If you haven’t heard of or played an instrument from Luna Guitars, now is the perfect time to do it. Known for creating cost-effective instruments that are sometimes aimed at musicians with smaller hands and just starting out, the company is continuing to expand its line and appeal.
Some of us began our musical journey learning to play on nylon string guitars in school and got a bad taste for them since the guitars provided were usually cheap and wouldn’t stay in tune. Plus, traditional nylon string guitars are known for having necks with a large width to facilitate fingerstyle picking and playing. Modern-day singer/songwriters such as Jason Mraz and Zac Brown have helped to bring nylon guitars back into the mainstream. Luna has addressed some of the frequent complaints that players have about nylon guitars, compared to their favorite steel-string acoustic or electric guitar in their new Art Vintage Nylon Acoustic-Electric.
When American Songwriter received this for review, I found that I couldn’t stop playing it or looking at it when it was in the same room with me. Luna based this guitar around their Grand Auditorium body and covered it in a distressed brown burst finish that gives a vintage/retro look. The biggest takeaways that I had after first playing Luna’s Art Vintage Nylon Acoustic is that the body is thinner than a traditional nylon-string (making it easier to reach over the top for picking and strumming) and the neck is much thinner in width, making the fingering of chords and notes much more comfortable.
By installing accurate and smooth operating open-faced brushed nickel guitar tuners, Luna didn’t skimp on the details for this nylon string. The wood construction is all mahogany except for the top, which is solid spruce. The tight grain Pau Ferro fretboard has the feel and pop of ebony when you play it. Cosmetic accents include Pearloid moon phase fret markers to easily find your frets and keys when playing. Luna added a bone saddle and saddle to the Art Vintage guitar, which you usually see on much more expensive instruments than this.
Nylon or Traditional Classical guitar purists aren’t fans of a cutaway body for fear that you are surrendering tone for convenience. I personally prefer cutaways to provide access to the higher register of frets for chording and soloing. It is impossible to run octave solos or chord higher voiced inversions up the fretboard unless you have a cutaway as Luna provided on this model.
For my own personal usage, every acoustic instrument I own must have some form of electronics for amplification. Luna installed the Fishman Classica II electronics with a built-in tuner in the Art Vintage Nylon Acoustic-Electric. You have bass, treble, volume, phase options, and a large easy read tuner screen in plain view on top of the guitar. The output jack and battery compartment are located at the bottom of the guitar next to the strap button. When I plugged in Luna’s Art Vintage, I was able to achieve a very full and balanced nylon sound that could be opened up for songwriter sessions or dialed back for a more rhythm and percussive feel.
At only $369 street, the Luna Art Vintage Nylon guitar gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It would also be a great writing and performing tool to provide another sound other than your regular steel-string guitars. My only recommendation would be to spend the money and purchase a decent gig bag to protect it. Just because you had a bad experience once on a nylon string guitar, don’t let that taint your view on all of them.
This new Luna is definitely worth a play and a listen!