The Millennium Falcon of Guitars
"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts." Isn't that how Han Solo put it?
People will pass on this guitar because they will find overseas manufactured imports with crazy inlays and bindings that tout that they have backs and sides from some endangered wood rescued from the Amazon, for the same price or less. People will pass on this one because it has laminate sides and back. They will look at the neck which is made from 30 layers of wood adhered together to become what martin calls "stratabond", and they will tell you that they can get a better guitar for less money. They will hold up a lesser priced overseas manufactured guitar and tell you it is better.
This guitar really doesn't have any frills. No inlays, no, binding, no crazy electronics (besides the pickup with interior controls.) But when I played it next to comparably priced guitars, I immediately decided that the sound and play-ability were on a whole other level.
The first thing that I noticed when I played it was the playability. It has a satin feel to the entire guitar. If you like a highly glossy feel, this won't be for you, but satin is my thing, so it feels fantastic. It frets so easily and just feels great. The frets were all dressed and cut perfectly with no edges or imperfections at all. I also love the rounded routing on the body rather than a sharper cornered binding that many other guitars have. It is just comfortably to touch and lean on while I am playing.
What truly sets this guitar apart is the sound. (I know sound is subjective.) If someone handed me this guitar to play and I heard the sound and they told me it was a $2000 guitar, I would not have batted an eye. There is nothing shrill about the high treble tones, they just blend so well with the mid favored tone from this guitar. Playing quiet fingerstyle sounds fantastic and there is a warm compression when you really strum at it with a louder dynamic. I just can not get an unpleasing tone from this guitar.
I will also state that having owned this guitar for a couple of months. The tuning stability is better than any guitar I have ever owned. I keep this guitar in a room that does change temperature quite a bit and have seen no ill effects. I imagine that the solid neck has something to do with this stability, but I am thrilled with it.
For what this guitar is, I absolutely LOVE IT and am overwhelmed with how wonderful the tone and feel are.
The only potentially negative things from this guitar are:
The neck is heavy. It does feel that the heavy neck makes a little out of balance. I really don't notice it while playing it, but when I am sitting with it on my lap, the guitar really droops toward the neck.
It is not the loudest dreadnought that I have ever played. The warm tone and compression of this guitar come at the price of volume. I am personally completely fine with this. The loudest guitars usually sound 'shrill' to me, and this one has a mature and balanced tone.
The on board pickup seems to favor the lows and mids seems to try and emulate the warmth of the natural tone by quieting the treble. The beautiful compression of this guitar doesn't totally come through the pickup. (btw, I have never heard an onboard pickup in a beautiful guitar and thought that it captured the tone the way that a good mic will.) A good mic will make this guitar sound warm and gorgeous the way that it does in person. This is also evident on all online demo's of this guitar.
Without a doubt, I am thrilled with this guitar. I can not find the tone and playability of this guitar for this price anywhere else, and after playing this guitar, I don't need to find it anywhere else.