Hello and welcome to SixStringAcoustic.com’s 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.
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.
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.
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 people playing 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.
The first half of this first video shows the Mosaic being strummed and the second half shows fingerstyle.
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 Mosaic’s 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)
Check out what other people thought of the Mosaic at the links below.
- User Reviews x 8 (scroll down or click on “8 customer reviews” to see reviews)
- User Reviews x 3 (scroll down to see reviews)
Out of the 10 reviews above the Mosaic receives an average of 5 out of 5 stars! That’s pretty good for a guitar costing less than $1,000. Seems like everyone who buys this thing is happy with it.
Who this Guitar is Suitable for
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).
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
>>Seagull Artist Mosaic at Amazon.ca (ships to Canada)
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 under 1,000 guitars at the link below.