Traditionally, beginner's guitars were cheaply made and awkward to play, compared with higher-end instruments. Now, with the input of professional players, Epiphone claims to have cracked the problem with four new easy-playing but affordable acoustic guitars from their Pro-1 range.
Designed with input from professional players, the Pro-1 Acoustic Collection comprises four models specifically designed with playability in mind, aimed not only at beginners but also experienced players seeking enhanced playability in a low-cost acoustic guitar. The Collection begins with the dreadnought-style Pro-1 Acoustic, which features a shallower-depth body for comfort, followed by the nylon-string Pro-1 Classic, which features a solid cedar top.
The range steps up a notch with the higher-tier Pro-1 Plus, which features a solid spruce top, bound fingerboard and multi-bound body, and the cutaway electro-acoustic Pro-1 Ultra, which is fitted with a Shadow Performer preamp and NanoFlex pickup for plugged-in performances. Each guitar also features a vintage-style Epiphone headstock, in a retro-flavoured nod to the maker's 140-year tradition in guitar making, while all but the Pro-1 Classic come in five colour options.
All four guitars have been specifically designed for enhanced playability, says Epiphone, including a slender, learner-friendly EZ-Profile neck, plus a shortened scale length to make fretting notes easier in combination with the large, finger-friendly jumboPRO frets. Each guitar is fitted with light strings and treated with Pro-Ease lubricant for additional slinkiness during play.
Other learner-friendly features common to the whole range include pinless EZ-String bridges to make changing strings less daunting for the newcomer, and 18:1 ratio 'Deluxe' tuners which Epiphone says are designed to aid precise, easy tuning. Free access to eMedia online guitar lessons rounds out the package and promises to set beginners off to a good start in pickin'. These entry-level instruments are expected to cost, according to US street prices quoted by Epiphone, $119 for the Pro-1 and Pro-1 Classic, while the Pro-1 Plus and Pro-1 Ultra will sell for $229 and $329 respectively.