Published On: Wed, Apr 8th, 2009

Seagull 25th Anniversary Mahogany Spruce dreadnought

Seagull has celebrated a quarter-century in the picknstrum business by launching a brace of dreadnoughts with boosted specifications. Jerry Uwins sees how well they fly

This model’s name is conveniently self-explanatory: it has an all-solid-wood body with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The mahogany is particularly well chosen, with the bookmatched backSeagull's 25th Anniversary  Mahogany Spruce displaying some very attractive figuring. A herringbone centre strip continues across the rim by the baseblock, and this detailing is echoed in the rosette, while the body’s cream binding adds dark-wood inner purflings around the front. Internal rim reinforcing strips affirm the all-solid build, and peering inside, everything is very cleanly trimmed.

The neck is topped by Seagull‘s distinctive and elegant tapered headstock carrying body-matching binding, mini gold tuners and a 25th Anniversary decal –but this neck is an acquired taste. Fashioned from three-piece mahogany with scarfed peghead and separate heel portion, it’s a fairly wide affair with a 45.5mm nut span, which is fine. However, though this fingerstyle arrangement has a comfortably shallow profile for low-position work, it becomes really deep further up, which smaller-handed players are likely to find offputtin gly bulky. The neck’s non-grain-filled satin patina also feels a tad agricultural in contrast to the body’s high-gloss lustre, and it seems a bit odd that string spacing at the bridge is sub-55mm despite the generous neck spacing. Our sample isn’t best served by a high action, but that’s easily rectifiable.

SOUNDS
The neck profile may be contentious, but the guitar delivers well on the sound front. It packs the kind of wallop and dynamics you’d expect of a decent dread, while the clear, sustaining tone is supported by robust low-end warmth and good overall definition.

Verdict

These two Anniversaries are somewhat curates egg good in parts. Though made harder work by its action height, the Mahogany Spruce is a trusty performer with a sound thats comfortably up to dreadnought par. The Flame Maple, meanwhile, doesnt win any prizes for acoustic clout, but as an electro-acoustic it has considerable strengths. The big question for both is: can you live with these beefy necks?

Build Quality Playability Sound Value Vibe Score
18 14 16 15 13 76

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