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The sound and feel of this instrument punches way above it's pricetag. The shipping was fast and the setup was almost perfect for me. I was impressed enough that I ordered two other models as gifts for my kids
Female guitar student here, and I am loving the Oliver Live. Dipped into guitar in high school, but full barre F was too much of a struggle on the dreadnought I'd been given. Set it aside. But a year ago I decided to try learning again in earnest. Bought a Taylor GS Mini because the shorter scale and thinner neck would short track my success with the full barre F. It worked! I've been very happy with that guitar, but I was ready for an acoustic with a fuller, richer sound. After months of research, knew I wanted the mahogany sound. And as a petite woman, I did not want a dreadnought. To be honest, Mary Spender's review of the Oliver is most likely what sealed the deal. The size, feel, sound of the Oliver Live is fantastic. Initially considered swapping the strings for Elixirs to match the GS Mini, but I am super happy with the Earthwood medium lights. The guitar setup and intonation are spot-on. And feel terrible admitting this but I've barely touched my GS Mini since.
I had originally bought an Echo from Orangewood that kind of became my go-to home guitar. I wanted a Mahogany guitar to complement it, but they were always out of stock. When I received notice that they were back in stock, I immediately purchased one.
When it arrived, I let it acclimate for a day or so and then checked it out. Setup was pretty much just as I like it.
I started playing it and received a bit of a surprise. It sounds almost identical to my Takamine all Maple acoustic. There was no warmth or mid and bass emphasis to the tones on this guitar that I have heard from other Mahogany guitars. I tried different strings, and that made the melody work on the 1st 3 strings sound better. (Ernie Balls sound great for strumming, but the difference in tone between the the 1st three strings and the 4-6 strings is jarring when playing a melody line that crosses between them.)
The closest I can describe the sound from this guitar is neutral. That is not to say that it sounds bad. It doesn't. It just sounds like a Maple wood guitar instead of a Mahogany guitar. I already had a maple guitar. Now I appear to have two - one blonde and one dark brown.
I have been playing it a great deal over the last couple of months, hoping that the wood would break in and start sounding more like mahogany. Hasn't happened yet. It was, however, cheaper than the Takamine, so I'll use it for those times that I want an un-enhanced sound or for camping trips.
The echo is still going to be my acoustic that is just left out for practice and casual playing though. It just sounds better.
Still as happy as when I reviewed this guitar back in January. I prefer a lighter gauge string and have replaced the strings twice. I went to 11s first, but finally settled on a set of 10s. As a result of the reduced tension from the lighter strings, I experienced some fret buzz. This was cured easily by a minor adjustment to the truss rod and placing a 1/64th shim (card stock paper) between the saddle and the pickup. Neck is still straight, action is fine, buzz is gone, and the shim made no difference when playing through an amp or DI. My local guitar store ordered a hard case that fits like it was made for this guitar. This has become my "go to" guitar.
I am loving every second of playing my Oliver Mahogany LIVE. I've played it multiple times on stream and my fans are loving the sound. I'm playing it unplugged with a mic and haven't yet tried out the electronics. She stays in tune extremely well even in and out of the guitar case. The neck and frets are perfectly set up with no string buzz or rough fretting.