O550

Concorda CS500CE

By Guitar magazine in Germany, August 2009.
More on the CS500CE.

A Rockin’ Stage Hog!

Neck: thick as a baseball bat. Top: like Bob Dylan played it since he was a kid. Pickup: nonexistent. It’s quite useless when a guitar isn’t suitable for the stage. Fortunately, Walden provides a great alternative at a great price.

There are compelling arguments against bringing your 50 year old vintage guitar on stage and we question if the audience can even hear the difference between this ready-made instrument and the guitar Jimi Hendrix was rumored to use for his only acoustic recording. This is the reason why we reviewed the Walden Concorda CS500CE, an attractive model that applies for the stage with a full-sized [body], thin side [depth], and an on-board preamp.

Kudos for the sorely needed second strap pin; a prerequisite to really rock onstage. Furthermore, the neck is joined to a gloss finished rosewood body whose generous cutaway suits playing the high registers. The strings pass over a rosewood bridge and fingerboard into smooth tuning machines on a rosewood decorated headstock. Preamp is a Fishman Aero+ with on-board tuner. With a notch and phase-shift it has two tools against feedback and interference.

The first strums generate a driving and warm sound that resonates in the ear. The mid-pitches provide a concise and fat tone. The CS500CE is made for jamming, warm acoustic sounds à la “Rock´n´Roll will never die”. Only for campfire songs and delicate picking do the treble strings lack a bit of content.

A preamp – what for? The Aero+ enables boundless alternatives. Remarkable is the high acoustic volume without blurring and wheezing. With the well functioning equalizer only the player decides the natural sound.

D555CEQ

Any way you strum your Walden, she gives it all back. She responds dynamically and carries forward every single nuance without loosing her good tone. With the amplifier beautiful overtones become more noticeable. If you pull down the bass and mid frequencies a little you get a balanced sound with a touch of treble, perfect for both strumming and picking. The Walden’s precision reveals your every mistake – so strictly practice your arpeggios! Of course solo playing is allowed. But be mindful of the brilliance-controller that, if carelessly set, makes the tone appear artificial.

This one’s a winner!

Put away your vintage axes! There are more important things on stage than nostalgia. Whoever carries the attractive Walden CS500CE on stage will be rewarded with a rich sound with lots of harmonics, and also enjoy the important subtleties for gentle playing. The great Fishman preamp balances any unamplified weaknesses and really makes this acoustic guitar a real “stage hog.”