Top positive review
68 people found this helpful
Met all hopes-- Except ONE
on October 17, 2013
I was hoping this set would be a decent guitar, but didn't really expect it to be decently made (for what it is... a youth guitar). But... the neck is perfectly straight. There's not a blemish on it. There were picks, gig bag, a pipe tuner and-- some surprise here-- an unadvertised extra set of strings.
I would rate this 5 stars for "what it is"... a very low cost starter guitar. But I rate it 4 stars for a couple of general flaws:
1) The frets are not metal. They are molded into the guitar neck and PAINTED gold. That's a real shame, but for a starter guitar at this price not a deal-killer. It's for this reason along I give it 4 rather than 5 stars.
2) The gig bag is minimal of course. But the zipper broke the first time I used it. No padding, zero quality. It's meant to carry the guitar, nothing else. Had the zipper not broken it would have been fine and what is expected, but a gig bag with a broken zipper isn't of much use. I guess one can always resort to safety pins or velcro patches.
* The guitar measures 31 inches from tail to tip of head, plus the strap peg on the end (yes, it has a strap peg!). Lower body is 11.5 inches wide x 2.75 inches deep. Nut is 1.5 inches wide. Nut to 18th fret is 12.25 inches. Basically-- a mid-size travel guitar similar in size to the Yamaha 6-string "Guitalele". Sound however, is quite "guitar".
* The top is good-quality laminate with a resonant tone-- no dead spots (which is far more than I expected). It's not a spruce top, but the laminate is plenty resonant (far more so than many travel guitars) and has excellent sound-- amazingly so for an instrument of this class.
* Tuning pegs are standard 3-to-a-set sidewinders, expected on this type of guitar.
* The strap attaches to an end peg and is tie-on at the neck.
STRING NOTE: I've noticed several of the negative reviews here refer to the guitar "not tuning", strings breaking, action too high, etc. While the action was pretty decent on mine, it's very common for even a quality guitar to arrive with less than desirable action (ask any guitar store). Action is fairly easy to correct by filing the bridge piece down (which is why it's detachable). When one tunes a steel-string guitar, it is imperative to tune it slowly, in steps, and allow the strings time to stretch over a period of 3-4 days. If one tries to tune it quickly strings will undoubtedly break, even on top-of-the-line guitars. Expecting a guitar to "hold a tune" when initially strung is unreasonable. All strings stretch out of tune until they hit their proper tension. Any experienced guitar player is aware of these things-- with all guitars and all brands of strings.
SWITCH TO NYLON. Although this guitar comes with steel strings (even an extra set) I think it would be a shame to put that kind of tension on a neck that will most likely warp under such pressure. Despite the low cost I like an instrument to last-- and I think this will last for some time if one uses nylon strings. Because of the resonance you will still get an excellent tone.
For protection, putting this in the gig bag and then retaining the triangular box for car trips can offer considerable protection (after all, the box survived shipping, yup?). There's no need to buy an expensive padded gig bag or hard shell case for a guitar that costs less than a tank of gas.
Were it not for the wooden frets I'd give this guitar 5 stars. But that is a corner-cut that I don't find acceptable in anything but a plastic instrument found in the toy aisle. At the very least they could have used glued-on metal frets. Other than that, it's a decent guitar and once nylon strings are added, should work fine for a first-year student or child. It's well-worth the purchase and at least is a functional, nice-sounding guitar with decent action.
I disagree with the concept of "buy a cheap guitar to see if a child will stick with it". Cheap guitars usually don't play well and so naturally the child won't like it (fortunately, this one plays pretty well). But my credo: pay more and buy a good guitar to start with (there are plenty for under $200) and then as with all things, require the child to "stick with it". No one ever regrets having learned to play an instrument, even though they may-- as kids do-- resist practice. That's where parents come in and gently guide and encourage. Go with quality.
But if you can't afford or don't want to buy a quality instrument, this one will certainly suffice. It's decent.