Vintage Strat review by Rockburn

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  • Sound: 3
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 5.8 Decent
  • Users' score: 5.3 (6 votes)
Rockburn: Vintage Strat
2

Price paid: £ 80

Purchased from: amazon.co.uk

Sound — 3
The pickups are weak and the low density of the basswood used in the body work together to ensure this guitar has a feeble sound at best. I bought it because I had 80 floating around and I knew I'd only fritter it away on unhealthy food and because it looks rather pretty... I usually play 80s style hard rock/metal, but with this I've tried expanding into 60s/70s rock, in particular, jimi hendrix. Combined with my very basic Hiwatt amp, I can get decent clean and distorted practice tones out of it which make playing hendrix covers to myself pretty damned cool. However, turn up the volume, and add a bit of gain (Line 6 Spider IV 75watts), and the results are tragic. It really needs some new pickups, but with the low quality woods used, and the bolt on neck, I fear I'll never get a sufficiently great tone.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I'm impressed with this guitar. For 80, it looks great, (especially if maple fingerboards are your sort of thing... ) and for strumming to yourself in your bedroom, its great. Before buying this product, I would have liked to have asked "can you guarentee it will arrive in one piece?" but as always, buying online is a risk. If someone stole it, I'd be pretty damned annoyed but I don't think I'd buy a new one. If you have 80 to spend, and you fancy a new guitar which looks good and plays alright, or if you're just beginning and are looking for a beginners guitar which looks better than most other beginner guitars, then this guitar is worth considering. If your looking for something relatively cheap with a bit more than looks, then you'd be better off looking at squiers or low end fenders. However, for 80, I'm pleased with what I got.

Reliability & Durability — 5
This guitar wouldn't last regular live playing. I get the impression it is relatively fragile, but maybe that's due to the fact the first one was pretty badly badly damaged in the post. Either way, if you want this guitar to keep its good looks, treat it gently. However, having said that, I would consider bringing it as a back up since it does look fine.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar arrived with the tone control and the scratchplate smashed. Amazon sent a replacement the next day, which was in much better condition. It was out of tune when it arrived, but it only took a moment to retune it, which was a relief. The action was set quite high, so I used the allen key provided to lower the strings at the bridge, this was relatively simple and now I can say I've got a pretty easy to play guitar. The replacement guitar was absoultely fine when it arrived, but as common sense would normally tell you, be careful when buying online, and always check the company's returns policy. I'd have been so pissed if I'd not been able to get it replaced, the first guitar was completely beyond use.

Features — 7
The Strat style body is made of basswood, the neck is made of maple. This guitar is finished in opal white, and comes with "aged" tone controls and scratchplate. The neck is a bolt on with 22 frets, with a maple fingerboard. It has an Vintage Tremolo style bridge and comes with basic pickups. Overall, this guitar lacks any seriously cool features, other than its looks, which, for 80, are certainly not at all bad. Its really a basic Strat style guitar at a very low price.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    paddybuck123
    ello every one, i got a rockburn as my first guitar, now couple years down the line im playing high end bc riches and epiphones but i was finking of upgrading the parts on my rockburn, should i bother getting new tuners, pickups bridge and electronics or will it still sound like a peice of crap after anyway??
    rbgwynne
    I purchased oneof these from Argos in the UK and spent months trying to return it. The problem was that it sat around for several months without much attention and it wasn't until I opened it up to replace the strings did I discover the massive knot hole through the centre of the body extending right up under the bolt on neck. Argos not being guitar savvy were a nightmare to deal with as it was almost impossible to get them to understand what a problem this defect represented. I got my money back in the end but be meticulous in your examination of this brand of guitars.
    rv_phoenix
    A Rockburn is in no way worse than a Dimavery, Harley Benton, Stagg or Behringer. You get what you pay for. However, you've rated it (correctly) a 5,8, while other reviewers have granted their crappy guitars 9s and even 10s. Let's put the things in order, then. And don't buy musical instruments online anymore! Every instrument has its own particular sound and features. You must listen to the axe you're preparing to buy, no matter how cheap it is. Even cheap guitars can be improved, by replacing pickups and hardware, but only if they sound good and are well built. You can actually notice all this only if you buy the guitar in a music shop.
    I got the boot
    I've had this guitar for about a year now and it's what you'd expect for 80 so not even close to being halfway best but pretty good for just playing in your bedroom. One other thing My one came with a free 10w amp which is actually very good I know this doesn't improve the guitar itself but it's just something to think about when buying a guitar (especially if like me it's your first)
    rv_phoenix
    I got the boot wrote: I've had this guitar for about a year now and it's what you'd expect for 80 so not even close to being halfway best but pretty good for just playing in your bedroom. One other thing My one came with a free 10w amp which is actually very good I know this doesn't improve the guitar itself but it's just something to think about when buying a guitar (especially if like me it's your first)
    I agree, but let me reveal you a real problem of the "beginners' guitar". The worst thing is not the fact that you cannot use it for gigging or making records. Not even the fact that, obviously, if you improve your playing, you'll have to drop it in the first garbage can, completely wasting the 80 quid you've paid for it. The worst thing is that such guitars are very likely to have hidden flaws, that only an experienced player can notice. And I don't mean unpolished frets, fret-buzz or high action: things like these can be solved. But a slightly wrong fretting, for instance, will ruin any attempt to tune the axe. I can assure you that, if you play 2 years on a guitar with wrong fretting, it will almost certainly take another 2 years to get rid of the wrong sounds you tend to associate with the positions on the fretboard. And wrong fretting cannot be detected by common electronic tuners, those chosen by 99,99% of the beginners. In other words, you play on a defective guitar without being aware of that fact. There are many more hidden flaws, there's not enough room here to expose them all. My advice: buy the best and the most expensive guitar you can afford! Even if you quit playing, it will retain a good deal of its initial value, so you'll get at least some of your money back.