When I’m looking for an acoustic guitar there are a few things I have on my checklist.
1. Does it play/stay in tune?
2. How does it feel?
3. Does is sound like an acoustic guitar should?
Really that’s all you need, but still if I were to walk into a guitar shop right now more than less of the budget acoustic guitars on the market will fail my test, but hey, maybe it has a cool finish or onboard tuner! … don’t settle for those.
The new Essential line from Hohner took all my requirements and said “Yeah we got that!” When I received an EL-SD Plus, which is the basic dreadnaught in the Hohner Essential line, the first thing I noticed was that it was playable right out of the box. With a cheaper instrument I expect it’s going to need new strings and minor neck tweak before it’s ready to go.
Once I sat down with it, the next thing I noticed was how great it felt in my hands. The satin finish allowed my hands to climb up and down the neck with ease. The 25.5″ scale was comfortable and by no means as foreign as I expected. If you are new to the instrument or predominantly an electric player, I think you will naturally find this more comfortable than some of the other dreadnaughts.
No Variance Intonation (NVI) System
This is the first instrument I’ve delt with that has an No Variance Intonation (NVI) system. The nut sits on top of the fretboard instead of behind it. Then each string has a specific notch cut for it. The end result offers more consistency in the tuning between open notes and fretted notes.
Wood and Finish
Instead of mystery wood, Hohner built the EL-SD Plus with a solid Spruce top and a Mahogany body and neck. The guitar is then finished in a very thin, satin poly coating. The plus side to this is your guitar has that broken in sound from day one. The downside is the instrument is more vulnerable for dings and scratches. Personally, that is a trade off I have no problem living with.
Open Chords To Demo the No Variance Intonation (NVI) system
I’d stack the Hohner Essential line up against any other acoustic maker up to double it’s price. With other models in the line such as a parlor, classical, folk, acoustic-electric there is sure to be something for every player in the line.
Street Price: $279.99