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The A&L Legacy Q-Discrete guitar features:
A&L is one of Godin's younger brands but they have really made a name for themselves in the world of affordable acoustics. They are built with the attention to detail that we have come to expect from our Canadian friends, and they have put an impressive focus on environmental stewardship, building their guitars with 95% Canadian wood with no clear cutting, meaning they reclaim wood from fallen giants. A&L also uses high quality construction techniques to insure great tone, long life and great playability. These features include quarter-sawn spruce bracing, a compound curved top, reverse grain kerfed headstock, maple dowel fortified heel, and Graphtech nut, bridge pins and compensated saddle.
The Legacy is a comfortable concert sized with a look that is both retro and pleasingly hip. They really go all out on the aesthetic at A&L combining beautiful rustic finishes with vintage open gear tuners and interesting pickguards. The Havana Brown finish is new for 2019, and makes a nice addition to the line. The top is solid pressure-tested Sitka Spruce and the back and sides are a special 3-part laminate of Wild Cherry. Spruce tops are the norm on acoustics for their bright snappy response, but Wild Cherry is an excellent alternative tone wood that Godin has used with great success. Cherry wood has a tonal profile somewhere in the middle of Mahogany and Maple: The low and midrange frequencies are assertive, with a clear and percussive character and reasonable low-end extension. The combination of the Spruce top and the "maple-esque" properties of Cherry make the high end of the Legacy absolutely sparkle, which brings out great dynamics especially suitable for finger pickers. We really like it, and it's nicely detailed but less "dry" sounding than some maple guitars. And while it won't punch out the type of low end you'd get with a rosewood dreadnought, the guitar projects well and has impressive volume for a moderately priced concert size guitar.
The electronics on the Legacy Q-Discrete are subtle and effective. For this one they dropped the cut-out panel entirely for a seamless body and stylish two-knob setup on the front of the guitar (the tone control is a true boost/cut with a center detent). As primarily electric players, we really enjoy the ease of the layout and of course the unmistakable “Lennon/Hard Day's Night" look of the top mounted controls. The sound quality is as good as ever, and tested through our H&K ERA-1 handily shows how far acoustic electric transducers have come, even on affordable guitars.
The Legacy sounds and feels broken in right from the start. Even though these guitars come in at a great price-point, the A&L Legacy Havana Brown has tons of character and is suited for both beginner and more experienced players. As a daily player, songwriting companion or Coffeehouse workhorse, it's a very satisfying and attractive instrument. Affordable acoustics have come a long way, and the A&L Legacy makes no apologies. Do yourself a favor and try one today.