G3030CEQ

Walden Concorda CG3030CETB-IMIX

From UK's Acoustic magazine, Sep 2012. More on the CG3030CEQ-IMIX.

A modern Chinese-made guitar, designed in the USA with an environmentally aware conscience. There’s more to it than just that…

Wherever possible the Walden Company goes to great lengths to source certifiably sustainable materials for their guitar’s construction. So whether you are keen to make a more responsible and environmentally sound purchase or not, will you become charmed by its other credible wow factors?

BUILD QUALITY
Designed by Jon Lee, who has a razor-sharp eye for attractive design proportions, insight into popular construction methods, along with enhancements not seen among its peer group, has produced a rosewood back and sides creation which just keeps on delivering in the ‘positive impression’ department. How so?

From the moment you open the heavy duty leather effect, stitched and lined hard case you can’t help but feel an inner sense of attraction and compulsion to play. The attention to detail is superb. The case is also arched for strength, comes with a solid padded carry handle and good quality chrome effect catches. Within the case candy you can expect a Planet Waves humidifier, key, vinyl case strap, spare bone saddle, ebony bridge pin and truss rod key. All this conveys Walden cares about your guitar after you take it away.

G3030CEQ
G3030CEQ

The guitar itself is very elegant. The tobacco burst accentuates its curves in a most complimentary way. The  finish also has a warm, almost vintage aged look and this is embellished with a well matched busily  amed maple binding for the top and back. The detail of the abalone rosette draws your eye to its sparkle. It’s quite stunning.

This Concorda’s slim oval neck is a 2 bolt bolt-on design made of mahogany with one piece for the heel block, one for the neck, (the join between which is almost invisible), and one for the headstock. It’s incredibly stable as it contains a pair of carbon fibre reinforcement rods running much of its length but they are also adjustable, so no skimping out on set up accuracy is tolerated. This keeps the weight down maintaining a comfortable playing posture and preventing the neck diving downwards without a strap.

Ebony features throughout at the bridge, bridge pins and non-inlaid fingerboard with a headstock continuing the theme utilizing slightly rubberised and smooth-to-the-touch ebony effect buttons. Their tight ratio gearing makes for smooth operation and are very accurate.

Mahogany has also been used for the internal ribbons, spruce for the bracing and rosewood for the side’s braces at important angles of curvature; a classy touch aiding sonic integrity.

G3030CEQ
The Walden comes with the L.R. Baggs iMix on-board electronics.
G3030CEQ
Walden's unusual headstock shape ticks the right boxes for us, too!

SOUND QUALITY
The nut width measures 45mm with string spacing at 38mm here to a comfortable 47mm at the bridge making for a very comfortable fingerpicking experience. This along with the beautiful neck cross section makes accessibility up the neck a real dream although the action was 3mm on the low E at the twelfth fret favouring heavier strumming, (2mm at the high E).

Despite the compact form factor the guitar projects very well with genuinely musical overtones as you strum over the neck and soundhole areas. As you bring your right hand towards the treble end of the spectrum a shade of the rosewood bass rich overtones naturally tapers away but you still have a linear clarity present with lively harmonic content. This is a superb sounding guitar and it covers many playing styles particularly well. It’s tight and focused at the bridge although not as mid range rich as a mahogany version may be yet the overtones are plumy, full and open at the tongue. You hear more of the musicality and less of the string attack in this way as the bottom end has a deceptively wide spectrum of dynamics. It’s also a responsive guitar yielding pleasant return for a variety of attack.

The IMIX is quite stayed and relatively transparent offering some tonal enrichment and it does an adequate job reproducing the guitars unplugged qualities. It’s made by L.R. Baggs and includes phase cancellation and IBeam blend to Piezo controls to tailor your desired primary tone for the venue, with separate bass and treble sliders.

Acoustic Magazine

CONCLUSION
Walden, a little less well known brand than some, should be set to become more familiar as it represents some genuinely clever and practical design principles which not only look gorgeous but also make a very positive impression for their relative price points, construction and tone. This is a thinking person’s guitar as they will appreciate the compactness and playability with great bottom end and will suit almost anyone apart from a purist fingerpicking lover of mahogany. If it were a boxer, watch out for its clobbering right hook rather than its direct jab. I highly recommend you go several rounds with this guitar – there’s no fighting involved and you’ll come out winning.