I now have my “almost perfect” Orangewood AVA, all solid, sitka top, mahogany back, sides and neck. Ebony fret board and bridge. LR Baggs anthem pickup and a hard case The price was 725 dollars because it has some cosmetic issue I still have not found. The neck is flat and the action is where most would want it to be. I prefer a bit lower. A small saddle adjustment and it is right where I want it. Intonation at the 12th fret is right on. No buzz on any fret. All the frets are smooth at the edge, no burrs anywhere. A fret rocker shows 2 frets are just a tiny bit high but well within an acceptable range. The neck joint is tight with no gaps. No truss rod adjustment was needed. The ebony fret board, and bridge are very nice and smooth. The setup was very well done, I don’t know the name of the tech but my compliments on a very good setup. The satin finish mahogany on the back and sides is very nice. The top is nice as well. I have looked over and over and see no sign of a scarf joint at the head stock the only glue line is at the heal the neck looks to be 1 piece of mahogany with the exception of the piece added to the heal. Internal inspection with a light and mirror shows all braces are solidly glued in place and clean. Only a tiny spot of glue squeeze out on the X braces. The construction and finish work shows that Orangewood has the big names under pressure to deliver at a better price than Orangewood.
As for tone, I’m just not the one to ask. All I can say is it sounds fine to my ear at a price that is as good as it gets.
So, assume the LR Baggs is worth 300 and the case is 100. That puts this all solid wood guitar “almost perfect” at 325 dollars. That is insane. Martin OM-28 $3300 and Taylor Grand Auditorium sitka top layered back and sides $1300. Eastman or Godin all solid would have been $1700. I would still love a fine top end Martin Furch or Taylor but I don’t have $3000 to spend at this time.
As for the issue of not being able to demo a guitar, I understand that is a real issue for some and that also comes with the overhead of a local shop carrying the cost of inventory to make it possible and people must be willing to pay for that. In my case, I am such a low level player, it just does not come into play. I can hear differences between different woods and brands but they are just not enough of a concern for me to make any difference. It’s not that any one is better, just different. I can only hope I get good enough that one day it will. Until then I will just play on.
Big thanks for the work Orangewood is doing for those of us who are on a budget. I showed it to a friend who is a very good player who has a $3000 dollar OM-28 and when he played them both I didn’t hear any real difference. With my ability, this Orangewood AVA is better than a player like me deservers.
To all the people at Orangewood, thank you and your future looks well in hand.
You're very welcome, Larry! We're so glad that you are satisfied with your purchase. Thank you for the review!
I really enjoy playing my Ava Live guitar. It's very responsive and easy to play. The factory setup is is pretty good. However, It does have an annoying buzz on the B string and a little on the high e string. The action may be too low and causing the string buzz. I emailed Orangewood for help and they suggested that I do a truss rod adjustment but it didn't eliminate the problem. I may need to send this one back but I would give them another chance and try another one. Besides that, it's a great instrument with a fine fit and finish. The LR Baggs pickup does a great job capturing the balanced sound of the Ava.
I received mine about 3 weeks ago. The jury has spoken, verdict is in, I LOVE it. The torrified spruce top has darkened up a bit, and I thinkthe sound has mellowed along with it. I am not a professional player, just someone who loves to play and (hopefully) is getting better.
It is not fair to compare this to my D41 . I honestly never knew how LOUD and bassy it was until I got my Ava. The Ava is not anywhere near as loud (which is just fine), and the low end is nowhere near as overwhelming. I think the Ava is just as good in the mid tones, and not quite as twangy on the high end. The fit and finish are top notch, I love the smaller body size that makes it easier for me to play. The LR Baggs makes a good sounding guitar even better. Well set up, easy to play. For this kind of money, I am beyond impressed. Hey Orangewood, Great job!!
Ava Torrefied Spruce Live
All solid wood, torrified spruce top, LR Baggs pickup, Grover open tuners, beautiful sounding, professional setup for $800ish dollars? Incredible deal!
Sounds a lot like a $4000 Collings I owned years ago.