Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QI – Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

Canadian-based Seagull Guitars may be a newer manufacturer, but they're already known for producing quality instruments and offering them at fair prices. In particular, Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QI guitar is one of the best values on the market.

With a solid top and quality electronics, it gives you more guitar for the price than most manufacturers. In this review, we'll delve into its features to help you decide if this is the guitar for you.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Acoustic-Electric Guitar

When guitar shopping, many players prefer to purchase a guitar with an included pickup--this makes playing live much easier, and it also opens the door to experimenting with guitar effects. When buying an acoustic-electric, you need to pay attention to many of the same things that you do when buying an all-acoustic guitar. Before you begin your search, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you need a cutaway? - Cutaways give you better fret access when it comes to frets that are further down the neck. A cutaway isn't a must on a guitar, but it's a nice feature to have.
  • Do you need solid wood or laminate? - The top, or soundboard, of a guitar is arguably the most important factor when it comes to sound. If you can, buy a guitar with a solid top--all-solid wood is ideal, but the top has the most impact on sound quality.
  • What type of pickup system do you need? - Many acoustic-electric guitars have a piezo pickup system. Plain piezos sometimes aren't as true to sound as combination microphone/piezo systems, but they're an affordable, decent-sounding option.
  • What body style is ideal? - Most acoustic guitars are dreadnoughts, which produce a rich and nuanced sound. However, smaller body styles may be easier to carry and play.
  • Do you need a cutaway? - Cutaways give you better fret access when it comes to frets that are further down the neck. A cutaway isn't a must on a guitar, but it's a nice feature to have.

Our Picks for Review

Guitar

Guitar

Model

Price

Full Review

Main

Seagull

Entourage Rustic CW QI

Cell

Alternative

Epiphone

Masterbilt

DR-500MCE

Cell

Alternative

Yamaha

AC1M

Alternative

Martin

D-X1E

Cell

Seagull Entourage Rustic CW Guitar

PRO's & CON's of Seagull Entourage Rustic

First, here are some of the pros and cons of this guitar:

Pros

  • Solid cedar top creates warm, rich sound
  • Wild cherry back and sides offer good projection and crisp sound
  • Rustic look even extends to included electronics, making this a great choice if you love vintage-inspired guitars
  • Comes with Godin QIT electronics for easy live playing
  • Is very affordable, especially given the features you get

Cons

  • Cedar blemishes somewhat easily, so this guitar may need to be protected from extra wear
  • Some buyers have said the included pickup is not especially good

Features and Benefits

The Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QI is a unique guitar with a distinctive look. In this section, we'll delve into what sets it apart.

Sound Quality and Tonewoods

This is a guitar with a tome that is balanced yet distinct--some reviewers have described it as "crisp," which is fairly accurate. Unlike some guitars with a muddy sound, you can distinctly hear the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies.

Part of this is likely due to the wild cherry laminate back and sides. Wild cherry is a tonewood that's somewhat similar to maple--it facilitates note separation and has a fairly rapid decay. This video lets you hear this guitar's unique tone for yourself.

True to the "Rustic" in its name, this guitar is that will appeal to many players. The hand-rubbed satin burst finish sets this guitar apart, and its cream binding is reminiscent of older acoustic guitars. Even the onboard preamp has a distressed finish that makes it match the rest of the guitar's exterior.

Of course, one of the main contributors to the Entourage's unique sound is its solid, pressure-tested cedar top. Cedar is known for balanced, warm tone, and it has a tight grain that makes for a beautiful soundboard that also sounds great. A potential disadvantage is the fact that cedar is a somewhat soft wood, so it's more susceptible to dings and scratches.

The guitar's scalloped X bracing also helps contribute to its balanced tone--scalloped bracing tends to let you hear the separation between bass, treble, and midrange frequencies more easily. This isn't ideal for all genres, but it's something that does appeal to many players.

The neck is made of silverleaf maple, which is a hard maple that resists warping over time. It's designed with a slim taper, which makes it easier to quickly move up and down the neck.

Electronics

When buying an acoustic-electric guitar, you need to assess the quality of the electronics as well as the quality of the guitar's unplugged tone. This guitar comes with Godin QI electronics. The sound comes from a single source--a saddle transducer.

You also get an onboard preamp with a three-band EQ and volume control, as well as an onboard tuner. These electronics are decent, but the guitar's plugged-in sound leaves something to be desired--the sound is less full, and it doesn't sound nearly as warm and appealing as the guitar's unplugged tone.

If you want to hear the Godin QI pickup in action, this demo lets you hear the guitar played into a microphone and then compare it to the plugged-in tone.

Other Appointments

The tonewoods used to make a guitar are the most important considerations when it comes to sound, but a guitar's other appointments do help contribute to tone. This guitar has a Tusq nut and saddle. If you're unfamiliar with it, Tusq is a unique composite that is designed to mimic the tonal properties of ivory. It can help increase both sustain and harmonic output.

This guitar also comes with Seagull's trademark tapered headstock. This is a look that not all guitarists like, but it does offer an important function--it creates a straighter string pull, which in turn increases tuning stability.

Finish

True to the "Rustic" in its name, this guitar is styled with a vintage look that will appeal to many players. The hand-rubbed satin burst finish sets this guitar apart, and its cream binding is reminiscent of older acoustic guitars. Even the onboard preamp has a distressed finish that makes it match the rest of the guitar's exterior.

Social Proof of the Guitar

Often, guitarists end up buying their instruments online. While this is convenient, it doesn't let you try playing a guitar before you buy. If you can't play this guitar before making a purchase, it can be helpful to read reviews written by those who have bought and played it.

Seagull Entourage Rustic Review 01

This review covers some of this guitar's strong points, but it also clearly outlines some of the downsides. In particular, some other buyers have echoed this player's opinion of the included pickup--to many, it isn't as impressive as some other available pickups.

Seagull Entourage Rustic Review 02

This review compares this Seagull guitar favorably to Breedlove guitars. This reviewer's description of the guitar is very accurate--it has a crispness to it that many players will likely find appealing.

Seagull Entourage Rustic Review 03

This brief but useful review covers why so many people like this instrument--though its build and controls are simple, it plays and sounds better than many very expensive guitars.

Alternatives to Entourage Rustic CW QI

Before you make a decision when shopping for an acoustic-electric guitar, it's a good idea to evaluate a few similar models. We've found three other guitars that you may want to consider alongside the Entourage.

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

How it Compares to Seagull Entourage Rustic

  • All solid wood construction gives it natural, nuanced sound
  • Is a bit more expensive than the Entourage
  • Electronics will likely give you a fuller, more natural tone when playing live
  • Is also a dreadnought with a Venetian cutaway

Review

Epiphone might be Gibson's budget brand, but this guitar is surprisingly affordable when you consider the fact that it's made with all solid wood. It has a Sitka spruce top and mahogany body, making it a great choice for those who prefer more traditional tonewood configurations.

It has unusually high-quality electronics for a guitar at this price point--a neck and bridge pickup, along with a stereo preamp, give you natural-sounding amplification. If you have a little more cash to spare and want a guitar that's all solid wood, this is a guitar that's worth checking out.

Yamaha AC1M Concert Cutaway

How it Compares to Seagull Entourage Rustic

  • Like the Entourage, it has a solid top and laminated back and sides
  • Also comes equipped with electronics--they're of similar quality to the Entourage's Godin electronics
  • Concert style body is a little smaller than a dreadnought
  • Is just about the same price as the Entourage

Review

If you want a guitar that's similar to the Entourage but comes with a more typical tonewood configuration, this guitar from Yamaha offers a solid Sitka spruce top coupled with laminated mahogany back and sides.

It's also a concert-style body, which is a little smaller and easier to handle than most dreadnoughts. This guitar comes equipped with Yamaha's SRT electronics and an onboard preamp with three-band EQ. If you're looking for a similarly-priced guitar with a concert-style body, be sure to check this one out.

Martin D-X1E

How it Compares to Seagull Entourage Rustic

  • All laminate construction likely won't have the same quality tone as the Entourage
  • Fishman electronics may sound more natural than the Entourage's Godin pickup
  • Performing Artist tapered neck is highly playable
  • Is about the same price as the Entourage

Review

Another acoustic-electric dreadnought, this guitar is a great pick for those who love the traditional silhouette of a Martin dreadnought. This guitar is about the same price as the Entourage, and it comes with quality Fishman electronics.

While it looks like it may be made out of an exotic wood at first glance, this guitar is made entirely of high-pressure laminate, or HPL. If you want a guitar you can perform with and like the look of Martin guitars, make sure you check this one out.

In Conclusion

Just like most of Seagull's offerings, we think this guitar is an incredible value. It's extremely affordable for a solid top acoustic-electric, and its unique tonewood combination lets you stand out from the crowd.

This guitar's rustic look and exquisite finish make it a great choice for performers who want an elegant yet understated guitar. Whether you're upgrading from a starter guitar or want to start playing on a high-quality instrument, the Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QI is a worthy choice. Click here to check it out!

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