Published On: Tue, Jul 7th, 2009

Ashbury Rathlin dreadnought acoustic guitar review

Acoustic Guitar Review The Rathlin Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar by Ashbury- A real treat for the asking price.

By Jerry Uwins

Description: Dreadnought acoustic. Made in Vietnam
Price: £199
Build: Solid spruce top, laminated mahogany back and sides. Mahogany neck with 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. Rosewood bridge, chrome diecast tuners, bottom strap button
Options: Electro version with Headway Snake 3 active endpin system at £249. Other Rathlins comprise 000, 000-C and smaller-bodied Auditoriums, acoustic and electro, from £199 to £279
Left-handers: No
Finish: Satin natural
Scale length: 645mm/25.4"
Neck width: Nut 43mm, 12th fret 52.5mm
Depth of neck: First fret 20mm, 9th fret 22mm
String spacing: Nut 37mm, Bridge 53.5mm
Action as supplied: 12th fret treble 2.3mm, 12th fret bass 2.6mm
Max rim depth: 121
Max body width: 401mm
Fingerboard radius: Approximately 14"
Weight: 2.23kg/4.9lb
Contact: Gremlin 01273 491333
Web: www.gremlinmusic.co.uk

Pitched at the cost-conscious buyer, this square-shouldered dread carries a solid sitka spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides, and reflects the laid-back cosmetic ethos of Ashburys generally. The thin-coat finish is called ‘satin’ but is actually nearer matt, and the unbound rosewood fingerboard has no front markers. It does look pretty plain, but the quality of what detailing there is seems very good for the dosh. The body, for instance, has rosewood bindings, the rosette is tastefully wood inlaid, and the headstock bears a stylised ‘A’ symbol along with a rosewood cap.
One aspect that mars our sample’s handling comfort – and this also applies to the review Lindisfarne – is that the edges of the fingerboard are rather abrupt, and could really do with some bevelling. This is compounded by slight fretboard shrinkage – not uncommon at this time of year – which has left the fret ends feeling a tad ragged. That aside, the fretting is well fitted and polished, and the mahogany neck’s average-width, shallow-section profile is an easy player with a decent action and set-up.

SOUNDS
Initially the guitar seemed to have a vaguely flaccid tone, but it tautened up nicely over a few days’ playing and now gives a respectable dread-like delivery. It’s not a shouter of its genre but it’s gutsy enough, while retaining clear picking definition across the strings. The overall quality is certainly well up to the modest asking price.

FINAL SCORE
Build Quality …………………. 16/20
Playability …………………….. 14/20
Sound …………………………… 14/20
Value for money ……………. 17/20
Vibe ……………………………… 12/20
TOTAL ………………………… 73%

Verdict

Aside from the fingerboard and fret edging, this Ashburys clean and tidy with stripped-down but still attractive aesthetics. Sound quality is good rather than remarkable, but dont let that stop you checking out a welcome new name.

Build Quality Playability Sound Value Vibe Score

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