GARRISON GUITARS G30

Overview

Brand name: 

Product: 

  • acoustic guitars

Series name: 

Dates of manufacture: 

2001

The G30 is a mid-range Garrison acoustic guitar. On the outside the Garrison G30 looks the same as any other traditional styled folk acoustic guitar. The soundboard is made from solid Sitka spruce and the back and sides are solid birch. The wood has a natural finish to it, giving an impression of ageing. Around the sound hole is a laser engraved TUSQ rosette, the fingerboard has mother of pearl inlay dots. The neck and headstock are also made of solid birch and have the same finish. The tuners are Garrison-branded individually chromed plated units. Both the 20-fret fingerboard and bridge are made from East Indian Rosewood.

Inside the Garrison G30 things are a little more radical. There is none of the traditional wooden bracing seen on acoustic guitars. Instead, this guitar uses the Garrison Active Bracing System (ABS): a moulded plastic lattice which supports the sound board and back of the guitar.  Garrison claimed that the cost-effective ABS system means at a given price-point they can spend more of the production budget on better quality woods and hardware.

Various options have been available on G30s : high-gloss finish, Fishman electronics, single cutaway, 12-string configuration and the Buzz-Feiten tuning system.

The UK Music Mart magazine reviewed the one of the early Garrison G30s as follows:

When I first picked the G30 up and sat it on my lap, I was surprised that it weighed quite a lot more than you’d expect from a conventional acoustic, despite this the guitar still feels well balanced once you start playing. The feel of the neck isn’t as smooth as I’d personally like, although once you’ve broke the Garrison in I’m sure this slight set back will improve over time, the actual action and intonation however is spot on and a joy to play.

In the tonal department the Garrison G30 comes to life for me. Yeh, I know that the old-school tend to turn their noses up at change, and ‘there’s nothing more conservative than an acoustic guitar buyer’, but I’m sorry, these guys are defiantly on to something here. This guitar sounds like it should be double the amount of the RRP price. The tone of the G30 is very warm and tight and can’t be faulted in any sort of way as an all-rounder for playing, rhythm, arpeggio or lead. The Garrison G30 stands proud in all. All the tonal spectrum can be heard ringing through relatively evenly, if I had to be drawn then I’d say that its especially strong in the mid range - though not enough to unbalance it. This gives the G30 an ‘expensive’ sound. So good is the resonance on this guitar, using alternate tunings that allow more open stringed playing really makes this guitar sing out. Once again I’d put this down to the sense of prolonged vibration on the Garrison.

Directly, or indirectly this is due to the success of the active bracing system, there’s no doubt there is a sense that the guitar leaps into life when you play it - strum an open G chord and the open notes seem to ring on forever. Even when you strum this guitar around the 12th fret it still sounds great, vibrant and clear. This means one of two things, either the active bracing system really does approximate or even improve upon traditional wooden bracing systems, or the cost reductions that it allows mean that we are being treated to solid, quality woods that we have no right to expect at this price point. Hey, I can’t say that I’m really that bothered which is true, personally a little from both is what I truly suspect, the effect is noticeable, end of story.

Specifcations

Prices (2)

Date boughtPrice paidConditionNameComments
2011360 NZDexcellentTONYAwesome guitar.Clear and loud, real good midrange
2012150 CADexcellentIvan b.It was in perfect shape but the neck had to be adjusted. It sounds as good as any Gibson or Martin now.

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