Price paid: $ 167
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Sound — 9
The pickups have a very airy sound, almost acoustic like, a bit like those in an electric acoustic guitar, but very powerful. They have a bit of hum when plugged straight into the amp, but it's all gone when using effects. The sound is bright, full, and well defined. Just a touch of mud a full volume but clear as a bell at just above half way. Since it has coil tapping you can get single and dual coil sound for a good bit of variety. Sounds great straight, I also use it with a Line 6 Pocket POD and a Yamaha Magic Stomp, and it sound just super.
Overall Impression — 10
I play Christian rock and pop, and some country too. This will fit anything I need an electric for, but it would also be very well suited for harder music as well, those pups have some sweet scream in them if you want it. I've been playing for over 30 years, I also own a Line 6 electric and a nice Jay Turser electric, also a Takimine, Rougue (my bang around guitar) and Jay Turser acoustics. I'd replace this in a heartbeat if lost or stolen. The sound of this guitar is sweet, and it really invites you to spend time with it and to try new things. And it looks really great, very sharp. The only thing it doesn't have that would have been nice would have been a whammy bar, but no big deal. I checked out hundreds of guitars on the internet prior to picking this one, but I'm very glad I did get this one. I could have paid 3 or 4 times as much and not felt ripped off. A super value, I wish I had the money, I go on the Rondo website and buy 2 or three more Douglas, Agile or SX electrics. Did I mention I really like it?
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've only had it three days so it's hard to tell. It seems dependable enough, I would consider it gig worthy. The finish is rock hard and should stand up well if well cared for. The hardware seems like it will hold up and the strap buttons seem solid. I think if I gigged I would still want a backup, but I would with any other guitar anyway, something can always go wrong with even the best of guitars. It can be much quicker to plug in another guitar than to change a string.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Not set up well, but it was under 200 bucks, so I'm willing to do a little work. There was slight buzz on 2 frets and it came with the action way low. Made one slight adjustment on bridge to slightly raise the action and WOW, now it's great with no buzz and the action is still very low. No truss rod adjustment needed and intonation is close enough that I've not messed with it yet. I may try raising the pickups slightly, but they are already pretty hot. Finish and binding were just about perfect. This guitar is so much better looking than it was on the website, with a darker wood tone than the one pictured. I have found no visual flaws at all. There is a variation in the color of the neck and the body, but it looks O.K. And it is fairly close, I'm sure the neck is maple or some other harder wood but the website does not say. The tone knob feels just a little odd or loose when turned on the inside, but it works just fine. A pro set-up and this would have been a 10.
Features — 9
Made in 2009 or 2010, most likely in China. 24 frets, slightly thin neck, jumbo frets, rosewood fretboard, custom inlay on 12th fret. Carved solid top, Basswood body, double cutaway design, clear coat natural finish, all black hardware. It has a set neck. Gibson style bridge and string through the body design. Dual ceramic humbucker style pickups with 5 way-switch and wiring allowing for coil tapping. Solid black standard tuners. Sharp V style headstock with all tuners on one side. Single tone and volume control. Pots are sunk slightly into the body.