Adam Black S-5CE review

  • £199

Every guitar company reckons its instruments are the best, and relative newcomer Adam Black is no exception.

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Our Verdict

A fine electro-acoustic at an attractive price.


  • Acoustic tone, construction.


  • 'Scratchy' amplified sound.
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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.

Tech Specs

Available FinishNatural gloss, Trans black, Trans blue, Natural satin, Vintage sunburst
Back MaterialMahogany
Body StyleDreadnought Electro-Acoustic
FeaturesGrover machineheads, Prener-LC 3-band EQ with presence control and onboard tuner
Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
Neck MaterialMahogany
Sides MaterialMahogany