Even though they have been around since 2012, you might not have heard of the Donner company before now. But if you’re in the market as a beginner on acoustic guitar, then Donner – specifically, the Donner DAG-1C – is an instrument worth looking at in more detail.
Donner sells this dreadnought style cutaway guitar as part of a package deal, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck when you make this purchase. We’ll dig into those details later.
For now, if you’re in a hurry and just want to check the pricing and availability of the DAG-1D acoustic at Amazon, you can click (or tap) the link just below. Otherwise, keep scrolling and reading to discover all you need to know about this entry-level acoustic guitar.
The DAG-1C Is Nothing Fancy
Yes, this acoustic guitar is nothing fancy, but that’s exactly what you should expect in a beginner acoustic at this price level. Note that, even though we’re calling this a “beginning guitar”, that doesn’t mean it’s a 3/4 size instrument. No, this is a full-size, 41-inch model that is not intended for children. (The company does make many instruments for the younger folks under the brand name of Reditmo.)
In addition to the natural tone on the DAG-1C model shown at the link above, you can also get this guitar in black or in sunburst versions for just a few dollars more (as of this writing). Personally, I like the sunburst design of almost any guitar the best, even though I don’t currently own one.)
If you don’t want the cutaway styling, there is a symmetrical model available too. I won’t even make you go looking for it. Click below to see it.
If you’re a left handed guitarist, you’ll want to check out this DAG-1CL model.
The materials used in the Donner DAG-1C guitar are spruce for the top, mahogany for the back and sides, and purpleheart for the fretboard. The X bracing inside, which is common, provides stability.
Brass frets, a bone nut, plastic saddle, and brass strings virtually complete the ensemble. Note that some have complained about the quality of the strings, but you can easily replace them cheaply. That said, if you’re a true beginner, you probably wouldn’t have noticed unless I told you that they were of questionable quality. And that said, they’ll likely last you a good long time anyway.
Speaking of reviews from current owners, over 2000 of them have reacted positively to their Donner acoustic guitar. Some even think it’s better than the first one they bought. So, while marketed as a beginner’s guitar, there may be more to the DAG-1C guitar than first meets the eye…and ear.
And speaking of the sound – which, after all, is what counts most in the end – you can get some “feel” for its tonality by listening to the video below. Just note that the price mentioned is likely outdated.
What’s Included in the DAG-1C Bundle
Included in the package are an additional set of strings. (I assume they are of the same type as the originals.) You also get a capo, which, as a beginner, you likely won’t use right away.
You get a strap for slinging the Donner guitar over your shoulder. I’m guessing it may not be the most comfortable strap available, but if you don’t like it, this is another item you can replace for cheap too.
The 4 guitar picks that come along with the instrument may or may not be to your liking. They will certainly suffice for a while, and you may add to your collection others you like better as you progress in your skills – or when you lose or break the initial four.
Something I have not seen before is a separate pickguard. Usually this piece of plastic is already in place just below the strings when you buy a guitar. Here, you have the option of attaching it or not. I think I’d leave it off at the start. Later, if I have scuffed up the front from my wild strumming and don’t like the looks of things, I’d stick the pickguard on and have an instrument that looks as good as new – well, almost.
To keep your guitar in good condition, you get a polishing cloth and a decent gig bag. I’ve never used a cloth on my guitar, but it always sits in its bag when not in use. It keeps the dust off, if nothing else.
You get an allen wrench for adjusting the truss rod, should you want to change the string height a little.
Finally, Donner includes a DT-2 Tuner (and battery for same) which is a nice touch since there are no electronics in the guitar itself. You will want to quickly learn how to use the tuner so that your tunes sound “in tune” to your ears and those of your audience.
Some have wondered how Donner can include all of this for such a low price. Perhaps this actually says something about how overpriced some other guitars really are.
The Donner Return Policy
I found this page via another review article. I couldn’t see how to get to it from elsewhere on the Donner Website itself.
The important parts are as follows.
Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange. (must have video or pic about the product, and tell us the problem.)
To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.
All of our products are under at least 6 months warranty. Especially, DMX series, String instruments and Wind instruments will be under 12 months warranty.
Confused? Me too.
I’m not sure how they will determine if you used the guitar or not. And don’t mix the return limit (30 days) with the warranty duration (6 months). They’re apparently not the same thing.
My advice: If you get your guitar and don’t like the looks of it (or maybe it was even damaged in shipping), don’t even take it out of the box. Contact Donner and arrange for a return right away. Otherwise, pull it out, play it, and keep it forever – or until you sell or donate it to someone else just getting started.
Donner and Related Companies
I mentioned earlier that these same folks (collectively) make the Reditmo line of instruments for kids. In addition, to guitars under the Donner brand, you’ll find keyboard, drums, ukuleles, mandolins, amps, and more.
Under the Eastar label, look for violins, trumpets, flutes, harmonicas, recorders (the wind instruments), and more.
Finally, Moukey give you mics, headphones, party lights, etc.
Verdict: Who the Donner DAG-1C Is For
For the price, there’s a lot of value in the Donner DAG-1C (and related models). I think you’ll especially appreciate this as a beginner – not having to break your bank to get started as a guitarist.
And still, there’s the possibility that, unless you’re already a professional, you’ll appreciate owning this guitar as well. Maybe you just want an inexpensive guitar to knock around with – play at a campfire, take along when visiting the in-laws, let your kids fool around with.
In any case, give the Donner DAG-1C a close look to determine if it fits a need in your musical life.