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I've waited roughly 6 months to write this review as i wanted to give an accurate long term review.
Out of the box this guitar was relatively well setup, only requiring a a minor truss rod adjustment and a bit of nut filing to bring the action to a low, playable level. I'm not a fan of Ernie Ball Earthwood's or Medium Gauge strings but I played them for the first week just to get an accurate representation out of the box.
Build/Construction: Some Glue residue around the neck joint, easily cleaned off with some mineral spirits. The binding on the upper bout underneath the heel joint has a couple small gaps in the ends. The fret ends are decently dressed and the neck binding is smooth with no rough edges. That said, there was a substantial bump on the back of the neck near the 5th fret that required sanding to remove. The neck is particularly thin for an acoustic guitar, especially between the nut and 5th fret. This may cause issues for beginners with un-trained hands trying to learn basic barre chords as there isn't sufficient neck thickness to get good leverage between the thumb and forefinger, especially considering the higher string tension of acoustic guitars. Some may like the thin neck, I personally prefer something with a little more thickness. The headstock is simple and attractive with Chinese Gotoh-style tuners that are smooth and consistent. The body is well shaped overall with comfortable dimensions. The Mahogany laminate construction, while sacrificing tone and resonance, keeps both cost and weight down and is very pleasing to the eye. The finish is an open pore finish that is attractive but soaks up oil and sweat from your forearm on the lower bout where you rest it while playing. The bridge is well attached with no gaps or visible glue and the included bone saddle is a nice touch. Inside you'll find standard X-Bracing on the top and ladder bracing on the back, though minimally scalloped, it seems solid. The Tuning stability is rock solid with only minor adjustments required periodically. After playing for 6 months of playing I've noticed that the top is bowing up behind the bridge. I play Med-Light strings so I won't blame it on excessive string tension...Possibly a bad batch of laminate used on the top?
Playability: Out of the box setup was excellent considering the price point. I did adjust the truss rod slightly but this was simply personal preference. The neck plays fast and smooth with the exception of the aforementioned bump that had to be sanded out. The string spacing at both the nut and saddle is comfortable and basically falls in the "normal" category. I did find that with the Medium gauge strings and the thin neck I had to squeeze significantly harder than usual to get clean sounding barre chords below the 3rd fret. Beginners should definitely take note of this.
Tone: Overall this guitar sounds good. It has a very pronounced midrange and a particular warmth that comes with mahogany topped guitars which makes it excellent for fingerstyle playing. Being an auditorium sized guitar, it does lack the bass of a dreadnought and heavily strummed open chords can sound a little thin. The high end of the treble spectrum is nice and bright, bordering on "tinny" at times. With very heavy strumming the notes begin to become muddy and break up as the top is overdriven. As for volume, I registered 87db on my sound meter at 36". This makes a great fingerstyle guitar and can be used for moderate strumming and flatpicking as well but don't expect to outshine a spruce top dreadnought for volume or dynamic range.
Summary: Overall this is a good guitar, especially for the price...But it's not without its faults. The fit and finish issues, while not a dealbreaker for me, could be a more serious issue for a true beginner. The Big bump in the neck in particular was a huge turn-off as it required compromising the neck finish to sand it out. The tone is pretty good and sounds particularly good fingerstlye. The bowing of the top has me concerned about the overall integrity of the body. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this as a backup, campfire, or front porch guitar but I would have a hard time recommending this instrument to a true beginner due to some of the construction issues.
Pros: Price, Appearance, Tuning stability, Fingerstyle tone.
Cons: Questionable constrution(bowing top, big bump on neck), Not great for heavy strumming, Slightly too-thin neck.
This is a great guitar.
I am going to order another for son in law.
Very impressive. No setup needed, plays and sounds nice right out of the box.
Great sound, beautiful look and a gig bag included for less than $150!. Definitely a steal of a deal :)
In purchased this guitar on a whim, thinking that at the least I would get a decent camp or beach guitar. I have Fender and Taylor guitars already. I was pleased with what I received. It is well made, easy to play, and sounds great. It is a little light, but it still feels of good quality. Now I'm thinking about giving this Rey to my son who is just starting and buying one of the more expensive one's for myself, but this one is just so much fun to play.