delsur18, on october 17, 2011 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 50
Purchased from: Local Pawn Shop
Features: This guiar is a cheapo Stratocaster copy, more specifically, it looks like an Ibanez RG copy. My father bought this guitar used after he heard a truly professional guitarist making this guitar sound like heaven...at least, that's what he said.
- Made in China (like everything is these days) but it I forgot where I read that off of this guitar, so I assume I'm right about where it's made
- 22 frets
- Solid Top, i guess
- Maple Neck and Fretboard with black dot inlays
- Plywood (most likely)or basswood body, if the body is actually made of one type of wood...
- Satin finish
- As said before, Strat, more speficically, Ibanez RG body style copy
- String-thru body bridge with tremolo system
- Passive electronics, crappy pick-ups in all
- HSS pickup configuration
- 1 Volume, two tone controls for the two single coil pickups
- I don't know much about tuner brands, but my best guess would be non-locking F-tuner style copies with the Rocker 'R' logo instead of the Fender 'F' logo
Nothing else included, my dad just bought it from the pawn shop as a gift because I wanted my first electric guitar. If this guitar had more quality electronics, I'd give it a pretty high rating, but I think a 5 is good enough for what I got for just 50 bucks. // 5
Sound: My music style is pretty varied, but I mainly like to play alternative/indie rock, some jazz, punk rock, and when I really feel like it, some hard rock/light metal with distortion, but I like to play anything that really sounds good. The guitar sounds like crap in clean, there is a lot of fret buzz inside the first 12 frets of any string (minus the 1st string) because of its low action. But its not entirely that bad, playing barred chords gives you a pretty bright and funky sound, and after the 12th fret, finger picking and soloing on this guitar actually sounds half-decent. On distortion, it sounds a lot better in my opinion, it has a very crunchy tone, a little bright, but i like it that way, especially on the humbucker by itself, cause its on the bridge, and when on the single coils closer to the neck, it gives a good rhythm guitar sound, but obviously, compared to really good quality guitars with good pickups, this guitar is outclassed in every direction. I use a cheap but pretty good ranged Typhoon PGA10 guitar amp, I would say a great amp for practicing, and it even did well in a live performance with another guitar of mine. I have a DigiTech bass modeling processor which makes pretty good effects for guitars as well, plus a Behringer DR100, which makes an ok sounding reverb. The tuning of this guitar is something i really like when I use the tremolo bar, as it actually stays in tune unlike other guitars at its (retail) new price.
Because of its crappy clean, fretbuzz, and bad pickup quality, I'd give it a 2 or 3, but because of its distortion and the funky barred chords I get from it, I'll put it at a 4.5, but since there is no 4.5, ill lower it to 4. // 4
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was bought at a pawn shop so it was obviously used. When I got it however, it looked pretty brand new, except for some barely visible dings and scratches, but I don't care too much for the look of the guitar, but rather the sound and quality. The pickups are low, and if I were to heighten them, they would hit the strings very soon because of the low action of the guitar. I'm no electronics guy, but I did open up the guitar to have a look inside to see any flaws, and it wasn't bad at all, everything seemed wired properly, though of course I cleaned away some of the left over wood dust cause it had obviously never been opened before, and I also tightened all the screws around the guitar, cause I read somewhere that doing that will give the guitar better sustain (if only slightly). I haven't changed the guitar in anyway so its pretty much its pure factory self, minus me tightening the screws a bit.
An 8 for the finish, a 7 for the action, and I quite honestly like the guitar cause it feels good, I like playing on it, so an 8 is my verdict here. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is cheap, so I wouldn't really want to play live on it. It seems sturdy enough to survive a live gig easily, but the quality would have me thrown off the stage before I even finish a song. The hardware is cheap, so I don't think it will last, and that'll be good for me, cause then I can replace it with some quality seymour duncans or something like that. The strings are stock ( I believe) and the 1st string is bronze while the rest are lower gauged nickel, so I'll replace these strings very soon. The strap buttons are pretty solid, but I did have to tighten the screw of the one in the upper bout. I think I can depend on this guitar, but again, the quality would kill a song, so if I had no other choice but to bring this guitar for a gig, I would most definitely bring a back up, even though I would always do that anyways. The finish doesn't seem bad, so I would say it'll last a while, again, not like I really care too much about the look of the guitar.
A 6 for its durability in terms of averaging out the hardware with the finish. // 6
Overall Impression: This is my first electric guitar, I have been playing for almost 2 years on a Fender CD60-ce Acoustic Electric which is much better than this guitar overall in most categories. I also have a Silvertone Revolver bass, which again seems to be a little better than this guitar. I am an amateur guitar player, for surely wouldn't call myself a beginner nor a professional, although I Have a large amount of knowledge for guitars. I like to take care of my guitars, so I don't drop them or hit them against objects much, and I regularly clean them up to get a better sound out of them. I wish to have been with my dad when he bought the guitar so that we would have bought a much better one for most likely only a slightly higher price, and besides, I think he underestimates my guitar playing ability. However, the guitar is not the worst thing in the world, but its no where near from the best, and for the price, its ok. I'd rather have better electronics, but the overall feel of the guitar is something I really like, not heavy, not light, a V-contoured neck, I would say a very fast playing neck (though I can't really play that fast), the combination of an HSS pickup arrangement plus a maple fretboard, the two things I almost just had to have for my first electric guitar, and finally the not so bad tuners which actually hold their tuning for a while. The whammy bar is a great feature since the tuning stays even if I use it excessively. Overall, I would say my impressions, since it is my first guitar and its not the worst thing in the world, would make this category get a 7, no higher, due to the bad quality electronics. // 7
Two_Fires, on october 26, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 50
Purchased from: Wal-Mart
Features: I purchased this Rocker RG-100 in a "starter pack" for my Son (his first guitar), it is black with white faceplate, and comes with a 20w Amp, gig bag, tuner, strap, DVD, picks, adjustment wrenches, and a spare set of strings. It is made in China, as indicated on the packaging and the rear plate of the amplifier, just as I'd expect anything available at Costco, and Wal-Mart and others, and there's usually at least one Rocker guitar in every pawn shop for well under $70 (as low as $25 without the amplifier and accessories) so there's apparently little resale value in the Rocker lineup. This one was discounted to $50 (from it's original $130~).
I've had the opportunity to see and play almost the entire Rocker series in pawn shops and I assumed this would be typical of generic low quality instruments. From what I have seen, the RG-100 and RG-120 are identical and come in black only and just like the original Stratocaster, have a maple fretboard. The RG-200s are the same as the 100 & 120 but come in solid white, transparent blue or transparent red with fancier gold chrome trim, pearlized faceplate and a rosewood fretboard. The RG-80 comes in either black with a white web design, or pink with white heart design with only a single solid front mounted humbucker pickup (rear routed), and a solid string through body bridge (no tremolo) and rosewood fretboard.
I own a REAL Vintage Strat (worth well over $20k), along with many other quality guitars, a few of which are Strats or copies of them, and I still own all but 2 of the guitars I've ever owned. I've a degree in engineered wood and paper product manufacture, several years as a production machinist, several more years making laminated wood products, and a couple years making custom cabinetry. I have also built a few guitars by hand. I am not a professional musician, I simply have a lifelong passion for stringed instruments and music. I enjoy most types of music, from country, bluegrass, blues and classic, to metal, classic rock and jazz. I play daily, from 1 to 4 hours at a time. I would consider myself to be quite qualified to assess a guitar.
I will write this review comparative to my high-end gear, so please do not assume I am calling the Rocker RG-100 a piece of junk. The Rocker RG-100 I got is truly an OUTSTANDING guitar for the price I paid, and my rating numbers are given in consideration of the original $130 price of the package.
The body is solid (not plywood, but definitely laminated boards to form a wide enough block to make the body, (which is standard practice, especially for low-end guitars, and even many high-end ones with opaque paint) and I'd assume it's the cheapest stuff available (doesn't smell like basswood, but paint can mask the scent). The finish on mine is flawed on the back (looks like the wood was not entirely cured when the finish was applied, but the paint is sealed, so there are no cracks) but it is a decent enough looking instrument and the finish is fine on the front. I own both an Ibanez RG and SA... This is closer to a true Strat than either in shape, and the HSS pickup layout (the RG is HSH) is all "fat strat" (like my Ibanez SA and Strat HM) The Rocker RG-100 is slightly more cut-out than a Strat (and therefore more comfortable for higher frets) but not as comfortable as the Ibanez (especially my SA) The sound is similar to my Strat and Ibanez RG (both are top routed with frontplate mounted pickups) and the versatility of the Rocker is great! I can manage nearly any "Fat Strat" sound I could want with it. The Strat (SSS pickups/maple fretboard) was designed specifically for country music, and the (HSS pickup/rosewood fretboard) "Fat Strat" revision was to make them better capable for rock, metal and pop.
The neck is quite good overall, despite a minor run in the varnish on the rear of the headstock, and a flaw in the fretboard (1/4" spot of rough "dried goo" under high E at the 14th fret which I was able to shave down and then fine sand away without leaving any noticeable marks). The "V" shape/arched neck has a definite rounded ridge that runs the length of the neck, and is comfortable. The lack of a palm-side insert along the neck makes it safe to assume that this is a single action truss. It has 22 frets (My Vintage Strat has 21) and the headstock shape is more of an Ibanez shape than a Fender (but sized similar to pre CBS Stats)
The amplifier works well. It has high/low EQ, and a separate push-button overdrive with a separate adjustment knob. The amp I got sounds MUCH better than I expected, and I'd say it's comparable to my 19w Ibanez GTA-10... Not quite as clean or versatile, but it does have a sweet overdriven sound. I couldn't really complain, as it's a solid state practice amp and one cannot honestly expect a lot from them. It's even quite quiet (very little static hiss), though it does distort more than my higher-end gear does at higher volumes. There was no unpleasant feedback, with any combination of settings. I expect this amp will adequately perform practice duty for my son for a decade or more.
The strap is cheap nylon, but it's wide enough for comfort, and the vinyl/bonded leather ends are strong and durable enough to secure the guitar to it's chrome strap buttons. The gig bag is also nylon, reinforced with nylon straps and padded with plastic hardware and nylon zipper. It features padded side carry handles, and a nylon clip-on shoulder strap (with plastic clips) and a generously sized zippered pouch with a rubber "Rocker" branded patch that will easily hold all the included peripherals, and it is large enough to hold sheet music or books. The guitar is not noticeably heavy, and the bag will suit light duty transport, but I would not trust the shoulder strap hardware to hold up if there was more than a couple of thin books in the pouch. The included cheap plastic picks are terrible quality, but fine quality pletrums are a mere 30-75c each at most shops. The strings on mine (and the spare set) are fine gauge nickle, and I'd imagine they will last as long as any standard strings. The included 10' cable is extremely cheap (I can buy similar ones for $1.99), and I would expect it to become noisy and useless quickly, but it does the job. Within a couple of months, I will replace the included cable with a 20' high quality cable (about $25) should my son acquire my love of guitar.
My Rocker RG-100 was missing the tuner and DVD, which is likely why it was discounted. I have tried to contact support for replacements, though I don't expect much of them... We are talking about a $130 complete outfit made in China. // 7
Sound: I do like the sound, feel, and apparent durability of this RG-100 guitar package. It gives a pleasant bright, crisp and sharp sound with neck pickup (a la Buddy Holly), warm thick full range of sounds (in combos), clean smooth sounds using the mid pickup and with overdrive on the bridge humbucker, I can get a beautiful classic rock distortion (a la Keith Richards' "Satisfaction"). // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The RG-100 hardware isn't too bad... The sealed machine heads are a tad too high ratio for my liking (likely to accommodate less precisely machined parts), but they do keep tune. The adjustable one piece bridge/tremolo (with arm) is quite similar to an Ibanez SAT style tremolo. It feels solid, and it is all chrome (not nickle), the nut is solid and shaped well, the frets are all level, filed perfectly at the ends, and everything including the neck/body joint is quite secure and fitted.
I did open it up and make sure everything was tight. Loose components do affect sustain and vibrational noise, and any guitarist knows enough to do this to EVERY guitar periodically as screws do work loose during shipping and over time even without use. Inside, the finish didn't entirely cover exposed wood and I applied varnish to the exposed routed area to seal it, preventing cracking due to normal moisture loss, temperature changes and aging.
I am not finding any fret buzzing on mine. I have not had to setup the guitar either, and it has a fairly low action. I would assume that I am lucky... This guitar came with adjustment hex keys for a reason, didn't it? I do not recommend attempting to adjust the trussrod, this is always best left up to a skilled professional, as it is so easy to irreparably damage an instrument with the slightest mistake. // 8
Reliability & Durability: The RG-100 I have is solid all-around. It is my belief that this was intended to be a teaching and practicing tool as opposed to a gigging instrument, and the included amplifier would not suit gigging at all. Still, I can find no reason that the guitar would not be able to withstand gigging, and it's unique properties could prove useful for specific numbers and alternate tunings... I could see this serving as a back-up, or a preset alternate tuned guitar for specific songs.
The finish appears to be as durable as any guitar, and the hardware will last a few years with little care. Maple fretboards all lose their finish and become worn and dirty in the 1-8 positions, but will develop their own unique properties when they do. // 6
Overall Impression: I find it is more than adequate to allow my son free reign to explore all kinds of music with his own guitar while providing him with a fully functional versatile and pleasant sounding guitar as he learns. If he keeps interest, and progresses, I will invest in a high-end guitar for him, or even custom build one with him to help him better understand the instrument. I expect he will either lose interest in guitar, or need a better quality one in a couple years, and I suspect this Rocker SG-100 will serve at least that long, maybe even considerably more with decent care, and the amplifier should serve well for basic practice and toying around with effects, well into his 3rd guitar... To that end, this was about the best $50 investment I could make... A truly sweet deal!
As for comparing this to other kits, if it had not been discounted, I would never have considered purchasing it, nor any of the generic low-end packages on the market these days (Silvertone, Kona, Stedman, etc). There are many fine packages available for slightly more money... Check out Peavey, Ibanez, Aria and Fender (Squire) to name a few, all have good brand-name guitar/amp packages in the $180-$250 range, that are much more likely to provide a long life of pleasurable service, retain a decent value, come with a reputable company warranty and the "peace-of-mind" this brings or at least be more saleable should you decide to sell or trade up. These brand name packages are worth the additional money based on resale value alone, and the customer service from these companies is MUCH better as they have a reputation to uphold. The only points I can find that would put the Rocker RG-100 ahead are price (saving $50 to $120 from a brand name package) or this package's unique set-up... Maple fretboard is not the norm (and has qualities that can be desirable), and HSS pickup layout (a big plus when seeking versatility in musical styles) which is not typical of beginner packages. // 4
sdawne, on september 12, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 160
Purchased from: local music store in Singapore
Features: This guitar is pretty much a Strat knockoff, and for its price just decent at best. Clearly a 1st guitar; I bought it to test the waters of whether I was going to continue with the instrument. Four years later, this guitar has served me well, although I can say with surety that something else might serve me better. Purchased in 2010 from a Singapore music school. Made in China. Arrived as a starter pack with 20W amp, gig bag, tuner, pitch pipes, DVD and a set of spare strings. I bought the black incarnation of this (incidentally the only one).
- Maple fretboard
- Angled headstock (looks nothing like a Fender though)
- 22 frets
- Body probably plywood
- Passive electronics with generic pickups (HSS)
- Knockoff tuners (indeterminate model, probably Fender copy)
Nothing really Stellar in my opinion, even for a first guitar. It's still a relatively affordable package in any case. I feel it makes a backup guitar at best. // 6
Sound: Genres: Classic Chinese pop music, alternative rock, instrumental rock, post-rock.
Tunings: Drop D, Standard E, Standard Eflat. I've played this guitar through a Line 6 Spider IV 30 (borrowed), the original 20W amp that came with this guitar, a Fender Mustang I 20W (emulating a Fender Twin Reverb or Vox AC30 depending on the songs in question) and a Marshall AVT stack (rented for gig). It sounded all the more cheap on the Line 6, but worked surprisingly well on the Marshall stack and the Mustang.
Perhaps this might be a problem with my playing as well, but I feel that the bridge pickup sound is a tad gritty, even though I enjoy the distortion. I usually keep the pickups on neck setting which is rather bright (no Hank Marvin sound though, as much as I chase after that like a rabid dog), albeit not sparkly clean. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought it it had no visible flaws. I didn't fit on the trem bar as I had no conceivable use for it back in 2010. As a more experienced guitarist who has spent hours sitting around in music stores, I dare say I prefer Bigsby's (but that's another story). I had it professionally set up at a second music store. Action was a tad too high for my liking, and there was still slight fret buzz, though nothing overly annoying. The guitar goes out of tune rather easily, though thankfully not within a single song or set. Within a week, it goes out of tune (even in standard E), usually flatter, though I tune up before every time I play it.
I probably ruined part of the finish when I added a rhinestone competition stripe for a school performance. It's since been removed with alcohol, and the finish is still intact. All in all, it's probably made of not-so-high quality parts prospective buyers, especially hot-rodders, I strongly recommend you replace them to your specification! // 5
Reliability & Durability: This guitar, for all its low-quality worth, turned out surprisingly durable! I bought this guitar as a schoolgirl and used it at events like cultural festival assemblies, charity concerts and even an exchange trip. My longest set was half an hour and I was quite rough with it as I'm very energetic during live performances, and even jump frequently. It lasted through entirely intact with no dents or dings, although a stock string did snap in the middle of a rehearsal. Part of the hardware seems slightly oxidized right now, but then again I have never got it replaced or cleaned meticulously. I had the plastic film ripped off the pickguard after it got dirty a lack of care on my part I suppose.
Strap-wise, I played with strap locks from day one to ensure that no guitar-falling-down incidents would happen thus I can't comment much on strap locks. I've never used this with a backup at all, although since I don't play professionally I've never really needed one. I did end up swapping it out for a classmate's John Mayer Strat, of all things, after the string snap. The finish, just to answer the final question in the review, is still intact despite the application and subsequent removal of a rhinestone competition stripe. // 7
Overall Impression: To sum things up: Mediocre starter guitar, not the bottom of the barrel, but still has a good feel. It's like a Stratocaster despite not being the real deal. 4 years after I used this thing, I think I'll be using it as a backup the moment I can get hold on better gear. Like a 2nd guitar. Through Line 6 amps, it sounds less than stellar, but cuts the mustard on Fender Mustang I, and got me through a cultural festival concert on a Marshall AVT. I do wish I'd tried a wider range of guitars before this one it was an impulse buy.
If it were stolen, the impact would be more emotional than practical I'm saving up for a Fender Telecaster / Gretsch Electromatic Jet right now; the loss would probably be one of my first ever guitar, at best. There are many MUCH better fish in this ocean than the RG-100. // 5