For some players only a dreadnought will do, and in many respects this square-shouldered dread is like the Dragonfly, just writ larger. The neck's dimensions and V'd profile are virtually identical to the 000-size version (save for a differently-shaped heel) and much of the cosmetic trim is similar.
It does have some distinctive distinguishing features, though, apart from size and body style. The regular headstock, with its torch inlay and gull-winged crown, is overlaid with imitation tortoiseshell – an unusual but elegant treatment – while the guitar's back is a three-piece affair of rosewood with a central portion of figured maple, rather like a multi-timbered Martin D-35. The result looks great, particularly with the intervening herringbone strips. The cedar front, meanwhile, carries additional rings around the abalone rosette, and this time the pickguard has been pre-applied – a good move, seeing that dreadnoughts are statistically more likely to be played with a pick. Lacquering is changed to an all-gloss body and satin neck, and the buffing of the former looks especially good.
The only arguable omission is that, unlike on the Dragonfly, there is no second strap button at the neck heel, though this is less important on a straightforward acoustic than it is on an electro. Still, many customers will probably want to fit one. I certainly would.
My, this one's is a punchy fella, a really vibrant dreadnought. Part of this is due to a more mid-forward voicing – at least compared with the Dragonfly's relatively scooped sound – but the guitar's muscular clout is shared across the spectrum, making it an instrument you can really dig into and reap the reward, whether picking or strumming. Excellent.
Description: Dreadnought acoustic
Price: £799 inc. case
Build: Solid cedar top, three-piece solid rosewood/maple back, solid rosewood sides. Mahogany neck with 20-fret unbound ebony fingerboard. Ebony bridge, bone nut and saddle, open-back gold tuners, bottom strap button
Options: HDR-3CE cutaway electro with B-Band A5 system, £899. Other dreads include the spruce/mahogany HDM-2 in vintage sunburst (£549) and a ‘fat-neck’ HDM-2P version at £599. Solid woods throughout; prices inc. case
Left-handers: Yes, HDR-3L, £849
Finish: Gloss natural body with satin neck
Scale length: 650mm
12th fret 53.5mm
Depth of neck:
First fret 22.5mm
9th fret 26.5mm
Action as supplied:
12th fret treble 2.0mm
12th fret bass 2.5mm
Max rim depth: 123mm
Max body width: 396mm
Fingerboard radius: 15"
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