HT-10 Electric Guitar Kit review by Saga

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
Saga: HT-10 Electric Guitar Kit
1

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: ebay.com

Sound — 8
The kit doesn't quite fit my style since I play more of a high gain style of metal (mostly post hardcore and melodic riffs). The humbuckers just won't hold up to my applications. They're definitely suitable for lower-gain rock and metal, but where they really Shine is with clean applications; they sound kinda dreamy like warm old PAF's. However, I anticipated this and they certainly weren't the reason that I bought the guitar. I upgraded all of the electronics myself, with a GFS Crunchy Pat Neck humbucker from guitarfetish.com and a Seymour Duncan Jb SH-4 from a local music store. I also ordered a 500k push-pull pot for volume, a full-sized 500k Alpha pot for tone along with a .047uF cap on the tone pot. I got the wiring diagram put a coil split of the two pickups on Seymour Duncan's website. (http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=2h_1v_1t_3w_1pp) With those humbuckers played through my Line 6 Spider 212, I have to say, it sounds... freakin' amazing. The coil split allows for a limitless combination of sounds. My distortion is thick yet articulate even in drop tunings. The best part about the sound is that the SH-4 really has a rich, warm sound to it, even when played through a solid state amp. For distortion (metal riffs) I use the Insane setting (cheesy, I know) with a little over half for the gain setting and I scoop out the mids. When my HT-10 is coil split, I can get a Strat distortion on the Bridge pickup or a Tele Bridge pickup sound on the neck. When the humbuckers aren't coil split, they have a rich full sound. The coil split is especially useful for chords; add a little tone (maybe half) and split the neck pickup and you have a wonderful setting for strumming some rhythm. The humbuckers that I use have absolutely no noise, even with extremely high gain. The stock humbuckers were just about as good in that respect. *ORIGINAL SOUND 6/10 *MY SOUND 10/10 I'll cut it even and call it an 8/10 because this guitar is often modded.

Overall Impression — 9
The original electronics in the guitar made it seem like it was in the middle of the road, and applicable to most genres. However, it didn't seem like it was intended for one in particular. With a little work (do your research kiddies) the HT-10 turned out perfect for me. I've been playing for.. oh, three years or so now, and for being self taught I feel like I'm a pretty decent guitarist. I also own a Squier Custom Modified Telecaster and a Hamer XT Sunburst, but the sound and versatility of my custom guitar absolutely blows them out of the water. If it were stolen, I would cry. For all of the effort I don't think I'd buy another, but I'd sure miss it. My advice for anyone who intends to undergo the creation of their own HT-10 kit from Saga is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. Learn about finishing and modding (if you want), and take your time. Check and make sure everything fits correctly when you receive the parts. Make it your own, and most of all.. HAVE FUN :)

Reliability & Durability — 7
With a good finish and some strap locks, this guitar is definitely suitable for live play. The snapping connection system of the original electronics seemed a bit sketchy to me, so I'll be honest and say I'm not sure if they would hold up for an important show. I feel like with solderless connections there is a possibility that the sound may cut in and out every once in a while. The strap buttons that came with the kit are just the Standard cheap kind, and I suppose they would hold up just fine, but I always use Schaller Strap Locks just in case. With how much work I put into the guitar, and how much money (roughly $350 total) I think that the guitar is very dependable and I'm always going to use it at my band's gigs without backup. I built it to last. *OVERALL DURABILITY 7/10 (for solderless connections/cheap strap buttons)

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The setup of the guitar is done by the kit builder, so the quality of the setup can be good or bad, depending on the owner. I will say, however, that the truss rod was excellently adjusted before the item was shipped to me, and it with just a little bit of action adjustment (I like mine high), my guitar is very well intonated. As for pickup adjustment, I'm no professional, but I would just call them so so. Smack some name brand HB's in there and you have yourself a real music machine. The bookmatched flamed maple top was excellent, and all of the holes for mounting the TOM Bridge and stop piece were cut very well and accurate to scale. Again, my only complaint is the slightly crooked holes here and there, as well as the fact that my 3-way Switch wouldn't fit. A chisel will do the trick if anyone else comes across that problem. *SET-UP/ACTION 5/5 *ROUTING 2/5 (minus one each for my neck screws not going in properly, other screws going in crooked, and my 3-way not fitting correctly)

Features — 7
Allow me to start by saying that I bought the Saga HT-10 kit primarily for the body and hardware. With this said, I still put the guitar completely together and listened to it with the electronics that came in the kit. When I ordered the HT-10 off of ebay, my kit came with a 24-fret neck and a basswood body with a maple cap. The headstock of the neck was uncut, allowing for your own design (within reason). The shape of the body is similar to that of a PRS C22 or C24. The wood is actually very high quality, and the body was coated with a thick layer of sanding sealer. The flame on the maple showed very well. My only complaint with the wood aspects of the kit was the fact that some of the holes weren't drilled in quite straight, and the screws that bolt the neck and the body together weren't quite going in all the way. The connection was secure, but it bothered me (as it should), and I took it to my buddy's drill press to straighten them out. All good now. Also note that if you are having trouble screwing in some other screws on the body you may need a screwdriver with a wider handle to give you a little more torque and get them in deeper. They'll all go, with a little effort. The hardware that came with the kit isn't too shabby either; it's all silver (which I had wanted) and I couldn't find any spots where the finish was bubbling like on a lot of other cheap hardware. The tuners, unlike most people seem to think, behave very well for me, and after just putting new strings on the guitar the other day it is already staying in tune for a whole session of playing. I couldn't find any complaints with the tune-o-matic Bridge and stop piece. The only aesthetic bit I didn't like was the cheap Gibson style speed knobs, so I replaced mine with black die cast Tele knobs. On to the electronics. This is where the kit was kind of lacking to me, but, I wanted some high output humbuckers. The kit came with passive electronics, and all of the components clip together easily. I had them all together in about five minutes. The stock electronics in the kit included 2 small size potentiometers for tone and volume and a cheap 3-way Switch (that didn't fit; I had to chisel a bit). For my style of playing, mostly metal that requires a HOT humbucker, the two stock pickups just weren't doing it. They have a medium output and are about the same for both Bridge and neck. *BODY 4/5 *ELECTRONICS 3/5 (the fact that the Switch didn't fit blew my mind)

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    shermdaddy
    please note, when I said the hardware is silver, I just meant the color. silver is definitely not the material they're made of.