Revival RG-27

Budget allowing, it’s always preferable to buy an acoustic guitar made from solid woods. Plank for plank, laminates don’t resonate as nicely as solid woods and they don’t improve much with time either—ever heard anyone touting the sonic properties of aged plywood?

So a guitar like the RG-27 ($649 retail/$519 street), which features a solid Englemann spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides, would seem to be a pretty swinging deal right off the bat. The RG-27 is a decently made dreadnought with a gloss finish and lots of lightly figured maple binding on the body and fretboard. Some of the miters aren’t perfect, but the look of the contrasting woods is very eye catching. The abalone rosette and pearl headstock logo are precisely inlaid, as are the small shell dots that grace the 25 1/4"–scale rosewood board. The two-piece neck has a comfy “C” shape and a maple-capped heel, and the 20 medium frets are properly crowned and seated, although not highly polished.

The RG-27 plays well despite its action being a tad on the tall side, and it pumps out an impressive amount of volume with abundant lows and a bright top. The sweet, punchy midrange response that you expect from a high-end dreadnought (such as a Martin D-28 we used as a reference) is less discernable in the RG-27, but this guitar still sounds very good. It actually delivered more bottom than our slighter lighter Martin (4.6 lbs vs. 4.7 lbs), a quality that helps make the RG a satisfying player for bluegrass and folk. The hollower mids of the RG-27 make it a little less inspiring for solo playing, but this guitar has what it takes to be a good lead/ rhythm axe for an acoustic band, and is a particularly cool choice when you don’t have a lot to spend.

Kudos Solid wood construction. Crisp and loud with excellent bass response.

Concerns Lacks midrange complexity.

Contact  Revival Acoustics, dist. by Major Music Supply, (888) 996-2567;