The Orangewood Brooklyn Live acoustic guitar is a solid choice for veterans and beginners alike.
The mixture of a Sitka Spruce top and Pau Ferro back and shiny Abalone rosettes results in an elegant and beautiful appearance. Moreover, the two woods produce a rich, sweet and smooth sound, which can cater to a wide range of playing styles.
Before starting the in-depth review, I will first list the pros and cons of the guitar. Then, we will go to the features section to talk about the design and construction of the guitar.
Then, we’ll discuss playability and performance where I will examine the string action and how comfortable the guitar is to use. And lastly, let’s check out the sounds. What can you expect? Let’s find out, shall we?
- Rich, crisp, and balanced tone
- Beautifully designed, has good aesthetics
- Packed with features, great value for money
- Designed in California
- Small neck can be uncomfortable for some
- Assembled in Asia (I don’t have a problem with this to be honest, but some may have, so I’m just put it out there for transparency)
Design & Construction
Body: The Orangewood Brooklyn Live Acoustic Guitar features a Solid Sitka Spruce top and layered Pau Ferro back and sides with a glossy finish.
Combining the paleness and brightness of the Spruce top and the dark, earthen undertones of the Pau Ferro makes for an aesthetic appearance.
The Brooklyn Live acoustic also has shiny Abalone rosettes and its guitar bridge is made out of Ovangkol, the African relative of rosewood. Meanwhile, its nut and saddle are made out of synthetic bone.
Moreover, the guitar’s body is grand concert in shape that gives the Brooklyn Live depth and height. In fact, it has an overall length of 40” with a body height of 4”. This makes the guitar a bit on the smaller side.
Aside from the elegant look, Orangewood has also installed ivory bindings to the sides. This makes the guitar more durable as it can be protected from everyday bumps and nicks.
Putting all of these together, it gives the acoustic guitar a charming and elegant look. I really like how Orangewood took the time to work on the guitar’s design. It shows how they really pay attention to the details. Not only do they make your guitar sound good, but they also make it look good.
Neck: The Orangewood Brooklyn Live acoustic guitar has a scale length of 25.5 inches and houses 20 frets in an Ovangkol fretboard.
Personally, I really like the Ovangkol as for me it gives an elegant finish to the guitar than other woods. Aside from that, the fretwork is superb as there are no loose or sharp ends that appear.
Like all Orangewood guitars, the Brooklyn Live acoustic guitar is set up and strung up with Ernie Ball Earthwood strings. It also features an angled headstock that houses gold tuners and pegs.
For some people, angled headstocks are preferred since they are believed to produce better sounds and they tend to last longer.
As for the electronics equipped with a Fishman Flex EQ System. It also has a built-in tuner, onboard volume, bass and treble controls, thanks to its Flex Plus T System.
I have no problem at all with these, however, if I have to nitpick, it’s with the built-in tuner. From a normal guitar playing position, I have to really look at it closely so that I could clearly see the notes being displayed. It may take time to get used to, I guess.
Playability & Performance
Playing: A beautiful guitar isn’t enough to cut it since, well, looks don’t directly mean good playing. However, the Brooklyn Live is fairly easy to play. That’s unbelievable for a guitar first thought for its complicatedness by some players.
As seen in the design, this Orangewood model features a small and angled neck. This makes the guitar easier to grip and its small size is perfect for those with small to medium hands.
I myself have no problem at all with the neck. It’s just that, when I access higher frets, especially on the 9th to 14th fret, it’s not 100% smooth. I feel a bit of roughness when sliding between these frets, and I hope Orangewood can work and improve on this feature.
Orangewood’s Brooklyn Live Acoustic Guitar is equipped with Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 medium light strings in 12-54 gauges. These strings are certainly a favorite in the guitar community and are a standard in most guitar brands. It is because these strings are extremely durable and provide a crisp and rich sound.
These strings are placed against a Sitka Spruce top. I like how they used Sitka Spruce for the top, seeing that it’s a versatile wood that can accommodate various playing styles. It’s perfect for both beginners and veterans.
The Sitka Spruce top produces a powerful and clear tone that is sweet and smooth and with just the right amount of warmth to produce a robust sound.
As such, it still creates a rich sound even when you strum it forcefully and it also does well in fingerpicking. Howe
Aside from that, the Sitka Spruce top is easily paired with other tonewoods as it still produces a great sound. Combining it with the Pau Ferro would get you a dynamic range. The rich, smooth tone of the Spruce can easily be heard since the Pau Ferro produces a neutral and dry tone.
Orangewood’s Brooklyn Live acoustic guitar boasts a solid wood construction, creating a more resonant sound compared to laminated guitars. Also, solid spruce tonewoods generally improve their tonal quality over time.
Plugged in, all of the sounds described above are amplified, thanks to its Fishman Flex EQ system. The overall tone is crisp, surprisingly balanced you can clearly hear each string; they don’t overlap each other compared to other acoustic-electric guitars I have tested.
Overall, the Orangewood Brooklyn Live acoustic is a great choice, especially if you’re a beginner or on a tight budget. It boasts a sweet, smooth performance due to the combination of solid Sitka Spruce top and Pau Ferro back. Moreover, the Orangewood also made sure that the Brooklyn Live is both beautiful and durable.
It’s surprisingly packed with a lot features which you cannot find from other guitars at its price ranged. That being said, it’s also comparable and can completely compete with higher-end acoustic-electric guitars. Overall, aside from good-looking aesthetics, it’s the sound(plugged, even unplugged) that sets it apart from its competition, you wouldn’t think it only costs $395.
Get it here at Orangewood Guitars (Free Shipping).
Also Read: Honest Orangewood Guitars Review (Top Picks)