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 12e Grand Concert, 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 12e Grand Concert, are 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, and easy to strum and fret
• Rewarding sound: Yields a good sound easily in the hands of a newer player
• Not too precious: Durable, minimal, so it's not intimidating for a novice to play and care for
• Broad appeal: Covers a broad range of music preferences
Function and Form
The Academy Series Grand Concert is intended as a fingerstyle guitar with the added benefit of a more compact body size for extra playing comfort. 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:Concert/O Academy Deep Grand Concert
Top wood:Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & sides:Layered Sapele
Bracing pattern:Academy Series
Neck shape:Standard Profile
Nut width:1.687 in. (42.8 mm)
Fingerboard:Genuine African Ebony
Scale length:24.87 in.
Number of frets:20
Configuration:Behind-the-saddle transducer with Adjustable Sensors
Tuning machines:Chromewith Chrome Buttons
Bridge:Genuine African Ebony
Saddle & nut:Micarta/NuBone
Number of strings:6-string
Case:Deluxe Gig Bag
Join the Academy. Order this for you aspiring player.
Custom Guitar's Friend Gold Coverage
Gold Coverage goes above and beyond the manufacturer's warranty to protect your gear from unexpected breakdowns, accidental damage from handling
and failures. This plan covers your product for one, two, three or up to five years from your date of purchase, costs just pennies per day and gives you a
complete "no-worry" solution for protecting your investment.
Gold Coverage Includes:
Unexpected and unintentional spills, drops and cracks
Normal wear and tear
Dust, internal heat and humidity
Other plan features include:
For products over $200, No Lemon Policy applies. If it fails for the same defect 3 times, it is replaced on the 4th breakdown. (Does not apply to failures due to drops, spills, and cracks)
For products under $200 experiencing the above failures, a Custom Guitar's Friend gift card will be issued for the full price of the product + tax.
Shipping fees covered if required for repair or replacement
Plans are transferable in the event merchandise is sold
Plans are renewable on new gear
*Limitations and exclusions apply. See terms and conditions for program details
Term for New Gear begins on date of purchase but does not replace the store return policy or manufacturer coverage.