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We all love a bargain. I definitely love a bargain! But quite often you only get what you pay for. Cheap is easy. Quality and Cheap not so easy.
We get a lot of people coming to our site looking for advice on what to buy for their first guitar. With that in mind, I went on the hunt for the best guitars I could find for less than £150.00/$200 and came up with a selection of six guitars all but one of which would make a good first guitar or budget buy for the more experienced player.
The most disappointing guitar was the one with the best specification, on paper at least.
And that guitar is the ‘Hartwood Prime’. The promotion for it read as follows:
Be bold with the Hartwood Prime Cutaway Acoustic Guitar. The cutaway shape is matched with carefully selected tonewoods for a big, powerful sound. This entry level Hartwood instrument also features a solid spruce top for a balanced and played-in tone, straight from the box!
Ideal for powerful open chords, the Hartwood Prime is also responsive and articulate making it a great guitar for fingerpicking. Each prime model is also equipped with D’Addario strings, projecting the powerful tone but with brighter edge that will ensure a well-rounded sound.
The classic look of the prime cutaway guitar is finished by the distinctive Hartwood headstock shape and reliable diecast tuners, that provide accurate and stable tuning. With a classic, well-defined tone and smooth, sustainable fingerboard, this guitar offers superb playability that is suitable for any style.
All of which sounds wonderful! Then you look at the price of £99.00 and start to wonder. A solid spruce top for under £100.00?
Can a company really build a good quality guitar with a solid top for that sort of money? The emphasis being on “good quality”. Anyone can put out a bad quality guitar and sell it cheap but from the description given by the retailer, this is not supposed to be a bad quality guitar.
The reality was very different from that which the spec sheet and description would suggest.
You can read the full story on our forum, where I have also posted several pictures that illustrate just some of the problems I encountered with this guitar.
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