Vintage-style Adirondack-top 000 is a bargain.
by Teja Gerken
December 16, 2014
Cort Guitars has been a source for affordable acoustic and electric instruments for decades. On the electric side, the company has worked with artists including guitarist Larry Coryell and bassist Jeff Berlin, both of whom have Cort signature models. Recently, the company has revamped its acoustic flattop line, which now includes the vintage-inspired Luce series, of which we had a chance to check out the L300V.
The L300V is clearly patterned after Martin’s 14-fret 000-18 and OM-18 models. The guitar is built with a solid Adirondack spruce top, scalloped top braces, and mahogany back (solid) and sides (laminated). Cort chose a long 25.3-inch scale for the guitar, which is similar to the OM’s scale, but while the company’s specs say that the neck is 45 mm. (1.77 inches) wide at the nut, it measured closer to 1.75 inches, and the string spacing at the nut made it feel more like the slightly narrower neck of a Martin 000. The guitar’s large teardrop pickguard is also borrowed from the 000 design.
Cort uses an original bridge design with recessed bridge pins, which results in the strings passing over the saddle at a steeper angle and increases player comfort for the picking hand, especially when muting strings.
Although it’s not an exact reproduction of any particular guitar, we were impressed by how much vintage character the L300V has. The guitar has an open voice with a big dynamic range, great volume, and a considerable amount of tonal complexity. Its rounded neck profile felt contemporary, and the factory setup provided a good compromise that worked for both fingerstyle and flatpicking, as demonstrated in this video by Peghead Nation co-founders Teja Gerken and Scott Nygaard.
SPECS: 000 body with 14-fret neck. Solid Adirondack spruce top. Solid mahogany back and laminated mahogany sides. Mahogany neck. Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. 25.3-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Open-gear Grover tuning machines. $535 list. Cortguitars.com
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