I received my daughter's Walden T550 yesterday - as her birthday is February 21st, I get to play with it for a bit - he, he, he...
First, I want to say something about Dave Word and "Hole in the Wood", his online Walden dealership - www.holeinthewood.com. I wouldn't hesitate before ordering from Dave again. The guitar arrived set-up perfectly, and Dave included an extra saddle, an extra set of strings, a Planet Waves soundhole humidifier (never had one before, as I live where humidity breeds...), the usual paperwork (including a Walden catalog), and a CD of a gentleman named Michael Mucklow - the title is "Silent Voices" - all fingerstyle playing, all instrumental, played on Walden's high-end Madera series guitars. IMHO, a very mellow and relaxing CD...
Anyway, on to the guitar. The Walden guitar box was inside another, larger box, with paper all around to keep the guitar box secure. Here's what was in the big box:
Is Henry David Thoreau in there?
Ok, probably not...
That's what is in there! A Walden T550!
Here's the back:
And the side:
Logo up close - nice!
And a view inside the soundhole - IMHO, well-crafted:
The guitar has great tone - crisp, well-defined, and with more bass than I would have expected. Nice sustain. Also as expected, the nut is just too narrow for me, and the tighter string spacing over the soundhole confuses my fingerpicking fingers - sometimes hit the 5th string when I want the 4th, etc. - but the guitar is not for me - I believe it will be perfect for my daughter's smaller body and hand size.
Fit and finish are remarkable for such a reasonable guitar. Although made in China, Walden does have its own, dedicated factory, and I believe this shows in the overall quality. This guitar is very well executed. The "ruler test" for neck angle has the ruler's edge hitting the bridge right on top - just perfect!
The gig bag it came with is decent as well - much better than what came with my Giannini, but not as nice/well-padded as the Seagull gig bag that came with my Performer. No neck rest inside. But, better than I expected.
Overall, a very successful online purchase - but remember, although I did do a lot of online research, I did have Jud try the guitar out for me first, as there were no dealers local to me. Having the "hands-on" impression was very important...
Looking at the environment around the photos ... Are you sure you didn't grow that guitar from one of your petri dishes?
I'm actually trying to grow something related to wood to replace the top of the Windaroo - no luck yet... :-(
The guitar's beautiful, but what does your lab do? (Yeah that's a pH meter and color-coded calibration buffers sitting behind the Walden, there. And Parafilm . . . if I won the lottery, in addition to many pretty guitars, I'd buy that stuff to use for my kitchen leftovers -- so much better at its job than plastic wrap.)
We are a satellite of the main (larger) laboratory in Altamonte Springs, FL - mainly involved in environmental testing - drinking water, wastewater, soils, and the like. That's a DO (dissolved oxygen) meter behind the Walden - but the pH meter is about a foot and a half to the right... :-)
Thanks for the pictures and review, great information there FloridaGull!
Looks like you got a great buy in the guitar (looks nice) and all of the related items in the package.
Is that similar in size to the Taylor GS Mini?
FG: Thanks for the info, that would actually make it a "little" better since the scale is a fraction bigger (not to mention the price).
I really like the GS Mini but the guitar is just a little smaller than I want even for a "travel" guitar.
Currently though I'm once again thinking about selling my 1970 Grammer and either buying a higher end new Seagull, or a Martin (Performing Artist), or a Taylor.
Gary ... Are you looking for a new "small body" or a dread? I have the Martin DCPA-4, but I have heard really good things about the much smaller OMCPA-4.
Most likely another OMC but some steps up from the one I have now such as the OMCPA-4.