#1
After I made a post looking for opinions on the Rondo $99 Les Paul Copy and suggestions on either orange or blackstar or orange practice amp..... Just thought I would let you guys know my thoughts on the thing. For starters the build quality is phenomenal. It has a set neck which is unheard of at that price-point. Where it falls short is the basswood body and the tuners and pickups. Yes it has a basswood wood, which is just fine by me because I'm a bedroom guitar player and have no desire to be anymore than that. Being that it has the basswood body it can be eq'ed in my situation to give it that darker type sound that mahogany gives. Now with the pickups you can't mask that sound. It clearly needs those to be upgraded. I had an Epiphone Les Paul Standard few years back and put those in Seymour Duncan JB's and really liked how they sounded, of course that guitar was made of mahogany. With this guitar, I'm going to put in GFS Crunchy Pats. I have heard good things about those pups. I do have a question though, if a pickup sounds good in a guitar made of mahogany will it also sound good in a guitar made of basswood or does certain pickups sound better in guitars with cheaper wood? ...So I will have to decide on that. The guitar did not come setup as you would expect on a guitar at that price-point, but i can jam on it a tiny bit. I clearly will have to upgrade the tuners, which once again I will go with Guitarfetish for that. In addition I will also be upgrading the bridge. I personally have not used any hardware or electronics from Guitarfetish but I have heard good things. I did hear a pickup comparison and it sounded close but that was on a beter guitar.

I had to have a foot amputated due to diabetes and had to sell all my gear to make ends meet so trying to get a decent setup. I needed a guitar that was at a lower pricepoint and that I could upgrade gradually so for my sitation it's perfect.

I also made a post asking for opinions on Orange VS Blackstar. I had a Blackstar Fly and a Starcaster that was donated to me because they felt bad for me and how I lost all my gear. Which I thought was very cool. It made me feel good because made me see that there are still good people in this world. So he shipped me the Blackstar Fly and I was just blown away because they was the smallest amp I have ever seen before. I actually laughed because it was so tiny, I expected it to sound like crap but I was like that is still cool because it was free and the guy was nice enough to send it to me.....

on to the amp and my review....The Blackstar Fly-for its size it sounded good. I was amazed it had a decent amount of gain. It even had delay on it....all that on a $60 amp...I was like wow amps really have came a long ways over the years. This guy sent this to me just to tide me over till xmas where my wife would get me some new gear.

Blackstar Id:Core-So here we are close to xmas and I new I needed an amp with more gain but did not have a bunch of money....I had $100 to spend on an amp, so I went to the local guitar shop and played the Blackstar ID Core and I was just blown away. It had more gain than I or anybody would ever need. The sound quality was just awesome. It sounded warm. You can get the Bass you need out of it for it's size. Like with the rest of the ID series you can use the Insider software which opens up even more possibilities....it gives you access to mid,bass and treble while on the amp itself you just have the ISF knob which by blackstar's terms gives you an British type sound vs USA type sound. You can also dowqnload tones that other peeps have uploaded. Like with the ID series it gives you different voices clean warm,clean bright, crunch,super crunch,od1 and od2. Not does the od2 give you more gain than od1 it is just a different sounding tones. You would think it is different amount of gain but they sound different too. od2 is just too much for me. You have so many tonal possibilities. with the different voicing s, adjusting the different gain settings. You have od1 and compare it to crunch and super crunch you can boost the gain and they are different tones completely. It has delay, 34 types of reverb and with the fx it has levels so you can get a great djent tone. It even has chorus and flanger. The thing is loud too. This is the 10 watter and they even have a 20 watter. This thing is just amazing.....I had nothing to compare to it other than the fly and yea people said it was better and it had more gain but one persons view of more gain differs from the other.....I also want to mention although this may seem like a review of a metal amp this thing can do it all, no matter the genre you play this thing will excel at it.IMO you just wont find a better deal for $100 and in this size....blackstar is at the top of their gain. If you need something small you won't find a higher quality warmer tonal qualitry in an amp

Now I'm trying to sell the fly and the starcaster. I asked the dude if he wanted it back but he said no so hopefully I can find someone who is interested in it and I could use the money from it to pay for a setup on my new guitar and maybe afford some upgraded tuners and pickups, I will just have to save for the labor.....I'm hoping this review can help someone who is comparing the fly vs the id:core...there is only $30 difference and you get so much more. I used to have the core 30 watter with the 12 inch speaker and IMO the quality is just as good but in a smaller package.....I want to wish each and everyone of very Merry Christmas
#3
I'm confused. You're buying a budget guitar but already adding tuners and pickups?

My take on all of this is Spend the money on a really good setup. Leave the pickups alone, leave the tuners alone. These are the first things people swap out simply because they're the easiest and cheapest. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, there's no good reason to do so.

Tuners are almost never the reason your guitar goes out of tune (if it does). On an LP copy it's usually a badly cut nut that's the issue. Get that taken care of during the initial setup.

Pickups are one of the very last things you want to dink with on a guitar. It's a final "tweak" when you have a really good amp and a really good setup and you want to move the sound a small amount in a specific direction. There's no reason to put in cheap pickups (GFS are cheap pickups) to modify a cheap guitar when you really haven't gotten the amp in order yet. "I have heard good things" isn't much of a reason to select a brand.

Finally, you keep saying that the guitar "falls short" because it has a basswood body. Please don't believe the BS Internet Myths about tonewoods. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a basswood body and it doesn't necessarily lean your tone one direction or the other compared to the same guitar in mahogany. I have guitars with mahogany, koa, and maple bodies, for example. I keep hearing that maple bodies are "brighter" than mahogany bodied guitars. Truth is, some of my maple bodied guitars are bright, some are quite dark. The same is true of my mahogany bodied guitars. There's just nothing that can be said about body woods on solild body guitars other than that some guitars sound different from other guitars and even from identical guitars with identical woods from the same manufacturer.

Settle down and just *play* the darned thing for a while. You're so full of preconceived notions that you're ignoring why you bought the guitar and amp in the first place.