Choosing a beginner, entry level Weissenborn
There are many options for beginner and entry level Weissenborn guitars. While Chinese Weissenborns flood the market, they rarely offer anything close to a real Weissenborn experience.
If you are in the market for a Weissenborn, then it is probably that deep, rich tone that you are looking for. After all, a normal acoustic guitar can be converted to slide relatively easily and cheaply. Though an acoustic guitar can sound OK, it'll never come close to that Weissenborn richness and warmth. But neither will a Chinese made Weissenborn guitar.
There are many brands offering cheap Weissenborn guitars. Generally speaking these are Chinese manufactured instruments that are Weissenborns in name only. Though they resemble Weissenborn guitars and feature the same hollowneck construction, they seldom offer the same tonal characteristics.
Chinese 'Weissenborn' importers:
- Anderwood Guitars
- Artist Guitars
- Asher Guitars
- Twisted Wood Guitars
These companies import some or all of their instruments from Chinese manufacturers.
Some of these importers describe these Chinese instruments as handmade. Though it's technically true, it's also true that even those brightly coloured ukuleles you find for $20 in souvenir shops are made by hand. Unfortunately in the world of guitars, the term handmade has been co-opted to mean something other than carefully built by discerning luthiers.
We have imported these guitars before; the conclusion we came to was that they look but don't sound like Weissenborn guitars. Even the 'high-end' solid tonewood models lack the dynamic range, volume and sustain of a well-crafted Weissenborn guitar. The woods are unnecessarily thick, the internal structure is over-braced while the thick plastic finishes serve to dampen the vibrations. The excessively large and tall bridge gives a high action completely unlike any quality Weissenborn while cheap tuners mean they're hard to keep in tune. They can sound great in well-produced demo videos or audio clips though rarely come close to the real thing when played in person.
They are the Weissenborn equivalent of those $99 guitars in your local music store. They exist to fill a low-end gap in the market.
More often than not, converting any good quality acoustic guitar into a slide guitar will sound and play better.
These Chinese guitars lack longevity and resale value. Anyone genuinely interested in mastering the Weissenborn guitar will quickly outgrow them as they seek something with a more nuanced tone and playable design. Their mass produced nature means they can be very difficult to sell to fund an upgrade.
We firmly believe that if you are looking for a Weissenborn then it's worth saving up. We take pride in only selling professional quality Weissenborn guitars. All our Weissenborn guitars are genuinely handcrafted by luthiers and come backed by a full warranty. They sound great (we guarantee it with a no-questions-asked return policy) and are designed for a lifetime of playing.
Our recommendation is to keep using that slide conversion nut until you can afford that Weissenborn guitar of your dreams.