This is about the best sound you can get out of an under $1000 guitar. It has a solid spruce top (natural or transparent black), solid rosewood back and sides, ebony fretboard AND Yamaha's unparalleled new SRS (Studio Response System) that gives studio-quality sound. The SRS system has onboard controls that let you simulate 3 different studio mics: a Neumann U67 large-diaphragm tube condenser, a Neumann KM56 small-diaphragm tube condenser, and a Royer R-122 ribbon mic. The controls also include a blend control, a focus control (to simulate close-miced or wide open-room mixed), as well as onboard tuner. Note: the SRS system is NOT available on the A1R. This feature alone makes the upgrade to that A3R worth the money. List is $1,350 but street price is about $900.