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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Walden Guitars Sean Harkness 12-string Limited Edition,... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer 
Street Price: $1,300.00 USD with case + shipping 

Walden Guitars is a manufacturer of boutique acoustic guitars.

This Sean Harkness 12-string limited edition grand auditorium (G1012EQ-SH) has a 25.6" scale length and features a solid Engelmann spruce top with forward "pre-war" scalloped-X bracing. Indian rosewood sides and a solid Indian rosewood back with a dove tail mahogany neck dressed in a rosewood fingerboard with a maple binding and a carbon graphite rail-reinforced 2-way truss rod ending in a bone nut with a maple and mahogany rosette completing the detailing.

Faceted rosewood bridge and pins, gold with black buttons machine heads and bone saddle.

Fishman Prefix Pro.

Action, Fit & Finish:
This guitar has a beautiful satin nitrocellulose lacquer. The guitar was spotless and in perfect condition. The intonation was dead on and the action was low without any buzz.

Reliability & Durability:
The guitar seems to be well made, everything has a perfect fit.

After only hearing about Walden guitars but never playing one, I went to the Google box to search the interwebs to find a local store in my area that had one. To my surprise there was a store that I didn't know about, but for good reason -- it's in the mall and I just don't do the mall. After parking about a mile away and walking past stands where I was asked if I wanted to find out about many different products that would change my life -- I was at R U Music and ready to mentally block out the last 15 minutes of my life by playing some kick butt guitars. 

Steve Esagui (the store owner) gave me the grand tour and brought me to the Walden Guitars section. I played a few different models and they were all wonderful and very inexpensive, but the 12 string just spoke to me. 

Her body felt like a Tayler 356ce (without the c) with sloping shoulders and a fat ass. Her neck was thin for a 12-string making her feel more like a baritone guitar with 12 strings. She was very conformable to play, but comfort doesn't mean anything -- it's all about her voice. 

I was really surprised with her tones -- with a street price of $1,300 USD I may have pre-judged her a little. Her sound was smooth and full with round mids and bell like highs -- a very rich sound that would give any high dollar acoustic guitar a run for it's money. She had the bright attack that you find on most Taylors, but also had some of the Martin bottom end -- a wonderful evenly balanced acoustic  guitar. 

Besides her acoustic proprieties she is equipped with a Fishman Prefix Pro and sounds amazing plugged in -- without the quacks, farts, and other undersaddle sounds you get from crappy piezo pickups. 

What I would change:
I would have used a Tusq nut and saddle -- but that's my preference and she is perfect out of the box. 

My advice: 
Before you buy your next acoustic guitar try a Walden. Every model I played was just as good as this one -- an amazing value for your dollar. 

Walden GuitarsGuitarworks
(P) 1-888-925-3369
Posted 12/2012