Adam Black S-5CE

Adam Black says the basis of its guitars is "quality where it is essential for the player's expressiveness to be transferred to the sound of the instrument". Sounds like grammatically suspect marketing waffle to us...

OK, waffle aside, Adam Black has put a lot of thought into the construction of its guitars. Fancy cosmetic details aren't its bag.

Instead you get dovetail neck joints (good news for tone and sustain), scalloped bracing and good quality hardware like Grover 'heads and a preamp with a built-in tuner.

The best thing about the S-5CE is its acoustic tone. Strum it hard and it fills the room with a beautiful well-balanced sound.

Pick it gently with your fingers and you'll love its crisp top end and deep bass. Whack a microphone on it and we think this guitar would kill in a recording studio.

It's only when you amplify it via the onboard pickup that the enthusiasm dulls a bit. The pickup/preamp setup isn't perhaps quite as satisfying as it could be.

Adam Black may be the newbie in this illustrious line-up but it's off to a flying start. In fact, we reckon the company should forget about all that marketing guff and let its guitars speak for themselves.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars

Acoustic tone, construction.


'Scratchy' amplified sound.


A fine electro-acoustic at an attractive price.

Available Finish

Natural gloss, Trans black, Trans blue, Natural satin, Vintage sunburst

Back Material


Body Style

Dreadnought Electro-Acoustic


Grover machineheads, Prener-LC 3-band EQ with presence control and onboard tuner

Fingerboard Material




Neck Material


Sides Material


Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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