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Sound Quality

Unamplified, this guitar has a punchy, compressed sound with lots of mids and highs, and a tight, controlled bass. You probably wouldn't use it for live performance without amplification, but it sounds nice nonetheless (in fact, I use it regularly for songwriting at home, with no amplification). Amplified, it sounds great - but ideally you'd want to run it through a graphic EQ and reverb to get the best 'acoustic guitar' tone from it. It has a typically bright sound, like most ABS bowl-backs, but it really does sound good. Even running it through a simple 15 watt practice amp with 3-band parametric EQ, I can get pretty convincing amplified acoustic guitar sounds.

Reliability/Durability

This guitar seems very solid, and I'd happily gig with it. The tuners are well up to the job of regular string changes, the neck is good and solid, and the finish seems hard-wearing. I would use it without a backup if I had to.

General Comments

I have been playing for 20 years, on and off. I have owned a lot of guitars over the earlier years, including some pretty expensive models. Comparing this Aria to a real Ovation bowl-back (costing ten times as much) is unfair, and the Aria wouldn't stand a chance. Having said that, for a low cost guitar, it's fantastic. I am delighted with the sound, playability and overall quality of this instrument. The neck is incredible - it's like playing a Fender electric!! The only thing I would change if I could? It would benefit from a 3-band EQ instead of the tone control. Despite this, the guitar is one heck of a bargain - I love it!




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