Furch Violet D-SM review – a first-class build that proves you don’t need to spend silly money for a pro-quality dreadnought
The Furch Violet D-SM may have a bare basics appearance, but details like its individually voiced soundboard, smooth playability, and refined tones compare fairly to those of much more expensive deluxe instruments.
- Shortened frets provide extremely comfortable playability.
- Open-pore finish allows tonewoods to breathe like raw wood.
- A brilliant dreadnought for the price.
- Aesthetic might be too austere for some.
Literally dozens of great acoustic guitars are available these days if you have around $1,000 to spend. While newer companies that specialize in entry level models offer some good choices, I often recommend considering a guitar built by a company with a decent history that also offers a selection of instruments extending well into higher price ranges due to experience and “trickle down” quality factors.
The new Furch Violet D-SM ticks those boxes, coming from a company with more than four decades of history building guitars in the Czech Republic. Furch opened a US-based distribution facility in Nashville in 2019, making their craftsmanship readily available to American players.
The Furch Violet D-SM has the timeless square-shoulder dreadnought body shape and is built from classic tonewoods that include an A-grade Sitka spruce top, AA-grade African mahogany back, sides and neck, and an ebony fingerboard.
Although the model is modestly priced, the soundboards are individually tuned and voiced to provide rich, balanced sound – attention to detail usually found only on more expensive instruments. The guitar’s open-pore finish allows the wood to retain its natural resonance and character while still providing protection from the elements.
The neck’s characteristics include a 650mm scale length, soft-V profile, 1.75″ nut width, flat 15.75″ radius and CNR System neck joint design with adjustable dual-action truss rod in a carbon casing for stability with minimized weight.
The Furch Violet D-SM may look somewhat austere thanks to the raw wood aesthetics of the open-pore finish, lack of fretboard inlays, simple ring rosette and basic-black nut, saddle, bridge pins, and single-layer pickguard, but what its appearance lacks in flash is more than made up for by its first-class playability and sound quality.
The neck feel is smooth and luxurious, thanks in large part to the shortened frets that will never extend beyond the fingerboard due to wood expansion/contraction and allow the player’s hand to glide along the edges without distracting bumps or snags. The neck profile’s “V” is comfortably rounded, allowing the playing hand to comfortably transition from anchoring the thumb in the center to the fretboard edge.
The sound quality is pure, classic dreadnought tone, with deep, powerful bass, mellow mids, and singing treble bite. The top refused to overdrive even when subjected to my most heavy-handed DADGAD Kashmir performance, and soft fingerstyle passages projected with impressive volume. You really used to have to spend at least four times as much to get dreadnought tones this nuanced and complex.