Acoustic Collection Stadium

UK/EU Price:  £595.00 - Inc. 20% VATExport Price - USA/Australia/Worldwide: £495.83
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AC Artist - Jim Cregan


Jim Cregan playing 'that' solo on "Come Up And See Me, Make Me Smile" at Guildford Guildhall on Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel's 2015 UK tour.

Jim, who played on the original recording, is seen here using his AC Stadium - complete with heart shaped, feedback-buster custom made by long serving Acoustic Centre tech, Chris Ward.

"Tonally, it’s an undisputed cracker & more than a match for most styles with tremendously winning warmth. For the price, it’s an absolute bargain & we’re tempted to place an order... if that won't convince you, we don't know what will!"

Sam Wise | Acoustic Magazine | October 2015


The new, solid Mahogany/Cedar Stadium model, with an expansive, grand concert sized body, delivers - appropriately enough - huge volume and depth of tone, with an astutely balanced, full voice that combines deep, resonant bass with a powerful midrange punch and bright responsive highs... perfect for driving power ballads and emotional rock anthems. Immensely versatile, the cool, cutaway design provides unfettered upper register access, allowing fingerpickers ample space to relish the Stadium's honey-sweet, harmonic complexity as well as making it a solid vehicle for the "big strum", whether in front of a festival crowd of cellphone waving fans or igniting a riot at the local bar.

Whilst its striking appointments - deco styled sound hole rosette and 19th Century "moustache" bridge - are clearly inspired by instruments from a more polite age, the rugged build quality and thoroughly up-to-date Fishman under-saddle pickup and preamp make the Stadium model a superb powerhouse instrument for today's rock 'n' roll road warriors.

The Stadium's all-solid wood construction guarantees quality performance, with a beefy, full voice and enough commanding acoustic volume to fill any room. For the additional demands of modern high volume, high definition performance environments, the loaded Fishman pickup and on-board electrics ensure excellent reproduction both on stage and in the studio.

The Acoustic Collection Stadium Features


  • Solid Mahogany Back & Sides
  • Solid Western Cedar Top
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Ebony Fingerboard with "Diamonds & Dots" Inlays
  • Rosewood Headstock Facing
  • Mahogany Bindings
  • Heart Shaped Custom Deco Design Soundhole/Rosette
  • Early 1800's French Lyre Guitar Style Ebony Bridge
  • Chrome Closed-Gear Tuners
  • Fishman Under-Saddle Pickup
  • Fishman INK 4 Active Preamp
  • High Gloss Finish
  • Fitted with Elites "Science Of Sound" Acoustic Strings
  • Custom Arched Case Included

Fishman INK 4 Active Preamp Features


The Fishman INK family features a unique, low-profile control surface and onboard "push-to-tune" LCD tuner. This digital chromatic tuner accommodates all standard and alternate tunings and mutes the output when engaged. It can be activated without an instrument cable connected and, to conserve battery life, automatically deactivates after three minutes of inactivity

  • Low-profile control surface
  • Rotary Volume Control
  • 3 Band EQ - cut/boost
  • Rotary Brilliance Control
  • Switchable Chromatic Tuner with LCD Display
  • Dimensions : 57mm W x 41mm H (2.24" x 1.63")
  • 9 Volt Battery Powered
  • Battery Life : 90 hours
  • LED Low Battery Level Indicator

 

 Acoustic Collection "Stadium" Electro-Acoustic Guitar

 Body  Solid Mahogany Back & Sides
 Top  Solid Western Cedar
 Neck  Mahogany
 Fingerboard  21 Fret, Ebony with "Diamonds & Dots" Inlays
 Headstock Facing  Rosewood
 Soundhole  Heart Shaped, Custom Deco Design Rosette
 Bridge  Early 1800's French Lyre Style Ebony "Moustache" Bridge
 Pickup  Fishman Under-Saddle Piezo Pickup
 Electronics  Fisherman INK 4 Active Preamp
 Finish  Black Gloss
 Tuning Machines  Chrome, Closed Gear Tuners
 Nut Width  42.86mm (1.6875")
 Scale length  571.5mm (22.5")
 Strings  Acoustic Centre Elites "Science Of Sound" Phosphor Bronze
 Case  Arched Hard Case Included

The Acoustic Collection Stadium

Some might find the heart-shaped soundhole preposterous - but not our reviewer, who finds himself enamoured of this characterful all-solid guitar

  Sam Wise | Acoustic Magazine | October 2015

History is important in the guitar world, maybe even more so in the acoustic one. The Acoustic Centre has only been in existence since 1993 – so they can’t exactly compete with C.F. Martin & Co. for historical significance – but their CV includes being instrumental in introducing Collings Guitars into the UK and, at one point, being the world’s largest Lowden dealer.

Martin comparisons aside, when they took the decision to design their own line of all- solid guitars the Acoustic Centre certainly drew from history. They didn’t do it in the conventional, staid way that most guitar makers do; they grabbed inspiration from various by-waters of Zematis-esque guitar history, forming a whole, which, for us at least, is extremely persuasive.

At just under £600 a go, these aren’t the cheapest all-solid instruments on the market; but, for this level of unique character, it’s cheaper than its rivals’ offerings.

The appearance of this guitar may well polarise opinion. Indeed, it did here: we were all at the “I love it” end of the spectrum. Those who prefer their guitars built to the highly conservative Martin style, however, may find it’s not for them. The Western cedar top has a slightly red, honeyed tone to it, and is more finely grained than any cedar this reviewer has seen, with lots of cross-silking. This plays host to the guitars most notable visual feature: the heart shaped soundhole, outlined (is it still a rosette when it’s heart shaped?) in what appears to be mahogany, ebony and spruce.

The Acoustic Centre website describes this as art deco, but while we’re not seeing that, it’s a very pleasant effect. Back and sides are of rich, striped mahogany, bound in slightly paler-stained mahogany, with a lovely central stripe of crosshatched purling. The ebony bridge is a smile-like shape that the Acoustic Centre say is an 18th century lyre-shaped bridge, and it certainly suits the style of the instrument, carrying ebony bridge pins and a compensated saddle which, though the material is unspecified, looks to be good quality plastic.

The mahogany neck has a 21-fret ebony fingerboard with dots-and-diamonds position markers, and is topped with an understated headstock wearing unbranded but perfectly functional closed back tuners.

         

The final touch is a metal diamond with an ‘AC’ Acoustic Collection logo, which is a little incongruous, and looks as though maybe the DC has fallen off somewhere. That’s picky, however, on a stunning (to our eyes at least) guitar whose look, even when you’re playing and can’t see the full outline of the soundhole, is unmistakably different. The construction is hard to fault as well; the inlay and binding are executed to perfection and the frets are beautifully sanded with no hint of corner cutting.

Nobody is likely to complain, either, about a Fishman piezo pickup and Ink4 head unit, which, while short on fancy features (it features volume, three-band EQ, Brilliance control and a tuner) makes up for it by being elegantly understated: the black on black flat controls, while illuminated by LEDs to show position when in use, are otherwise almost invisible.

All of this is moot, however, unless it sounds good. Despite being described as ‘jumbo sized’, the relatively slim-waisted, though deep bodied Stadium is more welcoming than our comparator dreadnought, and while we would have preferred a vintage V profile to the neck, its D section provides enough meat even for those with big hands.

Tonally, cedar and mahogany ought to be rich and expressive, with a powerful midrange and lots of harmonic complexity, and that’s exactly what we’re getting here. Here and there while reviewing this, we’ve taken issue with the Acoustic Centre’s descriptions, and we’re going to do so again: they describe this guitar as being designed as a platform for the ‘big strum’, and it does meet their description in that regard, but for God’s sake, pickers, try this out too.

For us, it was massively versatile, but it gave its best when we picked it, with plenty of space to hear the honeyed sweetness of those harmonics blossom and tumble. Tuned to open D, it sounded huge, rolling great waves of complexity over spacious arpeggios in a way we found irresistible, and which led us to experiment with new tunings and chord voicings; always a plus in a guitar.

Strummed, it does indeed have a big, full, rich sound, but really open up on it, and you’ll find the tone doesn’t retain quite the crisp clarity that a spruce and rosewood combination would.

In no way should this sound like a criticism; you can strum on this guitar to your heart’s content and never be unsatisfied, and make no mistake, it’s pretty loud; it’s only that the obnoxious levels of punch that you can get from the aforementioned alternative is even greater.

For us, we’ll take this every day. The warmth and depth of tone are worth more than the extra punch and clarity ever could be.

Plug it in, and it’s a similar story; the Ink4 is easy to use, and if you do want a bit top end cut, the EQ and the brilliance controls deliver.

We loved it. It’s really as simple as that; the looks probably won’t please everyone (some people don’t think Marilyn Monroe was much of a looker), but they work for us, and they can’t be called ‘identikit’.

Tonally, it’s an undisputed cracker, and it’s more than a match for most styles – and believe us, we tried a few – with tremendously winning warmth. For the price, it’s an absolute bargain, and frankly, we’re tempted to place an order. If that won’t convince you, we don’t know what will.

Acoustic Test Results

  • Pros: Gorgeous, sounds great, do we need more pros? 
  • Cons: Looks might not appeal to some 
  • Overall: Fantastic, particularly if you like rich fingerstyle tone and unique styling 

Acoustic Rating

  • Sound Quality: ★★★★☆
  • Build Quality: ★★★★☆
  • Value for Money: ★★★★ 1/2

5 Stars: Superb, almost faultless • 4 Stars: Excellent, hard to beat

 

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