If you’re looking for a Walden Guitars review, you’ve come to the right post!
The beginnings of Walden Guitars take us back to 1996. A man named Jonathan Lee started it alongside Charles Fox, both of them collaborating with Taiwan’s KHS Musical Instruments. Since Lee was a luthier himself, he had a huge impact on these guitars’ designs.
In 2014, they switched over their collaboration to Breedlove and Washburn. In 2019, Walden became an independent brand.
To this day, Walden focus solely on acoustic guitars. For the most part, these are your regular Western-style steel-string guitar. But they also have a line of classical guitars.
Their guitars mostly belong to the mid-tier price category. You can’t expect high-end pro-level instruments from them, but they’re fairly good for the price.
Some Special Features
What’s interesting about Walden Guitars is that they have some unconventional features. You won’t find these exact traits with any other acoustic guitar brand in the market.
Firstly, they implement low-mass bracing. Essentially, it’s weight relief for bracing. These are well-conceived holes in the structure. At the same time, it retains the soundboard’s and the instrument’s structural integrity.
Up next, Walden implemented special neck reinforcement practices. These come with a double carbon-fiber rail structure. The primary goal is structural reinforcement. But this can also help with the transfer of vibrations, improving the tone, sustain, and feel.
And lastly, they have a pretty innovative design for their baritone model. These guitars come with a Grand Auditorium body and two soundholes. One is on the bass side of the upper bout. The other one is on the side, facing the neck. This gives them an improved performance at lower tunings. But I’ll discuss this more below.
Walden guitars have three main lines of guitars. These are:
The acoustic line is your regular steel-string stuff. These are divided into Standard, Natura, and Supranatura. There’s a total of four models in there, two dreadnaughts and two orchestras.
The Natura series has 15 models. These are either dreadnaught, grand orchestra, or orchestra bodies.
Supranatura series contains just two models. These are grand orchestra guitars with a squared cutaway. They also come with some advanced features like the ergonomic armrest on the body.
Supranatura are the highest-end guitars. They also come with the most advanced visual and sonic traits. You’ll find wood binding and Fishman Presys Blend electronics. These electronics include a pickup and a mic. As the name suggests, you can blend between the two.
Natura is your “meat and potatoes” of Walden guitars. These are mid-priced models that have some pretty surprising visual features. You’ll find bindings and finishes that are more typical of some of the more expensive brands. These also come with Fishman electronics.
The Standard series, which includes four guitars, is pretty basic. There are essential features and visual traits. They also come without electronics.
For the most part, Walden guitars come with a spruce top. Models can either have mahogany or rosewood sides and back. This goes for all body shapes. However, they also have cedar top variants, like the G570ETB model. And there’s also all-mahogany stuff like the G551E.
Classical guitars are divided into Standard and Natura series. Standard are your affordable stripped-down guitars. Natura includes one model, N550E, which is an improved instrument. It also comes with Walden’s MG-20 electronics.
I’d like to give Walden’s baritone model a closer look. Mostly because this is a one-of-a-kind guitar at a fairly reasonable price.
Called B1E, it has a scale length of 27 inches. There’s a solid Sitka spruce soundboard along with rosewood back and sides.
As I’ve already mentioned, the instrument has an unconventional soundhole configuration. Instead of in the regular place, the soundhole is in the bass side of the upper bout. And there’s also an additional one on the side, facing the neck.
Along with other features, this gives the instrument a different twist to the tone. You’ll get very controlled and tight bottom ends. It balances thins out for lower tunings.
The instrument also comes with Fishman Prefix Plus-T electronics. This includes Fishman’s incredible Acoustic Matrix wide under-saddle pickup. Along with that, we have some pretty detailed tone-shaping controls as well.
Baritone acoustic guitars aren’t that common. But when you do find them, they tend to come with some unique features. If you’re looking for a baritone, I’d definitely suggest checking out Walden’s B1E.
Are They Any Good?
I’m particularly impressed with the innovative features that they’ve implemented. And, on top of that, they keep the prices fairly reasonable.
With that said, these guitars are, in my opinion, more than worth it. Whichever of the series you plan on purchasing, you’ll get your money’s worth.
The Standard series, however, might not be that exciting. Sure, it’s a great choice for a beginner to an intermediate player. But you may not be particularly impressed if you need a workhorse guitar.
What’s impressive, however, are the Natura and Supranatura series. Especially the latter. These guitars come with some surprisingly awesome features. The looks, the feel, the performance, and tone, these guitars have got it all.
But then we get to another issue. As you may already know, it’s not like Walden guitars are all over the place. You won’t exactly find them at a lot of music stores. So this might be kind of a downside, especially if you’re looking to buy a new one. They’re far from impossible to find, but it could be a bother to some potential players.
Overall, I’d say that they’re at least worth checking out. The advanced building practices, including neck reinforcement rods, make these guitars fairly reliable. I’m also very impressed with the unique bracing which is something that you don’t see every day.
From my experience, they’re built pretty well and are very consistent. In all honesty, I’ve been trying really hard to find one notable flaw with any of the models. So far, I can only say good things about Walden.
I hope this article has helped you think through this guitar brand and whether it’s for you!
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Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!