All right, I’ll admit it—I’m spoiled rotten. For the past few months, some of the finest acoustic guitars imaginable have passed through my fingers. Thousands of dollars in wood and wire have flowed like music through my life lately, and I have to tell you, it’s been a rockin’ year so far. But we decided we needed to review a few budget-friendly acoustics to try and hit that sweet spot where affordability meets quality—and boy, we hit it right this time. We’ve been seeing more Luna guitars around lately, and when we heard they were about to release a Vicki Genfan signature model, our ears perked up. We had to check it out.
How Much? Are You Forgetting a Zero?
Our guess—based on who knows how many guitars we’ve played, owned, reviewed, or otherwise fondled over a collective 200 or so years of playing—was that this guitar would be priced somewhere between $1500 and $1800. But when I emailed the friendly folks at Luna for the official street price, the response was “$499.” At first I thought it was a typo, but they assured me it was not. Then I asked if they were all smokin’ crack. This guitar sounds and plays like an instrument several times its price, and it also comes with a sweet B-Band pickup with a built in DI. According to Yvonne DeVillers, the company’s creative director and designer, “One of Luna’s missions is to make guitars accessible to the average player. Most of the rest of our line MAP at $399 or less.” She continued, “I can say that not only have we held steady in an unsteady economy, but we have grown our business. Folks just don’t have crazy money to spend on music, and we need it now more than ever.” Well, all I can say to that is, “Amen.”
The Story on Genfan’s Guitar
Luna commissioned North Carolina luthier Gray Burchette to make Genfan’s personal guitar—a real goddess of a jumbo that carries the Luna headstock and signature moon-phase fret markers. The Luna VG signature model is inspired by that guitar, but it’s not a duplicate or a junior version. Genfan’s personal guitar is not a cutaway (she uses that bout for percussion), and the VG model is an OM instead of a jumbo. Further, her guitar features a solid spruce top and back and sides made from that aphrodisiac of the rosewood family, cocobolo. The VG model has a rosewood fretboard, moon-phase fret markers, a solid spruce top, and rosewood-laminate back and sides (it also smells faintly of unsexy glue). The laser-etched “henna tattoo” motif designed by artist Alex Morgan in the UK is the same on both guitars. (Many other Luna guitars—including the Henna Paisley T Black, which we’ve reviewed online at premierguitar.com—also feature laser etching.) The front of the guitar features a glossy finish, while the back and sides are satin finished. I like the feel of the satin finish a lot, and the gloss really makes the laser etching pop. It’s a really sweet-looking guitar, and everywhere I took it people fell in love with the looks.