Ashton Music D65SCEQ review

  • £199

An excellent solid-top acoustic, Chinese-made but with Antipodean roots

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Our Verdict

An guitar that represents excellent value as a budget or backup acoustic. The preamp is acceptable, the action enticing and the tone is spot on.

For

  • Great price. Impressive tone.

Against

  • At this price, very little.
Buying options

Ausiie brand Ashton features everything from PA to drums in its catalogue with an eye to giving genuine value without overly compromising on the construction.

This electro-acoustic is one of the picks of its range and features a solid Engelmann spruce top complemented by laminated rosewood back and sides.

All pretty standard fare, but there's an authentically woody feel to the overall package and vibe, courtesy of the headstock veneer and binding.

Electrics come from an on-board SPII preamp that features a very cool and intuitive tuner – simply press a button to mute the electrics to tune – and there are both cannon and 6.4mm jacks.

The neck is familiar enough, demonstrating a nice feel and once we'd given the truss rod a tweak and re-strung the guitar, it played very nicely.

Sounds

The resonant benefits of a solid top are gold with a guitar like this, and the basic acoustic tone is warm, responsive and totally musical.

The electronics certainly add something to proceedings as well, though without presenting your ears with anything spectacular.

For more complex passages the guitar fights back nicely and, should you wish to venture above the 12th fret, the cutaway allows you to do so with ease.

That said, we would point out that we came across a somewhat boxy side during recording but that's not something to be overly concerned about.

Conclusion

While there are more affordable solid-topped acoustics available, none play as nicely as this one, or offer the breadth of acoustic and electrified tones.

The preamp is no Takamine Cool Tube but, for noodling around a camp fire or simply as a reliable back-up to your pride and joy, this is a serious option.

Tech Specs

Available Controlsamp model select
Back MaterialSolid Rosewood
Bridge MaterialRosewood
Country of OriginAustralia
CutawayYes
Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
HardwareGold Die-Cast
Neck MaterialMahogany
No of Strings6
No. of Frets20
Unique FeaturesPrener EQ System with Built-in Tuner