One of the few bright spots in 2020 was that I was able to test drive Furch Guitars’ Yellow “Master’s Choice” acoustic. Here’s my conclusions (if it’s too long, skip to the bottom for the big surprise…).
About Furch Guitars
Furch Guitars is a Czech company that’s been around for 30 years. And just as a heads up, it’s pronounced “furk”, not “furch” (with the ch like ‘lurk’, not like ‘birch’). For a long time Furch Guitars sold their acoustic guitars under their own name only in Europe. In North America, they sold through Stonebridge Guitars in Canada, with a Stonebridge label on the headstock.
In 2019, however, Furch made a major marketing shift. They began selling guitars under their own name in North America, through Nashville-based distribution. The new distribution strategy was part of a broader branding strategy, which included remaking the face of Furch’s marketing presence to be glossier, digital-oriented, and customer-focused.
One thing that has not been new for Furch in the last 18 months, though, is their guitar-building skills. These guys make really good guitars. Speaking of which…
About the Furch Yellow Master’s Choice
As a bit of explanatory background, Furch uses a color scheme to identify it’s guitar lines:
- Violet Series (from $944) – Spruce soundboard, Mahogany back/sides, Furch’s entry level line.
- Indigo Series (from $1,022) – Cedar soundboard, Mahogany back/sides, Grand Auditoreum size.
- Blue Series (from $1,226) – Solid wood build, multiple wood choices, Full-Pore High-Gloss Finish, additional rosettes, available in cutaway.
- Green Series (from $1,979) – proprietary Sitka Spruce soundboard voicing, available in sunburst.
- Yellow Series (from $2,417) – Adds inlay and binding detail, as well as additional wood options such as back and sides from radiant padauk and binding with exotic koa
- Orange Series (from $2,988) – All of the above plus increased detailing, wood quality, and finish.
- Red Series (from $3,506) – Furch’s top level materials and build process, includes Bevel Duo feature for increased comfortRainbow Series (from $3,088) – Create a custom Furch of your own!
The guitar I tested out is the Yellow MC (Master’s Choice) guitar. The Yellow Master’s Choice highlights include:
- Premium acoustic guitar made from high-quality solid tonewoods.
- Grand Auditorium body shape with cutaway.
- Proprietary design features and production technologies, including special soundboard voicing, the revolutionary Furch CNR System® neck joint, and Full-Pore High-Gloss Finish.
- Beautiful amber appearance featuring a cedar top and a host of appointments made from artificial tortoise and abalone.
- Cutting-edge LR Baggs Stagepro Anthem system.
- Heavy-duty Hiscox hardshell case.
Furch’s description of the guitar:
“The Furch Yellow Master’s Choice model is a high-quality all-solid-woods guitar in the Grand Auditorium shape with cutaway. The guitar features a soundboard from premium Western red cedar. The back and sides are made from high-quality Indian rosewood. The warm sound of these tonewoods is underscored by appointments that include a green abalone double-ring rosette and artificial tortoise body binding. The body is protected by our proprietary Full-Pore High-Gloss Finish developed to enhance the resonance qualities of tonewoods. Thanks to high-quality materials and attractive appointments, Furch Yellow Master’s Choice guitar is a beautiful instrument with finely tuned acoustic qualities. It produces a warm, round sound that is very balanced and suitable for demanding fingerstyle playing as well as a wide range of other styles.
The Furch Yellow Master’s Choice model is fitted with the LR Baggs Stagepro Anthem system, which combines a bridge pickup, an internal microphone, and a side-mounted preamp. The guitar comes with a heavy-duty Hiscox hardshell case.”
So, after all the introduction, the question remains: How did it actually play?
The guitar was… amazing. Here’s my notes:
Look ‘n’ Feel
The guitar feels amazing to hold. The Grand Auditoreum shape with cutaway is a very comfortable body size. The look of the guitar is clean and modern, while retaining a few details (like the inlay) that indicate the level of craftmanship. Personally, I like the lack of ornateness – the simplicity is beautiful.
The guitar plays fast and smooth. The fingerboard radius is 15 3/4″. I’m not super-sensitzed to this measurement, but the guitar just felt so easy to play chord-melody material on that I wondered why. I did a little research and it turns out the 15 3/4″ fingerboard radius makes voicing barre (and other) chords up the neck easier. You can read more about that here.
The guitar sounds AMAZING. You can check it out a sound sample on tonepedia.com. Tonepedia describes the guitar as having “depth” and “sparkle”, and I don’t think I can improve on that description. It’s spot on. The guitar has enough sonic spectrum to feel full playing solo acoustic, and has real power playing single-note lines. The tone just shimmers.
The guitar is light to hold but build solid. The craftsmanship is top notch. All the binding, inlays, and accessories look flawless. I really like Furch’s “full-pore high gloss” finish. Sometimes high gloss can feel like a layer of plastic. This feels smooth and natural, with a beautiful gloss to it.
The feel of this guitar was inspiring to me. You know when there’s a guitar that just calls the music out of you? You don’t even have to try, you just want to play? This one has that vibe for me. I don’t know know whether to chalk it up to the build, or the playability, or what, but the guitar just has a magic to it.
The Furch Yellow Master’s Choice is a high quality ‘all-rounder’. Like one of those baseball player’s who can play any position. Or in the arts, it would be called a triple threat – it looks good, plays well, and sounds amazing. Or, to put it in Star Wars terms, “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”
The Yellow MC also feels to me like an ideal fingerstyle guitar. The balanced tone, 15 3/4″ neck radius, cutaway, and Grand Auditorium shape are an ideal combination of features.
The BIG SURPRISE…
In case you don’t know, when a blog or guitar website (ahem, like this one) reviews a guitar, they don’t usually get to keep it. They ship it back to the manufacturer after the review period.
In this case, though….I didn’t ship it back. I BOUGHT IT!
This is the first instrument I reviewed where I loved it so much that I bought the guitar and never shipped it back.
So if you want the God-honest review of the guitar, I think that’s it. I thought this thing was so great, I literally refused to let it go.