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I own quite a few guitars ranging in price from $150 to well over $2000. Fine instruments from Martin, Taylor, Fender, Washburn, Guild, Alvarez, Gretsch, and more. Recently, on a whim, I decided to order an Oliver Cedar Live. I didn't have a Cedar Top in my collection, and since I had heard good things about Orangewood, I thought I would might give one a try.
Honestly, my jaw is still on the floor! For tone and playability - as well as appearance - this thing holds its own against anything in my possession. And if the feedback I received during the shipping process is any indication, I have to say that the customer service from Orangewood puts everyone else in the industry to shame. I can't remember spending so little and being so satisfied. These people are genuine game-changers!
I just made my 3rd purchase from Orangewood. I began with an Oliver Mahogany which I love, then I bought an Oliver Cedar for my son and finally this week bought an Oliver Cedar for myself in the outlet sale. These guitars are such an astonishing value - well made, compact and easy to play; they sound wonderful plugged or unplugged - inviting the player to stretch and explore the instrument both tonally and expressively. I prefer Cedar to Spruce as a singer songwriter, because the tone compliments the voice wonderfully well. The small bodied Oliver also is extremely comfortable to handle and works great for small group worship leading or living room concerts. The gig bag as always gives I plenty of protection of ran instrument whose value far surpasses its price point. My two Orangewood guitars are now my go-to instruments and the only problem is which do I choose? Mahogany or Cedar?
I actually purchased a non-electric Cedar Oliver, but they are no longer listed so I'm leaving my review here. I was simply amazed by the quality of workmanship on this guitar. I could not find a single flaw and the fit and finish is virtually perfect. The hardware is excellent. The guitar feels wonderful in my hands, was well set up and plays as well as my $2000 guitar (really). I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. Unfortunately, I had one big problem -- the guitar sounds thin, lacks bass and doesn't project well -- at least compared to my more expensive guitar. That's not to say that it doesn't sound as good or better than other guitars in that price range. I would highly recommend it as an entry level guitar -- the ease of playing will eliminate a big barrier to improving.
But wait! The really good news is that I just installed a D'Addario O Port Acoustic Sound Enhancer in my Cedar Oliver and it made a huge improvement to the sound of the instrument. After installation, the Oliver had much better bass, a more resonant tone and better loudness and projection. Basically, it fixed all my complaints about the guitar. Now it sounds at least as good as guitars in the $500 range. For about $15, it was a game changer. I hope the O Port will fit the electric Cedar Oliver as well, but you'll have to check. It turns the guitar into an outstanding instrument, period.
It fits, and it's perfect. The solid top Oliver is dope!!!! Preparing for my next purchase...I'm looking at the Brooklyn next.
So far I’ve had a positive experience with Orangewood, my Cedar Top Oliver sounds great, and even better with the new elixir coated strings. Just ordered a second guitar, the Echo Limited Live, hopefully it will be amazing, we shall see. I’m amazed at how this guitar rings, great sustain and even sounds better than some of my more expensive guitars, don’t know how they do it, but keep on doing it.