Fueled by reader requests for an overview of currently available small-body guitars, Acoustic Guitar invited manufacturers to send us samples of their small-body instruments with list prices between $500 and $1,000. We ended up with 11 guitars that are surprisingly diverse in sound and feel, some inspired by vintage instruments and others with more modern body and neck shapes, materials, and appointments. In checking out these guitars, I was assisted by Pete Madsen, a San Francisco Bay Area fingerstyle blues guitarist, teacher, and frequent Acoustic Guitar contributor. Here’s our review of the Bedell HGM-28G.
A relatively new company founded by Tom Bedell of the Two Old Hippies company, which also owns Breedlove Guitars and Weber Mandolins, Bedell Guitars specializes in original interpretations of classic guitar designs. With a width of 15 1/2 inches and rounded shapes in both the upper and lower bout, the HGM-28G’s body is somewhere between a 000 and a mini-jumbo in size. The guitar didn’t have any real construction flaws. The guitar’s neck has a rounded profile with a bit of depth at its center. Listening to the guitar, Madsen and I both noted that it sounded louder from a few feet away than from the player’s perspective, and this projection would be an asset in performance. The HGM-28G had a full voice, with a healthy amount of brightness. Equally suited to playing fingerstyle or strumming, the Bedell HGM-28G is a versatile value.
SPECS: Solid Sitka spruce top. Laminated rosewood back and sides. Three-piece mahogany neck with dovetail joint. Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Scalloped X-bracing. 25.6-inch scale. 1 11/16-inch nut width. 2 5/32-inch string spacing at saddle. Enclosed tuning machines. D’Addario EXP light-gauge strings. Made in China.
PRICE: $519 list/$399 street.
CONTACT: Bedell Guitars: (877) 800-4848; bedellguitars.com.
See all 11 Affordable Small-Body Flattops.