar.  I tried to use it for bluegrass but it wouldn't  carry the sound.  The Gibson does-  We only use stage mikes [Shure 57s]  no pickups.  And it carries well. Live unamplilfed it sounds just as good.  NICE old guitar they don't make anymore.

Overall Rating: 8

Blueridge: BR-163A

Submitted by Art Ramos (see all reviews from this person) on 12/18/2015

Where Purchased: http://www.virtualvintage-bra.com.br/

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

- Loud, very responsive and with a bright sound!
- Great for Bluegrass/Country Blues: Flatpicking and/or Fingerpicking.
- Supports micro tuning and produces harmonics with a light touch of fingers.
- The sound is incredible!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

- Factory setup... But it's ok, because I like to setup by myself.
- The action is a little high on nut, but is perfect for my playing style.
- Best with .11 strings!
- I guess they have a very good quality control because the neck came perfectly adjusted...

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

- Very nice looking guitar...
- I did not notice any finishing defect. I prefer black pickguard, but I'm liking the "dalmatian" style.
- The logo on headstock is so delicate and exquisite. The snowflake/diamond inlays are equally beautiful!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

- It's my first Blueridge guitar, so not sure. Well built, it is!

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

- No experience in dealing...

Customer Service: not rated

Components

- I like the tuners. They adjust nicely, hold tune and looks beautiful!
- They would upgrade to bone bridge pins...

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I really love it! I had some resistance in owning a Blueridge (more because of certain myths related to some boutique brands), but this guitar has exceeded my expectations! Only picking up in the hands and playing to understand. I intend to buy another.

Overall Rating: 9

Recording King: rd 316

Submitted by johnny5000 (see all reviews from this person) on 12/15/2015

Where Purchased: Music123 (via Amazon)

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 593.32 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Great bluegrass sound; loud, clear, and in-tune all the way up and down the neck; both lows and highs sound great.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup was perfect- low enough for easy playing, with no fret buzz no matter how hard I played.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The wood looks great- nice grain on the Adirondack spruce top and the African mahogany back and sides; finish is a thin layer, nice and glossy; inlays look nice enough (though plain dots aren't so glamorous or fancy.) I love the look of the ebony fretboard. Tortoise binding is attractive. I like the plain black pickguard but I've heard of people replacing it with a tortoise one (I'm not gonna mess with it.)

My guitar was purchased used, and there's a very small scratch on the heel- I'm not to worried about that. The one flaw!

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Seems solid and dependable. I'm not sure how much it was played before I got it, but it looks almost like new.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

If it were new it would come with a lifelong warranty, but I bought it used so no warranty for me.

In the past I've communicated with the Recording King customer service and they were helpful and friendly.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Everything seems solid and high quality. Tuners are smooth and stay in tune.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I was actually in the market for a new Recording King RD-310, but the day I was going to purchase the 310 I noticed this used 316 that just got put up for sale, so I jumped at the chance! (The RD-310 is another very nice guitar, but the 316 is a higher-end model.)

I was a little worried about buying a guitar unseen and unplayed from Amazon, but my worries were unfounded (or at least I got very, very lucky!)


This guitar sounds amazing now, and I'm sure over time it will continue to grow and develop into an even better sound. My friend played it and was blown away by the sound and the quality of construction- he said it sounded just like a Martin, and I'd have to agree (and at a fraction of the price.)

This would be a great guitar at any price, let alone under $600.

 

 

Overall Rating: 10

Leo Posch: Advaned Jumbo Rosewood

Submitted by 1939 d18 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/23/2015

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 4900 ($US)

Sound

Extremely powerful! This is the best sounding guitar that I have ever owned.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Leo's setup work is always excellent, and this guitar is no different. Plays incedibly smoothly everywhere, holds a tune perfectly, a real pleasure all the way around.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Red Spruce top, Amazon Rosewood back and sides, and Leo's "sunburn" finish. Excellent, unique inlay work on the fret board and head stock.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Couldn't be better.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

You will never find a more generous, friendly, and kind guitar maker than Leo. He will treat you with the utmost respect. I have spent time during many visits playing guitars, asking questions, and just kind of looking around at all of the cool stuff in the shop.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Beauty and taste are in the eye of the beholder, but you owe it to yourself to check out a Posch guitar!
 

Overall Rating: 10

Blueridge: BR-240

Submitted by DakotaR (see all reviews from this person) on 3/5/2015

Where Purchased: No1 Guitar Shop - Gothenburg, Sweden

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: SEK (7800) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I bought the guitar to play Bluegrass and I could not be happier. I must have played 100 guitars before buying this one. I played Martins, Taylors, Guild, Furch, and a whole bunch of others. This guitar sounds as good or better than every other guitar I tried.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

No1 Guitar Shop in Gothenburg, Sweden set it up perfectly with new strings and all fine-tuned adjustments. I would recommend a professional setup for any new guitar.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Mahogony from Honduras, Sitka Spruce top, Ebony fret-board. Solid wood through and through. It looks like a pre-war Martin. In other words, great!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I would totally gig with this guitar. I've only had the guitar a month but I have total confidence in it so far.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I believe it is a one-year warranty. I bought from a re-seller but the store said Blueridge is very fast with deliveries and service.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I was concerned that the tuning-pegs might not be up to par but they are solid as rocks. So far, I have no complaints.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This guitar outclasses or matches about everything I've played including the expensive Martin's and Taylors. The sound is rich and balanced.

The BR-240 sells for around 1/3 the price as a comparable American-made  guitar simply because this guitar is "put together" in China.  If you are like me and want a fantastic guitar but would rather spend your money on your family than on "status", this is the guitar for you.

 

Overall Rating: 10

Eastman: AC 820

Submitted by JohnnyT (see all reviews from this person) on 9/7/2014

Where Purchased: Guitarhouse.net

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I play gospel and bluegrass gospel. This guitar has spruce top rosewood back and sides. Sound is somewhat comparable to different martins (D-28's and MMV's) I have played at Guitarcenter, so it sounds great for the music I play.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Action was excellent very playable. No string buzz and intonation was right on for every fret.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful. Natural finish, Abolone rosette, flamed maple binding and ebony frettboard. Fit and finish are fantastic.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Yes. This guitar is very well built. I use this when my family plays a different churches in the area.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The one time I called them, before the guitar had arrived, they were very helpful.

Customer Service: 9

Components

This is the second AC 800 series guitar I have held and played, both were awesome, the first was an AC822 Grand Auditorium. The entire guitar, in my opinion stands out. Nothing cheap on this one. I have seen some Eastman E20D's, and E10D's that did look like not enough care to cosmetics and detail were given.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Recommend playing one for yourself, if you can find one they are very hard to find. I have found them on European sites but Eastman website says the AC 800's are no longer available in America. What a shame. While I do understand there are cheap Chinese instruments out there, this however is not. Eastman is known globally for its upper end line of stringed instruments such as violins, cellos, mandolins and guitars.

Overall Rating: 9

Martin: CEO-7

Submitted by Charles Grimm (see all reviews from this person) on 8/10/2014

Where Purchased: Huber and Breese

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 2100 ($US)

Sound

It has a wonderful Martin sound all it's own. A big voice, from a small guitar

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was perfect, as soon as I picked it up, it felt good in my hands.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This guitar has a beautiful Tobacco burst. You open the case and say WOW! Every corner and radius has a perfect finish. Flawless.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This guitar is built well, and i'm sure it will serve me well for many years to come. It has a nice set of antique finish tuners.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Its brand new. Paul Huber is a certified Martin representative and I am sure he would back this guitar if I ever had any problems with it.

Customer Service: 10

Components

This guitar has a lot of bang for the buck, it is a quality instrument from the ebony headplate all the way down.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is my first Martin guitar and I am tickled. It is so nice I am afraid to take it out of the house. Martins attention to detail is second to none!  I tip my hat to Martin on the production of a very fine guitar. Thanks, sincerely Charles

Overall Rating: 10

Epiphone: Inspirded by '64 Texan

Submitted by panhandlejoe (see all reviews from this person) on 7/17/2014

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sound is great i mainly play country and folk so it suits me great but its a very versitial guitar .

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup was fine, the action was good.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The finish is looks beautiful and i like the slope shoulder look too.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

I think it will be realible . my other epiphone was anyway.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Haven't dealt with them

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The only bad thing about this guitar is the strap peg/input jack when you put the strap on it get loose and comes on the jack making it easy to twist the wires inside. Tuners are fine

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I love this guitar its one of the best guitars i've play for the money . I've played newer gibsons that play terrible comparded to this. As i said i love this guitar i can't stop playing it.

Overall Rating: 10

Martin: D-28

Submitted by beegee (see all reviews from this person) on 2/21/2014

Where Purchased: Traded on Banjo Hangout

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sounds great for a new guitar. No pickup, Well-balanced

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Shipped with strings slack. A few minutes of playing at pitch opened it p. The saddle s a tad high for my touch, but it's OK fornow

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

1935 sunburst, EI rosewood. Great woodgrain. I'm going to swap out the black Martin pickguard for a tortoise-colored one and swap the Grover Rot-Matics for a set of good-quality gold butterbean tuners. The bright-white binding is startling-white, wish it was aged-looking.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

No flaws or concerns. I have a 1976 HD-28 and a 1976 D-i8 and this will be more than adequate

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

never had a problem with Martin. I had a new HD-28 a few years back that the finish started peeling. They replaced the guitar in less than a week.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I traded a nice Granada copy for this and I am well-pleased. Good solid Martin sound and attention to detail. This is my first new Martin since 1976 and except for the cheesy gold-foil Martin Logo(I prefer the old water-slide decal)I think it's just great. Good sound and playability right out of the box. The action is just a tad high, but that's an easy fix. neck is starlight, finish is perfect.

If this guitar had some age and a mature sound, it would rate a 10

 

 

Overall Rating: 9

Blueridge: BR-70

Submitted by SLezan (see all reviews from this person) on 12/30/2013

Where Purchased: 30th st. guitar NYC

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 425 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

When I first heard the sound I knew I had to buy it. I would compare it to most Gibsons and Martins I've played

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It sounded good and played well right out of the case. I later changed the plastic bridge pinsfor ebony.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful finish with inlayed mother of pearl around the sound hole and around the body. Gold tuners with inlays in the head.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I would compare the finish to any high priced guitar on the market. The finish and hardware has stood up to over nine years of picking and jamming and still looks great.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I havn't had to deal with the companyfor any warrenty work so far.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The pick guard could be of a better quality, but overall, it's a great sounding, great playing and great looking guitar. Especially for the price.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I saw the ad in Bluegrass Magazine that said it "played like a Gibson and sounded like a Martin".  I had to try one, and once I did, I had to agree.  I get a lot of compliments at bluegrass jams and country music get togethers.

Overall Rating: 10

Blueridge: BR-180

Submitted by nathanCox (see all reviews from this person) on 10/22/2013

Where Purchased: Pokie's

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 1200 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Great sound. Not quite as pure up the neck as a say a d-18, but you can hear it behind yourself when playing than a lot of other guitars. Probably the best Blueridge I've ever played.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Setup was great when i brought it, except it needed new strings.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful guitar. Nice golden look with "pearl" inlays around sound hole and outlining the body.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I've had it only a few months now so it is hard to say.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Poky is a great guy, they gave me a free strap, case and capo with the purchase.

Customer Service: 10

Components

All the parts are fine.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Great guitar. Absolutely love it. I think they run about $1400 new. I would recommend this guitar to somebody who wants a good sound upgrade without breaking the bank.

Overall Rating: 8

Bourgeois: Aged Tone Madagascar D

Submitted by LeonEvans (see all reviews from this person) on 10/10/2013

Where Purchased: Acoustic Vibes Music Tempe AZ

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 6295 ($US)

Sound

Dana's take on the pre-war classic dreadnaught. Extremely loud with great fundamental notes and good sustain. Perfect for bluegrass and other roots type music.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Came with a medium high action and medium strings (13-56). Needed a slight truss adjustment, otherwise it's wonderful.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful woods with Madagascar Rosewood back and sides and Aged Tone Adirondack Spruce top. Ebony fretboard and belly bridge. Aged Tone finish. Looks like a Pre-war D28 with herringbone purfling. The top is a golden brown caused by the wood torrifaction process, so no toner was used. Fossilized mammoth ivory saddle and nut with bone bridge pins.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is a lightly made guitar using the highest quality materials. The finish is thin to stop damping and is unique to Bourgeois as far as I know. It should be a lifetime guitar. I've used it on stage and no backup was needed.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Dana and the crew are outstanding. Very helpful and responsive. The guitar has a limited lifetime warranty.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Waverly tuners, Mammoth ivory nut and saddle, bone bridge pins with black dots. Thin finish. Zipper back strap. It's a beauty.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I've played Bourgeois and other make guitars for over 30 years and this is by far the best dreadnaught I've ever played by any builder. Reminds me of a '37 Martin I once played and was way out of my price range. Is it the same as having pre-war Martin? No, but it's as close as you'll get in a new guitar.

Overall Rating: 10

Edmonds: Edmonds Hd -28 Koa guitar

Submitted by Guitpicr (see all reviews from this person) on 8/15/2013

Where Purchased: Bought in person in Nashville

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Great even sound .loud stays in tune when capoed .I am a flat picker

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Was setup by builder easy low action wouldn't change a thing

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Diamond inlays,Herringbone binding Bookmatched Koa back and sides His finish work is spectacular

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Waverly tuners how can that be beat Finish looks 1/4"thick

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

He stands behind his guitars have had 1 for 5 years with no problems

Customer Service: 10

Components

everything is top notch

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The prettyist guitar I have seen for a new guitar the sound is great so even Stays in tune when capoed

Overall Rating: 10

Seagull: S-6 Cedar

Submitted by BlainSullivan (see all reviews from this person) on 7/18/2013

Where Purchased: Pickers Supply Fredericksburg VA

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 300 ($US)

Sound

I play bluegrass, old tyme, country, and blues and this guitar sounds great when playing it all. I bought it to use as a cheaper "festival guitar" but I play it alot more often than expected.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Set-up was perfect for me right out of the box. Pickers Supply (my local shop) would have set it up for free but i left it as it was.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Pretty simple looking guitar... which is exactly my preference.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Everything appears solid and I haven't had any harware problems yet. I've had it about a year now and play 1-2 hours daily on it. I'm not afraid to take it outside and actually use it.... unlike some of my more expensive guitars.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't had to deal with customer service at all so I'll just give 'em the benefit of the doubt and rate it a ten based on absolutely nothing.....

Customer Service: 10

Components

I really like the minimal amount of finish.... I think it really lets the wood 'sing' and sounds very natural.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I played A LOT of guitars when searching for my 'beater'. My goal was to find the best sounding/playing guitar for under $400 to take to festivals and for travel. This was the stand-out guitar in that price range by far! Ultimately it came down to the Seagull and a Blueridge.... after playing both over a month or so I chose the Seagul though both are good options.

Overall Rating: 10

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