Orangewood has exploited a rift in acoustic guitar shopping. If you know exactly what you want, you’re set. For everyone else, it’ll probably go one of two ways; taking a trip to a noisy guitar store full of commission-based salesmen or shopping online among limitless options and ending up with a guitar that sat in a warehouse for umpteen months.
It took three years, but the California-based guitar company feels that it's created the ultimate acoustic guitar buying experience, without the use of a middle man to hike up the price.
Awhile back, I went on Orangewood's website and browsed its dozen acoustic models, which range in price from $125-$295. Smack dab in the middle, at $195, I chose the Oliver Mahogany from the Overland Collection.
The Oliver Mahogany guitar features a solid mahogany top with layered mahogany back and sides. Its body shape is a grand concert, which shaves off about ¾” in body height and depth compared to a dreadnought. The fretboard is made from sonokeling, an Indonesian (where the guitar is made) rosewood. The nut and compensated saddle are made of synthetic bone.
Each guitar that leaves Orangewood is setup by an in-house technician and strung up with Ernie Ball Earthwood (12-54) strings. This particular guitar is buzz-free up and down the neck, with the action measuring just under 5/32” at the 12th fret. The fretwork is flawless, with no loose or sharp fret ends to speak of.
While the thin satin finish could potentially scratch easily, it’s a huge factor to the broken-in feel and sound of the Oliver Mahogany. Often, mahogany acoustics can sound a bit dark, but this guitar boasts a fat, warm midrange with the treble and bass not far behind. Things can get boomy in the lower register if you’re a heavy strummer, but overall the tone and volume are balanced evenly over the entire guitar.
A thick padded gig bag with shoulder straps, a front pocket and a Velcro strap to hold the neck in place is included with the guitar. Inside the pocket was an optional stick-on pickguard and a hex key for any neck adjustments. While some Orangewood models come with electronics, the Oliver Mahogany does not.
The Orangewood Oliver Mahogany is available now for $195.
For more information, head on over to orangewoodguitars.com.