World Music Supply | Takamine Guitars

Hey guys it’s Brian with World Music Supply again, here to bring you another dose of guitar and gear reviews. In today’s blog, I got to take a look at two great guitars from our friends over at Takamine. I always love Takamines, they make such consistently good guitars, that sometimes its easy to get caught up in the sound of one, and totally ignore how amazing they look, and how good their build quality is. Today however I got to play a few that just couldn’t be ignored, and the list begins with one of our best sellers right now, the EF340SCGN.

Takamine EF340SCGN Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine EF340SCGN Acoustic Electric Guitar

The very first thing you notice about this guitar, is that stunning vintage finished Cedar top, which is an almost caramel or cognac color and is down right beautiful. The workmanship is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen, and the Nato back and sides are just as handsomely (although a little more subtlety) finished. The guitar also features a real bone nut, and real bone saddle to provide very clear, and resonant tones. Acoustically this guitar has a very vintage character to it, with lots of warm mid tones, sparkly high end, and a nice soft, almost jazzy low end. The neck is a very comfortable shape, and the Indian rosewood fingerboard is amazingly quick. Chords rung out with a distinctive boom, and single note lines had a very clear, defined character to them.

Amplified, this guitar was amazing. Acoustic guitar amplification has come leaps and bounds over the years, and the preamp technology always surprises me, how even with the same pickup, the guitars can sound miles apart based solely on their preamps. Sure, even low end instruments can have a pleasing character to them, but as you move up in quality, the quality of the sound changes dramatically. Sitting high atop the list of Takamines dozens of preamp designs is the Cool Tube series, which uses a small 12AU7 dual triode vacuum tube to help flesh out, and “warm up” the sound of the guitar.

The CT4BII pickup in the EF340SCGN is no different, and the second you hear this guitar, you understand just how important the cool tube is to the sound. The sound through a good acoustic guitar amp, or a good PA cabinet is just spectacular, with a sound that actually rivals the unamplified sound in beauty and clarity. The guitar was surprisingly resistant to feedback, and actually took quite a bit of volume to slide into that typical violent acoustic guitar feedback, and with a soundhole cover applied it took a ton of volume to switch into feedback mode. Tone wise the guitar has a lot like the actual acoustic tone, but with a bit fuller low end, and a slightly warmer sounding high end. Chords had a nice smooth character to them, with almost none of that usual piezo sizzle.

The sound of the EF340SCGN was amazing both amplified and unamplified, with tones that could cover anything you threw at it. For all of that, and its amazing looks, the EF340SCGN earns itself an easy 10 out of 10.

Takamine EF508K Noveau Series Acoustic Electric Guitar Koa

Takamine EF508K Noveau Series Acoustic Electric Guitar Koa

Next up is the Takamine EF508K which has the unusual appointment of having a Figured Koa top. I’ve seen Figured Koa as a back plate, and I’ve seen Figured Koa as sides on a guitar, but I’ve never seen it on a production guitar as a top wood. The reason its so rare as a top wood is because, first off its typically very expensive, as it is only grown in a few places around the world, and the cost tends to go up when it is as curly as the top on the EF508K. The sound of Koa is distinctive, with a lot of sparkly high end, some very warm mids, but not a whole ton of bass. This means it cuts through the mix very well, and helps to support the mix very well without overpowering it.

The feel of the NEXC body is nice, with its slightly smaller body, and a bit more even sound to the guitar, it really compliments all of the Koa in the guitar. Acoustically the EF508K has a pleasing, even sounding voice, with lots of note definition, and sustain. Chords ring out with almost piano like clarity, and they really do sustain for quite a while, far longer than almost any other acoustic I’ve had the pleasure to play thus far in my musical life. The only drawback is that Koa is hardwood, and as such is a slightly quieter wood, so the overall volume of the guitar is slightly quieter than say a spruce top guitar, although the fact it is an electric acoustic makes this point rather moot, as it can actually be as loud as your amplifier is.

The sound acoustically is remarkable, with tons of fantastic warmth and presence. The clarity of the guitar was also just dumbfounding, I was playing big jazz chords, full of 7ths and flat 5ths and there was never any overlay or woofy dissonance, just pure tone. The guitar was a tad bit quieter, athough no quieter than a smaller body size, like a mini jumbo or a parlor, and the guitar was still plenty loud enough to sing with as long as you aren’t really belting.

Amplified, this guitar is breathtaking, the definition and tone are just beyond anything I could have imagined. The sustain lasts far longer than a typical acoustic and the fact the top is made of a hardwood, the guitar is also very feedback resistant. Meaning I could play this guitar without a sound hole cover for quite some time, and at a pretty high volume without the body resonating to the speaker too much.

The EF508K was a downright magnificent guitar, with features well above your average acoustic. The figured Koa sounded like nothing else I had ever heard in an acoustic guitar, and the beauty of it was equally as profound. The EF508K easily earns itself a10 out of 10.

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World Music Supply | Washburn Acoustics

Hey guys, Brian again from World Music Supply, here to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews. In today’s blog I get to take a look at some acoustic guitars from our good friends over at Washburn. Today I am going to cover two of the most popular Washburn acoustic electrics here at WMS, the WD115SWCE and the WJ7SCEBM.

The Washburn WJ7SCEBM Jumbo Matte Black Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WJ7SCEBM Jumbo Matte Black Acoustic Electric Guitar

First up to bat is the WJ7SCEBM, which is a Jumbo acoustic electric, sporting a solid Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, and a cool, matte black paint job. The WJ7 also sports a Washburn made EQ4-T preamp that sounds surprisingly strident and musical. Unplugged this guitar has a very warm, big tone. Thanks to its jumbo size, and choice of tone woods, you get a luxuriously large sound, with lots and lots of bass, and more than enough mids and highs to keep your sound clean, and pristine. Plugged in this guitar has a very good electric tone, it’s not super accurate to the true sound of the guitar, as it does add a little bit of body to the high end, and gives it a little of that familiar Piezo sizzle, but the sound is close enough that if you weren’t trying to dissect the tone, you probably wouldn’t notice it too much.

The guitar feels great, the neck isn’t super big, but it is nice and chunky, which meant comfortable chording and relaxed riffing. With a band this guitar can be a little hard to handle, as the body is rather sensitive to sympathetic resonance, and so adding a sound hole cover is a must. Once it’s on however, this guitar does a good job of supporting a mix, it doesn’t jump right out of it, at least not without some EQ tweaking, but it does do a great job as a rhythm guitar. For what it is, this guitar would be right at home in a studio or stage setting, and it could easily deal with the stress of the road thanks to its no nonsense paint job, it’s for these reasons that the WJ7SCEBM scores a solid 9 out of 10.

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

Next up for the day is the WD115SWCE which is an all solid wood Dreadnaught with a Solid Spruce top, and Solid Mahogany back and sides, and the whole ensemble is powered by a Fishman Presys 501T blend system with Microphone and under saddle pickup. First off it needs to be mentioned how good this guitar looks, the entire guitar is finished in a sleek looking gloss finish, that is shiny enough to see yourself in, when in the right light. The sound of this guitar unplugged is big, and robust. Chords ring out with far more body than a standard laminate guitar, and added definition of the solid mahogany back and sides gives the guitar an added darkness and much more musical bottom end.

Plugged in, this guitar is a handful. Anyone who has ever used an acoustic with a band knows the danger of having something so resonant around things that can make it resonate, and this guitar is no exception. The solid woods tend to respond to this sonic phenomenon a little bit more so than most, so a sound hole cover is key. The Presys is a blendable system, meaning there is both a small microphone and a saddle Piezo unit. Alone the microphone has a bit of a “boxed in” character, atleast with the sound hole cover on, when its off the sound is a tad bass heavy, but no more so than if you placed a condenser right in front of the sound hole, the secret to the system is mixing this rather bass heavy sound, with the typically treble heavy sound of the Piezo. Used in conjunction this guitar sounds absolutely magnificent amplified, just like a finely mic’d studio sound. As long as you know where to stand on stage, this guitar would work perfectly for most stage work, and would work absolutely amazingly for studio work.

This guitar is by and far one of the best Washburn acoustics I have gotten the chance to play thus far, with its comfortable familiar shape, its sleek, fast neck, and its amazing sound, the WD115SWCE scores itself a deserved 10 out of 10.

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

World Music Supply | Washburn Woodline Acoustics

Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I got the chance to test out some more acoustics from our friends over at Washburn. The guitars in question are the WG026SCE, and the WD015SCE, these guitars are unique within the Washburn family in that they both feature unique super thin open pore, and open grain finishes. These thin finishes allow the guitars sound board to vibrate far more freely, as there is less weight and material across the soundboard holding it still. This means the guitars both sound livelier, and far more resonant than their gloss finished counterparts.

The Washburn WG026SCE Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WG026SCE Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar

First up to bat in today’s review is the WG026SCE, which is part of Washburns woodline series, and is available in an electric acoustic cutaway (the version being tested today) as well as a non cutaway, and non electric non cutaway version. The combination of the solid cedar top, and the grand auditorium size are just perfect together, as they create a guitar without too much low end boominess, and just enough top end bite to help this guitar really sing out. The thin, open pore finish really does change the way this guitar sounds, which is something I honestly questioned before I actually got my hands on it. You hear claims about thinner finishes making guitars sound worlds better in almost every issue of almost any guitar magazine, and most of the time, it seems like a ton of hog wash, but in the case of this guitar, and likewise with the WD015SCE, I honestly believe it.

The reason I say that it usually seems like hogwash, is because it just seems like one of those magic guitarist things, you know the ones where a guitarist is asked how they get their magical tone and they lists everything from their hand ground titanium tremolo bar, to the tuning keys that were designed and built by some aerospace company in Switzerland. The honest to goodness fact is, that guitarist will probably have their “magical” tone plugged into almost any decent amp, with any decent guitar. Thin finishes on electric guitars do contribute a bit to the overall tone of the guitar, and they contribute to it aging in interesting ways, as the finish and the paint in certain areas will wear through much sooner than a guitar that is just coated in the stuff, but the over all tone of the guitar will still be there, just a little more muted. This thin approach does have a much more dramatic effect when it comes to acoustic guitars however, as suddenly the guitar just comes to life so to speak. Any satin finished acoustic I’ve ever played just had that big, worn in sound, like a guitar that had seen a hundred shows, with big bold bottom end, sweet singing highs, and a sustain that just rings and rings.

The action on this guitar was just fantastic, and playing quick lines on it was simple and comfortable, as the mahogany neck is smooth, easy to play, and not too big, but not too small. The WG026SCE sounds great plugged in too, as the Isys+ preamp translates the electric voice of this acoustic amazingly well, nearly perfectly replicating the natural voice of the instrument. Overall the WG026SCE is one amazing instrument, with a unique finish that helps it sonically stand out from the pack, that combined with its easy playing neck, and sweet electrified tone, earns this guitar a solid 10 out of 10.

The Washburn WD015SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

The Washburn WD015SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Next up is the WD015SCE, which is a limited edition version of the WD15SCE. This guitar also features a unique thin finish, along with its open grain spruce top this guitar has a very distinct sound to it. The WD015SCE has a lot of booming low end, and a lot of crisp, bell like high end, with a tiny bit of glassy midrange kick that helps it project out through a band a little bit better. This guitar has a much different sound than the WD026SCE however, far different than a typical cedar guitar and spruce guitar usually differ, which I think is impart to the lack of heavy lacquer making them sound similar, as these two guitar are like night and day.

The neck is just as fast and sleek as the WD026SCE, with a similarly shaped, and as such similarly comfortable neck profile that is just not too thick, but not too thin to where you start losing tone either. This guitar is also amazingly loud, and resonant too, with far more sustain than any acoustic guitar should have. The sound is quite warm, with the perfect blend from high to low, which is enhanced more by the Fishman Isys+ electronics. The voice of this guitar through a good P.S system or acoustic guitar amp, is just spectacular, although the lack of weight or dampening finish on the sound board does make this guitar a little more susceptible to feedback than normal, although a sound hole cover solves this problem easily.

At the end of the day though, the WD015SCE is just amazing, with tones that are distinct, without being strange, and visuals that are conservative, without being boring. This all comes together to make one amazing guitar, that easily earns itself a 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Ovation Elite Guitars

Hey Guys Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I got the chance to review some awesome gear from our friends over at Ovation. Ovation Guitars has continuously delivered sonically, and technologically powerful instruments, many at prices far below anything else on the market. In today’s blog I got the chance to take a look at some of the models in their elite series, starting with the 1778TX-5GSM Elite T, which from here on out will be referred to as “the 1778”.

The Ovation Elite 1778TX-5GSM Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Ovation Elite 1778TX-5GSM Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The 1778 was designed in conjunction with jazz guitarist Al Di Meola and acoustic rocker Melissa Etheridge, this guitar was built from the ground up to be a guitarist’s guitar, with everything you could want both in the studio, and especially on stage. The 1778 features a AA solid spruce top, scalloped bracings a mid depth cutaway bowl,  and oddly enough, a hard-rock maple neck which contributes increased high end zing, and sustain.

Its rather uncommon for an acoustic guitar to have a maple neck, and a slim feeling maple neck like this one is very atypical, but that isn’t to say that its incorrect in some way, in fact this guitar sounds great. The added clarity that the maple neck imparts adds a different, bolder character to this guitar, granted this guitar doesn’t have a ton of bass unplugged thanks to the mid depth bowl, but I have no doubt that you could record your fair share of rhythm tracks with a guitar as snappy as this, even unplugged.

Plugged in however, and this guitars design begins to make a whole lot of sense, as the slick, slim nature of the neck lends itself to fast playing better than any acoustic I have ever played, primarily because it now felt more like an electric guitar as opposed to an acoustic. The tone of the solid spruce top, translates fantastically through the OP-Pro preamp and OCP-1K pickup, with plently of warm low end, singing mids, and zinging high end response. Lets not forget that this guitar also looks amazing, with its single, spalted ash Epaulet, which contrasts so beautifully against the solid black body. All of these things contribute to the 1778 being one amazing guitar, which more then deserves a 10 out of 10.

The Ovation DS778TX-5 Elite T D-Scale Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Ovation DS778TX-5 Elite T D-Scale Acoustic Electric Guitar

Next up is the DS778TX-5 which is similar in many ways to the 1778, but is very, very different. It still features a great sounding A rated solid spruce top, the same OP-Pro preamp and OCP-1K pickup, and that same great feeling maple neck. The difference is that this guitar is what Ovation calls a D-scale guitar, which means that this guitars over all scale length is 28 and a third inches as opposed to the more traditional 24-25 inch range. This means that this guitar can be tuned down much further without the strings feeling like rubber bands, or having intonation issues.

I know that Ovation intended this guitar to be taken up, and carried into battle along side the ever growing horde of metal bands that are flooding the market place right now, what with its thin fast playing maple neck, blacker than black paint job, and extended low end response. I however found this guitar great for everything from low tuned finger picking tunes, cool Kaki King style experimentation and fun baritone country riffs. I’m sure that this guitar does have its place in the metal world, and playing power chords on it did sound beefy, but not using the extended sonic range of an acoustic guitar always just seemed…wasteful to me.

Unplugged this guitar has a very sprightly sound, with an odd tone, thanks to the lower notes, but higher end zing of the mid depth bowl/ maple neck combo. This means that all of the slick low end riffs, sing out with high end snap, which was surprisingly great at getting this guitar heard over the clamor of a second acoustic guitar, and an acoustic bass. Plugged in however, this guitar suddenly made a lot more sense as a metal guitarists acoustic guitar, as that low end suddenly sung out with deep, booming response. Sure I was still able to pull off my best Don Ross impression, and play weird Kaki King style lines, but the ability of this guitar to lay down quasi-bass riffs with all the punch and authority of any other baritone guitar I have ever played.

This guitar might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does cross an interesting line musically, half way between a metal guitarists acoustic guitar, and an acoustic guitarists baritone guitar, I personally loved it and will probably end up owning one eventually. This is why, despite its plain Jane image, and blacker than black paint job, this guitar gets itself a 10 out of 10.

The Ovation 2058TX-5 Elite T 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Ovation 2058TX-5 Elite T 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

Last up on today’s rundown is the 2058TX-5, which for all intents and purposes is a 12 string version of the 1778, but with a deep contour bowl as opposed to the mid depth version. Typically I try to shy away from acoustic 12 strings, even though I feel like every guitarist should own atleast one 12 string, simply because I know that if I were ever to invest in one, typically after a few years, the top will have ballooned out thanks to the pull of all of those extra strings, but with this ovation I honestly would feel safe owning it. Ovation has made a habit of always creating the perfect guitar top for the job at hand, and this top seems structurally sound enough to stand up to years, and years of abuse.

Acoustically, this guitar has a very modern 12 string sound, with plenty of low end added to those jangling upper octave tones. The sound is full, with lots to offer at every range, tons of low end, tons of mid range, and lots of high end to offer. This is great from everything from strumming some Beatles tunes, to quick experimental octave runs. This guitar has a similar neck profile to the other two in todays review, with that same lighting fast response, making actually playing lines on it a possibility, where as with most 12 strings relegate you to playing open position chords, thanks to generally poor neck construction, high action, and thick necks to help combat both of these problems. Ovation however, has constructed a neck that is flat, with low action, and is more than comfortable all along its length.

Plugged in this guitar has a larger than life sound, with a gigantic sound, easily able to hold its own in almost any situation, and with a band, is more than able to fill out more than enough of the sonic spectrum. I am always skittish about playing, let alone reviewing 12 strings, as my experiences up to this point haven’t been all that fantastic, as building a proper 12 string is an art unto itself, but the 2058TX is a fantastic guitar, and on top of that is a down right flawless 12 string, which is why this guitar earned itself an easy 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Takamine Guitars

Hey guys, Brian with World Music Supply here again, to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews, and today I have a great set of acoustic starter packages from our friends at Takamine. as I’ve mentioned in the past,Takamine was founded in 1962 in Sakashita Japan, as a small family business crafting well made acoustic guitars. In all of the years since then, they have kept the tradition of building affordable good quality guitars alive.

More than all of that, the guitars I’m reviewing today are starter kits, meaning they are great first guitars, but more than that these are great guitars to hold on to, great guitars to keep around long after you’ve learned your craft. One of the best pieces of advice I give to people calling in to ask about buying their first guitar is, think about where you’ll be in five years? in ten years? and will this guitar still be what you want? will it still be relevant musically to you? When it comes to guitars like these, that answer is a resounding yes. Beautifully crafted guitars, with good grained spruce tops, and stunningly figured mahogany back and sides, all satin finished for maximum style and comfort. So without further ado, let’s move into the review of the first guitar in the round up.

The Takamine G320-NS

The Takamine G320-NS

First up is the G320-NS, which is a great sounding spruce and mahogany bodied Dreadnought. The Dreadnought is the typical acoustic guitar shape, having been more or less the standard guitar shape since its inception, when it became one of the biggest guitar shapes of the time, and soon became famous for its big, full bodied tones. The G320-NS carries on this illustrious tradition in stride, with its big full sound, and bright chimey top end. This guitar feels great right out of the box, as its satin finished body and neck make it both comfortable, and a super fast playing neck. Now the G320-NS is marketed in a kit, as a starter guitar, but as someone who has been playing guitar for quite some time now, I can solidly say that the G320-NS would be a great guitar for any collection, as it is loaded with tons of great tones, has a great feeling, and great playing neck, and on top of that, it’s a Takamine which means it’s made by one of the leading guitar manufacturers in the world.

This is by and large the most common style of guitar to learn on, as the Dreadnoughts body isn’t too big, or too small, and more comfortable to get accustomed to, than say a flying V. Not only that, the Dreadnought is by and large the most commonly played, and most commonly recorded guitar style, as almost every artist has recorded at least one or two songs with a Dreadnought. When it comes to learning to play guitar, nothing beats lessons, but these can tend to be expensive, and sometimes not as effective as the student would like, which is why Takamine has included an instruction book that includes a  DVD, CD combo pack full of hands on, lesson material to get you started off on a good note. The kit also comes with a deluxe padded gig bag for the guitar, an electric tuner, and a set of picks. For its ability to get any guitarist started off right, and to just be a great playing guitar to add to your collection the G320-NS gets a solid 10 out of 10.

The Takamine G220-NS

The Takamine G220-NS

Next up is the G220-NS which is another great guitar starter kit, but instead of a Dreadnought, the G220-NS is one of Takamines signature shapes called a NEX, which is like a mini jumbo but with smaller shoulders. What this means is the G220-NS has a very even, and overall homogenous voice. So you have a guitar that sounds just as bold at the 12th fret as you do at the 1st. The NEX is also a very focused sounding guitar shape, with bass that is tight and punchy, and a high end that is snappy without being too sharp.

The G220-NS would also be a great candidate for a first guitar, or just another guitar to add to your collection, as the NEX body shape is a little bit different than your average acoustic, it does have a rather distinct voice that is favored by everyone from jazz guitarists, to country players, to even singer songwriters. The clean and focused tone  of the G220-NS makes for a versatile guitar, while never being overbearing or dense sounding, and just like the G320-NS, this guitar comes with an instructional book with a  DVD CD combo pack, a gig bag, a tuner, and a set of picks.

So even if you’ve played a few other guitars, and you’re just looking for something different, or this is your first guitar and you want to stand out from the crowd a bit. The G220-NS with its cool NEX body shape might be right up your alley, with its smooth, warm tones, and its super fast neck, the G220-NS easily snags itself a 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Ovation Guitars

Hey guys its Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews. Up on the chopping block today, are three great guitars from our great friends over at Ovation. Ovation was started by one Charles Kaman, who  made his living as an aerospace engineer with his company, Kaman Aircraft. He and his company were  the first to develop a gas turbine helicopter, and the first electrically powered flying drone. However, after a less than perfect attempt to get into the commercial flight market, Charles decided they needed to diversify their production to things other than just aircraft, and aircraft technologies.

Charles Kaman with a Glen Campbell Signature Ovation

Charles Kaman with a Glen Campbell Signature Ovation

Truth be told, Charles always loved playing guitar, but with his life heading down the path of an aerospace engineer, a very well paying field, he decided to leave his childhood dreams of being a musician behind. However, he did have an old Martin D, which was in a state of disrepair, with a badly warped neck, and a sound board riddled with splits and cracks in several places. He attempted to have it fixed at the Martin factory, and noticed that they were constructing guitars the old fashioned way, doing everything from tying guitar bodies in twine to help hold them together, to attatching binding with clothes pins and glue. It was at this point that Charles realized with his knowledge of manufacturing and his understanding of resonance, built up from years of research into how helicopter blades twist, torque, and vibrate, he could construct a guitar in a much more modern way, and in a much more streamlined production process then even the greats were doing at the time.

So Charles Kaman set out, with a small team of aerospace engineers, many of whom did woodwork as a hobby, and decided to more or less reinvent the wheel. Using the many space aged polymers they had developed to construct helicopter blades, they were able to construct a guitar body that was far more resonant, and had far more projection, clarity and sustain then any other guitar on the market. They named this company Ovation, and their first guitar the balladeer, after a band, The Balladeers, who were a local folk group who received a regularly received a standing ovation for their performances, the name stuck, and since then, Ovation guitars has never stopped innovating the art of creating guitars. From being the first company to use Piezo electric pickups, to the first guitar preamps, to the first on-board tuner, Ovation has been a driving force in the creation of the modern acoustic-electric guitar.

Ovation CC24 Celebrity Series Ruby Red Acoustic Electric Guitar

Ovation CC24 Celebrity Series Ruby Red Acoustic Electric Guitar

So enough history class, lets move onto the play test. First up on the chopping block today is the CC24 Celebrity series mid bowl which is modeled on the Ovation Balladeer, a great starting point for anyone checking out Ovation guitars for the first time. The look of the Balladeer is far more traditional then say, the Adamas, with its space aged carbon fiber top, and twenty two tiny sound holes rather then the one big O sound hole we’re all used to. The guitar feels more or less like a typical dreadnaught, aside from the fact that the back and sides of the guitar are made from one large molded lyrachord bowl. The first time you pick up an Ovation, the back and sides are by far the most striking feature, as they are so very alien to any guitarist who has never played a guitar like this, as it feels more like a lute than a guitar. In truth though, these guitars all sound pretty much like a normal acoustic, just with a much more projection, and a slightly more even sound, with a more even distribution of highs and lows than on a typical acoustic.

The CC24 is no exception, acoustically speaking this is a fairly standard sounding guitar, and if you are just looking at it head on, it’s also a fairly standard looking guitar. It has a nice crisp high end, and seeings as its only a mid depth bowl, as opposed to a deep bowl, it has far more mid response than it does bass response. This is good for dubbing jangly rhythm parts where you don’t want to step on the toes of the bassist, and for adding more cut to an acoustic guitar part. But the truth about many Ovations is, that while they are great acoustics, they are made to be played on stage, that’s where their design really starts to make sense.

Plugging into a P.A, you quickly realize that these guitars are dead quiet on stage, even at high volumes you rarely have to worry about that pesky resonance induced feedback that tends to haunt acoustic guitars on stage. The tone of this acoustic guitar through any amplifier tends to be very true to the real sound of the guitar, without ever sounding like a tin can like some lower grade piezo pickups do. I was able to play big full bodied chords any where near the speaker, and once I had set the notch filter, I didn’t have to worry about feeding back, not even once. For a singer songwriter, this ability is a must, as often your singing is far more important than your guitar work, and having to worry about your guitar exploding mid song, you tend to be a little distracted from the overall message of the song. For lead work, this guitar has that famous lightning fast neck profile that made Ovation so famous among guitarists during the 80s, with its super low action, and its just thin enough neck profile, this guitar is a breeze to play.

Its tone was always full and meaty, but never so overpowering that it got in the way of my vocals, or anyone else in the band. If you are onstage a lot with an acoustic, you certainly cant go wrong with an ovation like this, and if you are playing at way high volumes, and you absolutely need a sound hole cover, this style of Ovation can still readily accept them. for its flexibility, its bold sound, and its classic, yet stylish looks, the CC24 easily earns itself a 9 out of 10. I give it that rating, because even though this guitar sounds great, it looks cool, and amplified its super easy to deal with, many players are still too conservative to get past that lyrachord bowl. Some people just want to live in a different decade sometimes, and while that’s fine and all, guitars like this deserve to be appreciated.

Ovation CC48 Celebrity Deluxe Blue Burst Acoustic Electric Guitar

Ovation CC48 Celebrity Deluxe Blue Burst Acoustic Electric Guitar

Getting off my soapbox and moving onto the next guitar however, we now get to enjoy the CC48 Celebrity Series Deluxe Shallow Bowl which is modeled on Ovations famous Adamas model with its 15 sound holes, all laying on top of the cool looking wood leaf epaulets, that are a hallmark of Ovations new age style. This sound hole arrangement was invented for the Adamas model, with its futuristic Carbon Fiber top, because the soundboard was designed to be so thin, and with so few bracings, that having a big O style soundhole would have compromised its integrity, in all actuality, according to Ovation, the first time they made one of these guitars out of wood, they weren’t sure if it would sound good at all.

But let me tell you that this guitar actually sounds amazing. Keeping in mind that this guitar features Ovations shallow bowl design, which was designed to appeal to electric guitarists, so they would feel more comfortable playing them on stage. This translates to an acoustic guitar which is only a little thicker than your average thinline tele, or semi hollow body guitar. So unamplified this guitar sounds rather thin, and has very little bass response. This doesn’t mean that its acoustic qualities are lost, the CC48 still has a rather even sounding voice with plenty of snappy high end, and some nice mid responce, and it’s still a perfectly good guitar for practicing by yourself or reinforcing a bass heavy guitar part on a recording.

Where this guitar shines however is amplified. Now granted, many Ovations shine in this category, but the fact that this guitar suddenly has the voice of a giant Dreadnaught when you plug it in, when unplugged it has the voice of a tiny acoustic, is a startling difference. Plugged in you have all of those cool tones that you get from a standard Celebrity series Ovation, with a big robust sound that, even though its fed through a piezo pickup, you still have a sound that remains true to the sound of the guitar, except in this case, you have a sound that is far more robust and bold than the actual tone of the guitar. Playing with a band this guitar had far more natural sustain than a typical acoustic, and its tone sat nicely in a band situation. It didn’t step on the bass players toes, or gunk up what the other guitarist was doing, and it never ate into the highs of the drummers cymbals. This guitar does its job well with a band, as it should, and it did a good job even when it was just my voice and the guitar alone, never once did it sound like someone playing an amplified acoustic, it just sounding like someone singing with an acoustic guitar, but louder.

The best part about the CC48, and for that matter the CC24 is you get technology that is literally space aged, with bodies that employ futuristic composites, and electronics that just twenty years ago would have cost you an arm and a leg. A guitar like the CC48 features a power and a boldness that judging by its actual acoustic tone, it just should not have, but at the end of the day, this guitars amplified tone easily puts it ahead of the curve, espesually in its price range, and for that fact alone, the CC48 wins itself a deserved 9 out of 10.

The 2081GT-5 Adamas II

The 2081GT-5 Adamas II

Last up in today’s round up, is the treasure of the Ovation family, by which I mean the 2081GT-5 Adamas II. The Adamas is what launched Ovation leaps and bounds above the rest of the acoustic guitar world, with original and clever ideas like using carbon fiber to make a top that is super strong, light weight, and super thin, meaning that you can use less bracing on the top which results in a guitar with more sustain, and more bass response. The deep contour bowl back is designed to not only be super comfortable, but also super loud acoustically. The electronics are second to none, with a sound that is full bodied, and as pure as can be to what this guitar truly sounds like. Not to mention the space aged appointments like laser cut hardwood epaulets, and a fingerboard made of resin injected walnut resulting in a fingerboard that is super hard like ebony, but featuring the beautiful wood grain of walnut.

unplugged this guitar is miles above the rest, with a tone that is purely acoustic, but with sustain almost double that of any other acoustic I have yet played. The tone was big, with tons of roaring bass, tons of spanky mids, and a wonderfully snappy and tangy high end. The action and feel of the neck make it feel more like your playing an electric, and the stunning intonation means that chords are never even slightly out as you move across the fingerboard. The tone did everything from work perfectly for solo fingerstyle pieces, right up to just straight strumming and supporting my voice as the chords rang out. Just like the others though, the real power of these guitars is revealed when you run them through a P.A or acoustic amp.

This guitar just did not stop, its tone amplified took all that was good about its acoustic voice, and turned it up to 11. suddenly its ability to fill up the sonic spectrum was pushed further, allowing me to sink back and mix well with a band if I wanted, or push out and cover the whole spectrum with just a lone guitar. Its sustain was made better still through an amplifier as its fundamental frequencies and harmonic tones all rang out long and true, with a tone that always stayed in acoustic territory, never sounding like an electric imitating an acoustic, always just an acoustic guitar…just louder. I now know why greats like Kaki King, Glen Campbell, Melissa Etheridge and Al Di Meola all choose Ovations as their main guitar, they just have a power and a sound that is uniquely their own, rather than inventing a great acoustic guitar, Ovation reinvented what it is that an acoustic guitar should be, and for that the fact that this guitar continues to do that still, the 2081GT-5 Adamas II gets a well deserved 10 out of 10.

Ovation CC48 Celebrity Deluxe Blue Burst Acoustic Electric Guitar

Ovation CC48 Celebrity Deluxe Blue Burst Acoustic Electric Guitar

World Music Supply | Washburn Acoustics

Hey guys it’s Brian Here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about some amazing acoustics from Washburn Guitars.  For years Washburn has been making fantastic sounding guitars, at even more fantastic prices. These guitars are no exception, with tone and playability that is on par with, or even above guitars costing five to ten times as much.

The Washburn WD16S

The Washburn WD16S

First up in this review is the WD16S, a stunning dreadnought acoustic that is part of Washburn’s heritage series. Featuring a solid cedar top, and mahogany back and sides, this guitar is comprised of some of the most sought after tone woods around. Helping to offset the “plain Jane” appearance of the WD16S is a stunning abalone rosette and matching binding.

Sitting down with the WD16S was a nice experience, as it embodied everything that the dreadnought is supposed to possess. With big, full sounds, with just the right mix of bass and treble, this guitar sounded just right. It has that specific tone that singer songwriters are just drawn to, with all of the boldness to support your voice, but never overwhelming it. Micing the guitar with an Audio Technica AT2020, this guitar yielded big bottom end chunk with high, chimy jangle that was perfect for everything from using as a rhythm track along side a band, or even just paired with a voice.

My Favorite part about the WD16S, and indeed any dreadnought, is just how versatile they are, covering everything from soft finger picking, to hard strumming, even just playing some chords while you sing, this guitar has the sound that just suits any situation. The WD16S is a beautiful guitar, with an amazing sound; my favorite part however is the feel of it. The dreadnought body shape fits you like an old friend, and the neck feels comfortable, with no rough edges, or dead spots. The WD16S is a great guitar, at an astounding price, with a tone that is far beyond anything in its price range. I give the WD16S a 9 out of 10, mainly because, while yes it is a fantastic guitar, it is a little plain looking.

The Washburn WG25S

The Washburn WG25S

Next up to bat, is the WG25S, an amazing Grand Auditorium style guitar, which features a solid Alaskan Sitka Spuce top, and Rosewood back and sides. I personally have always loved Grand Auditoriums, mainly because one of my favorite guitarists, Don Ross, uses one live so frequently. They have a nice big, illustrious sound, which is great for solo guitarists.

Putting the WG25S through its paces, I was amazed at how tight and punchy it sounded, it always had a big tone, with plenty of bass on tap, but when you really threw yourself at it, it had all the snap and swagger of a much smaller guitar. This is a trait that I have only ever experienced with Grand Auditoriums, they have almost as much big, bold tone as a jumbo, and all the versatility of a Dreadnought, but they also have this unique warm, round tone, that no matter how snappy and fast you play, never goes away.

Playing fingerstyle on the WG25S was always comfortable, and the extra body size never felt overbearing or cumbersome. The neck was fast, and leant itself to fast playing quite well. Overall, I love the WG25S, as it has everything I could ever want from an acoustic guitar, with all of the boldness of a big jumbo, and all of the soulfulness of a much smaller guitar. At the end of the day the WG25S gets a 10 out of 10, because of how much guitar you get, for so little money.

The Washburn WMJ40SCE

The Washburn WMJ40SCE

Last up in this review is the WMJ40SCE a fascinating little Mini Jumbo style guitar, which is somewhere between a Jumbo and a Parlor guitar in tonality, as it uses the brighter tone woods of the Jumbo family, and features a smaller, more focused frequency spectrum of a parlor style guitar. This also is the only Electric-Acoustic in todays review. Playing through some songs with my band, I found that the WMJ40SCE filled out its required range very well.

If you have ever played acoustic guitar live, you know that acoustic guitars tend to play devils advocate most of the time, and either be nearly inaudible over the sonic architecture of a band, or end up a screaming mass of strings and wood. The WMJ40SCE however features rather bright sounding tone woods, flamed maple in particular, this means that it has a much lower bass response than many, and as such, it responds to bass frequencies less than many other guitars. This means you have less frequencies to play havoc with your sound, and once a sound hole cover is added, this guitar sounds almost exactly as it does un-amplified, which is down right amazing.

The WMJ40SCE sounded great with my band, never too thin sounding, but never to overpowering in the bass range to interfere with my bass players duties. It was percussive enough that it complemented the drummer nicely, and snappy enough that when I took a turn playing some mellow lead parts it always pulled through and was easily heard over the mix. The WMJ40SCE also felt very comfortable, with its mini jumbo body feeling a lot like a dreadnought, just with a far more rounded profile. I loved getting to test run the WMJ40SCE, with its bright, yet warm tones and its little body with the flamed maple back and sides. For its ability to hold its own with a band, even in a really high volume situation without a sound hole cover, I give the WMJ40SCE a well deserved 10 our of 10.

so there you have it folks, some great acoustics at a great value, with all of these fantastic guitars at such awesome prices, it is hard to choose, but maybe now that you have a better idea of which guitar is suited for what, you can head on over to Worldmusicsupply.com today, and pick up your very own Washburn Acoustic today!

Washburn

Washburn