Review of Stapleton Guitars® LEONA™ Jumbo acoustic guitar.
My LEONA is a Jumbo shaped guitar with solid Red Cedar top, Black Walnut back and sides, a Rosewood fingerboard, and finished in a high-gloss resilient polyurethane finish. It has a very striking paua rosette. The neck is Black Walnut. It is quite a unique and striking looking guitar with the light coloured Rosewood fingerboard and the dark stained Red Cedar top. The wood binding throughout is first class.
Despite being a large guitar, it sits very comfortably in the lap due to the smaller waist of the jumbo shape. It came very impressively packaged and even Aramex could not inflict any harm! Once tuned up I was thrilled with the perfectly set up action. It is very easy to play as the neck has a nice profile and is silky smooth. Initially the overwhelming impression with the sound was the amazing clarity and sustain. The sound was also very well balanced. I did not want a boomy sounding jumbo. Comparing to a Martin jumbo, the sound had less body but superior clarity and sustain. However, over the last 7 months the guitar has played in nicely and developed a pleasing increase in the body to the sound. The sound has more weight to it and more bottom end. But that bottom end is still clear as a bell with no loss in sustain that I can detect.
The jumbo shape on this guitar makes it very versatile. Strum it hard with a pick and it has substantial volume, but still great balance. Playing fingerstyle it has the clarity and balance needed across all 6 strings. It also responds very nicely to alternative tunings. I think the clarity is a real plus for this. By way of example, dropped D tuning sounds epic.
I have a few guitars but only 2 hooks on the wall. This one is permanently on one hook and is played every day. It plays great, sounds superb, and is still improving in tonal quality as it ages. It is taonga to me!
John, Wellington New Zealand