Rathbone No. 5 – Double Top Dreadnought | REVIEW

Published 3 years ago on April 2, 2021

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Rathbone No. 5 – Double Top Dreadnought

MSRP: (UK) £339 / (US) $TBC

Featuring a tried and tested combination of tonewoods crafted with two outer layers of wood and an inner layer of carbon fibre weave, the Rathbone No. 5 – Double Top Dreadnought is quite the instrument. For that 'Big Sound,' the No. 5 Dreadnought gives you a bold and rich tone with an ideal balance of volume, size and playability. Nick Jennison reviews.

I hate to be negative, but let's be real for a moment: spruce-topped dreadnoughts are ten-a-penny these days. Normally, you can expect something beyond the norm from high-end guitars, but the entry-level market can seem saturated with identical spruce/mahogany dreads. So when Rathbone's No.5 "Double Top" Dreadnought arrived at GI towers, I was naturally curious.

At first glance, everything here is pretty standard, but what makes this guitar unique is it's top. Sandwiched between two layers of sitka spruce is a carbon fibre weave - hence the "double top" name. Rathbone claim this layer will improve stability, strength and projection, and while it's hard to isolate things down to a single variable in guitar design, this is an uncommonly clear and articulate guitar - especially for an affordable dreadnought!

Strumming hard with a medium pick produces a big weighty tone that's characteristic of this body style and size, but there's also a bright clarity to the sound that's much less common in guitars of this style and price point. The same articulate quality carries over beautifully to more delicate styles like fingerstyle. Dreads traditionally don't excel at gentler styles, but the No.5 has a great presence and snap that really flatters this kind of playing.

Taking a closer look, this guitar has some high-end appointments that you wouldn't expect to see at a guitar priced this reasonably. The two top layers are sitka spruce, and while it's technically a laminate construction, still quality materials throughout. The back, sides and neck are sapele mahogany, the fretboard and bridge are both rosewood, and the saddle and nut are both bone - all areas where entry-level manufacturers tend to cut corners, so top marks for quality materials here. The open-gear tuners are a very classy touch, with a real "premium" feel.

In terms of playability, it's a very comfortable guitar with a familiar feel under the arm and an action that's set at a comfortable medium from the factory. It's certainly not a shredder's action, but it's a setup that should be very comfortable for the majority of players.

All things considered, the Rathbone No.5 "Double Top" Dreadnought is a guitar that punches far above its price in terms of quality and sound. It's a big, bold sounding instrument with tons of authority and some nice high-end touches on a very affordable instrument. If you're in the market for a great entry-level acoustic guitar, look no further!

For more information, please visit:









Kenny Wayne Shepherd on "Finding His Voice" on the Guitar, Musical Legacy, & 'Dirt on My Diamonds' | Interview

Steve Rosen on Eddie Van Halen, The Stories Behind 'Tonechaser' & The Lost EVH Interview | Feature


DOD Boneshaker | Review

Vintage ProShop V75 Unique | Review

Ciari Ascender P90 Duo | Review

Epiphone 150th Anniversary Wilshire | Review

Martin SC-18E & SC-28E | Review

PRS MT100 Mark Tremonti Signature Head | Review

D'Addario XS Coated Electric Guitar Strings | Review

Aria Pro II 615-GH Nashville | Review

Chapman ML1 X DCN | Review

Mooer Harmony X2 Pedal | Review

Sterling JV60CB James Valentine Signature Chambered Bigsby | Review

Ernie Ball/Music Man Rabea Massaad Artist Series Sabre | Review

Maybach Convair 59 Custom Shop Aged | Review

Kustom KG100FX 212 | REVIEW

Black Country Customs/Laney Secret Path Reverb Pedal | REVIEW

Victory V4 Copper Preamp | REVIEW

Laney/Black Country Customs Spiral Array Chorus | REVIEW

Aria Pro II JET-B'tone | REVIEW

BOSS Nextone Special 80W Combo Amp | REVIEW

BOSS OC-5 Octave Pedal | REVIEW

Cort Core OC Spruce | REVIEW

Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram