Ashbury AG-160 Review updated

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Ashbury AG-160 Review updated

Unread post by Saul » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:58 pm

Ashbury (gremlinmusic.co.uk) AG-160 review and first impressions.
Ashbury AG-160 000.png
The AG-160 seems to be a very well made guitar. No rough edges anywhere, frets are well finished and smooth all the way down the neck. Also looks very tidy inside and everything nicely put together. No excess glue or anything like that.

The combination of solid Engelmann spruce top and Rosewood back and sides makes it ideal for fingerpicking. That's not to say it doesn't sound great strummed but playing aggressively you can feel a certain tightness or compression to the sound. But this is a natural quality of Engelmann spruce and for me at least it works well.

Also included is a padded gig bag with the 'Ashbury' name in gold embroidery on the front pocket.

Only things I would change if it were my guitar would be the strings, it comes with D'Addario Phosphor Bronze which I would swap for Elixir Nanoweb's and I would lower the action by a couple of mm.



Interested to find out if any of you have played an Ashbury acoustic and especially this model and what you thought of it.

Have also updated this review on the front of the site https://yamahamusicians.com

Now available discounted here.
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Re: Ashbury AG-160 Review updated

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:19 pm

Have recently added a video to this review and also need to mention that since I first got the guitar back in Dec 17 the price has dropped to a very reasonable £335! That makes the AG-160 even better value for money and puts it squarely up against some of the mid-range Yamaha FS and FG series. I'm thinking here in particular the FS830 and although larger bodied the FG830. Would make for an interesting comparison if Yamaha would send me one ;)
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Re: Ashbury AG-160 Review updated

Unread post by Buzzard » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:42 pm

Cheers Saul, the guitarist you've hired for the demo ain't half bad. :wink: :lol:

Well done ((i))
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Re: Ashbury AG-160 Review updated

Unread post by Charles Fritzlan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:00 pm

I have the AG 160 and it has a lot of beautiful overtones, as Englemann spruce should, and the rosewood b & s though only laminated, give yet more. There's a richness and complexity, lots of sustain, and after a year of use it sounds better than ever. Englemann is known to break-in quicker than Sitka spruce.

Via YouTube I've heard the Faith Venus Hi Gloss with Englemann and solid rosewood b % s, and with good headphones thought it bright, not much low end, and few overtones. Since I like the wood combination the Faith looked like an improvement but the AG 160 has great mids, trebles with some body and not too bright or steely, and the low end is well pronounced. I came to realise that it really shines with fingerstyle plus nails when each string played has good seperation and notes ring out with clarity, allowing the overtones to be well and truly present.

Englemann is a little softer than Sitka and has a little less fundamental tone ( it's in between Sitka and Cedar), and some find it a little muddy or not as clear in the low end. My one has got better defined basses after a year and using nails was a decisive turning point.

Neck pitch ( angle) and the height of strings from the soundboard are rarely discussed but are important. Luthiers agree that the best tones and energy into the top comes from the amount of torque exerted on the saddle, and that a soundboard to strings distance of 13 to 15 mm. is optimal. Lower than this can lead to loss of volume and tone, with below 10 mm. being potentially problematic. Some guitars might get not much more than about 11 mm. especially if the neck pitch is shallow.

An unusually low saddle is an indicator of this, in an effort to reduce the "action" height. There's a way of determining neck pitch: place a long metal straight edge ruler perpendicular to the top of the frets, centred, and move down the the bridge, where it should rest on top of the bridge. If the straight edge dips below and hits the bridge below it's top, the neck placement isn't just right. On mine, it's 1mm below and there's no low saddle.

However, the soundboard to strings distance is 9mm which is considered less than optimal, but the bridge itself is about 3 mm lower than some others and the saddle slot is lower. If the saddle is closer to the soundboard then maybe that compensates for the reduced string height, and that enough energy is being transmitted. It sounds fine and Englemann is known to be responsive and some say louder than Sitka. Maybe the makers deliberately went with slightly less string height to give a certain tonality, and it's known that a light touch suits this wood.

The size and depth make it a good one for playing on the sofa. It looks quite sumptious with the pale gloss top offset by the rosewood body and then flame maple binding on body and fingerboard. Not having a cutaway only adds to the sound and not having a hole cut in the body for a pre-amp is another preference.

Perhaps this model is being discontinued with current stock at clearance price.
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Re: Ashbury AG-160 Review updated

Unread post by Saul » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:44 pm

Hi Charles, welcome to the forum :) I saw your comment on the YouTube channel, thanks for that.

Not sure if the AG-160 has been discontinued but it has certainly been discounted. You can buy the AG-160E which has the Fishman Isys preamp for a lower price here https://amzn.to/2BEYmNZ
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