There are not that many people in the world who can afford to buy a guitar that is even barely above the 100 mark. While it might be sad, it is a truth that needs to be faced – most of the world is poor. Which is why it is necessary to produce guitars even for those who are less fortunate. Most of the time these guitars don’t possess the best qualities, as what you pay is what you get with these instruments. Still, there are some, such as the Jasmine S35 Acoustic guitar, that offer a decent sound for an incredibly low price. Let’s take a closer look.
When you have bid musical dreams and a small wallet, you need to be ready to start with the bare minimum before you can get anywhere. The bare minimum is good sound and that is what you get when you have an acoustic guitar with a dreadnought body. The dreadnought allows even the cheapest guitars to have a strong sound projection and a good bass response. This is why the design is highly appreciated on this guitar – the more we can get out of it, the better.
The top of the guitar is made of laminated spruce. While the lamination dulls the hardwood response, the response level of the spruce remains high. The resonance of the high and midtones is thus present on a high enough level to give the guitar character – something a lot of guitars in this price range don’t have. The back and sides of the guitar are laminated nato, which is not the best option for any guitar, but works fine for a guitar at this price. It does not add much to the sound, but keeps the guitar’s dreadnought body sounding strong and loud, while also being sturdy enough to take some punishment. All thanks to nato’s dense nature.
The neck continues the nato theme. It is slim, smooth and comfortable with an easy to reach rosewood top, smooth to the touch and pleasant to play.
The X bracing system used in this guitar allows the guitar to be more stable than what you would expect out of a model this cheap – A definite plus.
The bridge of the guitar is standard rosewood, adding a little bit of bass response and a lot more stability to the guitar.
The nut and saddle of the guitar are compensated synthetic bone, something to be expected in a guitar this cheap. While the material itself is not bad, it does not do the greatest job at keeping the harmonics top notch, nor does the steel string buzz get taken care of much.
The tuners is where the real trouble starts. Cheap guitars tend to have issues with staying in tune for long periods of time. When you go as cheap as possible, you are bound to end up with a guitar you have to tune every time you want to play it. Replacing the tuners is not the greatest idea either, as you might as well save up the money and buy a better guitar eventually.
The sound of the guitar is not much more than what you would expect coming from something this cheap. The dreadnought shape lends the guitar a strong voice, one that is capable of filling up a room easily. The bass response gifted by the dreadnought is a definite positive for the instrument. Combined with the spruce top, which brings out the high and mid tones, you get an adequate sound to start out and practice on. Still, the sound will fall short of your skill, as you will want to bend strings and play around with the sound a little more, something this guitar cannot allow you to do.
While this is definitely a guitar that inhabits the bottom of the best guitars to have, it is also on top of the other, just as important list: the best cheapest guitars. It has its problems, but we have to appreciate what Jasmine attempted to do with their S35 acoustic guitar. In the end it is a viable beginner guitar, a good place for anyone with a thin wallet and a big dream to start. Eventually you’ll be able to pick up a better guitar, but using this one until then is a great idea. Definitely recommended.