Featuring Cort’s own unique slim body shape with comfortable cutaway, modern V-shape neck profile and jumbo frets for enhanced playability, arched back for improved resonance and Fishman electronics—the SFX is truly Cort’s vision of the contemporary acoustic-electric guitar. Tom Quayle reviews the Cort SFX-Myrtlewood.
Cort’s SFX series represents the company’s modern, slim bodied acoustic-electric guitars at a very affordable price point. A range of different wood combinations and finishes are available, with our review model sporting a solid Myrtlewood top and veneered back and sides for a beautiful exotic wood aesthetic.
Like many of their competitors, Cort has used a torrefied or baked top for the SFX Myrtlewood, offering similar tonal properties to a vintage guitar and greater stability without compromising resonance. The smaller body design provides a more comfortable playing experience but can often give a boxy, plasticky tone. Cort has arched the back of the SFX range to compensate for their shallow body depth, providing a bigger and more open sound. The tonal properties are enhanced further with the use of a lightweight, thinner UV finish that prevents scratches without dulling the vibrations of the top and sides for improved sustain and resonance. The design is completed with a Mahogany, V-shaped neck and Ovangkol fretboard and a generous cutaway that allows easy access to the upper frets and excellent playability.
The SFX Myrtlewood is undoubtedly a great looking guitar, with each guitar sporting a unique look thanks to the inherent complexity of Myrtlewood’s grain structure. Cort has included pretty yet subtle body binding, and a soundhole rosette that complements the exotic wood look perfectly. The black die-cast tuners are a lovely addition to the overall aesthetic of the guitar, which is available in a natural or brown gloss finish. Even the headstock has a lovely little abalone inlay for a guitar that is pretty without ever feeling over the top.
Cort’s tonal claims for the SFX series hold up ell given the smaller body size. We’ve reviewed plenty of slim bodied acoustics here at GI, and they tend to suffer from plasticky, boxy tones that make them far better candidates for being plugged in than mic’d up on stage or in the studio. The SFX Myrtlewood certainly bucks this trend with a very pleasing acoustic tone that has a full bottom end and plenty of resonance and sustain. It responds very well to dynamics and suits a range of playing styles, from subtle fingerstyle to aggressive strumming.
The tonal chops are further enhanced by a Fishman Sonitone pickup and Presys II preamp with 2-band EQ, tuner and phase switch built-in. There’s a reason that this combination has become so popular with guitars in this price range since it offers a very natural acoustic tone and just enough features to effectively shape your tone and control feedback on stage. Some may prefer a soundhole based solution rather than the relatively ugly preamp box cut into the top of the guitar (especially on such lovely exotic wood grain), but the Presys II is a great solution that keeps the cost down and offers a good level of control.
As is standard with Cort guitars generally, the build quality and finish are excellent with beautiful fretwork and internal woodwork. You can expect workmanship similar to guitars costing two or three times as much, making the SFX series feel like superb value with excellent tuning stability, hardware and stability.
There is much to recommend with this guitar and the SFX range in general - if you’re looking for a slim bodied guitar that plays as good as it looks and doesn’t compromise on acoustic tone, the SFX Myrtlewood is a great option that won’t break the bank. It doesn’t come with a case or gig bag, but it’s hard to complain at this price!
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