John David Scott Rosewood Dreadnaught Reviews 5

I was fortunate enough to purchase a used, but absolutely brilliant high-end acoustic guitar made by a relatively small Canadian company called John David Scott. All JDS guitars are completely hand-crafted gems that will cost a buyer about $2200 without the frills (obviously more for the extra-custom additions, but all their guitars are truly custom-quality instruments). Check out the website at "" for extra information.

The JDS company is named after the first names of the three original owners. David Amirault is now the principal owner, and his experience is quite noteworthy. David was one of Larrivee's premiere luthiers, and his expert touch on each instrument is remarkable. My model has no fancy designation like is simply called a "Rosewood Dreadnaught" and my particular guitar has a flawless Florentine cutaway, allowing access to the higher registers. The guitar is surprisingly light in weight (no electronics--at least not yet) but still has an extremely solid feel to it. I think the "lightness" only adds to the incredible tone (hard to make a 15-pound block of wood vibrate very much). Many rosewood dreads sound "muddied" to me, but not this beauty. The bell-like ring has a brightness similar to my Taylor 614 maple-body but with a bit more depth and sustain. Don't get me wrong--I love my Taylor and will not part with it, but my JDS adds a complexity in its depth that a maple body cannot bring out. The action was very low without causing any fret-buzzing issues, perfect for my fingerstyle of play (although not a problem for heavy strumming either). Now let me tell you about the incredible customer support. Again, I bought the guitar used but I have discussed my guitar with David Amirault personally. He no-kidding understands the idea of pleasing the customer. In fact, I still receive e-mails from him occasionally, just to discuss my guitar, and I didn't even buy it from him! Wow...that speaks volumes for John David Scott as a company and David Amirault as a man.

There is not one thing I do not like about my JDS. Every aspect of this instrument screams highest quality, from its world-class appearance to its unparalleled hand-voiced tone. If there is a drawback, it's in the fact that JDS is such a small, custom company that you may never have the opportunity to play one. I took a chance and bought mine without playing it (the used price was too good to pass up) and I am so glad I took that chance. My guess is that if you are interested in a JDS, until David's company grows, you may have to do what I did--purchase one before playing it. But, you won't be disappointed.

The first aspect of the guitar I noticed (even before I played it) was the incredible workmanship--I challenge anyone to find a better hand-crafted work of art than a JDS. I honestly will put it up against Collings and Olsens for its "fit and finish" (and tone, for that matter). The rosewood back, for instance, has such a great bookmatched fitting that you cannot see any seam really looks like one beautiful piece of rosewood. The sharp Florentine cutaway is also matched perfectly--no easy accomplishment and one reason most high-end companies now consider it an expensive upgrade. The tight-grained spruce top has gorgeous silking to it, making the appearance equal to its wonderful voice.

I have played guitar for 30+ years and can say that this guitar is just a tremendous instrument and still at a bargain price (if $2200+ is in your range), only because JDS has not yet captured the market like Larrivee. But if you are familiar with Larrivee, then you'll understand the quality John David Scott has built into it knowing that David was one of Larrivee's finest. Unfortunately, I can only give the guitar a 5 rating because that is the highest grade Music Gear Review has. In reality, my JDS is every bit a 10!

Rich Pierce rated this unit 5 on 2005-04-07.

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