This is a big-sounding guitar for a slimline acoustic/electric. It is a slimline version of a jumbo-style guitar, not a dreadnaught, so for its size, the bottom end is surprisingly well balanced. It's also very comfortable to play, as most slimlines are, and anyone who has bruises on their forearm from reaching around a full-size acoustic for extended periods will find this a big relief.
As a player for over 40 years, I've played many acoustics, electrics and basses, and it's rare that I find something that sounds and plays so well, especially at this price. The built-in tuner is very handy and works at least as well as anything you have to plug in. It locks on to the pitch instantly and provides clear and easy tuning without hassle.
The e-sonic preamp is powered by two 2035 batteries, as commonly found on most computer motherboards and are not expensive to replace, if necessary. I haven't had this guitar long enough to determine battery life, but keeping a couple of spare batteries on hand is always a good idea. I've found no automatic shutoff for the tuner, so make sure that you turn off the tuner when you're done to preserve battery life. Tuning mode will also mute the output, so if you're onstage, you'll know if the tuner is on or off.
Plugged in, this guitar sounds amazing, and with the e-sonic's Dynamics slider, you can easily tailor your sound to your own preferences. For live shows, the Phase switch will attenuate or completely eliminate feedback while still sounding excellent.
For studio recording, I would recommend mixing a mic with the output and a taste of your favorite EQ setting to get an outstanding acoustic sound. As comfortable as this guitar is to play, I'm sure that a great performance in the studio is only a matter of a little practice and a few tweaks of EQ.
Overall, this instrument is well suited for everything from the stage to the studio to the campfire. It's a joy to play, very comfortable, and with the Florentine cutaway, upper frets are effortless to reach. I took away half a star because it's made in China, but otherwise it's top-notch and worthy of any guitarist's attention. The other reason for taking away half a star is that a satin finish neck is not an option.