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The Ava is a gorgeous instrument, both aesthetically and sonically. I’ve been playing it for the past week and a half nonstop and have definitely noticed an improvement in the sound quality between day 1 and day 10. I think the wood just needed that time to acclimate to its new environment, but it sounded great to begin with regardless and it sounds even better now.
The neck is noticeable fatter than a Taylor’s which has taken some getting used to since mainly played Taylor’s for the past 6-7 years. I would love to see Orangewood work on slimming down the neck and maybe even offering a thin V style carve, but the current necks are still super playable and feel more than fast enough with the satin finish. Just nit picking.
One other thing that I’ve noticed is that there are some minor structural imperfections on the inside of the guitar. Some of the minor wooden parts on the inside are chipped/broken, but the guitar still feels super solid and well made despite that. I don’t think that it will make any difference in the short or long term, but I suppose when you outsource guitar production this is the risk you run— slightly less attention to detail in the end.
The most important part of a great guitar is the material that’s used, however, and the wood feels like great quality all around. There is such a big difference to me between guitars with laminate backs and sides and guitars with solid wood backs and sides, and you will be hard pressed to find better all solid guitar for this price—with a torrefied top, no less.
The reviews saying that the highland series guitars play as well as guitars in the 1500-2000 dollar range aren’t kidding. I’ve played many high end Taylors, Martins, a couple of Collings, and others that retail anywhere from 1500-5000 (Collings are super expensive), and this Orangewood can hold its own against any one of them. Ava can hang. I don’t think I can ever go back to playing guitars with laminate parts, the tone and responsiv...
I own and have owned high end guitars ranging from $2500- $3200. I feel that this guitar is the same quality as those, I only had to pay a quarter or so of the price. When I would buy a guitar I would take it to my local Luthier for a set up (which would cost up to $200. I won't have to take this one. This Ava plays as well if not slightly better then my Martin OOO-18. The Ava a bright full even sound. Great for fingerstyle which is what I play. I won't say that it sounds like a Martin , Taylor , Breedlove etc. All guitar get their sound from the wood they use and the construction of it. So I'd say an Orangewood Guitar sounds like an Orangewood. I can't put it down.
My dream guitar is the look of a Martin OM-28 with the wood and tonality of a Martin 000-18. Enter the Ava. I had to return my first two Ava orders due to set up issues but the 3rd is now my holy grail! The look, the feel, the incredible sound, the materials used, and yes... The last set up done is absolutely perfect and worth way more than it's asking price! Total value! I knew it was special which is why I ordered until I found the right one. Big Thank You to everyone at Orangewood Guitars on an outstanding bargain sure to last a lifetime!! This is the one for you at any level if you value sound, craftsmanship, and beauty in simplicity.
I’ve been playing guitars for thirty years and I am very impressed with the Ava. It is easy to play and has a very balanced and clear tone with excellent sustain. The natural satin finish could use a little more buffing, but overall it is a beautiful guitar. I can’t wait to get home and play it!
I purchased the all-solid wood Highland Ava, with torrefied solid spruce top and sold mahogany back/sides. By way of background, I have been playing acoustic in public and private since 1988, and among my favorites are my Martin HD-28, Martin D-18 and the first guitar I ever bought, a cedar-top Seagull S6. Recently I began a search for a concert size acoustic, which necessarily led to playing various Martin, Taylor, Breedlove, and Guilds, among others. I was looking at price points between $1,000 and $2,300, which captures even the Martin 000-18, the concert equivalent of the D-18. Not in a hurry, I have played at least 10-12 different models repeatedly over the past three to four weeks. Online research has been made much easier with the advent of YouTube, and that is where I stumbled upon Orangewood. This Ava model is not yet comprehensively reviewed in video, but reviews of Orangewood's other models (with laminated back/sides, like my Seagull) were overwhelmingly positive. In addition, Orangewood video demos of this all-solid wood Ava being played by Dillan and Jacob were impressive.
Having played for 30 years now, feel and tone are by far the most important attributes of any guitar. I was hopeful that Orangewood could deliver those in the Highland Ava, and it has. In spades. Let me repeat: in spades. The build and feel of this guitar are exceptional, and its all-important tone is nothing short of full, bright and resonant. Action is smooth and perfect. What an awesome instrument. I will not be looking any further, I've found my concert size guitar.
Thank you Orangewood for daring to create an online-only guitar company. I hope this review helps increase the awareness of your most excellent guitars.