Published On: Mon, Jun 8th, 2009

Hudson Vintage Evolution HF-2 Dragonfly electro-acoustic guitar review

Read the Hudson Vintage Electro-Acoustic guitar Review.Good for a long sustained,clear low sound.Generally excellent 000 sounds in a convincing yesteryear livery

The Vintage Evolution slogan is ‘Today’s guitar with vintage values’, and this 000-style cutaway electro offers plenty of retro touches. The torch-inlaid slot headstock with its diamond volute and Sta-tite-style open tuners is an obvious one; then there’s the fingerboard markers, reminiscent of those on early Martin Style 45 guitars, plus herringbone top purfling and a similar centre strip down the back. Further finery includes coachlined tortoiseshell body binding and an abalone rosette, and everything, down to the last detail, is very smartly executed. There’s no scratchplate, but one comes supplied in the case if you want to stick it on. The cedar/rosewood body carries a smooth satin lacquering, the neck has more of a low-gloss sheen.
Handling-wise, it’s the neck that largely defines the guitar’s vintage influences. It’s been fashioned to a distinct ‘V’ profile, and it becomes pretty deep as you approach the heel turn. This could in theory be a daunting handful, but in fact the grip feels relatively snug, thanks mainly to the neck’s moderate width. This  is a modern-day concession, because a ‘true’ vintage recreation would almost certainly have a wider neck. No matter: the guitar accommodates fingerstyle well enough, even though string spacing at the bridge could be more generous.
The Dragonfly is powered by a B-Band A5 system which, as well as providing four-band EQ and phase reverse, has a notch filter variable for both frequency and depth of cut – something that’s handy to have onboard. The battery is housed in a little flip-out compartment near the endpin socket.

SOUNDS
This is an acoustic that impresses from the very first strum. The delivery is supple and long-sustaining, with generous dynamics and projection for a 000-sized guitar and a pleasing tonal combination of overall sparkle underpinned by a clear, warm low-end response. Powered up, the B-Band maintains this intrinsic quality, the only aggravation on our sample being an inter-string imbalance from the undersaddle transducer, where the top and bottom E’s sound too dominant. It’s nothing a guitar tech couldn’t easily fix, though, and happily it doesn’t overshadow the fact that the HF-2 offers an engaging, wide-ranging repertoire.

 HF-2 DRAGONFLY
Description: Cutaway auditorium-size ‘Superfolk’ electro-acoustic
Price: £649 inc. case
Build: Solid cedar top, solid rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck with 20-fret unbound ebony fingerboard. Ebony bridge, bone nut and saddle, open-back gold tuners, two strap buttons. Undersaddle transducer; B-Band A5 preamp with Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, Notch Depth (0 to
-15dB), Notch Frequency (100-300Hz), Phase switch, low battery warning LED, separate quick-release battery holder
Options: Cedar/mahogany HF-1 Dragonfly cutaway acoustic with regular peghead, £549 inc. case
Left-handers: Yes, HF-2L at £699
Finish: Satin with low-gloss neck
Scale length: 650mm
Neck width:
Nut 43mm
12th fret 53.5mm
Depth of neck:
First fret 22.5mm
9th fret 26.5mm
String spacing:
Nut 36mm
Bridge 53mm
Action as supplied:
12th fret treble 2.4mm
12th fret bass 2.5mm
Max rim depth: 102mm
Max body width: 392mm
Fingerboard radius: 15"
Weight: 2.16kg/4.75lb

Verdict

This isnt a Guild, of course, but it can safely be said that the factory-associable quality of this Hudson really shines through, notwithstanding the tweak that its transducer set-up will need. Workmanship, detailing and finishing are otherwise nigh-on faultless, the timber is good quality, and the cosmetics work tastefully and effectively to convey that desired vintage vibe even if the V necks wont be everyones cup of tea. Just as important, the Dragonfly is a fine-sounding guitar of its type, and with the price including a very respectable hard case, it also comes up trumps when it comes to value. Pretty much a full house then.

Build Quality Playability Sound Value Vibe Score

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