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Applause Applause AN13 Minibowl 3/4 Classical Guitar
Overall Rating
Submitted: April 9th, 2002
by S. Lee
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Sound Quality
One does not expect a 3/4 size to sound as good as a full size, but this thing sounds anemic of not downright pathetic. I compared it to an Epiphone C5, which is a 3/4 sized, nylon-string, budget guitar that cost all of $39.95 new. The C5 looks like it was made from recycled 1960's den paneling, but its sound is vastly superior to the AN-13. I compared the AN-13 to the AE-13 to see if, perhaps, Kaman just took the steel-string version and slapped some nylon strings on it. Well, almost. Even though the neck is slightly wider (about 1/8"), it appears that the same body and top was used. While the steel-string version works quite well, the nylon strings don't have the muscle required to vibrate a body (apparently) designed for steel strings, especially when the nylon strings are slack-tuned to accomodate the smaller 3/4 scale. Rather than design a true nylon-string guitar, I would say that Kaman took the quick and dirty route of warming over a steel-string guitar. It doesn't work.
Reliability/Durability
I won't be keeping this guitar long enough to test its durability, but given that it appears to have originated as a string-string guitar, I suspect that it is more than tough enough to put up with supporting some slack-tuned nylon strings.
Price/Value
General Comments
This guitar is a perfect example of why you can't make a good nylon-string guitar by taking a steel-string guitar and slapping some nylon strings on it. The nylon strings require a lighter, more resonant body. While you probably can't buy a better looking 3/4 sized, nylon-string guitar, you can certainly get a better sounding 3/4 sized, nylon-string guitar for a lot less money. My opinion is that Kaman either needs go back and do this right or drop the AN-13 from their catalog.
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