Over the past four-plus decades there’s a resounding theme from Guitars: passion for improving the guitar-playing experience. As a company that’s passionate about exposing more players to the pleasures of making music, isn’t content to see people throw in the towel before they have a chance to get their groove on. The Academy Series, which includes the Academy 10e Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar, represents ’s effort to support the development of the entry-level guitar player. believes that in many respects a player who is just beginning deserves the best-playing guitar.
Most newcomers to the instrument — and parents buying for their kids — are understandably reluctant to pony up for a more expensive, "nice" brand of guitar without knowing whether the interest will last. So the approach tends to be: start with an inexpensive, “good-enough” guitar, and if things progress, upgrade to something better. But all too often this ends in hand-wringing frustration, where would-be music-makers walk away from the instrument blaming themselves for not having enough musical talent or physical dexterity, when in fact the real culprit all along was the guitar.
The Playing Experience
Academy Series guitars, like this Academy 10e Dreadnought, was designed to offer enough immediate gratification to encourage a new player to keep playing. To do so, the playing experience was ’s priority:
• Easy to hold and play: the body is comfortable and lightweight. The guitar is easy to strum and fret.
• Rewarding sound: this guitar yields a good sound easily in the hands of a newer player.
• Not too precious. Durable. Minimal. A guitar that’s too precious can be intimidating for a novice to play and care for.
• Broad appeal: it covers a broad range of music preferences.
Function and Form
The Academy Series begins with the classic dreadnought body shape, in part because it’s a widely-recognized guitar shape that makes a good strumming and flatpicking guitar. borrowed the slightly smaller footprint of its famous Big Baby for comfort, but opted for a body depth that’s three-quarters of an inch deeper to give the guitar a fuller voice with more low-end response. The wood pairing is a solid spruce top with layered sapele back and sides. Genuine African ebony – not man-made substitutes – is used for the fingerboard and bridge, just as with all other models.
The neck is a fully engineered version of ’s patented design, allowing for precise calibration of the neck angle and smooth serviceability throughout the guitar’s life. To enhance the handfeel and overall playability for entry-level players, chose a 24-7/8-in. scale length with a 1-11/16-in. nut width. The guitar’s top bracing and other internal architecture were optimized for volume and projection. It has full-size guitar dimensions. It has the right depth and width for the right internal architecture, with a seriously straight and true neck on it. These things were meant to go together as a whole without compromising musical function.
Although an armrest is normally reserved as an ultra-premium feature of ’s top-end models, ’s Andy Powers developed a greatly simplified version, produced with function in mind. “It’s important to give a beginning player the most comfortable, gratifying experience to make a welcoming ￼first impression,” he says. “If the guitar is comfortable, plays well, and has a pleasing sound, then a player will have an easier time staying with the instrument.”
The Academy Series also introduces players to the best of what Guitars brings to the guitar market. Unmatched build quality, the most stable and playable necks, a vast array of tonal options, eco-conscious and ethically-sourced raw materials, and a lifetime of service and support.
Body type: A10 Dreadnought 15/16th-Scale
Top wood:Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & sides: Layered Sapele
Bracing pattern:Academy Series Bracing
Body finish: Matte 2.0 Varnish
Neck shape: Standard Profile
Nut width:1.69 in. (43 mm)
Fingerboard:Genuine African Ebony
Neck wood: Saplele
Scale length:24.87 in.
Number of frets:20
Neck finish: Matte 2.0 Varnish
Configuration:Behind the saddle transducer
Feedback filter: No
Tuning machines: Chrome Tuners with Chrome Buttons
Bridge:Genuine African Ebony
Saddle & nut:Micarta "Wave"/NuBone Nut
Number of strings:6-string
Case:Deluxe Gig Bag
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