|Body And Neck:|
Perhaps Samick isn’t the first name that springs to mind when thinking of a good acoustic guitar in the sub-$300 market. However, the massive Korean company produce hundreds of thousands of guitars every year for a wide range of brands, so have plenty of experience in producing something players want to play. Their collaboration with veteran American luthier Greg Bennett has produced this very intriguing GD100S dreadnought acoustic – which we think is well worth a look…
As the brand themselves state, economical guitars shouldn’t need to look cheap. They have carried that sentiment into the design of the GD100S, which is a great-looking dreadnought. While it comes in a vintage sunburst finish, we prefer the natural version which shows off the light, tight grain of the solid Sitka spruce top. This spruce top features the somewhat dramatically named Thunderflex scalloped bracing, which essentially allows the top to flex and ‘breathe’ – more on this later.
The spruce is nicely contrasted with the dark laminate nato mahogany on the back and sides, while the high-gloss finish, abalone rosette, and multi-ply binding provides an elegant touch and some added durability. There’s a nato mahogany neck, which sports a 20-fret rosewood fretboard – quite sleek in its playability, while the craftsmanship (even though it is mass-produced) is still very impressive for affordable price tag.
There are no electronics on the GD100S, but it still features some upgraded hardware that increases the consistent feel of this sleek acoustic. On the slightly oddly-shaped headstock you’ll find some robust sealed die-cast tuners, while at the other end is a rosewood bridge with rounded edges, which both looks slightly different and helps protect the finish from cracking.
Even though it looks lovely, the highlight is actually the sound of this instrument. It’s big, full and robust thanks to the materials and build. The spruce and mahogany deliver a tight, balanced tone that has ample warmth, which will develop as the guitar gets older due to the solid wood. The scalloped bracing delivers on its promise of boosting the resonance, and – combined with the large dreadnought body – the GD100S offers huge projection.
When strumming or plucking the GD100S, you may forget it’s a sub-$300 instrument. It looks, feels and sounds like something in a much higher price category. You aren’t given a big name on the headstock, but this guitar speaks volumes in its quality and, as such, is well worth considering for beginners and more experienced guitarists alike.