Seagull Etude Reviews
I purchased this guitar new for around $300.00 from Fretted Instruments of Birmingham (Alabama)about four years ago. I picked this guitar for the sound. I had played other brand classicals for 2-3 times the price, and could not find one even close to this one in terms of sound and playabililty. Believe it!
As I stated before, this guitar sounds great! The basses are warm and even, not the least bit muddy. The mids and trebles are very balanced and sweet. This guitar is very consistent across the board. The action was a little higher than I like, but that was remedied when I got home. This instrument has a truss rod (uncommon in traditional classicals) which makes neck adjustments very easy.
This guitar has a satin finish which is really nice. However, over the last couple of years I have managed to "shine it up" where my pinky finger has touched the sound board on the treble side. I guess this reveals another flaw in my playing technique! At any rate, there is a noticeably bright spot on that part of the guitar, which cannot be remedied according to some local repairmen. While this is really not a manufacturing flaw, I think I would have prefered a laquered or polished finish.
This guitar has a solid cedar top, and I believe laminated mahogany back and sides. For this price, laminates are obvious. But the grain on this instument is simply gorgeous. It has a really nice rosette, the frets are seated well, and there are no "dead spots." It has no pickup system installed, although there is another model avaialable with a pickup. How this company produces such a nice guitar in this price range is beyond me.
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to play a nylon string guitar made by another manufacturer known for its high end steel strings. I was not impressed. This La Patrie felt better, sounded sweeter, and looked better than that $1900.00 guitar. I can't say enough about this guitar. Several friends have complemented this guitar and since they were unfamiliar with the name, thought it was a handmade top of the line classical! Hats off to La Patrie, Seagull, and Godin. This guitar is a keeper.D. Chumley
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