Hello and welcome to my Gibson Maestro acoustic guitar review.
I bought this guitar around 10 months ago as a do up guitar. I haven’t done much to do it up so far but have still played it a lot.
In this review I’ll take a look at the following about the Maesto:
- The sound quality;
- The playability;
- The materials the Maestro is made from;
- Who the Maestro is best suited to;
- The Maestro’s value-for-money
I’ll also show video of the guitar being played so that you can get an idea of the sound for yourself and also some user reviews so that you can get some other people’s opinions.
O.k. let’s get started.
The Maestro comes in both a full-size dreadnought size and a parlor size. The one I am reviewing is the dreadnought.
When I first played this guitar I wondered what I had bought! I knew it was cheap but somehow I was expecting more from it.
After doing one simple thing the entire guitar was transformed and the sound became reasonable.
And that simple thing was changing the strings. The strings that came with this guitar are complete garbage in my opinion. Simply changing to some decent strings (I changed to the Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze) made a world of difference to this guitar.
This is a 120 dollar guitar so it still doesn’t sound like a million dollars but once you change the strings (if you buy this guitar do it straight away for the sake of your ears and the ears of anyone else who might hear you playing!) it’s definitely playable and listenable.
Warm or Bright?
I would definitely call this a warm sounding guitar. To my ears it’s not muddy but I prefer a warmer sound in general. Those who prefer a brighter sound might find this guitar muddy sounding.
It’s likely that the sound would brighten up considerably if you were to replace the plastic saddle and nut with bone or something like Tusq. I have already purchased a new nut and saddle but haven’t gotten around to putting them on yet!
Top: Laminated Spruce
Back & Sides: Laminated Nato
Nut & Saddle: Plastic
Not surprising to see laminated woods for the top, back and sides and a plastic nut and saddle given the low price of this instrument.
The sound quality of this video isn’t great but will give you some idea of the sound.
The next video is for the parlour sized version.
O.k. now onto the playability.
Surprisingly this guitar is actually not too bad to play, straight out of the box. I was expecting an unbearably high action as you often get when you buy cheap guitars.
But I was pleasantly surprised with how easy this guitar was to play.
As mentioned above the action isn’t too bad out of the box. It’s still higher than I would consider ideal – especially towards the higher frets – but it’s definitely playable if you don’t want to have to adjust it (or have someone else adjust it for you).
The width of the neck at the nut is 43mm (1.69”). This is a nice width in my opinion and works well for beginners and more seasoned guitarists plus it’s a good middle ground for any sized hands.
The fretboard is rosewood so no complaints there.
The Maestro dreadnought has a full size 25 ½” scale length. This is what I am used to so this was fine. Those with smaller hands or for kids they might like instead to go for the Parlor version which has a 23 ½” scale length.
To get some others opinions on the Maestro check out the links below.
- User Reviews x 15 (Dreadnought version)
- User Reviews x 6 (Parlor version)
Who this Guitar is Most Suited to
This isn’t going to be the guitar you buy for performing or for recording. It’s got a good sound for the price you pay for it. But you aren’t going to get a performing or recording quality sound out of it.
This guitar would be best for anyone who is looking to find a playable listenable instrument to play around on around the house or around the campfire.
It would also be suitable for beginners – though I think there would be better options. As a beginner the sound is fine and it’s easy enough to play which is good but if you continue with playing the guitar you would probably want to upgrade reasonably soon to something of better quality.
For kids I would the recommend getting the Parlour version. The smaller scale length and overall smaller size of the Parlour version would be easier for kids to play. The dreadnought would be a bit awkward for kids.
Finally this guitar is great for anyone looking for an instrument as a do up or a way to get a nice cheap guitar. Replace the bridge, saddle, bridge pins and nut and you could have a decent sounding guitar for a very low price.
This guitar is only $120 – that’s nothing for a guitar. And if you at least change the strings then you get a decent sound out of it and it becomes actually pretty nice to play.
For something that costs this much you get a guitar you can actually play! And I’ve been playing it for 10 months. I wouldn’t record with it and I wouldn’t perform with it but it’s perfectly fine for sitting around at home and playing and practicing.
Thanks for reading
If you are interested in this guitar check out the links below.
- Maestro by Gibson at Amazon.ca (Canada)
If you want to check out reviews for some other acoustic guitars in a similar price range check out the next link.