I'd been wanting a parlor/000 style 12 fret slot head guitar because of the different tone these types of guitars tend to produce, and after much research and not wanting to spend a lot, I decided on the TO 8418. Thankfully, a local shop had just gotten three of them in stock, so I had my pick and chose an exceptionally good one.
After tuning to my usual DADGAD tuning for Irish/Celtic music, at first it sounded a bit tight, but I could easily hear the potential. It sounded and played great, with perfect setup and intonation, even when capoed on the 7th fret. Bright, full balanced tone, and amazing volume. I was looking for a bright character, but it was a bit too bright, so I tried different bridge pins and ended up with Gurian ebony pins, which improved the tone. I also shimmed the saddle using a thin piece of soft wood that also helped take the edge off, yet retain the bright tonal character I was looking for. Also changed the stock D'Addario strings to Martin SP, which I've always thought to be slightly mellower than the D'Addarios. After the improvements and playing it constantly, it's already beginning to open up and sounds fantastic. I capo a lot on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th frets, and this guitar really sings with great intonation, balance, and beautiful overtones. I've been a regular at the local Irish sessions, and the guys I've been playing with for many years...and know what my Martins sound like, can't stop commenting on how great the Wechter sounds. It's very articulate, and being louder than my Martins, I can now bring out nuances that would previously get lost. I have a couple excellent Martins, but unexpectedly, the TO 8418 has become my go-to guitar.
But it hasn't been without problems, mainly the cheap, poorly designed Korean tuners. Two developed slippage and wouldn't tune at all, and it's a good thing I bought it locally from a great shop owner who took the tuners off one of his other 8418s and immediately replaced my inoperable tuners. Can't imagine ordering online and going through this. I recently purchased a set of Grover Sta-Tites....but the shafts are 1/16" larger diameter than the Korean tuners and don't fit the bushings in the head stock. So I had to order special bushings and will have to enlarge the holes in the headstock for proper fit. But I've done this kind of thing before, and this particular guitar is so good, it'll be well worth the effort. After the new tuners are installed, I'll be installing a K&K Pure Mini pickup, which is what I use in all my guitars and bouzouki.
So, even considering the lousy stock tuners, I rate this guitar five stars and highly recommend it to anyone looking for this style of guitar and wanting good balance, volume, projection, tone, and good fit and finish.