Kay 530 Western Wildwood
If you plan to be at all selective about buying a guitar for under £30 you're going to have to discard a lot before you find one that works properly. If you do, you can be absolutely certain that you've found value for money. This guitar falls into that category.
It's a striking instrument to look at. It's called Wildwood because of the remarkable coloured grain effects used for the sides and back of this instrument and the guitar certainly stands out from the crowd. The effect is achieved by injecting red and green dyes into the tree and allowing it to grow a considerable time before felling. When split lengthwise the grain reveals attractive red and green shading.
Top of the guitar is in spruce and the wood used for the sides and back is piranah pine. The fingerboard is of rosewood and fancy pick guards surround the soundhole.
The guitar is quite large and the tone produced is also quite large. The clarity and intonation of each string is good in chord work and the volume is surprisingly loud. The bass response is only a little light, but we suspected that the tone was a little better than is usual on most cheap guitars imported from the Far East because WMI who import and distribute the guitars in this country fit them with British strings before distribution.
Detail on the guitar is naturally poorer than on more expensive instruments but it is certainly good enough and in consideration of the price, excellent.
When we got the guitar it needed some radical adjustment to the bridge to get the action reasonably low, but the room for adjustment was there. Our main criticism of the instrument is that the harmonics at the 12th fret are slightly out of tune with the notes at the same fret on the upper strings and this probably means that the fixed rosewood bridge has been glued down at slightly the wrong angle.
Whether or not you like the appearance of this instrument is a matter of personal taste. It's described as a "western" and it is certainly flamboyant enough for C & W tastes.
Retail Price £29.95