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8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Good as beginner guitar, as women guitar and as travel guitar Sep 12, 2012
I've bought this guitar for an adult female beginner student, who is short and has small hands. This guitar fit well, and, in fact, we've spent an hour with my friend in a guitar store, trying out different models (including many 3/4ths), this guitar, although officially "1/2" sounded the same or better than the other different "3/4"-ths. Then I decided to buy the same model for myself to use as a travel guitar, and I was surprised that another instance of the same model sounded almost the same as the one we carefully selected in the guitar store.
A few notes for someone who never had a small guitar.
1. Small guitars sound crappy comparing to full-size ones. Yes, size does matter a lot. Yes, really crappy. Lower volume, poor resonance, more of unwanted overtones and weird effects (like uneven loudness for different notes), harder to distinguish sounds in chords, the guitar more often goes out of tune and it is harder to tune, and the sounds are shorter in length. It's also really hard to cleanly play something around 12th fret... due to both: difficult tunability, and the fact that frets are so close together so it's easy to make small mistakes in positioning. If you can afford bigger guitar and your fingers stretch enough for a bigger guitar, even if it's hard, I do recommend you buy a bigger one for your primary instrument. Unless you're buying it for a small woman or for a child, this should not be your primary guitar. Nevertheless, this particular model turned out to be noticeably better than the other ones I tried.
2. Although smaller guitars are harder to tune, if you use tunability as buying decision criterion - then, well, go learn to tune, and also learn to change strings quickly so that you'll do it often. I tune this guitar every 15 minutes, and I tune my normal size guitar maybe every 30 minutes (tune = slightly adjust tuning on one or more strings, not necessarily re-tune everything). I also change strings every 10-20 hours of play, which translates into 2-3 weeks, given that I play around 7 hours a weeks. 15 minutes is plenty of time. I don't know any classical guitar piece which last more than 15 minutes, and, perhaps, if there is one, the kind of skill level you need for it would probably guarantee you can tune it while playing and nobody would notice ;) If you tune your guitar once a day, you're either super lucky and you have perfect stable room temperature and humidity conditions, or (more likely) you're not paying attention that the tuning slightly slides off.
3. String tension doesn't translate 1:1. If you used to play with normal tension D'Addario strings on a full-size guitar, the same tension will be achieved with extra-hard. Just "hard" is not enough, it's too soft (hence, too quiet, and harder to tune, etc, etc; better go with extra-hard). If you're buying this guitar for an early beginner, perhaps, you should use "hard" tension, but definitely not "normal" or "light". If you're used to hard tension strings, well, I don't know, maybe put extra-hard and tune it 2 halftones up :)
Note: I mentioned D'Addario, because different brands differ in tension. Something which is labeled as "hard" may match "very hard" of D'Addario, or be in between "hard" and "very hard". So, your mileage may vary with the brand.
4. For the beginner student I've put D'Addario hard tension strings (EJ46C). For myself, I've put D'Addario composite extra-hard tension strings (EJ44C), and I specifically put composite 3rd string, although for a full-size guitar I don't like it. Why composite string is good for a small guitar: a regular 3rd string is very thick, and as you increase volume, it will start buzzing much earlier than other strings, because strings on this guitar are really close to neck (made for beginners, so it's easier to play?). So by using a composite 3rd string (which is thinner, and more like other strings) you effectively increase dynamic range ... I don't know, maybe by 30%.
5. I measured this guitar's sound volume with Audacity. It looks like playing the same piece with roughly the same strength makes it 10.5 db quieter on this guitar with extra-hard strings, vs full size guitar with normal tension strings. I am not sure how it translates into projection, perhaps, it's a tad better. I've heard that projection of small guitars is not too bad comparing to raw volume.
6. There is a resonance effect, which greatly amplifies B note (on both guitars I looked at). It affects all B notes (1st string 7th fret, open 2nd string and 5th string 2nd fret), however, it affects 1st string's B most of all. Again, a test in Audacity (playing chromatic scale on 1st string) showed me that B note sounds 10 db louder than most other notes. C is just barely above normal, and other notes are mostly the same. What it means: you'll have to apply different finger pressure and pulling strength depending *on note* (haha). It also means it will be harder to play with a capo (resonance will hit still on B, but now it will be different fret, other than 7th). I've heard this effect in several full size guitars as well, but it was to a much milder degree. (So, perhaps, size matters).
7. If you play chords, sounds mix up and create "ringing" effect. It's hard to distinguish individual sounds. Basically, the more notes sound at once, the messier it gets. This is not distortion, rather... maybe lack of precision, lack of certain overtones I used to hear.
8. Actually, owning this guitar as a second one is a lot of fun. I am going to try it out as a travel guitar (should be really easy to take it to the plane). I am already using it as night-time guitar, so that my neighbors aren't too mad at me, and I am already using this as "learn new pieces in a relaxed way" guitar, because I can focus on learning notes and memorizing, without thinking about hard stretches and without getting myself physically exhausted (even with extra-hard tension, it's really easy to play, like a breeze...). Then I can polish and improve it on a bigger guitar, but I already remember the piece! So things go faster.
To summarize, I think it's a great buy, but if you haven't used small guitars before, be sure to set proper expectations as of sound quality. Enjoy!
Update.: after a while I've discovered that this not only good as travel guitar, it's also an excellent second guitar to use for learning new pieces. I can focus on trying different fingerings and memorizing the piece, without going through massive physical effort. I play it for a while, then I switch to full-size guitar, and now work on new stretches. Switching two guitars back and forth seems to be more efficient than just playing full-size guitar alone. After quickly learning a piece on a small guitar, ear remembers correct sound and fingers remember correct positions. Then a few days of pain and torture to re-learn it on a bigger guitar, and then suddenly I play it better than I would've if I started with bigger guitar only.
2 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Very Good!! Dec 28, 2011
I bought it form GO-DPS, and I got it in one week.
My guitar looks beautiful, and I doesn't find any trouble after I played it a whole week. I tune it everyday, and it's easy to do it. And I think it's the best one to keep in tune compare to other 1/2 size guitars. It's 36" and it's very suitable for women's hands. Besides, it's nylon strings wouldn't hurt my fingers so much compare to steel strings. Moreover, the product also includes a simple gig bag!
All in all, I like it very much!!
Jasmine Takamine May 14, 2013
Very nice guitar! Came with nylon strings for my daughters little hands but I think I'll change them out with metal. Fairly fat neck for a half size. Strap comes with leather ends but no peg to connect on guitar. We are happy overall.
great Apr 09, 2013
By Mengyue Bi
it is a pretty guitar. shiny and small. they also give the guitar bag which is great. the price is not that bad too.
Sweet little guitar! Mar 04, 2013
By James Anderson
I bousht this as a gift for a 10-year old grand-daughter. She loves it. She brought it over and I worked on tuning it and helping to get her started. It is a real nice little guitar for the price. It has a decent sound and looks good as well.
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