So the good news is Orangewood Guitars have finally arrived in India. Its been a long wait especially after this brand became very popular among beginners and professionals alike. So WHAT makes them stand out as compared to the other bigger brands like Fender, Cort, Ibanez etc - Lets Find out.
1. Finish - Orangewood Guitars has done what many other brands have not focused upon much. THE FINISH. As a beginner your first and foremost attraction about a guitar is the finish of the instrument. How it looks is going to supersede the sound aspect for a beginner. Surprisingly even the cheapest Orangewood Guitar models that are available in India have incredibly good finishing. These start at about Rs. 12000 and the models are Dana, Manhattan, Victoria and Rey. They are even offering a really nice looking padded bag along with all their Guitars. In comparison, Fender has done a terrible job with their SA series like the SA-150, SA-105 and the SA-105ce
2. Sound - Now this is a very subjective topic since every person has a different perception about their preferred sound. But on a general note all the Orangewood Guitars have a good sound as compared to other Guitar brands. Ideally I would like to call it the perfect sound for a singer songwriter who wants to sing along with the Guitar. The Mahogany models have more of a warm sound and the spruce models are the bright sounding ones. One thing I have observed is that the factory strings are not that great. I would suggest to change it to some good branded strings from D'addario, Ernie ball or Elixir so that you get the most out of the Guitar. Under the price of 30k, Orangewood offers 3 Solid top options and those models are Austen, Morgan and Oliver. Morgan and Oliver are available in the electro-acoustic variant as well that too with Fishman Electronics! And that sorts your live performances :)
3. Size - This is my most preferred reason to Suggest an Orangewood Guitar, They come in very comfortable sizes. Honestly, I haven't been a fan of dreadnought guitars because I have seen too many people struggling with the comfort part. Also most times the Dreadnought projects so much bass that it clouds the sweet mids and highs and the overall clarity and presence of the guitar is gone for a toss. I mean there are dreadnought options by Orangewood as well - Manhattan and Austen, but all the rest of the models (available in India currently) are concert sizes which are positively comfortable to a wider range of Guitar Players. And if you want even the smaller size, they offer the Dana - Parlor size or a great Junior guitar for Kids! When you compare it with other brands under 30k, Fender just has the CC60 (rarely available) and the SA150 (which we never recommend). Cort is another brand that has few models in the concert size and those are AF510, AF550se, SFX-MEM and GA-MEDX. Kepma is the only brand other than Orangewood that has made it a point to have different size options within the same specs - But lets cover that in another blog.
So final verdict is that Orangewood guitars is a good option to consider if you are planning to invest into an instrument as a beginner or even a professional for that matter. They come in a good finish and build quality that we are failing to see even in popular brands that have been in the market for decades. Even if this is a new brand among the other giants, they have come up with innovation and uniqueness that makes them stand apart. Now with a test of time, we will have to see how they perform in terms of durability especially in a Humid weather like India.
Orangewood Guitars Currently available in India
Dana mini - Parlor size - Available in Spruce and Mahogany variant
Manhattan - Dreadnought Size
Rey - Concert Size - Available in Spruce and Mahogany variant
Victoria - Concert Size
Austen -Dreadnought Size - Solid Spruce Top
Morgan Live - Electro-Acoustic - Solid Mahogany Top - Concert Size
Oliver Live - Electro-Acoustic - Solid Mahogany Top - Concert Size