There is no shortage of inexpensive acoustic guitars on the market. And among the variety of options available, not every guitar is good enough even for complete newbies. So how would you be able to find a good guitar among this broad range of instruments?
To possibly help you with that, we’ve decided to showcase Epiphone DR-100 acoustic guitar. This is a pretty darn inexpensive instrument, so it could be a good choice for you if you are just starting out.
But is it going to be the right instrument for you? Let’s proceed to our Epiphone DR-100 review to find out.
Features in Epiphone Dr-100:
The first thing to catch the eye in the Epiphone DR-100 guitar is its dreadnought body design. This is a classical design, but to be fair, it looks rather good in this acoustic guitar.
The appeal of the DR-100 guitar somewhat comes from the color schemes offered by Epiphone. All 3 color options – ebony, natural, and vintage sunburst –look spectacular, mainly due to the beautiful gloss of the body. But in our opinion, the vintage sunburst color looks the best among the three.
The black pickguard may also add some appeal to this guitar for some people, but we’d actually prefer this guitar to have no pickguards. But this is a beginner’s guitar, after all, so the pickguard is going to be more important than aesthetics.
With this pleasing material appearance, Dr-100 can be more likely called similar to another Epiphone model PR-4E. But you will mostly find the difference in Epiphone Dr-100 price.
For you, we have a detailed review of Epiphone PR-4E Review: Starter Choice! Check it yourself!
Laminated Spruce Top & Mahogany Body
The component that impacts a guitar’s sound the most is its body& top. Namely, what matters is what kind of wood they are made from. In DR-100 the top is made from spruce, while the body is made from mahogany.
Mahogany is a popular wood in guitars, mainly thanks to its deep and well-balanced sound with vibrant midrange tones. The balanced sound makes mahogany suitable for a wide range of players and musical styles. Plus, being a hardwood, it imparts plenty of structural strength to the guitar.
Spruce, on the other hand, has a crisp character that contributes to the overall volume of the guitar. This wood combines nicely with mahogany, bringing clarity to its sound.
The top and body of this guitar are both laminated, so the sound of the guitar won’t improve with time, as it would happen with solid woods. For amateur players, this should be completely alright though.
The wood a guitar’s fretboard is crafted from impacts the fretboard’s sounding as well.
The fretboard of DR-100 is made from rosewood, which is a very common wood in fretboards. It is heavy and durable, first of all. Aside from that, rosewood imparts bright and warmer tones to the guitar, albeit its effect isn’t as noticeable as with the top & body.
The neck of this guitar is made from okoume wood, which is a wood that is nowadays quite commonly used in cheaper guitars. It is often viewed as an alternative to maple due to its similar light and bright tone.
The okoume wood is a much lighter wood than others typically used in necks, like maple, mahogany, or rosewood. And since Epiphone DR-100’s neck is made from okoume, the guitar is going to feel pretty light, maybe even toy-like.
And, as you’d probably expect, okoume wood isn’t as durable as its heavier alternatives, which means that you’ll need to be careful with this guitar. It doesn’t resist impact well, and even the smallest crack may be detrimental for the guitar’s sound. And besides, you certainly won’t be able to use some heavier string gauges with such a neck.
Adjustable Truss Rod
A remarkable feature in this guitar is that it has a truss rod adjustment mechanism. Not every guitar has it, and not every guitar player needs it. However, that extra amount of adjustability available in this guitar should allow you to avoid any buzzing and receive clear sound.
But when it comes to the actual adjusting, you’ll probably need to address a professional, unless you know how to do it. But since this guitar is designed for beginners, it is unlikely that its owners are going to know how to adjust it.
The D’Addario light-gauge strings included in this guitar will probably limit its potential a lot. Sure, you won’t be getting mind-boggling sound from DR-100, but you could improve it by swapping out the strings for something better.
Pros & Cons
We assure you, Epiphone Dr-100 review, not only focus on the beautiful sides of this guitar but we also found out the bad buzz you want to know before buying. Let’s have some of the pros and cons side by side:
- Beautiful dreadnought design.
- Warm mahogany tone combined with the clarity of spruce.
- Pretty lightweight.
- The truss rod can be adjusted.
- The okuome neck isn’t very impact-resistant.
- The included strings noticeably limit the guitar’s sound.
Alternatives of Epiphone DR-100
- Protective Fender black nylon gig bag included.
- Keep this acoustic in proper playing position with the included Fender strap when standing or sitting from the factory installed forward facing strap...
- Under the natural glossy Basswood top, the time tested quartersawn X bracing adds to the distinct FA 100's projection and top stability.
- Acoustic Guitar with Solid Mahogany Top
- Rosewood Fingerboard - Natural
- Mahogany Back and Sides
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this guitar have an electric pickup built in it?
No, this guitar doesn’t have one.
Do you need to address a professional to tune this guitar?
You could easily do that yourself. There are plenty of mobile apps and websites that could allow you to do it at home without professional help.
Does this guitar come in a left-handed version?
It appears that it doesn’t. You could have it restrung yourself, but you’d need to change the bridge as well since it is built asymmetrical.
How suitable is this guitar for someone completely inexperienced?
Being a very inexpensive guitar – albeit not the cheapest out there – Epiphone DR-100 is a good option for completely new guitar players. It has quite a balanced tone that suits the majority of playing styles, so it can serve as a good baseline for most of the people.
But, as you progress, you would most likely need to switch to a better guitar. If you stay satisfied with its sound though, you won’t need to get a better instrument.
Does this guitar come with a carrying case?
No, DR-100 doesn’t come with any cases.
In the end of this Epiphone DR-100 Review, it turns out that this guitar can indeed be great for beginning guitar players.
DR-100 offers good durability and sound tone, but there are some things that may hold its potential back, like the included strings or the weak-ish okoume neck. But we still think that this guitar is a suitable choice for beginners due to its cheapness and tone balance.