|Body And Neck:|
While it sounds obvious to experienced players, beginners should understand that a Maestro by Gibson isn’t a real Gibson. It’s a Chinese-made acoustic produced on behalf of Gibson. Still, that doesn’t detract from the fact that there is plenty of fun to be had with an entry-level acoustic that sports tried-and-tested design and good playability. Let’s check it out!
While there’s nothing extraordinary about the design of this model, it follows the timeless dreadnought size, style and shape. At the end of the day, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! It’s still an attractive instrument in whatever finish you opt for – natural, black, or the honey burst. It comes with a black teardrop pickguard, white body binding, and a simple soundhole rosette, but nothing else in the way of decoration.
This model features a full size 41” length (a scale length of 25”), and is made using laminated wood, as you’d probably expect. That’s nato on the back and sides, with a spruce top. There’s also a nato neck, with a good rosewood fretboard and a total of 20 frets. The craftsmanship for a sub-$100 acoustic isn’t bad at all, although – as with many cheaper entry-level guitars – the Maestro would benefit from a good setup out of the box to turn it from a decent player into something very good.
As with the body and neck, the hardware on offer probably won’t surprise you, although it’s not bad for the price. There’s a set of sealed die-cast chrome tuners, which hold tuning quite well, with a rosewood bridge, and a plastic nut and saddle. As with the set-up, changing the nut, saddle and stock strings would go a long way to improving the tone and playability.
The Maestro also comes with some spare strings, a strap, a tutorial DVD, and Gibson plectrums. This won’t sway the experienced player, but for beginners this is a handy addition!
All in all, it sounds good. Being a dreadnought, you’re pretty much guaranteed a robust projection whether strumming, flatpicking or playing fingerstyle, and this Maestro doesn’t disappoint. It’s not worthy of much more than practice or an impromptu campfire performance, but the tone in general is crisp, clear and bright – although a string change, as we mentioned, would really bring it to life.
The Maestro is a long way from a true Gibson acoustic in terms of quality, tone and craftsmanship, but in this affordable market it holds its own very well. Beginners would find the most use from it, but with a few hardware tweaks and a decent setup, it’ll handle anything an experienced player would throw at it. A solid choice for under a hundred bucks!