danielbang, on december 07, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: The specs of this guitar from the website are:
- 2 humbucker pickups and one single coil
- 22 fret 3 piece mahogany neck-thru neck
- Dual cutaway solid Mahogany body is contoured for comfortable play
- Licensed floyd rose double locking bridge
- Bound Rosewood fretboard and adjustable truss rod with Shark tooth inlays
- 5-way pickup selector switch and one volume and one tone control
- All smokey chrome hardware including Diecast Smokey Chrome Grover Tuners
- Width of the neck at the nut: 1 11/16"; at the 24th fret: 2 3/16"
- Neck profile (thickness) at the first fret 13/16" at the 12th 7/8"
- Overall length, including the strap button: 39 1/2"; Scale length: 25 1/2"
- Width at the widest point: 12"
- Body thickness 1 5/8" at edge
- Weight is only 7 lbs
This guitar was made in China, no gig bag or case included, but came with a cable and all the necessary wrenches. According to specs and for the price, this guitar seems great on paper (or well, a web page). // 8
Sound: This guitar comes with two humbuckers and a single coil in an HSH configuration. The bridge pickup will get the work done, but it isn't anything special. The neck pickup has noticeably lower output than the bridge, which could be annoying for those who like to switch to the neck pickup for solos. The middle single coil pickup is useless to me, so I do not use it all. A pickup swap is recommended for those who buy this guitar, but for the price of this thing it's not much of a loss.
I have played this guitar through many amps, including a Vox AC30, Mesa Tremoverb, Bogner Shiva, and Fender Frontman 25R. Of course, most of the tone comes from the amps, but you would be able to tell the difference with different guitars. The bridge pickup can handle metal quite well, but can get a bit loose when dropping to tunings C or lower. It can do rock, and has high enough output for a nice broken-up sound on a tube amp. Rolling the volume knob back and get mediocre clean sounds. The neck pickup can do cleans pretty fine, but lacks clarity and the solo "punch". Some could say it is a bit muddy. The middle pickup is quite useless in my opinion, as it just sounds bad, even when combined with the neck or bridge pickup. Its not horrible, just not good enough. But with a fill pickup swap, this would be a very, very versatile guitar. // 6
Action, Fit & Finish: When the guitar first shipped in, the Floyd Rose bridge was set up horribly. It takes some time to set everything up, like the bridge, pickup heights, and the action to your liking, but after that, it plays wonderfully. The guitar had no aesthetic flaws. The smokey chrome hardware looks very unique and adds subtle flashiness on the guitar. Although, after a year of playing the guitar, the finish on the volume knob and part of the bridge is rubbing off.
The guitar is amazingly light and thin, and yet very sturdy. It does not feel like a cheap guitar at all. The neck is slim for fast playing and had nice upper-fret access, but isn't overly anorexic like Ibanez necks. The guitar has a nice, pointy headstock (but the logo is pretty ugly). The neck contour is amazing, the neck-through design making it comfortable all the way up to the last frets. I have never played a guitar with a neck this nice around even twice its price range. Personally, it is one of the most comfortable guitars I have played.
Overall, the construction is pretty tight, no noticeable flaws, tuning pegs get very accurate tunings, tuning stays in tune for a very long time (my bridge is blocked). The Grover tuners are a very nice plus to this guitar. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I have gigged with this guitar several times, and it has never let me down. It is quite light, but it can take a beating. Everything is solid on this guitar, but I would buy strap locks, only because it is recommended for any gigging musician. It is not a very easily chippable guitar (if that's a word), except on the headstock, because it has some pointy angles. I have played this guitar live with no backup, and it was fine. However, the bridge on this guitar seems quite cheap, so I blocked it, which surprisingly made the guitar much better. Stable tuning, even during hot, loud shows, and better sustain. Before I blocked it, tuning was a little annoying problem. But in the end, the guitar will only be in the shape you treat it to be in. // 8
Overall Impression: I play many genres of music, but I bought this guitar for teh metulz. The specs seemed nice and too good to be true. The guitar plays well, sounds well, and only 200$. I have been playing for at least three to four years, and play for fun. I recently bought an LTD EC256, and honestly this guitar feels and plays much nicer. I wish I could have played this guitar before I ordered it, but after owning it for at least a year, there are no regrets. Things like pickups, tuners, and other hardware are always replaceable, but the guitar is just crafted very nicely. I'm not saying its better or as good as $1000+ guitars, but for the price, it plays pretty well. If it was stolen or lost, I would buy another one because of the price tag. It looks beautiful, and for an obscure brand, looks unique (it isn't really a copy of another guitar). I wish they still had the body-thru bridge, because the floyd rose on this guitar is some poop. Douglas really should start making higher-end guitars (but still affordable). Many people complain about the guitars they received from RondoMusic, but I am very satisfied with my purchase.