Hello and welcome to my Seagull Maritime SWS Folk review.
This review will look at Seagull’s Maritime Folk guitar in terms of:
- The Tone;
- The Playability;
- The Materials the Maritime Folk is made from;
- Who the Maritime Folk is best suited to;
- The Maritime Folk’s value-for-money
I’ll also provide video of the Maritime Folk in action so that you can get an appreciation of the tone for yourself and some user reviews so you can read about other people’s opinions.
The full name for this guitar is Seagull Maritime SWS Folk High-Gloss. The SWS stands for Solid Wood Series, which essentially means that the guitars in the Maritime series are all solid wood (the top and the back/sides).
I like the tone of this guitar. It has a nice even, balanced tone. It isn’t so bright to be shrill and also not so warm to be muddy. It’s on the brighter side overall, IMO.
If I had to give it a number and 1 was the warmest possible and 10 was the brightest possible I would have to say 6 for this guitar.
It has solid mahogany back and sides which bring in a bit more warmth. If it had a mahogany top it would certainly be more into that warmer zone – but with a sitka spruce top, it has a bit more shimmer and a wider dynamic and tonal range.
I say I liked it but I would also say that it didn’t blow me away – it was nice but I wouldn’t say I loved it.
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Solid Mahogany
Bracing: Adirondack Spruce, Scalloped X, Quarter-sawn bracing
Saddle: Compensated Tusq Saddle
That’s a lot of quality materials for the price.
You can buy this either with electronics installed or without. Naturally the price goes up a bit for the one with built in electronics.
What you get with the electronic version is Seagull’s QIT electronics. Not top of the line, IMO, but does the job and doesn’t add that much to the price.
Check out the videos below to get an idea of the sound of this guitar for yourself.
There’s a bit of talking in this one too but quite a bit of the guitar being played too.
This next one is all playing. The video quality isn’t great – but it will give you some idea of the overall sound.
This wasn’t a guitar I could sit there and play for hours as it is off the shelf. But that was mostly down to what I considered a high action.
Too high for my liking. Thankfully this is something you can adjust. For me personally I would have the action lowered – and I think this would have made the guitar significantly easier/nicer to play.
But some like a higher action – and it’s easier to lower than it is to raise so I can see why the guitar starts out life with an action this high.
So, the nut width of this guitar is one of the unique things about this guitar – and quite a few other Seagull models.
It has a 1.8” (45.7mm) nut width. Most acoustic guitars have a 1 11/16” (43mm) or 1 ¾” (44mm) nut width.
This wider neck has pluses and minuses. The plus is that it makes fingerstyle easier to play and the minus is that it’s harder to play for those with smaller hands.
The width of the neck didn’t bother me. I didn’t mind it all – but I have reasonably large hands – and I felt that it suited the style of guitar well – to me this is predominantly a fingerstyle guitar.
Like all Seagull guitars, the fretboard is Rosewood. This is a great material for fretboards and, along with Ebony, is the most common used on acoustic guitars. Personally, I prefer Ebony but Rosewood is almost as good.
This guitar has a 24.84” (631mm) scale length. This is slightly shorter than a full scale length (which is closer to 25.5” (648mm) – this means there’s a little bit less tension on the strings making it a little easier to play physically and technically.
Check out the links below to see what others think of this guitar – my opinion is but one, afterall!
Who this Guitar is Most Suited to
In my opinion, this guitar is most suited to fingerstyle players. The wide neck and the shape of the guitar (classical-esque shape but bigger in size than a classical guitar) make it great for fingerstyle.
You can still strum with it for sure. But if all you are doing is strumming, then there are better strummers out there. So this would be for someone who predominantly plays finger-style and maybe does a little bit of strumming and flat picking.
Not really that suitable for kids or those with small hands – though it’s doable of course – after-all, classical guitars have even wider necks.
Hands down, this guitar is value-for-money in terms of the materials and quality of build. This is an all solid wood guitar that goes for around $700 – there simply isn’t anything else all-solid that goes for a price near this.
But, and there is a but, it’s not a guitar I would buy. For the right person, though, I think it would be a fantastic buy. For me, there are other guitars at a similar price, that I would prefer to own – that don’t necessarily have solid wood back and sides.
For me, for a Seagull guitar, I would go a step up in the Artist series (like the Artist Mosaic)– but that’s largely personal preference.
More Info and Where to Buy
If you’re interested in learning more about the Maritime SWS Folk, are ready to buy or want to research pricing and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out other guitars in the under 1000 price range check out the next link.