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I've been a gigging musician for a long time and as such, played a ton of great and also sketchy guitars from the 70's onward over the the years. I gotta say, Orangewood guitars are what I wish we had back in the day. Fantastic sound and incredible quality; the price being a BIG bonus. These are high-quality instruments and the value meter here is way up...to 11...maybe 12. The Mason nylon cedar live that was just delivered is the real deal. Cheers!
The first thing that caught me was the bass. It’s yuge. You never get that on sub $500 nylon string guitars. The voice is sweet and mellow with good sustain that goes all the way up the neck. The pickup is on the bright side and produces that piezo “clack.” I roll the treble on the guitar to almost off. Straightens that out. I push the bass a little above flat. I’m currently playing through a Positive Grid Spark and it sounds as good as it gets. Intonation is good overall but the high E is pretty flat. The gig bag is posh. Fuzzy and well cushioned. A total surprise.
I started out playing with steel strings (folk music) and got a nylon "classical" guitar early. The nylon strings were easier on the fingers but the wider fingerboard and shorter neck were problems. I liked the sound of the nylon strings for some songs but not all.
Orangewood has made a great guitar that is a combination of the two and has coupled it with high tension strings that give you somewhat the zing of a steel string while holding mostly true to the tone of nylon.
For me there was a short break in period as it took a few days for the strings to stay in tune. Nylon strings take time to settle in and it seems the higher tension strings take a bit longer. But the result is worth the wait. Very lively tones but still full and true to a classical tone.
Because I play multiple instruments and often, I have a hard time keeping my playing fingernails at a good length. Frailing banjo eats them away. I have messed with fake nails but never with good results. So I end up not using nails to play (something Tommy Emanuel figured out long ago). The guitar plays perfectly without nails (maybe better with them) - at least for me.
When I perform (maybe after the virus), I want to offer a list of options from folk to rock to 12 string, nylon string, steel-string, acoustic, and electric (and a resonator for some slide blues). Nylon gives me a different voice - perfect for Christmas instrumentals. With this new addition, I can pretty use the same techniques I use on my regular guitars.
The Mason nylon string was the perfect addition to my Orangewood collection. The nylon tone is super focused and vocal-and FANTASTIC for recording. I have yet to use it live but already messing around with the plug-and-play capability and its sounding monstrous. I cant wait to tour with this one!