Johnson JG-642 Reviews 3

I bought this guitar off Ebay for $90 delivered. I needed a cheap, but good, acoustic to throw in the car for lunchtime jam sessions and such. Well, at least I got half of what I set out for.

In it's original state, nothing. It sucked about as bad as anything could suck. After a few rounds with the truss rod wrench, a new tusq saddle and some new phosphur-bronze strings it actually sounds like a guitar.

In it's original state, everything. It sounded like a tissue box with pieces of twine strung across the hole. It buzzed, it screeched, it whined, it did everything but beg me to put it out of its misery. The saddle was high enough to jump to your death off of. I think you all get the picture...

The satin finish feels like it was left out to dry in a sandstorm. The alleged Martin strings were pathetic. The action was about 1/2" high. Ugh. What a piece of crap. The cheap plastic saddle chipped in about a day. I seriously considered smashing it to pieces just for the sheer satisfaction of it. On the bright side, the all mahogany construction is solid, so it wouldn't have been easy to smash, which probably saved it's life. Cheap Gotoh-type tuners and cheesy binding complete the masterpiece.

Well, I must say, what started out as possibly the worst guitar ever made(although I'm sure Johnson's cheaper models would give that title a run for the money) has turned out to be a not half bad sounding, solid acoustic. The saddle change to a lower tusq model improved the action and sound incredibly, as did the new strings. The mahogany has a rich, warm tone and good sustain. For $90 plus another $15 for the mods, it really isn't all that bad. In fact, it's rather nice sounding. If you can get it cheap and let it live long enough to modify it, this may be a very good buy in a good sounding cheap axe.

TheHands rated this unit 3 on 2003-10-07.

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