Esteban AL-100 Accoustic Electric Natural Finish Reviews 5

I've been playing roughly 40 years, mostly Fender Tele, but have owned Gibson, Martin, Fender Accoustics. Music: Curently, Blugrassyish Country Gospel old country classics. I play in 3 CG bands and have recorded. I used to like the twangy, sharp tele sound but enjoy mellow, hymn style stuff, also.

I had lost everything due to long term illness and saw this guitar on a TV infomercial. Thought it sounded pretty good and the style, binding and ornamentation layout was similar to the Martin D-45 I used to have. I was able to do 3 payments of $66.00 plus shipping as I recall and had it in about five days.

Out of the box: It was a lot better than I expected. The style, finish, sound and detail work was beyond excellent. The action was suprisingly decent, definately playable. The tone is awsome. I play with guys who have really good stuff, like I used to have. The harmonics are comparable with any guitar I've ever played, including my D-45. The entire scale is flawless for pitch. The electronics are great. EQ and Pickup worked great and really brought out the warm, rich tone of the guitar. I still had the original electronics when I did our last CD.

My only real complaint is a serious lack of projection. The laminate top, though beutifully finished is very thin and just doesn't produce the volume needed to play unplugged with any other instruments. However, for private practice, this could be a good thing. The machine heads did not hold tune well, they weren't horible, and for the price they were OK. But, for pro work I had to change them out. But, the holes were drilled nearly perfect, the G hole was a tad lose. Easy to shim. It was a simple swap to Gold Gotohs.

For the price - SUPERB. This little darlin' goes everywhere with me. I have played the snot out of it...I mean HARD. Nothing has come lose, come apart, fell off, bowed, bent or warped. And the case...great. It worked perfect till an 85 lb. PA amp got droped on it, hey, but the guitar that was inside LIVED. I'm still using the case but it has a broken inner lining. I can't say anything about the amp that was included, I've never used it. I use my Peavey most of the time or an old Fender tube.

Out of the box, I did an action job, including truss rod,threw on a set of Martin Custom Lights, and did a live recorded bluegrass Festival three days later. A year later I changed the EQ to a 4-band with tuner and put a solid pickup in place of the wound wire one. The old electronics were fine, I just upgraded. At the same time, I swaped the original machine with Gold Gotohs. I've seen some negative stuff about this Model. Mine is a sweet ax and I would not hesitate to buy another one. A buddy got the cut away version after playing mine. He's a pro also..loves it. This is not a Martin, Taylor or Gibson, don't expect it to be something it isn't meant to be. What it is, is an excellent quality guitar, worthy to be used by professionals with very little work. It really shines in the light and closely resembles a D-45.

Rick rated this unit 5 on 2007-08-05.

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