#1
Hey guys,

I'm a lefty, looking to pick up a cheap guitar. I found a Douglas Gravity (semi-hollow) with p90's. It's nearly impossible to find something like that, especially for the price. I know it's not great, and I'm willing to upgrade the parts on it, the question is, have any of you played/ owned anything from this brand and what did you think?
#2
I've never played a Douglas, but I have in the past had an Agile Ghost. I'd imagine the Douglas guitars are like low end guitars from other manufacturers. I'm not sure if those guitars are Indonesia, China, or Korea, There are only so many factories that makes guitars in any country and usually guitars made overseas are made in the same factory as guitars of other brands.

My Ghost had the same hardware and the same pots as my Washburn X-50 Pro. Build quality was similar as well. While you can always change the electronics out, the build quality is something you can't really change. If you're not using it for live shows or recording and just for use at home, I'd imagine those Douglas guitars would work just fine for that purpose. People seem to get on other people's cases for putting new electronics in low end guitars. You can always pull that later and put it into a different guitar, so even if the guitar ends up not being played a lot you still are only really out the cost of the guitar. If I remember right though, Rondo has a pretty good return policy.

If you like it and can afford it, get it. If you end up not liking it you can always return it and be no worse off.
#3
I haven't actually had a Douglas in hand yet. My understanding is that Douglas is not a brand exclusive to Rondo (Agile is) and the guitars come from more than one actual manufacturer. The folks at the Agile Guitar Forum generally seem content with them.
#4
I've played a few Douglas brand guitars, owned a couple, and even gig with one regularly. Outside of the usual cheap electronics & hardware, they are relatively decent guitars equivalent to a Squier, etc. Great bang for your buck!

#5
Rondo is OK, sometimes fantastic. However, the very low models are a bit questionable as they are usually Korean made - almost all of them. The cheaper the model, the more likely you'll need to have your frets leveled... a common complaint. Sometimes people complain of spots of glue too.
#6
I've owned a few Douglas and Sx guitars and I've played agile. They are very solid guitars, very good for modding platforms and are every bit worth what you pay. If your on a budget and need something you can upgrade over time its a no brainer, sometime the quality control can be iffy but Kurt at rondo will sort out any QC problems as long as you let him know shortly after getting the guitar. He typically refunds the shipping cost to send it back and will also usually personally check the guitar he sends back to you.
#7
Quote by Darkdevil725
I've owned a few Douglas and Sx guitars and I've played agile. They are very solid guitars, very good for modding platforms and are every bit worth what you pay. If your on a budget and need something you can upgrade over time its a no brainer, sometime the quality control can be iffy but Kurt at rondo will sort out any QC problems as long as you let him know shortly after getting the guitar. He typically refunds the shipping cost to send it back and will also usually personally check the guitar he sends back to you.


Agreed 100%

I own a Douglas, which is really nice. Also three SX guitars and one Agile.
#8
Quote by grrrgrrrr
Rondo is OK, sometimes fantastic. However, the very low models are a bit questionable as they are usually Korean made - almost all of them. The cheaper the model, the more likely you'll need to have your frets leveled... a common complaint. Sometimes people complain of spots of glue too.


Actually it would be a GOOD thing if the low-end models were done in Korea, but I'm not sure that's the case -- I'm thinking more likely Chinese, Indonesian. All of the Agiles are done in Korea, however, but most of those are a bit higher-end (compared to the Douglas and SX).

On my list, however, is an SX "Liquid" -- a sort of surf style guitar that runs about a hundred and a half. I figure I'll probably have to sort out things here and there, but what the heck.

As for fret leveling -- I think that's true of a LOT of guitars (including one new one I bought at $4K) these days. I'm not sure if that's a result of shipping from overseas, sitting around a Guitar Splinter for a while, or just plain old mediocre construction. I'm assuming I have to feed these things to a PLEK machine early on and keep an eye on them for the first year to see how they react to climate (unless I've superglued the frets at the same time). About the only guitars I've seen that were near perfect from the factory have been one Variax JTV I got recently and the stack of Carvins, which usually reach your doorstep within a few days of completion.
Last edited by dspellman at Mar 25, 2014,
#9
I owned one and was pretty letdown in just about every way. But you're a lefty and I know your options are limited, so maybe it's worth the risk.
#10
Quote by dspellman
Actually it would be a GOOD thing if the low-end models were done in Korea, but I'm not sure that's the case -- I'm thinking more likely Chinese, Indonesian. All of the Agiles are done in Korea, however, but most of those are a bit higher-end (compared to the Douglas and SX).

On my list, however, is an SX "Liquid" -- a sort of surf style guitar that runs about a hundred and a half. I figure I'll probably have to sort out things here and there, but what the heck.

As for fret leveling -- I think that's true of a LOT of guitars (including one new one I bought at $4K) these days. I'm not sure if that's a result of shipping from overseas, sitting around a Guitar Splinter for a while, or just plain old mediocre construction. I'm assuming I have to feed these things to a PLEK machine early on and keep an eye on them for the first year to see how they react to climate (unless I've superglued the frets at the same time). About the only guitars I've seen that were near perfect from the factory have been one Variax JTV I got recently and the stack of Carvins, which usually reach your doorstep within a few days of completion.


I've just been told by Kurt there that they are pretty much all from Korea. Almost completely. So, if thats good - thats good.

Yeah, its the lowest end ones I've heard bad about. Anything, I've been told - under around 200 usually comes with fret issues or needs some sort of fix. But, when you do - some can sound way better then even some bigger and more expensive guitars.

As for fret leveling, I actually got a Ibanez from zZounds and for some weird reason - the frets had been leveled before it being sent to me. There is definitely evidence of that. It was new too.
#11
Quote by grrrgrrrr
I've just been told by Kurt there that they are pretty much all from Korea. Almost completely. So, if thats good - thats good.

Douglas and SX are made in China. All Agiles are made in Korea.
#12
After playing a couple Douglass guitars, and granted it's a small sample size, I'd compare them to the higher end of the Squier line.

One of my friends owns one of the more expensive Gretsch-style Douglass. Those guitars don't necessarily fit my playing style, but it's a good guitar for the price.

Another friend and bandmate of mine picked up one of the Thinline Tele style Douglass recently and put GFS Mean 90's in it. I've never played the stock pickups, so I have no insight on those, but the guitar with Mean 90's sounds nice. This guy also has a Squier Carbonita Tele, and In terms of playability and tone the guitars are very similar in quality.

Even though I haven't had any real extensive play time with either of these guitars, I can say there were no obvious blemishes in either playability or aesthetics.

I'd definitely recommend dropping decent pickups in these guitars. If it were me, I'd also get new tuners and potentially even a new nut. Tuning stability was perhaps the only area of concern I had with those guitars. They weren't awful, but didn't stay in tune as well as I demand for my playing, which involves a lot of leads. Do yourself a favor and plan on getting a nice set of tuners if you're going to get a Douglass. If you notice any tuning issues following that, you're probably going to want to put a good nut on the guitar.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
Last edited by sjones at Mar 26, 2014,
#13
Quote by sjones
After playing a couple Douglass guitars, and granted it's a small sample size, I'd compare them to the higher end of the Squier line.



Pretty much this. Also the cheaper ones will come with some fret issues some times, I have never had one with a popped or sharp fret. But my Douglas Debeo Octanis did not have the greatest fretwork though it certainly was not unplayable by any means. If I could do fretwork the way I can do it now I probably would have kept it since it was a mahogany bodies randy rhoads copy with set neck and only cost me about $150 after shipping and sounded damn good. But my SX Hawk SE had pretty level frets

The only reason I even traded this one off is because a guy traded me a Ibanez RG5EX1 for it.
#14
Thanks for the input everyone, I just ordered it. I figure if it's total shite I can just return it, no harm not foul, but at the very least I can upgrade the neck at a later date, the pickups as well. I'll post an update once I receive the guitar.
#15
Quote by dspellman

On my list, however, is an SX "Liquid" -- a sort of surf style guitar that runs about a hundred and a half. I figure I'll probably have to sort out things here and there, but what the heck.


I picked up one of these just before last Christmas with the soapbar P-90's. This is the only SX guitar I've played in person, but I have to say that I have been 110% pleased with mine. The build quality is good, I've had no fret issues and I'm very happy with the sound. I had been expecting to swap out the pickups, but frankly, they sound pretty good to my ears, so I've just played it.
#16
Quote by jds2
I picked up one of these just before last Christmas with the soapbar P-90's. This is the only SX guitar I've played in person, but I have to say that I have been 110% pleased with mine. The build quality is good, I've had no fret issues and I'm very happy with the sound. I had been expecting to swap out the pickups, but frankly, they sound pretty good to my ears, so I've just played it.


What? Nothing to complain about? Where's the fun in THAT?
#17
Quote by jds2
I picked up one of these just before last Christmas with the soapbar P-90's. This is the only SX guitar I've played in person, but I have to say that I have been 110% pleased with mine. The build quality is good, I've had no fret issues and I'm very happy with the sound. I had been expecting to swap out the pickups, but frankly, they sound pretty good to my ears, so I've just played it.


Same here. NO issues with my SX Liquid. The neck and frets are sweet.
#18
UPDATE:

It just arrived! A few dings here and there (very minuscule, and it bothers me a fraction, I don't really mind) but all in all it's in good shape. The necks straight, and I'm going to have to do my own set up on it, but it feels great. It's a little noisy, but them being p90's I suppose that's natural, unless it's a bad soldering job. There is a pit of scratch when I mess with the volume know, but I have Deoxite for that.

I'll post pics in soonly.
#19
Quote by voncameron
UPDATE:

It just arrived! A few dings here and there (very minuscule, and it bothers me a fraction, I don't really mind) but all in all it's in good shape. The necks straight, and I'm going to have to do my own set up on it, but it feels great. It's a little noisy, but them being p90's I suppose that's natural, unless it's a bad soldering job. There is a pit of scratch when I mess with the volume know, but I have Deoxite for that.

I'll post pics in soonly.


Can't wait for pics!
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#20
I'd love to hear your impressions. I have to admit, I check the Rondo site daily and the semi-hollow Gravity's looked pretty interesting at that price. The only thing holding me back is that I have three hollowbody guitars already (Brownsville Choirboy, Ibanez Artcore AG75 and a '63 Silvertone).
#22
Quote by voncameron
Thinking about upgrading the bridge pup for something, any ideas?


Never swap out pickups unless you know that 1) you really don't like what's in there and 2) you know exactly what you're looking for in a replacement. And always remember that a pickup swap is usually a "sidegrade," not an upgrade. It's just a personal taste issue when your guitar doesn't do anything better or different than it did before.

Nearly all of my guitars have their original pickups; I'd personally rather have guitars with their own sonic character.

If you're looking for a very cool P90 bridge pickup without the noise and hum, get the Kinman Noiseless P90 as a replacement. It's about the only one that actually has the character of the original Gibson P90 while eliminating only the noise. Pricey, but worth it.