I’ve been playing my Duke now for two months, and the more I play it the more I like it. Initially I was a little disappointed in the sound. I don’t know if the guitar has just started to open up or I’ve just grown to appreciate its sound, but I’m now loving it. I sanded the saddle a bit to lower the action a bit and switched to light gauge strings. The fretwork was already beautifully done and intonation excellent. It now is a joy to play. I don’t use the built in Fishman preamp, but the tuner is handy. I see that the Duke is now on a close-out sale which makes it a great bargain especially since the included gig is really nice as well. Grab one while you can.
The Duke was my 3rd Orangewood guitar. I have always loved the BIG sound of a large guitar. I Collect and have about 35 different guitars, 4Martins, 6 Epiphones (1935-1956) and various others. The Duke came out of the box ready to play. The sound is just what I wanted in a large bass bout guitar. The electronics are perfect, the set up was ideal.
I recommend Orangewood guitars to all my friends.
Received My Duke Live 3 days ago, and i must say it is beautiful. I will also say Mine needed some work. The strings were way too high for my liking so i sanded the saddle 5 times till i got were it was perfect. it also need the truss rod adjusted as well. The bridge pins were plastic so i replaced them with ebony oins. Finally the tuning keys were terrible, so i replaced them with a black set of Hipshot locking tuners! Now i will say this guitar plays and sounds as good as my Martin GPCPA1 and My Taylor 416ce Grand Symphony! No Kidding, Well worth the money. With a few flaws i would still buy another Orangewwd guitar and recommend Them To anyone! Dennis Hurt Aurora Colorado.
This is my second Orangewood guitar. I first purchased a Rey mahogany several months ago and am amazed at what a great sounding and playing guitar it is, and what an incredible value! So my expectations for the Duke were perhaps too high. It is beautiful and the gig bag is high quality with good padding. I was expecting a full rich sound, but the Rey has a much more open and woody quality whereas the duke seems muted despite having a solid top. The top seems dead with a dull thud when I tap on it versus the pleasing drum-like resonance of a tap on the Rey. I suspect that the glossy finish is overly thick and internal bracing too heavy (it is a heavy guitar at 5.2 pounds). The duke is well finished with nicely dressed frets and good intonation. The setup isn’t bad, but the action on my Rey is lower and easier to play. Overall I highly recommend the Rey but the Duke wasn’t for me. I purchased the Duke on the “nearly perfect” sale so it is not returnable, otherwise it would be going back.
This is my second Orangewood. I tested the waters with an excellent Oliver Jr. Mahogany. I wanted to add a jumbo guitar to my collection, but I did not plan to use it very often. Paying $2,000. for a very basic Gibson model was not part of my plan. The Duke Live was on sale for $420., so you must allow some leeway for a review. I have rated the major areas in this regard:
Electronics 5 (very good bass response when plugged in)
Setup in California 3 (replaced saddle which was far too low)
Overall sound 4 (improved with Bluegrass Phosphor Bronze
Portland Acoustics strings to a level 5 for its price range)
Overall, a very good value for the money. With the minor changes, it is now at a level 5 for its price range.