2013 Naga SJE-28 – £1199
I have to admit that I’d never heard of the Naga brand, but as soon as I played this guitar I was seriously impressed – although it’s built in Japan it reminds me of an Atkin or a Fylde. Immediately the Bear Claw Spruce top catches the eye, and to see it matched with Indian Rosewood back and sides on a jumbo size body is very unusual. The build and finish spec is high, the branded tuners are a sign of quality, and the playability is excellent. The most noticeable thing about playing this guitar is the rich sustain – single notes ring with great clarity and separation. When strummed it has that overused expression – a room filling sound. Not just a strummer or a picker, but a really versatile guitar which handles drop tuning beautifully. Another indication of the quality of this guitar is the branded deluxe hard case.