What is it?
Offering an all-solid wood build of sexy Sitka spruce on top and okoume on the back and sides, Cort's Gold-OC6 is a cutaway acoustic guitar of considerable poise and bearing.
No wonder they assigned this the 'Gold' designation. Only, someone forgot to tell marketing that the price should be higher. Seriously, you pull it out of the gig-bag and you'll be shocked you've paid three figures for it.
Complementing those solid woods are a set of Grover deluxe vintage gold tuners, a Macassar ebony fretboard, abalone rosette, and, invisible to the naked eye, the guitar's Sitka spruce top has been treated with Cort's own torrefaction processed, Aged to Vintage.
We'll call it AVT hereafter and explain it thus; the wood is heated, the moisture and oils dry out and the wood resonates like an acoustic that might have been able to tell you where they were the day Kennedy got shot. That means more brightness, more clarity, more... More everything.
There really is nothing quite like a vintage acoustic guitar tone, but the AVT – and indeed the torrefaction processes we are seeing in a number of acoustics at this price and higher – does a good job of nudging it on the way.
On the shoulder you'll find controls for the Fishman Flex Blend system – volume, tone and blend – and the LED display for the tuner. The Flex system uses an under-saddle pickup and onboard mic that gives players a healthy degree of control over their tone.
Elsewhere, we've got a nato, (or 'eastern mahogany') neck strengthened by walnut strips and attached to the body with a double-lock neck joint. Hey, we did say you'd question the price. There's a lot of guitar craft for the price.
Performance and verdict
There is a lot of access to that ebony fretboard, with a nice and generous cutaway. Fret a few chords and you'll notice that the 43mm bone nut is a little on the tight side for fingerstyle – a personal preference for many, while others, especially those with smaller digits, won't care a jot.
• Yamaha FS-TA
We found it both addictive and inspiring to have the luxury of reverb and chorus on call wherever and whenever we wanted. This could be a superb creative tool, and the piezo here also represents the FS-TA’s character well when we plugged in.
• Taylor Academy Series 12e
The Academy Series represents a very clear vision, and in many ways, a dream beginner guitar, as well as potential trade-up for some existing players – one that can inspire and go the distance with a guitarist from bedroom to stage.
There's a lovely amount of volume, though. And there is no shortage of clarity. As you might expect from an OM acoustic, there's a nice width and three-dimensional weight to its tone, albeit with exceptional brightness. There will be no trouble being heard with this.
The Fishman Flex Blend system's under-saddle piezo and mic combo does an excellent job of amplifying the Gold-OC6 without stepping all over the tone, though a few subtle tweaks of its tone control and the right amount of blend will scoop the EQ nicely to suit percussive and fingerstyles.
In terms of features, Cort has been more than generous. For the money, the Gold-OC6 is hard to resist. If you've got fingers like Mr Tickle's arms and eschew a pick, that nut width will suggest you look otherwise. But those looking for a serious option for the stage and plenty change from a grand would do well to pick it up and test its mettle.
MusicRadar verdict: A very attractive cutaway electro-acoustic at a very attractive price. The Cort Gold-OC6 is a great strummer with an all-solid build that should be a ready and willing companion onstage.
The web says...
"As far as sounds go, a few casual chordal strums reveal a broad and breathy sound typical of this body size with a good amount of volume and excellent sustain. If we were adopting the OC6, we’d put a slightly heavier gauge of string on it in order to pull out the lower mids and bass a little more, but a lot of that is down to personal preference as there’s plenty of both to work with here."
- PRICE: $1,099 / £749 (inc gigbag)
- ORIGIN: China
- TYPE: OM cutaway
- TOP: Sitka spruce
- BACK/SIDES: Okoume
- MAX RIM DEPTH: 103mm
- MAX BODY WIDTH: 385mm
- NECK: Palaquium
- SCALE LENGTH: 643mm (23.3”)
- TUNERS: Grover deluxe vintage gold
- NUT/WIDTH: Bone/43mm
- FINGERBOARD: Macassar ebony
- FRETS: 20
- BRIDGE/SPACING: Ebony/54mm
- ELECTRICS: Fishman Flex Blend System
- WEIGHT (kg/lb): 1.6/3.52
- OPTIONS: The Gold O6 is the non-cutaway version at £549
- RANGE OPTIONS: Cort’s Gold Series comprises 13 instruments including the Gold O8 OM size non-cutaway (£697), the Gold A8 auditorium (£879), and the Gold-Edge LE (£1,299)
- LEFT-HANDERS: No
- FINISH: Natural satin (as reviewed) or Natural Glossy – “Sonically enhanced UV”
- CONTACT: Cort Guitars