Price paid: £ 100
Purchased from: Gear4music
Sound — 6
This thing does play well now I've set it up (read on). The tri-sonics work well with that characteristic harmonic tone, Its got nice sustain too. I've only played it through the White Horse and my old Carlsboro GLX30 practise amp (A red one, circa 1998, rare as rocking horse manure ;)) I havn't plugged it into my Marshall stack yet, That will have to wait till we get into the rehearsal room. The neighbours don't like the stack :p. Crunched up it has a surprising tone. The tube in the White Horse is giving it a smooth punchy harmonicy jangly trebbly quality. Turn up the gain and it squeals and sings quite amazingly for the price. The scale and pick-up position give it a sort of strat-ish sound range, but with the added twist of the set in neck sustain and the tonal character of those tri-sonics. I have "wedged" the tremelo. More on that later. This guitar costs 130. So You can't expect it to blow your mind, but it does put a smile on my face for what it can do. I play many different styles and I have quite a collection of guitars and basses. I bought this cheap little thing as a toy and so-far (sound wise) it hasn't disapointed me.
Overall Impression — 6
Not a bad beastie. For the money quite a good beastie! Good fun and and entertaining sound, looks pretty with a really nice finish and fair quality hardware. Just needed setting up properly. Then with plenty of gain and some boosted top end through a good tube amp it sounds pretty cool. A right laugh, Its not fantastic, its 130. But its a giggle for 130 surprisingly nice in many ways.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have No idea idea if this thing will last. The finish is good as I said and the hardware seems reasonably good quality, the solder joints look O.K etc... Its too new to tell I suppose. I; ve checked all the screws, machine heads and the like on set-up and everything is now tight an hunkey dorey. I'm gonna give it a few gigs worth and see how it fairs. It won't be a main guitar as I tend to swap depending on the noise I want to make. I'm confident to take it along with me and blast a few songs on it. It doesn't seem as if anything is going to fly off :)
Action, Fit & Finish — 3
The finish on the guitar is very good. It seems well put together in terms of quality (again for the price). The hardware is acceptable. In terms of set up. I basically had start again. The guitar I got was not the one I tried in the showroom. I had to take my receipt over to the warehouse and get one out of stock. Obviously the one in the showroom had been set up properly. Mine certainly was not! This would put off anyone less experienced I feel. The thing was unplayable! It was as if it had been assembled in a rush at the last stage. It buzzed like a tit all over the board no matter where the action was and sounded horrid. The quality of the basic instrument is good, but it just wasn't set up at all! Just all in one piece :o So, I had to set up everything, even leveling and re profiling the frets, but after work on the truss rod, action, nut, frets, pick-up position etc it turned into the reasonable instrument it is, rather than the pile of plop it was when I bought it. Perhaps mine was just an unlucky one, a Friday afternoon job. Maybe The dude at the end of the production line was a new starter, or was ill, I don't know. I will say this though, If If I had bought this guitar and had to pay a shop to put the thing right, even with that expense added, the result would be worth it. Don't get me wrong its good for the price, mine just wasn't set up. The other problem was the trem. It came with 3 springs that where far too loose, so when I changed the strings to 11's, the trem was stuck up in the stratosphere. I had to put another spring in there and then it was fine. I have wedged the trem though as I don't really like floaters, although it does work fine now the tension is correct. I did not touch the electrics as they work fine with no crackles. I just moved the pick-up heights. Another slight issue for me is the position of the top strap button. Its a nicely balanced instrument but it feels like it needs its button behind the neck SG style, rather than on the horn. Just me but it feels a bit like its going to pull the strap out of the button.
Features — 6
I bought this cheap little Beast new from Gear-4-Music a few days back. It was an impulse buy :) I actually went in to buy an amp and came away with one of their 60watt tube head and cab sets (White horse). I won't go into the amp, as it has been reviewed already and I'm reviewing the guitar.(I like the amp though :)) Anyway. They had one of these guitars in their showroom. It caught my eye so I tried it out. I rather liked it, so I told the assistant if he could do me both for 300 I would have it. He agreed so I parted with cash. Now the price on the amp was 199, so that's why I have stated 100 for the guitar. The guitar is actually priced at 130. Black Knight is Gear4Music's own brand, as far as I know. Features: I think it is supposed to be sort of a Red Special copy (Mr May's fireplace). Its red, black scratch-plate, its a similar shape and it has 3 Burns style tri-sonics on it. Its not a copy as such though, I think its just an approximation built to a price. More "inspired by" then a cover version. I can't be fluffed to type it, so here is the spec lifted from Gear4Music's site: :) Features/Specifications: Body & Bridge: * Body: Basswood (Contoured) * Tremolo: Fulcrum2 Tremolo * Finish: Special Red Neck: * Neck: Hard Maple * Construction Set-in * Fingerboard: Rosewood with Dot Inlays * Scale: 25 * Machine heads: Chrome die-cast Pickups & Hardware: * Pickups: 3x Sonic style - Single Coil Pickups * Hardware: Chrome * Controls: 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone, 5-Way Pickup Selector Switch * Strings: D'Addario (10-45) It came in a cardboard box, no strap, case nothing. But hey I did get knocked 30 off it. I ain't complaining. It did have a little bag with 3 allen keys in it for adjusting, something it REALLY needed, more on that later.