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In many cases signature instruments can be a hard pill to swallow; if they’re overdone with an artist’s signature graphics or other adornments, players sometimes feel that there’s no room for their own growth, or even worse, pass on a great guitar just because of the association to an artist. The Ed Sheeran Tour guitar is a great small-scale instrument with a great tone, and isn’t emblazoned with nonsense.
The smallish, non-cutaway “W” style body has a Sitka Spruce top while the back and sides are Indian rosewood. 21 smallish frets adorn the very light-colored ebony fingerboard that sits on a mahogany neck with a 24” scale. Mathematic style fret markers sit nicely on the fingerboard, tying into Ed’s Mathematics Tour. Ebony is also used in the top loading bridge and facilitates string changes without traditional bridge pins. With an LR Baggs EAS VTC pickup, the end pin is the input jack, and small roller wheel controls for volume and tone sit discretely just under the sound hole. The fit and finish were excellent across the entire instrument and the woods themselves had very nice grain patterns.▼ Article continues below ▼
With the small scale and small body, it’s an easy guitar to get around on. The neck shape has a modern feel that has enough girth to grip on to, and the satin finish was super smooth, and didn’t get sticky with sweat. Smaller players who might find acoustics cumbersome should check this out. The overall build quality was excellent, and in a satin finished instrument, the quality of the materials was obvious.
Considering its size, the tone is quite nice acoustically with a lot of punch. Percussive players will really appreciate the mid thump, especially with fingerstyle approaches. The nut width comes in at 1.75” and the string spacing was comfortable for picking and fingerstyle attack. It sits nicely with a mid and low range that can complement other sharper or jangly instruments like electrics in a mix, while maintaining its own space.
Plugging it in, the LR Baggs system is quite potent. There is a lot of fullness that really gets enhanced when going through even a simple PA system. The overall output was very strong, and the EQ is easy to adjust at stage volumes without getting into overdone tweaking. The “tour edition” name really nails where this works it’s best: live. Our tester used this instrument live in an acoustic duo situation with another guitarist using a full body style guitar, and its presence was still felt throughout the mix, with enough snap during melody and lead parts that were full and robust, and bottom end warmth during rhythm parts that filled in nicely.
This can easily be a grab-and-go guitar for a singer/songwriter on any kind of gig. Some may have a tough time reconciling a signature guitar, but regardless of the name, when it sounds this good, and plays this well, it goes beyond all that and becomes a practical tool for expression for any player who holds it.
Great sounding, excellent pickup, well made.