WALDEN G570TB NATURA SERIES ACOUSTIC GUITAR
March 2010, 2010 | Reviewer: Greg Phillips
Distributor: Musical Merchandiers www.musicmerch.com.au
The G570TB is not the first Walden guitar we’ve road-tested in this magazine. Readers will be familiar with the brand made by the KHS Musical Instruments company in Lilan, Northern China where under the same roof, they also produce Jupiter instruments and Mapex drums, among other quality brands. The review model for this issue comes from Walden’s Natura series, a range which includes solid wood soundboards and many other virtuous features. The G570TB is one of the most affordable in the series.
Walden’s G570TB is a Grand Auditorium shaped acoustic guitar at
19 7/8″ length, which is a comfortable size sitting in the lap. It has a marginally wider lower bout than their traditional dreadnought model and carries a narrower waist and upper bout. It features a solid Western Red cedar top, mahogany back, sides and neck, black plastic binding, inlaid 2 ring plastic rosette, pearl logo, chrome die cast tuners, 2-way graphic truss rod, hand-fit bolt on neck joint and book-matched, quarter-sawn, scalloped -X spruce braced soundboard. Finished with a Nitrocellulose lacquer, it’s a fine looking instrument too in beautiful, warm tobacco burst tones.
I was impressed by the construction of the G570TB. On close inspection, you’ll find all joints sitting flush with no sign of glue or any other remnants of the production process. The tuning hardware is top notch and compliment the attractive Walden headstock. A minor quibble would be that the scratch plate had some roughness around its edge but nothing a little time and playing wouldn’t smooth out. All in all, the look and feel of the guitar give the impression of an instrument that would be much harsher on the wallet than this is.
OK, so it’s visually appealing and well put together, but those factors don’t automatically add up to a great sound. Let’s give it a strum and consult the ears! My immediate reaction is that the G570TB is responsive to play. Muting strings and playing harmonics fare particularly well on this instrument. Strums ring out with liberal bottom end, however you’ll find that its strengths are in the mids to highs. This becomes more obvious using a pick, as strings really begin to zing, particularly the bass strings. In fact, the G570TB has great projection, surprisingly so for an instrument that is so lightweight in the hands. Although I didn’t fit a pick up, the volume was generous and I could imagine it sounding quite sweet miked up at a small club. Finger-picking reveals a beautiful overall tone and soloing on single strings releases plenty of sustain.
The neck’s finish is superb. Well finished frets sit seamlessly on the Indian rosewood fingerboard (atop a solid mahogany neck) and set up to a fairly low action, make for ease of runs up and down the neck. The scalloped-X, spruce-braced soundboard (responsible for much the guitar’s rich tones) and 2 way adjustable truss rod radiate quality.
A poorly constructed guitar is going to sound exactly that, no matter who plays it. However with the G570TB, whatever creativity you inject into it, you get out of it … and more.
While falling in the beginner price point, this instrument is one that will grow with you and your development as a player. The G570TB has a character and a personality all of its own, not something you’ll always find in this price range. You’ll probably find that the need to upgrade to something more exotic may not be a priority for some time. I’m not in any way suggesting you compare this to a top of the line iconic brand.
You’ve got to compare apples with apples. But for the sum of its parts, this is a great sounding, great value instrument, and it does give me food for thought for any of the top of the line Waldens if ever one should arrive at the magazine office door for review.
A nice little added touch with Walden guitars is that they come with a Planet Waves humidifier, which guards against wear and tear normally caused by environmental factors. While the effects of a humidifier are subtle, it all adds to the value presented by this guitar, which currently retails at just $399. As a quality first purchase instrument or next step up from that generic brand guitar you were given for Christmas years ago, they don’t come much better than the Walden G570TB for great tone, playability and value.
The JamHub GreenRoom is a convenient and powerful practice aid which helps keep the noise down without compromising on performance energy. It is versatile, allowing each player to personalise what they hear without affecting anyone else’s sound experience. The system works best with electric and electronic instruments, although microphones can be used for acoustic guitars, drums and, of course, vocals. And to get the most out of the JamHub, all players will need a decent set of headphones.
Players should love the JamHub – but probably not as much as the neighbours!