Brought this one back over the weekend.
The Seagull Maritime SWS Rosewood is a recently discontinued model and I’ve always wanted to try one out for all the positive reviews of the brand. The SWS stands for Solid Wood Series so this one has a Sitka top and rosewood body.
Quite a well built guitar with a nice satin finish. Seagull calls it the semi-gloss. I like it for its subtlety but I think it’s a fingerprint magnet. Herringbone binding on the top and backstrip. Cool.
The Seagull headstock is infamous and you’d either love it or hate it. Honestly I think it’s unique and I feel pretty OK with it. Gold hardware and cream buttons look classy.
Guitar came to me with nonsense strings (sorry, I just don’t like certain brands), and rather high action. Plenty of areas to look into, such as neck relief and saddle height. We’ll get there.
This one needed some straightening to reduce the relief. Seagull has a two-way truss rod, but the rule remains – righty tighty, lefty loosy. I used a 4mm hex wrench. It needed about half turn to get it to reasonable state.
Next I worked on the saddle. Some sanding to do on the stock TUSQ saddle. Will see if there are any drop-in bone saddles on the market for Seagull soon.
Condition was near mint so I had very little to do apart from the routine fretboard conditioning. Wombat and Bambi were assistants. They said the rosewood fingerboard looks rather “porous”. Perhaps less stain and fillers were used here. Certainly doesn’t affect playability or function.
Interesting to to note that the bridge came slotted from the factory.
I also took time to look at the the inside of the guitar. There are side bracings on this, and I feel they add to the overall weight of the guitar. This guitar does feel heavier than most dreadnoughts I’ve handled. Craftsmanship is good but there’s plenty of saw dust in here. They could’ve taken time to wipe clean the interior prior to gluing. OK I’m being fussy here. 🙂
Restrung with Elixirs (what else??) and swapped the stock plastic pins to brass.
Action is nice and easy to play at 2.5mm capo on 1st fret.
Bowie and Harvey posed with the new member.
The guitar astonishingly came to life after the setup and restring. I didn’t have high hopes but it turned out really well. It’s amazing what a good setup and new strings can do.
The Maritime SWS Rosewood is a worthy contender if you’re looking for a traditional spruce/rosewood dread. It offers plenty of bass and presence, as well as great playability. One thing that struck me really hard was how it transformed after a setup and a fresh set of my favourite strings. Now the missus says “keep it”.
Here’s a look at the rosewood grains. I really like the satin finish.
The throaty voice you get from strumming makes singing with it a pleasure too. I’m liking it and I hope there’s enough storage space for it in the near future.
One slight drawback here is the weight. This is arguably the heaviest dread I’ve played, so a strap pin will be installed soon… if I don’t sell the guitar. 🙂
To those who are asking about the specs due to the changes Seagull has made over the years, the Maritime SWS Rosewood has a 1.72″ nut width which is slimmer than the usual 1.8 found on the popular S6.
I did some measurements and observed these:
String spread at nut: 36.4mm
String spread at saddle: about 54.5mm
Scale length: 25.5 inch
Body dimensions are pretty standard dreadnought-ish, with lower just very slightly under 16″ (403mm). However, waist seems thicker than most standard dreads.