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Lakewood M-14
Overall Rating
Submitted: May 17th, 2003
by Cams-JhTXY
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Sound Quality
Sound is a difficult thing to describe, but two words I'd use would be bright and warm. This guitar is perfectly suited to fingerstyle playing and is very intimate. It only requires a very soft touch to make it sing. It strums well too, although hard strumming with a pick may cause it to break up a bit. This is not a problem as it only takes a light strum to fill the room with sound. It works very well in open G - it just rings forever. I've recently started playing fingerstyle/plucky bluesy barre chords and was simply amazed at how good this guitar responds to such music. It really is quite inspiring. I find that with this guitar I have a proper relationship; it takes time to get to know its strengths but once I did, I found myself sneaking off to play it at any given opportunity. The only slight dislike I have of this guitar is its lack of bass; I'm guessing that that is more to do with its size and combination of woods, and I think it's that lack that makes it such a warm and intimate guitar; therefore I shall give it a 10 for sound. I use Nanoweb Lights (12/53)
Reliability/Durability
This guitar just oozes quality. As far as reliability is concerned, one need not worry. The finish is very well done and will last. The B-Band side-mounted preamp is diminutive in size and is very discreet. Its battery is both velcro-strapped to the back of the preamp and held in by a metal clip; it is in no danger of coming loose. The tuners are very smooth and feel solid, and the guitar stays in tune. I'm sure this guitar would work well in a live setting.
Price/Value
General Comments
I have been playing acoustic guitar for 12 years and this was my first "real" guitar. Since I bought it 7 months ago, my level of competence has increased dramatically because it suits my style so well. It's the sort of guitar that brings such pleasure when you sit alone with it and get to know it. Its warmth envelops you and makes the simplest fingerstyle chords sound beautiful. As I mentioned above, its lack of bass is the only niggle I have but my Gibson J-150 more than makes up for that. And besides, the Lakewood does what it's built to do so well that I feel bad even bringing up the lack of bass - however it may be relevant to anyone considering an M-14 and I've heard that the M-32 (spruce on rosewood) has more tone in the low registers than the M-14. I have subsequently had a chance to try an M-32 and was pleased to hear that I actually prefer the M-14. When choosing this guitar, the only other contender was a Taylor 314ce which was similarly priced. I've since tried the Taylor again and that convinced me that I'd made the right choice. If it were lost or stolen I would probably take the opportunity to try other M-model Lakewoods, just to check them out before deciding which would replace it but based on my experience with the M-32, I'm sure I'd stick with the M-14.
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