The SJ is considered by many to be the pinnacle of flat-top guitar design, possessing the low end presence of a dreadnought but with the string-to-string balance of an orchestra model, thanks in no small part to the tight waist. Often times we like a slightly softer topwood on a big rosewood guitar, and we were able to get a very satisfying warmth and rumble out of this one by going with good old Sitka spruce. So is Wenge really as good as Brazilian? Visually, the two don’t have a lot in common, Wenge being very plain and even in color… but sound-wise, Wenge gives us a complex yet focused compliment of overtones that we normally associate with the more exotic rosewoods, so for us it has earned its place alongside Braz, Madrose and Cocobolo as a premium tonewood.
The specs on this guitar include 1 11/16″ nut width, Schaller tuners, ivoroid binding on body, neck and peghead, and oh-so-cool rope purfling and Style 3 backstrip.
Something about this guitar just feels so comfortable, it reminds us of the sturdy jumbos from the ’70s. This one is built to last, and would make an incredible stage guitar.
List price: $5,550… AMW price: $4,995