Songbird review by Ronin

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (12 votes)
Ronin: Songbird
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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.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    OutbackJack
    For all you folks out there that are frothing at the mouth about the Redwood and the Ivory, please note that all of the wood used in Ronin Guitars is SALVAGED wood that was originally cut anwhere from 50 to 100 years ago. We could not use recently cut redwood as it just does not have the necessary tonal qualities to be a good tonewood. The guitar listed here was made from Redwood that was used to build a winery, and thus it also has been soaked in red wine for decades, and though we aren't sure exactly what effect that may have, the guitar sounds amazing. As for the Ivory, it IS NOT from Elephants or any other living creature. It is a synthetic product that looks and feels like ivory, and it's brand name is "Tru Ivory" (not 'true ivory', as the review says). I know all this is factual because I am one of the luthiers at Ronin Guitars.
    cip 123
    if its not good for metal and u can spend 3000$ try caparison the guys from killswitch engage use them
    Vinushka
    What a curious looking guitar...Obviously I can't vote on it because I've never played one, but I like the look.
    taiyonokuroi
    A small correction: the bridge is NOT a Gotoh tremolo. it is, rather, a Callaham.
    Keyphur
    a solidbody guitar made from 3000 year old old-growth redwood...Even the Pickguard is unique, in a variety of shapes, made out of true ivory
    I'm sure its great guitar and all but don't you feel a tad like an egotistical douche playing a guitar made from a 3,000 year old redwood and elephant tusk?
    ZaÐ
    I really dunno why some ugly bitches do feel like the totally MUST vote without even trying anything..
    EpiExplorer
    Keyphur wrote: a solidbody guitar made from 3000 year old old-growth redwood...Even the Pickguard is unique, in a variety of shapes, made out of true ivory I'm sure its great guitar and all but don't you feel a tad like an egotistical douche playing a guitar made from a 3,000 year old redwood and elephant tusk?
    I'm pretty sure a forest that has well over a thousand trees isnt that badly off after losing one. Besides, one tree could be like... a few thousand guitars. Ronin are nice btw, only problem is their exclusivity..
    Keyphur
    nor do I think that the forest is in any immediate detail
    lol scratch that. danger, I meant danger
    taiyonokuroi
    Keyphur wrote: a solidbody guitar made from 3000 year old old-growth redwood...Even the Pickguard is unique, in a variety of shapes, made out of true ivory I'm sure its great guitar and all but don't you feel a tad like an egotistical douche playing a guitar made from a 3,000 year old redwood and elephant tusk?
    It's not REAL ivory, and they don't use old growth for anything else?
    taiyonokuroi
    Oh I don't doubt for a second thats a nice guitar, obviously alot of detail and thought went into making it, nor do I think that the forest is in any immediate detail. I just have a problem with someone cutting down a tree that has stood for thousands of years and and enjoying it for a time span most likely less than 1% of that time. Its like making a sidewalk out of one the bricks from stonehenge[/quote] Also, the wood used was already stockpiled. you can't cut it down, and you can't sell it outside of the states.
    OutbackJack
    One more note, we live and work in Northern California where redwoods grow. We would never cut down an old growth tree as it is morally reprehensible. We have been collecting salvaged redwood for many years making these guitars almost completely "green".
    Brigade
    I'm sure its great guitar and all but don't you feel a tad like an egotistical douche playing a guitar made from a 3,000 year old redwood and elephant tusk?
    Seriously. They don't chop down whole freaking trees! It's sourced from stuff like barns and wineries. Go read their site www.roninguitars.com
    Keyphur
    EpiExplorer wrote: Keyphur wrote: a solidbody guitar made from 3000 year old old-growth redwood...Even the Pickguard is unique, in a variety of shapes, made out of true ivory I'm sure its great guitar and all but don't you feel a tad like an egotistical douche playing a guitar made from a 3,000 year old redwood and elephant tusk? I'm pretty sure a forest that has well over a thousand trees isnt that badly off after losing one. Besides, one tree could be like... a few thousand guitars. Ronin are nice btw, only problem is their exclusivity..
    Oh I don't doubt for a second thats a nice guitar, obviously alot of detail and thought went into making it, nor do I think that the forest is in any immediate detail. I just have a problem with someone cutting down a tree that has stood for thousands of years and and enjoying it for a time span most likely less than 1% of that time. Its like making a sidewalk out of one the bricks from stonehenge