Art and Lutherie Wild Cherry Laminate Reviews 4

I was in the market for a "beater" (for camping, the beach, etc.) guitar. I already own a Seagull (same mfg.- Godin Guitars out of Canada) which I like, so I made the 40 min. drive to Goshen, IN (nobody in South Bend carries A & L) to check one of these out. I went to TG Music (good bunch of guys there!) and picked up an all-laminated model, and was immediately impressed, especially for the price. The guitar was about $160.00 new, and an EPP case was $65.00. They let me have both items for $210. so I walked away quite pleased. I've had it about 6 months and play it quite a bit.

Has a really surprising tone for the money... quite nice, actually! Like my Seagull, the neck seems a little wider than normal, but since I have big hands, that's not a problem. The sound is good, and it is comfortable to play. The EPP (foam) case is nice too- made of foam, it's rather unusual, and I get a lot of comments about it. Much lighter than a hardshell case, and it seems to protect ptetty well. Finally, the model I chose has this cool, retro, funky orange finish to it that I think looks pretty nice!

First of all, in no way can the tone compare to a solid wood guitar, it just don't happen! That said, the tone is excellent. Sure it could use a bit more on the bass strings, but with a laminate, that's what you are going to get! The action on purchase was a little high, but the shop adjusted that for me and it's much better now. After adjustment, there was a slight string buzz on the low E, but I put on a set of good strings and that's fixed now too.

A pretty solid unit. The joints are tight and the finish is good. I think that the finish might be more durable than that of my Seagull Spruce, as the soundhole area isn't looking worn like it is on the Seagull. The frets are tight and well-finished, and I like the satin finish on the neck, it doesn't gum up or get sticky like the gloss finish on my Alvarez 12-string does. Stays nice and smooth for easy playing. This is not the prettiest guitar in the world, but it seems solid, well constructed and durable. Perfect for what I bought it for.

I like this unit a lot. It sounds better than many guitars I tried costing $30-60 more, and with an all laminate construction, I don't have to worry so much about it cracking, etc. like I do with my solid wood guitars. I would recommend it as a 2nd or beginner guitar wholeheartedly. Before you buy though, try all the models in your local shop, as Godin's quality control can be a bit erratic, and their non- responsive customer service STINKS!! These are a little harder to find than the cheapos from the Orient, but are worth the search. In short, a great value for the money!

MicroBrewMan rated this unit 4 on 2004-05-30.

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