|Body And Neck:|
Whether it’s an electric, an acoustic or – as we’re about to see today – a classical guitar for beginners, Epiphone are a force to be reckoned with in the beginner’s market. Their PRO-1 series is ideal because it has been designed by professional players, with the aim of making an easy-playing instrument for those just starting out. Does the PRO-1 Classic deliver on its promises? Let’s find out…
Be aware that, in addition to the PRO-1 Classic, there is also a PRO-1 Spanish Classic available, which is a similar guitar, albeit with a wider neck. Today, however, we’re looking at the original Classic. For such an affordable price, you are actually getting quite a lot of guitar. Namely, a solid cedar top with a back and sides made from select laminated mahogany, all finished in satin.
The shape is a timeless non-cutaway, as is the case for most classical guitars, although the scale length is 25.6”, which is a little shorter than usual (even though this is a full-size guitar). This gives the strings a looser feel and has the added bonus of making the frets a little closer together, resulting in less stretching. This can feel a little cramped to more advanced players, but as this guitar is targeted at beginners, we deem it a benefit.
The neck is made from mahogany, and features a slim EZ-Profile, meaning more comfort for beginner hands. The rosewood fretboard has 18 frets, and is treated with Epiphone’s PRO-Ease coating for a slick playing feel.
A word on the frets themselves – these too have been designed with the beginner in mind, and are slightly fatter in both height and width, meaning it takes less effort to press and sound a note.
The headstock is fitted with a set of deluxe tuners (a precise 16:1 gear ratio) and a historic metal Epiphone badge, while a GraphTech NuBone nut sits just below this. The rosewood bridge is pinless, meaning even more simplicity for beginners when changing strings, as you don’t need to fiddle with bridge pins – just slide the string in and you’re all set.
Elsewhere the PRO-1 Classic is fitted with a dual-action truss rod, allowing for easy neck adjustments, and comes with a set of Epiphone Ultra-Light strings and a basic humidifier, to keep the guitar in optimum condition.
It’s certainly not a premium-sounding guitar, but for a budget model, the PRO-1 actually sounds great. Certainly good enough for beginners, although there’s enough tone for intermediate players to grow into. This is largely thanks to the classic pairing of solid cedar and mahogany. Epiphone’s PRO-prietary bracing on the solid top contributes to an articulate tone with good projection, while the woods keep things sweet and mellow.
You’ve probably guessed by now, we’re big fans of the PRO-1 Classic – an instrument that proves guitar companies don’t have to skimp on advanced tech when it comes to a budget model. A more advanced player may find the slightly smaller scale length and 1.75” nut width of the PRO-1 Classic a little cramped, but beginners will appreciate it – and that’s who this guitar is aimed at. When you consider the price (usually no more than $130), Epiphone’s innovative model puts a few other classical guitars to shame.