I was looking for an OM sized guitar and I chose a Stapleton Bertha acoustic.
I Bought the Solid PNG Redwood Body and Sides Bertha with Solid wood Red Cedar top. It performs as a top-of-the-line acoustic guitar as it definitely is such an instrument.
I own two Martin Standard Dreadnoughts and a thirty-year-old Solid wood Maton Dreadnought acoustic so I know top-of-the-line.
Prior to these I owned another Martin Dreadnought from new and thrashed that for 30 years before selling it.
The Bertha matches all of these guitars sound wise for roundness, tonal quality and depth, yet it has its inimitable signature sound. It resonates in your hands and I love the woody mellow tonal qualities that come out of it. Despite being a smaller bodied guitar than what I have always played, the differences are all to my liking. I now have an instrument with added qualities.
The smaller size and lighter weight are all aspects I was looking for and it’s noticeable when playing and handling the instrument.
I am surprised by how much hard strumming the guitar can take without the sound being compromised. It handles gentle and hard playing. It is built for fingerpicking and yet I find it takes to plectrum playing equally well. Depending on how I angle my pick and what type and thickness I play with, I can soften or mellow the sound to taste. What I notice with the Bertha is how defined the plucked strings ring out, and how sweet they sound to my ears. Despite no pick guard my technique of playing with a plectrum doesn’t endanger the top from getting scratched. I like that it has no pickguard aesthetically and the top can vibrate more freely in my opinion without one. The 7mm (a tiny smidge over ¼’’) soundboard bracing also helps with giving a nice vibrancy to the resonant sound of the instrument. The wood binding on the guitar is a work of art and is a special touch that generally graces only very boutique guitars.
The tuning machines feel smoother than on any guitar I have ever owned. It is the little details like this that make all the difference from having an ok instrument to owning one very fine instrument.
The price of the guitar is less than half of what you would pay for something with similar specs from many of the worlds renowned top acoustic guitar Luthiers. I am happy too that Roman the builder of these fine guitars lives right here in Aotearoa.
A quality instrument and a treat to have in my home to play whenever I desire. If you are looking for a World class brand new, well priced handmade guitar. I do recommend seriously considering a Stapleton guitar.
One more thing. You have a 2-week window to play and acquaint yourself with the guitar after it arrives. Within that period, you have the option to return the guitar well packaged in original condition should you choose it is not for you.
I confess to having owned the guitar for only one week. I felt compelled to write a review although I had told myself to wait and write one after a couple of weeks. My parting words are, “the Bertha I own ticks all the boxes”.
Te Umu, Haumoana New Zealand