Price paid: $ 3000
Purchased from: Ronin Guitars
Sound — 9
The Songbird has a very distinct tone, rich and warm, but with the ability to get as gritty as needed. I'm using mine with a reissue Fender vibroverb, and the clean tones are incredible. You can go anywhere from crystal clear to a tone that can only be described as "fuzzy". The Sound is just as clear with distortion. I'm using a roger mayer spitfire fuzz pedal, and the guitar works with it to give you a great Vintage sound you can't get with anything else. My only complaint is that the Songbird doesn't handle digital effects too well, and it's tone isn't very well suited for metal or speed playing.
Overall Impression — 10
Because I play mainly Blues, and all styles of rock, this guitar is perfect. I've been playing 8 years, and this guitar is the best I've played that entire time. I own a Parker P-42, a Squier Telecaster with lindy fralin pickups, and a heavily upgraded Epiphone Dot. This guitar blows them all out of the water. Ronin guitars, even though they've only been around a short time, certainly know what they're doing with guitars. The craftsmanship and materials are superb, as well as the aesthetic qualities of the instrument. I wouldn't give this guitar up for anything.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is extremely durable, but I wouldn't throw it around. The hardware is all very good quality, and, if you aren't too rough with it, will last for decades. I wouldn't play any guitar other than this one live, if I didn't have to use alternate tunings and play some metal. The finish is nice and solid as well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar is set up for you personally, and you won't get the guitar until it's been intonated perfectly, and doesn't buzz at all. The songbird I bought had no flaws, other than the plastic top of the selector Switch being slightly loose. The finish is even and very well done
Features — 10
It's hard nowadays to find completely handmade guitars for this amount of money, but this instrument from Ronin guitars is just that. It's completely handmade in the States, a solidbody guitar made from 3000 year old old-growth redwood (Although korina and honduran mahogany are used to make the same models as well), with a Mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. The Redwood is, in my opinion, the perfect tonewood. The sound is warm and full, and the wood will resonate forever. The pickups, Vintage goldfoils, have a wide range of tones, although Ronin uses mini-humbuckers, and staple p-90s in their guitars as well. The 22 fret neck with Vintage style frets fits well in the hand, and plays faster than you would think. There are a variety of finishes used on the songbirds, although mine is a deep cream, I've seen seafoam green, gold, cherry, natural, tobacco burst, and blue as well. The body style is unique, with the beveled horns of an SG, but the assymetry of a stratocaster. The bridge is a Gotoh Vintage Strat Tremolo, and holds the tuning well. Things are kept simple, with one volume and tone knob, and a three way selector. Even the Pickguard is unique, in a variety of shapes, made out of true ivory, the material used to make gun handles.