Morgan Monroe MVS-45
Slope Shouldered Dreadnought with a vintage tobacco burst satin finish. Forward shifted scalloped cross bracing which I'm sure improves the tone. It has maple inlays on the body, fretboard and sound hole, a martin like slim neck (rosewood fingerboard) with Grover Sta-Tite tuners, a solid Sitka spruce top (rosewood bridge), laminated mahogany (sapele) back and sides, and no electronics.
The sound it makes is good and comparble to my Martin DM, it delivers the 'bark' of a spruce/mahogany guitar. However, with softer playing it has bass comparable to my old Gibson J45 which it has replaced. This is a warm and welcoming bass tone that both resonates and projects well. Essentially, it has its own unique sound which I think and indeed hope will mature and improve.
There was however, some sloppy workmanship back at the factory when the headstock logo was glued on, excess glue has stained the headstock below the logo, to its credit it has a simple headstock design. The top finish could have been done with a little more care and time but hey, it's not a Huss or Santa Cruz so expectations must be realistic. The action is set nice and low and as such the playability is fine.
The satin finish may well have been a little on the thin side as when I got my hands on it the finish was worn in a couple of places. It could have been down to being played a fair bit but the shoulder had a polished area where it's first owner would have had his right elbow, the area where a pick guard goes was also well polished. These areas did not look too bad so I took a risk and polished the whole top and the risk was certainly worth it as its improved the look and gives it more of a vintage look.
This guitar deserves to be played and I'm sure will develop a character of its own, wear and tear will only add to its vintage presence. I bought this guitar due to its looks. A few web videos proved it did not sound too bad but essentially the purchase was for aesthetic reasons, justified because 'it'll look good on my wall'. In my opinion it looks better and is much easier to play (due to a better neck) than my old Gibson J45. So imagine my delight when I discovered it was comparable in sound not only to my old J45 but also to my Martin. It loves an Em in any position and relishes the big G.
It was practically new when I got my hands on it and with every session it appears to be 'opening up' which is only encouraging me to play it more. It's a shame that it lacks a pick up but before too long I'll give it a Fishman. In the UK its competitors are Blueridge, Recording King, Takamine (G series), Epiphone and possibly Martin X series. All of which are over shadowed by this handsome, great sounding and well priced gem of an Acoustic Guitar.
It turns out that Morgan Monroe only commissioned a limited run of these Guitars, it is possible that only 500 were made and sold. This example being No 250 by the serial number. So given time this thing will become quite rare and although it was made in China I think the value will increase, or at least I certainly hope so!