Price paid: $ 141.221
Purchased from: Richmrsax.com
Sound — 9
The overall sound is great, being very bright, and the 3 pickup configuration gives plenty of variety. As usual, the single coils tend to be a bit noisy when used with distortion, but used with my Toneworks AX1500G fx unit, which has a superb noise gate, this isn't really a problem. Without using distortion, there is no unwanted noise/hum at all.
Overall Impression — 10
As a guitarist of over 30 years, purely as a hobby, I've owned Fenders and Gibsons, but I've always liked the idea of so called 'budget guitars' and presently own 6, this being the latest. The bang for buck this guitar represents is staggering, ok, it had it's initial faults, but they were easily put right. It looks stunning, plays beautifully, but the biggest compliment I can give is that it already feels like I've owned it for years instead of days. I'd buy another in a heartbeat if this was lost or stolen. A solid Ash body with maple/nayto thru neck for under 80 GBP? It's gotta be a steal at that price, even if the woods and hardware used aren't the 'best' available. With a brand name, I'd expect a guitar of this quality to be priced at around 300+ and still think it a bargain. This guitar is at least semi pro Standard, but can be bought at a beginners price level. I only wish there were guitars this good and low relative cost when I first started playing. It might appear I've overmarked this guitar, but even bearing in mind it's faults, this is still a lot of guitar for very little money. The company were prompt to reply to all the emails I sent, and they were very helpful in answering my questions, so both they and this guitar are highly recommended.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This is a substantial guitar weight wise, and the hardware appears solid enough to last. The lack of a laquer finish may put some people off, but personally, I love it. At the very least, this will do a fine job as a backup guitar. I don't play Live, but would have no hesitation using this guitar if I did.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
At first glance, the factory setup was fine. The action out of the box was superb, but when I looked closer, the bridge was fully wound down on the treble side, which meant no more room for adjustment. This usually means the truss rod hadn't been correctly adjusted in my experience, and I was right in this case. Also, the bridge had been fitted the wrong way round, the screws to adjust the intonation faced the pickups rather than the back end of the guitar. As I immediately restrung it with a set of 11's, I was soon able to correct the bridge, and a quick quarter turn on the truss rod with the supplied key, gave ample room to adjust the bridge. I contacted Mark@Mr Rich Sax about the way the bridge had been fitted, his reply stated that J&D always fit their tunomatic bridges the 'wrong way round' tho' I honestly can't think of a reason for this, even a bad one, but if it was intended, then tbh, it can't really be classed as a fault. There were a couple of light coloured patches on the fretboard, almost like chalk was present, but a quick dab with some dark coloured woodstain soon fixed this. The humbucker wasn't balanced, in fact there was a surpisingly marked difference between the outputs of the single coils to the humbucker, the latter being far weaker. On closer inspection, after taking the humbucker off/apart, I soon noticed it should have been held to the top of the cover by a dab of glue, but somehow mine had come loose. It meant that no matter how much I tried raising or lowering the pickup, only the cover was moving, the pickup stayed at the bottom of the cavity. An easy thing to put right for me, maybe not so for someone Who didn't know what to look for. The sound now the pickup problem has been fixed and balanced is very bright, perhaps too bright for some, and as I said earlier, there's plenty of variety in tones available. If I was being Ultra critical, I'd have to say the nayto wood inserts in the neck and body could have been finished more flushly, but this is a minor quibble and not really worth mentioning on a guitar at this price.
Features — 9
This is a Chinese/Taiwan made Strat shaped guitar, part of the RMS 8xx series, with Ash body and 'very' slim thru' neck comprised of nayto and maple with 24 fret rosewood fretboard, with thinnish frets and the scale is 648mm in length. I'm not sure if it has a oil or wax finish, but the wood grain can be felt in both body and neck, and the body is described by the manufacturers as being strawberry blond in colour. Tunomatic style bridge, passive S/S/H pickup configuration, 5 way selector, 1 each of volume and tone pots. Unknown make, closed die cast tuners.