Hi all,

has anyone formed an opinion as to the way these guitars are assembled. I was researching Cole Clark guitars and found a lot of negative comments from Luithers on another website.The comments dated back from 2008.



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Cole Clarke bashing is a bit of a sport with luthiers in Australia;  some of which stems back to personal dislikes of individuals associated with the brand, some of which is generated by their different approach to mass production, some of which relates to the sound of some of the instruments and some of which just feeds the trolls who regurgitate trash and perceptions for want of any real purpose in life.

We have worked on them from time to time and while they are made a bit cheap, and some early bits fell-off, they are not inherently bad being built to a price.

Given a choice between a CC Guitar and it's main competitor in country, Maton, I would go with a Maton.



Thanks for your response Rusty. I was considering buying the CC Angel but now have second thoughts. I do love the sound that guitar produces though.



Paul, If you can look over the guitar and play it the decision you make probably shouldn't depend too much on the complaints you read on the internet. 

I'm not acquainted with CC guitars but I did look a the web site and watched the video they have on their building process. They seem to be using a lot of CNC in their build process which I don't think it necessarily bad but I would be more selective about the actual instrument I was thinking about purchasing because I think it may limit their ability to tune the materials as they build somewhat. I'm  also not convinced that there is any advantage  to installing the neck so early in the build process and I can only assume that this is probably more about streamlining  their building process than anything, even if they are trying to play it off as superior to the usually way of doing things.  Because of that I think I would want to learn more about how a reset would be done to the neck down the road before I became too committed to one of their instruments. So I would want to investigate their build process and quality a bit more but I can't see why any given guitar built by CC couldn't be a perfectly good and satisfying instrument to own.

I've seen a lot of name brand guitars that I wouldn't want to own and they are often in the possession of someone that is perfectly happy with it.  I think the bottom line is that If you can look it over and be comfortable with the fit and finish, like the look, enjoy the sound and like the touch, you are holding a guitar that is worth consideration and you shouldn't be too afraid to do that because the brand seem to polarize the playing community.

I've seen lots of people that show off their (fill in the blank) brand of guitar and then don't seem to enjoy playing it. One of my brother's friends was constantly flashing a new, big name guitar at their guitar community's monthly get- together. He tended to pulled them out to be passed around while he went away and played someone else's guitar.  If you don't like it, don't buy it... but if you do like it, don't reject it because some other people don't like it. 

If there are real, demonstrable, issue that are being bandied about on the Internet then that's something else but there's so much unsupported opinion about what makes a "good" guitar and what doesn't that you shouldn't place too much weight in those opinions. To me those opinion mean that I need to take care to look at the individual guitar and not the brand. I went to one of the local music stores a week or so ago and looked over the acoustic selection. One of the guitars I liked the most was a $99.00  Yamaha GL1 Guitalele. It was fun to play, sounded pretty good to me both when I played it and when I heard someone else play it, the fit and finish was.. acceptable for such a low dollar instrument, actually better than I expected. There was a wall full of high end guitar and many of them sound/played great but I really think this cheap yamaha had as much bang for the buck as anything in the room. It wasn't my favorite but it's worth remembering.

Look the guitar over very well, note any flaws , play the guitar, if possible listen to it being played by someone else, Walk away for a few days then repeat until you decide if it's an instrument you would really like to own and play.  If you don't love it, start looking for another instrument.

Hi Ned.

The primary complaint about CC guitars is their use of a Spanish Heel in the neck. Like in a traditionally built Classical guitar, the necks cannot be reset without completely disassembling the top, sides & back. A bolt on conversion is the only choice if a reset is needed. That's not a good thing for instruments in their price range.

I've played a CC only once. I've played several Maton's. I personally preferred the Maton's, but that is strictly a personal preference. I find CC's to be WAY overpriced for what you get. Again, just my observation.

Take care, my friend :)

Paul. Speaking here with my Australian accent, I think you are right.  At that price point I recommend buying a Maton, or a cheap Taylor. 

I freely and happily bow to opinions based on greater experience and knowledge than I have. 

So it's a spanish heel. That would be a stopper for me too and it explains why the video I watched glossed over that part of the assembly process. 

Obviously you guys, (including Rusty, now that I notice that he recommends avoid them for Matson too) have the knowledge and experience I'm missing. Sorry if I mislead anyone. I wasn't trying to make it sound like  CC is building great guitars. My meandering point was that it's my opinion that the individual instrument should be the point of determination, not the brand.  Of course I fail to include that fact that being well informed is paramount to evaluating the individual instrument. 

Thanks for the correction, guys.


I vehemently agree with the main thrust of what you said.  I really think a player should choose an instrument that feels great under their fingers, sounds right for them, and gives them an overall good vibe.  You could just about do it with a blindfold on.  The name on the headstock and the ratings on the review websites should not be the main consideration (although it is worth knowing whether a brand has a reputation for quality control and durability).  One of my favourite guitars at home is a 1980s Japanese D-18 clone (solid mahogany) made by Terada which I found in a pawn shop.  I didn't know anything about the brand but it seemed like a great instrument and "felt right".  Best $300 I ever spent on a guitar.  I have played quite a few CC guitars - and since they are a local product I would like to like them - but they are not the sort of instruments that I can bond with.  However, they seem to have found a loyal following.  If you see a young male busker on the streets of Sydney bashing out his version of a Coldplay or Pearl Jam number you can bet that he will probably be murdering that song with the help of a Cole Clark acoustic and a cheap Peavey amp. 

Thanks, Mark. 

I have a soft spot for old japanese guitars. The "cheap" plywood models can be good and durable beach players.  I've never personally played one that I though was truly great but I've played a lot of them that were good and a few that were very good. If a person knows how to properly evaluate a guitar, there are bargains to be found in these old guitars.

A lot of the buskers I see over here play cheap, chinese made Epiphones with, quackie sounding electronics. To be fair, I suppose they do qualify as a guitar instead of the even cheaper, guitar shaped objects (GSOs) that are marketed as "starter guitars". There's some real trash out there that people keep buying for their kids. 

It seems to me that any advice about how to look for a good starter guitar should begin with a rule that says;

The overall quality of any acoustic instrument is inversely proportional to how colorful a finish it has. 

If it's pink, it'll stink.

Anyway, I've never owned a Terada but they do seem to be popular with the pawnshops. I might just have to pay closer attention. 

A pink guitar I wish I had.....kinda......I have the green one.

As an Aussie luthier , I am repairing C/C guitars every week , they are very interesting ... no linings , not X braced , often no binding , a very good pickup system with internally mounted piezo on bridge and one or two sensors on the body . Many people agree that its the "plugged -in" sound that sets them apart .Back and s/board are slotted on cnc to accept braces and sides , then scooped out between braces to thin the back and top . This leaves the inside a bit scalloped and rough and makes cleating a crack almost impossible . The spanish foot neck joint is designed to work with the domed top and the bridges are available in various heights to fit with neck angle . Tops are braced in a double X , one each side of the centre . The style is Art Deco , I have no idea what they cost , just read what it says in the posts above , but make sure to plug it into a PA .


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