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144 of 155 found the following review helpful:
Mixed Feelings Sep 24, 2004
By Hopefully Tomorrow
We all know Dean Makes great guitars, yet this one, does NOT have a trust rod. If the neck is bent or over time moves from the pressure of the strings the guitar is garbage. This guitar will NOT last you very long, certainly not a novice. You are better off paying extra (like 70-100) to buy a guitar with a trust rod. This will enable you to bring the guitar to a repair man. He can fix the neck of the guitar so it is playable. Guitars without trust rods are harder to tune and do not stay in tune. Dean makes a great guitar, but you get what you pay for. Hope this helped.
53 of 54 found the following review helpful:
Just a bit more than a toy. Feb 21, 2005
The main points for me in deciding to buy this little guitar were the cheap price and the affiliation with Dean Guitars. As a long-time guitar player, it can be a lot of fun to play a little guitar in places a full-size guitar won't work, like in the car. I believe an experienced player will get more out of this than a beginner. Although the quality of this guitar is higher than a toy guitar you find at retail toy stores, it still leaves much to be desired in terms of easy playability. Even with a zero fret, the action on this guitar was way too high. The result was that it was hard to play and hard to tune because the intonation was off. These are the least desireable things for a good beginners guitar. What I did was to file down the grooves in the bridge to lower the action. I also put new strings on the guitar--light gauge because the guitar sounds best tuned to A, in otherwise standard tuning. With these changes, it's become a fun guitar to play. For under $30, I wasn't disappointed by the plastic fretboard, painted-on binding or cheap tuners. The finish is nice and the bridge is distinctive. So, I'd say it's a good toy for an experienced guitarist but a bad guitar for a beginner.
47 of 52 found the following review helpful:
For the Price You Can't Beat This Guitar Nov 11, 2004
By Mark D Burgh
"Music, Writing, Art, Film, History Freak"
I bought this Dean JTJ for a few reasons: price, size (my hands are small), and the sound. The Dean JTJ gives me a lot of pleasure to play and I'm always glad I bought it. It's not a deluxe Gibson, Martin, or Taylor guitar, so you may not feel that the JTJ is on par with those pricey, well-regarded instruments, but for me, an amateur looking for a practice guitar that wouldn't break my budget, or be so bad that it would fall apart quickly, I can't falt the JTJ. Now, I realize that there is no truss rod, but I've never had any tuning problems, and I play the JTJ nearly every day. And you know what, if the JTJ breaks, I'll get another one, but I think that the quality of this Dean guitar is better than that. In fact, I bought it in the hopes of passing it on to my daughter when she gets ready to learn guitar.
21 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Dean should be ashamed. They knew better and sold garbage anyway. Jun 19, 2008
By D. Reinstein
Having been a picker and strummer of six and twelve stringed guitars for nearly 45 years, I found myself offended by the unadvertised aspects of this 'name brand' child's guitar. Nowhere in the advertising does it mention that it simply cannot be tuned to standard concert tuning (a reality quickly admitted by Dean staff when asked,) rendering it useless as a teaching instrument. It must be tuned at least one full note higher and regular concert tuning end even at that, the frets are not accurately enough placed to get consistent sounds (either single notes or chords) from it.
I expected that for under $40., I would have to tune and re-tune it. What I had no cause to expect was that it was physically impossible to tune it correctly in the first place. According to Dean's "Armadillo Customer Service Manager," Brad Mader who responded to some comments he saw about this and sent me a personal email, "Unfortunately due to the size of the guitar & price point, the guitar has to be tuned that way.If you need an acoustic for standard tuning, I would suggest a full size acoustic, something from our Exotic line will work Just fine."
I didn't expect a quality instrument for this little - I am not a fool - But from a company with the reputation and product line of Dean Guitars, I did expect a tunable and playable beginning guitar. The JTJ is simply neither.
As other reviewers have suggested, spend $100. or so and get a reasonable sound and better designed and built guitar. Nothing is more discouraging to any beginning player of any age than an instrument that is simply not designed or built to sound right in the first place.
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
you get what you pay for - change the strings Feb 11, 2005
For $25 you can't expect much, but this is a good guitar considering the price. It was packed very well, but the strings that came with it were awful - they are difficult (if not impossible) to tune correctly, and they were very corroded when I received it.
The solution was very simple - I bought a new set of strings for a regular guitar. Instead of tuning it like a standard guitar, tune it a fourth or a major third above standard tuning. This is perfect for the size of the guitar, and it sounds great. Remember to use very low gauge strings.
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