Carlo Robelli CSX34C Reviews 4

Purchased new at a Sam Ash location in Florida for $160.00US as a blem/demo stock item. I needed a cutaway acoustic/ electric for playing small to medium venues that would: a) Sound decent, b)be an inexpensive road axe, and c)be durable enough to stand up to the mishaps that happen while playing live.

I don't look at prices until after I play the guitar, so for a street price of $220.00, this guitar had a nice full sound both unplugged and plugged in. The top is a solid piece of spruce with a mild yellow to orange sunburst. The cutaway allows me to easily get to the 17th fret on the low E string. It stays in tune even with my aggressive strumming style. The active EQ doesn't eat batteries too often -, the battery cradle is one of the best as it doesn't have any umbilical wires attached to it - I change batteries about every 50 hours of plugged in play time.

This particular guitar was a little stiff - like it should have been tuned a half a step low to lessen the tension. The action was a little high as the strings progressed from the nut to the bridge. I had it professionally setup to lower the action and refine the intonation. The frets are a little to low to make it super easy on the bar chord grip, it may be hard for thinner fingered folks to have the 1st and 2nd strings ring out properly when playing chords that require barring all 6 strings. If trying to use this guitar to record - it probably wouldn't be the best focal instrument. It would make a nice backing acoustic, the guitars natural sound is fair and when going DI, the on board 5 band EQ just doesn't polish the tones, regardless of strings, well enough to be suitable for anything beyond backing or demo tracks.

As for construction - it is very solid - laminate back and sides are very durable. The top however had a slight crack running from the bottom toward the top and a stock report history style crack running horizontally off of that. This may be from the curing process or it may have been during shipment. I liked this guitar over others, so for the money I didn't care if it fell apart. As for fit n finish - these are made by robots on another planet - so the consistency is there. Each guitar still does play and sound different.

I get a lot of comments on how good my guitar sounds ( decent eq on the pa and a good room helps). This guitar is no Taylor or Martin in regard to its tone, and as far off the shelf playability - it is no Zager. It is a GREAT guitar for the road. I have had it with me on stage for almost a year through many a 3 hour performance, and it does it job, city to city from the US to Canada. Once it is setup this guitar sounds and play as nice as other instruments that cost twice as much.

JR rated this unit 4 on 2004-10-26.

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