Avalon D300A Americana Dreadnought review

  • £2900

Avalon takes up the vintage baton with a sunburst model paying homage to US acoustics of yesteryear.

Image 1 of 2 The D300A is a classy looker
The D300A is a classy looker.
Image 2 of 2 The D300A boasts quality sunbursting and a pearl rosette
The D300A boasts quality sunbursting and a pearl rosette.

Our Verdict

Inspired by the most elegant dreadnought ever; ticks the right retro boxes.

For

  • Looks, sounds, handling. Everything, really.

Against

  • Some will want a slimmer neck, but Avalon can provide that on any Americana.
Buying options

Avalon's new dreadnought Americana evokes the aura of a vintage US acoustic.

Along with its elegant round-shouldered lines, the guitar further emphasises its heritage influence with a beautifully finished reverse-belly ebony bridge and a headstock that has a distinctly Gibsonesque outline.

This totes a set of kidney-buttoned chrome Grover Rotomatics, which may seem rather commonplace but these are top-grade ones (as are the concert's Sta-tites) not the cheaper versions that appear on so many budget boxes these days.

Hardware and trim elsewhere are similar to the concert's save, as already mentioned, for the pearl rosette and the all-over sunbursting which looks fabulous with its smooth graduation from light to dark over the whole finish. The extra production time involved here amply justifies the modest uplift in price.

Though the sunbursting makes it harder to spot immediately, the 14-frets-to-body neck's construction this time is a four-way mahogany lamination. This seems somewhat arbitrary, as Avalon says it produces blanks in batches, sometimes three-piece, sometimes four.

The neck has a flat heel and a 'C' section, giving a full grip even though depth remains the same.

In response to a thought that some dreadnought buyers will want a neck slimmer than 45mm, Jim Black says Avalon will happily oblige - with no increase in price - as long as customers don't mind waiting a few extra weeks for the order to be fulfilled. Wider necks can be accommodated if desired too. You can't say fairer than that.

Sounds

The D300A gives a full-blooded performance level. Supple and dynamically responsive, the sound and volume are enthusiastically in dreadnought territory, with a tonal combination of clarity and zest underpinned by a warm, resonant low end that's firmly defined without adversely dominating the sound. A most likeable aural aggregate.

Avalon is to be applauded for this Americana. You might think that the company has trodden a well-worn path down the heritage trail, and in one sense that is the case.

But along the way it has come up with an immensely attractive, generally great-sounding guitar that is instantly and distinctively identifiable.

Tech Specs

Country of OriginUK
Available FinishGloss sunset burst
Back MaterialSolid Mahogany
BridgeEbony
Bridge MaterialEbony
Features Solid sitka spruce Top. Chrome diecast Grovers Tuners.
Fingerboard MaterialBound Ebony
Fingerboard Radius16 inch (406mm)
Left Handed Model AvailableYes
Neck MaterialMahogany
No. of Frets20
Nut MaterialBone
OptionsSee S320A and XL340A. Endpin electro system, prices on request.
Max Body Width404