I recently purchased the Oliver Live from Orangewood and have to say the guitar definitely punches above its weight.
I have been playing and have set up hundred's of guitars over the last 60 years and for the price, this guitar is one of the best values I have seen. I received the guitar well packaged and in pristine condition and upon inspectionI could find no visible flaws in the guitars finish. Out of the box the set up was perfect for most acoustic guitar players with low action and a responsive touch.
The neck angle was perfectly set with a nice C shape profile with a well cut nut and string spacing. The tuners felt smooth with no slippage and the frets were well installed with only a few high spots but you don't expect a plek neck at this price point. The guitar came with 80/20 bronze 12 gauge strings and has a bright ringing full tone with no dead spots. Plugged in the piezo pickup had a decent sound and adjusting the tone control improved it. The gig bag was padded and better than most the come with inexpensive guitars. Customer service was excellent and very helpful.
Now I have a very light touch when playing the guitar so I did make a few adjustments to the instrument. I changed the string gauge to 80/20 bronze 11 gauge, adjusted the neck truss rod, filed down the saddle to lower the action a bit and recut the nut under the low E and A strings to lower the action at the first fret. These minor adjustments made the guitar perfectly to suite my style of playing.
That being said for a beginning student or even a gigging musician looking for an inexpensive guitar to play out with this guitar is an excellent choice.
We appreciate your review, Ron!
very good playability but the Finishing on the mahogany on top is not that great
I purchased the Oliver Mahogany Live. This is the second Oliver guitar I have purchased, first was a Oliver Jr spruce top. The experience was much like my first one, nearly 2 years later. Came setup really well and played great out of the box. It was amazing to me that is was just ever so slightly out of tune, after traveling across the states and in various environments, awesome job.
The guitar did have a small nick to the headstock, just above the nut, and some small round marks to the first frets. Looks like someone was a having troubles installing the nut. The damage is so small that I didn’t bother to mention it, but since Orangewood is asking for a review I think I should mention it now.
Besides that small issue I am super happy with the product and service from Orangewood. If I am in need of another guitar down the line then I will for sure check them out first. I hope the mention of damage doesn’t deter anyone, it’s a very nice guitar. I am sure that if I wanted to address the issue with Orangewood then they would have sorted it out.
Dope for a first guitar
Oliver Mahogany Live