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  • acoustic guitars

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Guitar magazine (February 1973) reviewed the Suzuki 3060 classical guitar as follows:

Some time ago we received a letter from a student at the Royal College. The writer highlighted what appears to be the number one headache for guitar students, especially in his or her middle time or approaching the final year. 'The problem is finding an instrument to play of a high enough standard to enable the prospective pro to feel confident that his auditions and college recitals are not limited by reason of his instrument.

I'm lucky; whenever l have to play anywhere l can borrow a concert guitar from a teacher I know. Others aren’t so lucky. You should see some of the dreadful old boxes they per- form on. Saving up £250 or £300 for a concert guitar is like buying a house.

Most of us try to fit in some part time work, but when you think you're near it — up goes the price!' With this in mind, we've been taking a look round the market place to see what is available for the student or player who hasn't got that kind of bread but who clearly needs top performance. Considering that you only get what you pay for, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of instruments well under the £200 mark.

A good example is the Suzuki 3060. This is one of those guitars that feel on the heavy side when first you pick them up, but belie this impression as soon as you begin to play. Surprisingly little effort produced a fine, resonant tone of concert hall quality and amplitude. The low action and short string length (64.75 cm) combine to make this an exceptionally easy instrument to play. Oddly enough, this short scale did not seem to bear out David Rubio's remark (Guitar, October 1972) that a short scale means more sustaining power. Measured against the sustain of an instrument with a scale of 66cm, there was no appreciable difference to our perhaps not infallible ears.

Nevertheless, sustaining power there is in plenty. High marks for balance and intonation, especially good being the octaves on the 4th and 6th strings when the 6th was tuned down to D — one of the marks of quality. We liked the tone — warm and vibrant without being 'soupy'. Plenty of volume, too, and good marks for responsiveness. As usual, the quality of strings fitted at the factory left something to be desired. The remedy is simple: buy a good set when you buy your guitar; they should make this fine-sounding guitar sound even better.

The close grained spruce top is handsome, and so are the rosewood back and sides. Decoration is plentiful but not excessive, helping to create an impression of solid and traditional luxury.

The gold—plated machine heads add a touch of opulence, but we still don't know what anyone sees in the ornate plastic knobs that disfigure so many guitars in the medium price range. You have to pay it seems, upwards of £300 before you can expect any dignity in the machines.

The saddle had been fitted the wrong way round on the model we tested, the high end being on the treble side! It had also been cut inaccurately — 'a bit wonky’, said one panel member. Easily put right, but irritating. However, we looked at another 3060, and the saddle had been correctly fitted, so it was probably an isolated instance.

Altogether an impressive instrument, nice to play and good to listen to.

Measurements: body length 19.3/16" (48.7cm); lower bout 14.3/8" (36.5cm); upper bout 11.1/8" (28.25cm); depth 3.3/4" (9.5cm); scale length 25.1/2" (64.75cm); nut 2.1/32" (5.1cm); overall length 39.3/8" (100cm).

Suzuki 3060. Recommended retail price £82.60  in 1973



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