"Just wow - there's nothing better in this price range"
I am a beginner - and probably will be for life - and I was looking for an affordable acoustic to practice on. I had few things on my mind - not dreadnaught/full size but would settle for parlor / cutaway, decent sound, less quality issues, good playability i.e, action not too high, home delivery in proper condition and easy returns if required, budget ~ 7k.
As usual, the search began on Bajaao, Furtados, Amazon, Flipkart. After pouring over hours of reviews and searches, the only ones that I ended considering were Yamaha and Cort. However, online reviews were full of bad delivery/return experiences and I didn't want to go through that in the midst of a pandemic (this is still 2021 and yes, the raging pandemic is still a bummer). I liked the Yamaha's made in India ones but quality issues were reported. Corts were costing upwards of 10k and I didn't want to spend that much although the quality may have been better. I just held on for something better but I didn't know what at the time.
Then I discovered John's Music through Youtube - and the Aria FET M2 just looked too good to be true. I viewed John's review video quite a few times and also searched for reviews online. It ticked all the boxes for me: beginner friendly, designed in Japan and made in Indonesia, cutaway body (allows access to higher frets), lightweight, slimmer than a usual acoustic, has an adjustable truss rod, good reviews all over, on-point price (with some additional discount :). The icing on the cake was the included string setup, quality check and assured extra packing for safe delivery! This was incredible value for money. I contacted John's team over whatsapp and was surprised to get a prompt reply - that too over the weekend. I asked several questions and even asked the factory strings to be replaced with D'Addario EJ11 - which they kindly did for just the additional cost of the strings.
I was glad I waited and John's Music is my new source of all things related to musical gear. I received the package within 5 days in great condition, the string setup was perfect, and the Aria - my goodness - there isn't anything better - especially at the price. I probably got lucky and will suggest to others - if you are starting out, look no further. At less than INR 6k you get a properly setup Made in Indonesia (known for excellent workmanship) acoustic guitar that will serve you for years to come.
Thanks again John's Music for helping me kickstart my guitar journey. Ok - enough review - gotta go practice :D