I purchased the SEA half-sized acoustic from Small Guitars awhile back when I was look for a decent travel guitar to leave at work and drag around with me. I was looking for something no-frills and easy to play - I have a number of friends and workmates who have purchased Martin Backpackers and a friend who has a little Washburn, so I had played a few travel-sized guitars before. I've noticed a love/hate relationship with the Martins. Many people love the almost banjo-like sound and many don't. I almost went with the Backpacker but ultimately decided against it because of the cost. Unable to decide whether I could put up with the tinniness of the Backpacker, I ultimately couldn't justify dropping a lot of money on it. The Washburns are nice, but a bit pricey for me as well. I fell in love with one of the small Taylors at a music store, but balked at the price. Instead of getting something "nice," I took a different approach. Basically, I would pick two small guitars that were under $150, decide on one kind of "blindly," and then dive in sight unseen. I picked the Johnson Trailblazer early on but couldn't find one anywhere. The SEA popped up on eBay randomly, and I loved the look of it and the price. After a little internal debate, I decided on the SEA. The Trailblazer was the same price, and was full scale, but I couldn't find one anywhere at the time. The SEA looked beautiful in the photos and was acoustic/electric to boot, but was a shorter scale. I ordered the SEA... and waited for a couple of days, hoping I hadn't made a mistake. It just so happened that while I was waiting, a newish Trailblazer had also popped up on eBay for a song, so I bought it as well. Both guitars (including shipping) came in under the retail price of the Martin. The SEA arrived and I was more than pleasantly surprised. It's a beautiful little guitar - and it sounds just like a larger guitar. After getting accustomed to playing on the short scale neck, it's nearly perfect for a travel/sit-around. It's definitely a little high-pitched and bright, but it doesn't have that tinny twang like the Backpacker. Good, bright sound and decent sustain make it a keeper. You can finger pick with it, too, which is a plus in my book; some short-scale travelers are a spaced a bit close. It even sounds pretty decent when plugged into an amp! Note that there will probably be some adjustment if you're coming from a larger guitar, but it's not too tough.The build quality on my SEA is superb! The flower pattern on the front of the guitar is beautiful, and it's built like a tank. It looks like it cost about twice as much as it actually did! The finish is perfect, and I can't think of a single flaw that inhibits playability. Being clumsy, I've let the little thing fall on its side a time or two, and there is nary a dent. This is a solid little guitar! The Trailblazer showed up in the mail after the SEA. From the get-go, there were problems. It's just really poorly made. To sum the Johnson up in a word: junk. The SEA is now my go-to-quick acoustic guitar and I wouldn't think twice about recommending it to someone looking for a nice little piece to travel with or to give to their kids. As long as the kids are responsible, anyway - this is too nice to tear up! Thanks for the great guitar and keep up the good work!
Great little guitar! Thanks so much!