I can remember the first time I made up my mind to learn to play on a guitar, I was broke like I have never been (I mean, who is not at the age of 15), none of my family members played guitar, so I had no option of consulting with them, and I had no idea where to start. It took me several months to finally save up enough money to buy a guitar that meets my needs. Well, “needs” are a bit of an overstatement. I just needed the cheapest guitar that would not break in my hands. Needless to say, my first guitar was an awful, low-quality instrument. BUT that baby lasted me for two years and I learned everything on it, even though most times it sounded like a bag of cats being tossed around. Fortunately, the days of no internet and lack of competitive market are long gone. Now, you can learn close to everything about a product without leaving your room. AND there are a lot more instruments available in the budget-friendly range that are also of a surprisingly good quality. Ortega Guitars R122SN is one of those affordable instruments, so let’s talk a bit about it.
The R122SN is part of Ortega Guitar’s Family Series which focuses on entry-level players and their comfort. If you are interested in a beginner friendly guitar, definitely check out some of their other instruments as well because they come in all sizes and shapes and forms. The R122SN is a classical nylon string guitar, it is full sized and has cedar top with mahogany back and sides. The neck is made of mahogany and it is slim enough to be comfortable in the hands of a beginner or a kid as well as a professional player. The finish on this model is all satin and it is functional as well as beautiful. You can basically feel the wood grains giving is the authentic feel, not a lot of the cheap quality guitars that feel like plastic. The full body of this guitar and good quality tonewood provides nice tone as well as great playability.
The bridge has double holes for each string. This features adds endurance to the strings, they will break less often. The most important effect of this feature is that the pressure on the strings created crisper sound. This also decreases the time of string replacement, you will not have hard time changing the strings which I know is a big issue for some beginners who are not used to doing that. So, whenever you get a new guitar it always ships with strings (unless you are buying from some sketchy websites that requires your social security number and will hack you in a week). But the problem with most strings that come with guitars is that they are… well let’s just say they are usually not up to par. So you get your guitar, hyped about using it and discover that the strings just do not do it, you go to a store or order online and it takes a couple of days before you enjoy your new instrument. Though the process is not that long it is still annoying. Fortunately, Ortega Guitars is kind enough not to give you the worst strings with your favourite guitar. This guitar is shipped with D’Addario EXPs. These babies last you a while, let me tell you and they do not dull that easily. The Coated Technology allows for long lasting precision and amazing tone via high tech, thin coating. Some of the other features are quite standard and good quality. You will get a durable two-way truss rod and chrome plated tuning machines. No innovations and complex features, which is not really a bad thing if you are looking for a basic guitar for entry level player. And finally, you get a deluxe gig bag. And yes, it does say “deluxe” and all but usually gig bags that come with the guitar is rarely high quality enough for you to be assured that nothing will happen to your instrument. That being said, for $200 guitar this is a nice, durable bag. Plus, I do not know if it would be a wise decision to go out and get a separate, $100 bag to protect a guitar that costs only twice as much.
Yes, this is a great guitar in its price range. The tonewood is nice and it is very comfortable in your hands but I have to be honest, there are some downsides to the affordable price. For instance, the volume of this guitar is not that high. That being said, for the price you will be paying the sound is very, VERY decent. The response is faster and tone is very balanced.
I would not say you should perform your first live gig in front of hundreds of people (let’s be real if it is your first gig probably just 5 people and 4 out of those your family members) but it is a great instrument for practicing and developing your skills. Also, taking into account the nice quality tonewood, great strings, and a gig bag I am kind of confused how Ortega manages to pump out guitars at this cost without a financial loss.