Rocket Special Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 03/06/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Marshall: Rocket Special
Typical Marshall stuff really. The bridge Humbucker is incredible for a guitar in this price range. The guitar is a lot thinner than most Strat style guitars kind of like an Affinity Strat.
 Sound: 7.6
 Overall Impression: 7.6
 Reliability & Durability: 7.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.4
 Features: 7.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (1) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
Rocket Special Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 19, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Dawsons

Features: This guitar comes in the Marshall rock kit, along with a korg tuner (or a Marshall tuner as I ended up with), 2 Marshall plecs (I got 5), a Marshall strap, lead, and 15 watt amp. The guitar feature 21 frets, and a stunning appearence of 3 shades of black and a plain wood back od the neck. The neck and body is maple (made in China), and Strat style body. Sandard volume, 2 tone controls, with 5-way selector. // 9

Sound: I found the guitar sounds best at bluesy stuff, even someone of my skill (not very high) could make a classic solo melt. I'm using it with a Marshall MGCDR-15, the amp supplied with the guitar. On distortion, I personally think it sounds awful, sorry but Smells Like Tean Spirit on this guitar is unrecognisable it's that bad. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: No real flaws here, loose tone control but that's it really. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've played this guitar live and its not bad, comes out of tune easilly and the strap comes off every so often. Would not use at a gig without a backup. From what I can tell the guitar will last a while, not a life time by any means but a good few years. // 7

Overall Impression: I genrally play Blink 182 sort of punk-pop music, and its a terrible match. Blues is the guitars speciality, and not punk-pop. If I lost my Rocket Special, I would probably get a pacifica. Or seeing as I'm getting a bit better than beginner standard maybe an Epiphone. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 7.8
Rocket Special Reviewed by: marshallmgssuck, on march 04, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 226.8

Purchased from: GAK

Features: Made in China. 2005 model I think. It has 21 frets and a nice shiny black finish. This guitar looks amazing, especially for the price. It features one volume and 2 tone controls. Also has a standard 5 way pickup selector. The pickups are 2 single coils and one very high output humbucker. All three are height adjustable. It is based on a fat Strat body made out of alder. with a Stratocaster style bridge. The neck is black rosewood with pearloid dots. The head is unique to this guitar, looks very nice. The tuners are non locking but seem to do an okay job of keeping it in tune. Everything on this guitar is black besides the back of the neck and the white outline on the pick guard. // 8

Sound: This guitar suits my styles quite well. I play rock (all types - classic, hard, alternate) and grunge mostly with some blues and metal too. Most of the time I use the humbucker which is very good for a guitar of this price. It gives it a nice rock tone. I only use the single coils for slow quiet music really, where I want the sound to be very clean. I'm using it with the amp it came with, Marshall MG15CDR and a Behringer X V amp. With the X V amp I am able to play anything I want. The clean channel of the amp is adaquote but the distortion channel is hardly usable, that's why I bought the Behringer. With the humbucker, I am able to get a very rich and full rock sound, even with no gain. The single coils weren't as bright as some other guitars but still did the job. The volume control really does its job and with it you can get the good rock tone but with less gain. The pickups weren't that noisy, average. The sustain is good for such a cheap guitar, changing the strings helped this. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar wasn't set up that well at the factory, although the action was good at the top of the neck, it was far to high at the other end. I think this is because of the tuss rod not being adjusted correctly. Because of the this there is a lot of fret buzz which can get quite annoying. This was the only fault I could find with the guitar, everything else top notch for a guitar of this price. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I'm sure this guitar will withstand the rigors of playing live, certainly looks like it. No problems with the hardware so I think it will last. The strap buttons are fine, but the strap it is supplied with slips of regularly, changing this solved the problem. I would depend on this guitar, no reason not to. I would use it withought backup as it's my only guitar but when I get a new one I'll use this as backup just in case. The finish seems fine. The only other problem is that the bolt on the plug often comes loose. To solve this I took of the metal guard around the plug and loosend the bolt inside, giving more room for the outside bolt to attach to. I've had no problems since, just make sure when you plug in to tighten it if its loose. // 8

Overall Impression: this is a good mathc to what I play - rock, grunge, alternate rock hard rock, classic rock and some of metal. This is a very good guitar to start on and if you get a new amp it will sound better. If it were lost or stolen I would probably get an Epiphone SG or Les Paul as I'm quite good now. I love the looks and the humbucker and don't hate anything except the fret buzz on this guitar. I compared it to a squire Strat but this guitar beat it by far on the overdrive channel, whearas the squire was better on the cleans. I chose this over the Squier because I use overdrive more than clean. I wish it had another pickup like the bridge one at the neck. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 7.6
Rocket Special Reviewed by: Grafitti_Artist, on august 05, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 347.6

Purchased from: Yamaha Music Gallery

Features: Now Marshall are famous for making amplifiers. But the Rocket Special was one of the special guitars they did make. It has that Stratocastor shape with some minor alterations. The guitar itself has 21 frets and a rosewood fretboard. The guitar is completely black except for the back of the neck. The pickguard is black with a white outline, other than that, the guitar is all black. The controls are pretty standard, one volume, two tones, and a 5-way selector. This guitar came in the Marshall Rock-Kit, it came with a KORG Tuner, and soft case, and whammy bar, a strap, two picks, and a Marshall 15 watt Amplifier. // 8

Sound: The sound is good overall. But when connected to an amp the volume control on it is not that effective, if the destortion is turned on, you want that sound but don't want to disturb your room-mates it is hard to get a good volume, its either too loud, or not amping at all. I don't have a pedal, but the amp comes with distortion so I don't worry about that too much, unless I want a sound the amp can't give me. The sound isn't great for preformances but its great for practicing. The guitar has a hard time staying in tune. The sound is very bright, the bad thing is it can't be adjusted that much. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Nothing too good about it, but it certainly wasn't bad. I find that the the jack would often come loose, which annoys me. The strap holder would also often come loose. Only having 21 frets is a downside also. Alot of songs that I try to learn require 22 frets. But other than that, the guitar is pretty good. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I've never tried live playing with this guitar before, I use my Yamaha Pacifica for that. But I would think that it would hold. The hardware itself is pretty good. But the guitar tends to go out of tune easily. But other than that, the guitar is worth what I paid for (even though most of that was for the amp that I got?. // 8

Overall Impression: I play all kinds of guitar music, it does well in all, except classical. I like this guitar because it looks nice and it is different from any other guitar I have ever seen. I've been playing for about 4 years (newbie!) and I own a Nashville Acoustic, a Yamaha Classical, a Yamaha Pacifica, and this guitar (Rocket Special). If it were lost, I would look for it, but personally, I just don't have the cash to buy another one. I love the looks, beautiful, beautiful design! I hate the fact that it only has 21 frets, that really bothers me, I guess its better for rhythm than lead. Honestly this is one of the best looking guitar's I've ever seen. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 7.6
Rocket Special Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 03, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 319.2

Purchased from: Billy Hyde Music

Features: This is one of two special Marshall guitar and amp paks called "rock-kit." In which you receive a Marshall 15 watt amp, the guitar, a Korg tuner, strap, a few piks, a tremelo bar and some replacement strings. It's made in China but is still strong enough to have resisted by occasional dropps and bangs. It has one humbucker and two single-coil pick-ups. It's shaped like a Strat but with a pointed head and sharper cut-outs. it is all black with the exception of the back of the neck and the scratchboard is outlined white. It has only 21 frets. It has a standard 5-way selector and 1 volume and 2 tone knobs. // 8

Sound: I play alot of grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam) and a lot of alternative (Smashing Pumpkins) but I also play some Eric Clapton and some finger-picking folk and blues music and the 15 watt amp comes out on top of it all. But if really want to get good tones and distortion with this guitar or you want to start playing with a band you really want a bigger amp. I the distortin on the 15 watt amp is a little weak and you need more powere to really get tone out of the guitar. 5-way selector gives you a range between really sharp and muted tones but with not much in between. The 1st tone knob ranges between muted and clean tones but the secong know has not much effect. I'm using a Fender Fm 202 100 watt amp which really displays the tone and range of this surprisingly good sounding guitar. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: My only quarrels are the plug-hole comes loose, the pickup selector is a little noisy and the knobs can be easily pulled off. But apart from that I have not had to adjust anything in my year of it's use. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I am not sure if if I'd play a gig with the amp provided in the rock-kit pack because it is too small and it limits your tone but with a bigger amp (such as mine) I definitely would. A back-up guitar ss always advisable but I don't think youd have any troubles with this one. I've dropped it a few times but it's still as good as ever. The finuish is still perfect also. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar pack is perfect for any begginer. It is affordable and durable. I have been playing for a year now and have started playing with a band so I got a bigger amp and thats when this guitar really starts to Shine. You'd think that in a Marshall pack the amp would out-do the guitar but the opposite applies here, this guitar has buitiful sound that can only be fully harnesed through a bigger amp. You can play anything from Metalica to Eric clapton on this guitar. If it were stolen I'd probably try to find it but then I'd probably invest in a Epiphone Les-Paul copy or something but if you are just beggining I suggest this guitar. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.4
Rocket Special Reviewed by: power1, on june 27, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: My guitar is 2002 Vintage, made in China. It was black on black, with a dark rosewood neck. It has 21 small Fender-style frets. The body is poplar with a maple neck. When I got it, it was finished with the gloss black paint that is standard. It is your run-of-the-mill srat shape, the pickups are in a H/S/S format, with standard Fender controls. The tuners a crap bargain bin ones, and the guitar came with everything you need, amp, lead, strap etc. // 8

Sound: When I got it, I had never played guitar before and knew nothing about them. At first I thought it was a peice of crap and I treated it that way, throwing it around and kicking it and stuff. Treating it like this caused some of the paint to come off, which gave me the bright idea to remove all of the paint. After doing these 'modifications', the guitar has taken on a whole new life and really does sound good. When I knew nothing about guitars I thought it wasnt very good, and then I played some Squires and a Mexican Strat, and I was appalled. This guitar is great for that SRV kind of jazzy/bluesy sound he gets, and with overdrive you can do a convincing Hendrix impression. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: As I said before, the Factory set up left alot to be desired, but my personal experience from just playing has gotten me to figure out my personal setup. As someone said in another review of this guitar, the pickups really are excellent, rivalling anything up to a US Fender or Gibson. Apart from minor ajustments, it was okay. One small issue is that the neck has quite a large radius (about 14") which is great for bends but a little sus on barre chords. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The guitar will certainly withstand live playing, I've used it a few times and its bloody solid, except for the strap buttons, which are garbage. The stock finish isnt bulletproof though, so I removed mine. // 8

Overall Impression: With '60s-'70s rock its as good as anything else. I believe that if you play this enough then youll really like this guitar, I've used it solidly for 4 years now, and although I got a Gibson SG to replace it, its just too hard to make the transition, and so I still use this as my primary instrument. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 7
Rocket Special Reviewed by: fretman96, on march 06, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 30

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: The Rocket Special is a typical fat strat style guitar (HSS), the bridge humbucker is definitely worth the money alone and can produce a pretty great tone for a cheap guitar. The guitar is completely blacked out and features a dot inlay 21 jumbo fret design with a pretty cool looking bat wing shaped head stock. For a cheap guitar it's pretty good looking and has everything a beginner would really need, non locking tuners, 5 way selector to go between the pickups, although I usually stick with the bridge hum. // 8

Sound: Like I said before the humbucker in the bridge position gives this guitar quite a lot of bang for it's buck. It can easily bust out some heavy duty Black Sabbath riffs or you can turn it down a little for some more subtlety, sticking it through my Zoom GFX-707 on the Van Halen setting is always great for making my unsuspecting friends jump out of their skin. You could probably get a pretty good variety of sounds out of the guitar but personally I would probably stick to metal, heavy rock or some grunge on this thing just because of the way it feels. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I received the guitar from eBay the setup was pretty shocking but I'm guessing it was due to the previous owner. For some reason there was a spring missing from the back of the guitar which had caused the bridge to get pulled up by the strings as the owner tuned it. Not having an extra spring or a trem arm for the guitar I decided just to block the bridge up with some pennies instead and it's worked great. After altering the action I've also managed to get the strings quite low and it's pretty good to play on.

The pickguard also seems out of place on the guitar and after taking it off and putting it back on I still can't get it to sit perfectly flush with the body, but this could be a total coincidence to my guitar alone. Still overall I think the action and finishing of the guitar has a little to be desired compared to other models in the price range. // 5

Reliability & Durability: The previous owner of my guitar must have given it some fairly bad abuse as the wood between the bridge and pickups had been snapped down both sides and sloppily glued back into place. Still it's managed to hold up and keeps a tune, it's a little bit like Frankenstein all crudely sewn up together. The body has so many dings I can't even count them and when I got it there was rust showing on some parts of the guitar but still after being cleaned and polished up a little it manages to play surprisingly well, I think the Rocket Special is a bit of a tank of the guitar world and if you want a cheap guitar that can take a beating this is it. // 7

Overall Impression: For a starting out guitarist I would say that the Rocket Special isn't a bad little guitar to start out with, although personally I would not spend too much on it when there are better guitars out there. I'd much rather save up and get a Squier Bullet Strat or something similar. I've been playing for two years now and the guitar isn't great but I would still opt for it over one of the cheaper Epiphones, although that's down to personal taste. If the guitar was stolen I'd probably laugh quite a lot, but I'd probably end up a little sad as the guitars been good to me and provided a cheap laugh and something a little different to my other guitars, although I wouldn't buy it again. // 7

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 5
Rocket Special Reviewed by: JamieSalisbury, on november 16, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 35

Purchased from: A friend

Features: This, was of course, great value for what I payed, but I wouldn't pay any more than 150 euros for it new. Only 21 frets whitch is a real shame for lead guitar playing. The black model I have (I believe there is a natural wood version) looks great, and extremely light, but the wood used is cheap and fragile. I bought it from a friend cheap because the wood was ripped off the guitar just because he used the vibrato! The body could easyly be mistaken for a Stratocaster, untill you pick it up, but it has a strange (yet very cool) bat wing headstock. Controls given are volume, two tones and a 5-way selector, but both tones broke in no time, so I replaced them with a killswitch, I think it came with an amp originalty but I only bought the guitar an its Marshall softcase. // 4

Sound: Its great for blues, and rock, but its not great clean. I use it with a Fender amp so that does most of the work. An anoying buzz kicks in very quickly after releasing the strings, so not great for playing Live. Not much veriety, but with a good pedal and decent amp it would sound great. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was built like crap. Cheap wood, crappy Pegs that had to be tightend, controls comit suicide... Not great, if you really want one, buy it second hand, and change averything you can... OK paint finish. but it could do with a better scratch board (at least a bit darker so it looks the same colour as the guitar. // 3

Reliability & Durability: This guitar wouldn't last very long, 2 years max (playing Live) but I wouldn't trust it playing a gig with no backup. The paintjob hasn't worn out yet, but its lost some Shine where my hand rests. I wouldn't rely on it much, I only play it once in a blue moon. // 6

Overall Impression: Not great for me as I'm a all-round player, but I just use it as a last resort. I own a Vintage (thats the company) Les Paul Copy thats great for the price I payed 100E, But the guitar I always play Live is my Epiphone Les Paul Standard PT in "Translucent Blue" that has a great warm tone that I recomend to any intermidiate or pro players that are looking for there first "good" guitar. If I lost this guitar, or broke it (most likely), I wouldn't give a rats arse purely because of the price I payed, and its not THAT pretty... I just think its like every other Strat copy, exept this one has Rocket Special writen on it... // 5

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear