Carlo Robelli W-280-TS Reviews 5

I was dropping off my 31 year old Martin D-35 for a warranty repair when I stopped into Sam Ash Music. I was taken by the nice look of this Carlo Robelli dreadnaught size 6 string acoustic. The retail price was $299, low for an acoustic with a solid spruce top but they had a sale on and it was $149.

I had played a few of the Carlo Robelli acoustics before and they seemed to have a nice low action. I picked this one up and it had a very low action as well as a beautiful tobacco sunburst similar to my 56' Les Paul Jr. It also had antique looking Martin style herrigbone inlaid purfling around the top and soundhole and down the the center seam of the back. A bound 20 fret neck, tourteshell pickguard and gold diecast sealed tuning gears. The solid spruce top gives the guitar a very nice ringing tone that resonates well from the lowest note up to the higher register. It has nice wide grain laminated rosewood sides and back with a beautiful mahogany looking neck with an adjustable trussrod (accesible through the soundhole)and Martin style bound headstock. The top is exquisite for an inexpensive guitar with what looks like a laquer rather than poly urethane finish. The overlook is great but it was the sound and playability that sold it.

Overall this is a great guitar and I can't find one thing I don't like except of course the obvious fact that it doesn't have solid sides and back or a complete one piece neck (joint at the heel and just below the E tuners on the headstock) but then it wouldn't be selling for this price.

For the price, the construction is outstanding with no obvious mistakes or flaws, quality control is very good. The over quality of the guitar is excellent. It does have a screwed in strap button on the bottom rather than a push pin type but no big deal there. A very handsome looking instrument with the sunburst top, herringbone trim and gold hardware.

My hats off to Sam Ash music for this beautiful and affordable guitar line. I sold Martin and Gibson guitars in the 70's and have a large vintage guitar collection, over 30 instruments. I knew Ritchie Ash when I lived in N.Y.C. and congratulate him and his company on delivering the goods with this tasteful and nice sounding instrument that anyone can afford.

Johnny B. Williams rated this unit 5 on 2004-02-09.

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