ASHTON SL29CEQ (ACOUSTIC GUITARS-SLIM-LINE ACOUSTICS)
How is it that a particular feature ands up on a particular model of guitar? Well, for a start, someone in the design team has to imagine that element as part of the finished product, then it has to be costed- that is, someone has to determine how much it will add to the cost of producing the model and how much that will increase the retail price. Finally, some bean counter determines whether this increase in retail price, in light of the added feature, will cause more people to byt the model, less people to buy the model, or whether demand will remain unchanged – said bean counter tallies the figures, factors in projected profit margins, and hey presto, you now know whether you are getting that new feature!
IT'S TIME TO PLAY "NAME THAT TUNING"
And if there is no good reason to leave these features off, it stands to reason that there must be a whole lot of good reasons to include them, as indeed there are. In fact, I would posit that, even for the beginner who cannot imagine themselves ever playing in front of an audience, or having to utilize amplification for any reason at all, an Ashton electric-acoustic is an excellent purchase merely for the fact that it features an onboard tuner.
LET IT GO TROUGHT TO THE SWEEPER
Playing this guitar acoustically, tow things are apparent. The first is that it is a very decent little instrument to play, with a comfortable neck and nice action. Though it is almost as deep as a conventional acoustic, the body is quite small and this positions the instrument very weill, with the string travel situated perfectly when seated. The second observation is that the acoustic tone is not bad at all, which will be a key element in determining the instruments' amplified output. Plugging it in, the onboard pre-amp soon distinguishes itself. With four-band EQ (low, mid, reble, presence) and a sweepable mid-point, judicious treatment of the pre-amp allows you to pull the best out of the Ashton's indigenous tone. That mid-point parameter is key to achieving the best results – cheaper acoustics invariable have some tonal issues around these frequencies and by both positioning and buttressing or diminishing the mid range appropriately, you will allow the strongest elements of the guitar's tone to dominate.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At first glance, Ashton may seem another player in the "bug 'em and badge' en" Asian-manufacturing boom, but they have far more input into the models that bear their name than most importers of student instruments. This strategy has served them well, and they have achieved unprecedented brand recognition and goodwill at the thin end of the market. Guitars like the SL29CEQ are the fruits of this labour, and while beginners should be grateful for such options, this instrument has much to offer even an intermediate guitarist.
"WHAT WE RECKON