Seagull Artist Mosaic review: Acoustics under $1000 Review Series

Published Categorized as Cedar Top Wood, Dreadnought Reviews, Guitar Reviews, Guitar Reviews Under $1000, Mahogany Back and Sides Wood, Seagull Acoustic Guitars, Solid Wood Back and Sides, Solid Wood Top Wood

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Hello and welcome to my Seagull Artist Mosaic review.

In this review I will try to give as much information as possible about the guitar so that you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the guitar for you.

Everyone has different tastes and preferences but I will try to describe, as accurately as possible, the tone and the playability of the instrument so that you can make your own mind up.

To give the best possible description I will provide videos of the Artist Mosaic being played by a few different people in different settings, provide links to some user reviews and describe in as much detail the materials used in the construction of the Mosaic so you can get a feel for what the guitar is like.

At the end of the review I will give my opinion as to whether I think this guitar is value-for-money or not and what type of guitarist this guitar is most suitable for.

O.k. let’s get into it.

Table of Contents

Tone

tone preferences

Everyone has different tastes so this discussion around tone will be as objective as possible. However, there is such thing as good tone and bad tone. And whether or not the Mosaic’s tone suits your tastes or not it definitely falls in the category of good tone.

Materials Used

The Mosaic’s dreadnought shape gives it that high volume, big sound, but the warmness of the Cedar top, and Mahogany back & sides tonewood combination warms up that tone so that, although it’s big and boomy, it’s also warm and sweet sounding.

The materials used on a guitar have a huge impact on the guitar’s tone and the playability of the guitar.

let’s see what the Mosaic is made of and how that affects its tone.

Top (soundboard)

The Mosaic has a Cedar top which is hand selected and pressure tested to make sure it is of the highest quality. The artist series is the top of line series for Seagull so there should be a good focus on quality.

Cedar has bright sound with a lot of clarity but is probably a little warmer than Spruce (the most common wood for acoustic guitar tops). It is often used on classical guitars but works beautifully on this steel strung instrument and I think it’s the combination of the cedar with Mahogany in the back and sides that gives this guitar’s tone a great character.

The top also has a compound curve in it. Check out the video below – this guy will describe it better than I can!

Back & Sides

As mentioned above, the Artist Mosaic’s back and sides are made of Mahogany. Solid Mahogany at that. A large majority of guitars in the $500 to $1,000 range will have back and sides made of laminate wood. Whilst laminate wood is by no means a death sentence, it’s nice to see a guitar in this price range with solid back and sides.

And Mahogany seems to be a great choice to compliment the Cedar top. The cedar has a bright crisp character and that is mellowed out somewhat by the Mahogany which gives the guitar a stronger mid-range flavor.

The Mahogany, being a slow response rate wood, works to absorb some of the overtones to give a warmer texture to the sound.

Bracing

The Mosaic has scalloped Adirondack Spruce bracing. They haven’t left any weak links in the materials chosen for this guitar.

Neck

The neck of the Mosaic is also made of Mahogany which is a great wood choice for the neck. Mahogany is strong but light.

Bridge

The bridge is made of rosewood. Rosewood is the standard in bridges because it is hard and dense but light. Being hard and dense helps it to transfer the energy from the vibration of the strings into the soundboard.

The hardness of the wood means that there is minimal energy loss in this transition process.

Nut & Saddle

The Mosaic’s nut and saddle are made from TUSQ which is an artificial material manufactured by Graphtech. It is designed to emulate bone but be more consistent.

Some people swear by bone, some prefer fossilized ivory and some prefer artificial materials like Tusq for their nut and saddle. Either way this isn’t the most difficult part of the guitar to replace so if Tusq isn’t your thing and you prefer something else then I wouldn’t let that stop you buying this guitar if everything else is to your liking.

The Bridge pins are also made of Tusq.

Playability

In general a lot of the user reviews I’ve read (see below) have been happy with how the guitar is set up out of the box. So depending on how you like your set up you may not have to make any changes.

Action

As mentioned above a lot of people are very happy with how the action is set up already so chances are you will find this very comfortable and won’t feel the need to make any adjustments.

Of course if you do this can be adjusted – if you are confident and experienced enough you can have a go at doing it yourself or you can find someone to do it for you.

Neck Width

The neck width is 1 and 3/4 inches (44mm) at the nut. This is a little wider than where dreadnought shaped guitars are currently trending (1 11/16 inches, 43mm) but given the warm sound characteristic of this guitar this guitar will be great for finger picking and that slightly wider neck will assist in that.

Fretboard

The fretboard on the Mosaic is made from Rosewood. Rosewood and Ebony are the standards for acoustic guitars so this should feel nice on the fingers.

Like the neck the fretboard also plays some role in the tone, though not major, and rosewood will do a good job of transferring the energy of the strings and not get in the way tonally.

Videos of the Artist Mosaic by Seagull

As I have already mentioned, everyone’s tastes are different and describing what something sounds like is nothing like actually hearing it for yourself.

There a few videos below of a few different people playing the Artist Mosaic – it’s important to hear a few different players in different settings to get a more informed “picture” of the sound. And whilst sound through a video will never convey the true sound of an instrument this should give some idea.

Think this one is for an older model, and with a Spruce top, but hopefully it gives you some idea.

Other Features and Info

The Mosaic comes in three different types. The ‘standard; model which is what has been on review here, but it also comes in an electric-acoustic version and an electric-acoustic cutaway folk version.

The Artist Mosaics by Seagull:

  • Artist Mosaic (standard non electric dreadnought shape)
  • Artist Mosaic QII (acoustic electric version)
  • Artist Mosaic Cutaway Folk QII (acoustic electric, with cutaway, in a grand auditorium shape)

Who this Guitar is Suitable for

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.

This guitar would best suit anyone who likes a warmer sweeter tone. it’s not as bright as a lot of steel string acoustics and if that’s the sound that you like then you might just love this guitar.

It is still a dreadnought (unless you get the folk version) so it will best suit rock, pop, blues, country etc. It will be best suited to strumming and flat picking though you can still play finger-style on it of course.

And if you are smaller bodied musician you might find a smaller bodied guitar easier to handle. If the dreadnought is too big for your size you could try the folk version (this will of course have a different sound too).

Value-For-Money

value for money tick

The evidence says yes, hands down, this guitar is value for money.

The Artist series is at the top of the Seagull line (but certainly doesn’t cost as much as the top of the line of some other guitar manufacturers) so Seagull give it the most attention out of any of their guitars.

You pay a bit more for the acoustic-electric model of course (think an extra $200 or so) but even the electric-acoustic version this guitar is really well-priced for the quality you get.

A lot of people say that this rivals some of the higher end guitars at some of the big brands that you might pay $2k – $3k for. So if you are looking for that higher end sound but at a cheaper price, the Artist Mosaic by Seagull is worth checking out for yourself.

More Info and Where to Buy

If you are keen to learn more about the Artist Mosaic, or if you are ready to buy, or if you want to research prices and availability, check out the link: Seagull Artist Mosaic at Amazon.com

If you want to check out some other under 1,000 options or want to see how the Artist Mosaic compares to other guitars in this price range, check out my Top 5 Guitars Under 1,000.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

5 comments

  1. Hey, I saw this review, and I was wondering if the great ratings would be extended of the artist mosaic element guitar. I know they are kinda the same, but if u have experience with the artist mosaic element, or if you would recommend it, please let me know. Thanks!

    1. Hey Aiden

      I haven’t played the Artist Mosaic Element – but, like you suspect, it is basically exactly the same guitar except that it has electronics (L.R. Baggs Element electronics). So unplugged it will be exactly the same – it’s just that you have the ability to plug it in. I can’t comment on what it’s like plugged in because I haven’t played it but otherwise the great ratings definitely extend to the Mosaic Element.

      Obviously with the electronics it costs slightly more, so if you need electronics then the Mosaic Element is the way to go, if you don’t need electronics then the Mosaic is the way to go.

      I recommend it for sure, if it has the type of sound that you are after, and you need electronics.

  2. Hi

    Just a heads up. You need to make a couple of corrections in your specs that are very important. According to client services at Seagull; all SWS series and Artist series, as of 2017 are made with a composite Ritchlite fingerboard and not Rosewood or Ebony.
    Also the nut width on the Artist Mosaic is 1.8 not 1 3/4. These are important specs and should be stated correctly. Thanks

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