Jul 23, 2011

REVIEW - Greg Bennett Guitars (by Samick) - Surprisingly Excellent for the money! Compare to Fender, Takamine, Epiphone, Ibanez, Dean, and other guitars

UPDATED REVIEW - April 7, 2014 - I have taught music lessons for over 35 years including piano, synth, keyboard, organ, and guitar. Guitar was my first instrument and I own about 15 of them (they are all over my studio) including classicals, acoustic-electric, electric strat style, Les Paul style, 12-strings, bass guitars, and other stringed instruments. I have played guitars and keyboards in various bands through the years and also compose music. I have not written a blog review of guitars before since I primarily concentrate on pianos and related subjects because that is what this blog is mainly about. However that does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to guitars and what is a good value, as I have played literally thousands of guitars in my music career and understand various organic wood materials and electronic guitar parts and construction. In fact, I have even built a guitar myself but would not do it again (There are much better guitar builders out there!). I've been asked by some people about my choice of guitars lately in a low price range so I thought it was time to do a guitar review on this blog since I do play and teach guitar.

As a guitar teacher, most students and average players want a well designed guitar that looks, plays, and sounds great for a low price. Typically that price range is from $100-$400 and you can really get a great guitar these days for that kind of money because many low priced guitars have been made in Korea, China, & Indonesia for some years now and a few companies are doing a great job producing quality guitars for low prices over there.

My choice for overall selection, low price, quality sound, good construction, and smooth playability in a low price range (after discounts) goes to an industry leader in guitar building by the name of Samick manufacturing which produces the Greg Bennett series of guitars, among others. Greg Bennett is a real person (pictured below left) who is an American and international guitar designer and professional musician hired by the Samick company many years ago to produce an exclusive line of quality guitars under the name of "Greg Bennett." These guitars have been on the market for a number of years now and the Samick company (based in Korea with US headquarters in Nashville, Tn) has sold thousands upon thousands of them throughout the US and the world based on the numbers I have seen.

I have tried out and played almost every guitar Greg Bennett has in this line-up and I am very impressed with the workmanship, overall tone, and playability of these instruments for prices selling generally between $100-$400 and some nice upgraded models well over $400. The attention to detail and the quality materials and parts used in making the guitars were impressive, even on the guitars under $200, and that's a difficult thing to do. The design of the headstock, the tuning keys, the overall body and solid tops on many models, and the full tone were surprising, especially up against better known brands like Fender, Epiphone, Takamine, Ibanez, Yamaha, and a few others.

The Greg Bennett guitars use first rate materials like tight grained spruce or cedar solid tops, mahogany & rosewood backs and sides on their acoustic guitars, Grover brand tuners which really help the guitars stay in tune, and nice inside bracing and construction. The electronics and pickups in the electric and bass guitars seem to be well built and solid and the "fit and finish" of the various models (and there are many) all seem to be as good as much higher priced brands such as Martin, Fender or Gibson in many respects. Most of the Greg Bennett guitars are factory production made instruments and not "hand made" so I am not comparing these guitars to hand made guitars over $1000.

The Samick company has it's own large and highly advanced production facilities (pic on left) and has made many guitars for other famous companies through the years including Washburn, Epiphone, Fender, Yamaha, and many others so some of the famous name brands out there were actually made by the Samick guitar factory believe it or not! To me, that says a lot about the quality that Samick has been putting out for a long time. I own some well known brands of guitars that cost a lot more money than the Samick "Greg Bennett" models and I have to say that I enjoy playing some of the Greg Bennett's just as much as my higher priced famous brands. Of course some of the nicer handmade guitars from Martin, Gibson, Fender, and others ARE better than the Greg Bennett models and that should go without saying. But they are substantially more money. But in the $100-$500 price range, I believe these GB guitars are worth every penny and the Samick company stands behind them with lifetime guarantees on many of the models which is impressive to me.

So if you are looking for a good, solid, dependable, great sounding & playing new guitar for a low price, I would not hesitate to recommend the Greg Bennett guitars. They do have a web site and I have provided a link below. By the way, I have met Greg Bennett in person on more than one occasion and he is as nice of a guy as is his namesake guitars (and Greg plays guitar very well!:). I would not hesitate to recommend these guitars to anyone looking for a good buy on a great low priced guitar. I do know however, that the Greg Bennett guitars can be difficult to find and are not in the typical large guitar stores such as Guitar Center, Sam Ash Music, etc. I understand this is because Samick wants it's Greg Bennett guitars to be sold by generally smaller music instrument shops who tend to understand guitars and guitar playing better than the big chain stores.


If you want more info on the Greg Bennett guitars, just email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com and I will help you out as well as help you get lower prices.


http://www.gregbennettguitars.com/

Also check out this video below of Greg Bennett Guitars being played live:

5 comments:

  1. Samick's website claims that the "Greg Bennett"
    guitars are made of maple and mahogany, but in reality they are made with sapele and nato. What is the real story?

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  2. I've been trying to decide what make of guitar to buy my boyfriend for Christmas, he played many years ago, but gave his guitar to his son....after reading your review, (i've been looking at Samick and others), now I can truly make up my mind as to what to buy him.
    Thanks for the great information

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  3. Thank you for that in depth review! I am looking to buy one for my boyfriend. Could you tell me what type of strings an acoustic Greg Bennett guitar would need for replacement?
    Thank you so much in advance!

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  4. I have two Greg Bennett guitars, a D5Ce and a D9. The D9 has a solid spruce top and maple laminate back and sides; the D5Ce has a solid sprucetop and laminate mahogany back and sides. Both guitars have excellent intonation and a light and easy action and the different woods on each give a totally different tone and feel. These are truly excellent guitars for the money and after many years of playing many different guitars I would say these rank with the very best of their price range.

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  5. Just bought a second hand J8 plays great stays in tune...its my new main squeeze highly recommend these guitars. :)

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