ST 420-F review by Shine

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 5.1 (9 votes)
Shine: ST 420-F
0

Price paid: $ 235

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 10
I play mostly old Rock and Roll and some country. Using both pick-ups the sound compares to that of a Gretsch jazz guitar, where if the treble setting is used, you get the snappy leads of a Les Paul. The rhythm selection would compare to a Hagstrom Semi-Hollow body or similar to the Brian Setzer model Gretsch.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing on & off for about 50 years and have played most types of music. Right now I am interested in old Rock & Roll, Vintage country, jazz and blues. The Shine ST 420-F is the perfect match for any of the music types that I play because of the versatility of the P-90's, fast neck and excellent ton of the semi-hollow body. I truly believe that Shine guitars are going to be a major factor in the American Guitar market. They currently produce a pretty wide selection of guitars on eBay through The Guitar Deal Store, who by the way is a very reliable vendor with an excellent track record. I would definitely buy from him again.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I am just getting back into playing after a 12 year layoff. I own other guitars as well and have also owned some other big names in the past and would put this Shine ST 420-F right in there with the "big boys". I would say that this guitar is definitely gig-worthy. The strap buttons are solid. The Grover tuners are very smooth and hold tuning flawlessly. The finish on the body and neck is excellent.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This amazing little guitar was playable right out of the box, after tuning it of course. The neck is lightning fast and smooth. There were no adjustments necessary. All of the intonation is flawless. The tonal quality of the mahogany body and neck combined with the P-90 electronics give it versatility. There were no manufacturer flaws what'soever.

Features — 10
This guitar was made in South Korea by Saein Company who are an OEM for Epiphone and a few other larger companies. It is a semi-hollow body guitar with 2 F-holes. The body is about the size of a standard Les Paul. It has a thin neck with 22 jumbo frets. The body and neck are made of mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays. The finish is Honey Burst. The ST 420-F has a Tune O Matic bridge, 2 P-90 pick-ups, 2 volume, 2 tone controls, 3 way selector switch. It has a 24.75 inch set in neck with adjustable truss rod. It also comes with Grover tuners.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    magnum34983
    First and foremost, as the original reviewer of the guitar, I am not a salesperson nor do I have any financial interest in the Shine guitar company or the company that markets it in the U.S. I am a person who is 58 years old and have played the guitar since the age of 8. There was about a 10 year layoff of not playing regularly and I just started seriously playing again within the past year. I have not toured "professionally with a band, but did play the local country nightclub circuit. I have owned big name guitars which of course speak for themselves. The review that I wrote about the Shine guitar was my own true opinion of the guitar. The guitar may not be for you so-called professionals, but that's not why I wrote the review. Just to add what I left out of the review, the volume and tone pots all operate smoothly as they should and do not cut out. When the pick-up switch is in the midddle position there is no hum. As an "amateur guitarist" I posted my review with my true opinion of the guitar. I get the sounds that I want out of the guitar. The comparisons that were made were not head to head comparisons with the big boys, it was just stating that the sound and playability does compare. Rather than question my integrity or as you say "my understanding of a product", see it as a review of a product that someone purchased and liked. Remember 35 years ago which was probably before you were born, nobody would even consider buying a Toyota or any other foreign car for that matter. Where is Toyota now.
    wbh57
    I have one of these AND a PRS semi-hollow body as well. I play them both about equally and I AM inpressed by the quality for this price - is it a PRS? Of course not - that's why it costs $245. I find this to be a pretty good guitar...granted, I've only owned it for a few months, but I'm pretty impressed with the quality for the price point - comparing this to other guitars costing 10 times as much isn't a valid comparison either - if you want to compare this to other Asian guitars in the $400 to $500 dollar range, it stands up pretty well. I find the volume and tone pots work quite well, the sound of the P90's is quiet and I don't get ANY hum in the center position. I think some of your points are worth considering, but to call this guitar "crap" is way off base as it is certainly not crap. Is this a '10'....that's pretty much a subjective opinion and perhaps he doesn't subscribe to the same set of standards you define for your own reviews - this is a $245 guitar - get real. For $245, it's a pretty good find. Shine did make a piece of crap telecaster knock of that probably earned them some bad feelings, bt this isn't that guitar...and there are numerous others who feel the same way about these guitars...for the price, it's a pretty good guitar.
    TRexF16
    rv_phoenix, I think I understand your feelings on this review, and I went and read your comments on the other Shine reviews that have been posted on this forum and found them to be balanced and fair, so don't get miffed if I say I think you're being a bit hard on the reviewer here, but I get your point nonetheless. Prior to this review being posted, I bought this same guitar (based on other reviews) from the same seller, The Guitar Deal Store, but due to being overseas now (I had it sent to my home in USA) I have never even seen it, much less played it, but it was such a lovely instrument I pulled the trigger anyway. I'll get to play it in May and post my thoughts here. I will say I was very impressed with the seller. I asked him to pick me out an especially nice on (I love flamed maple and asked for one with great figure.) He responded well to that request and several others, and that was after the sale, mind you, not before when he would have naturally been in "salesman mode". The pictures my wife has sent me of it sure prove he followed through on my request - it's just beautiful. I was really happy to hear how pleased Magnum34983 was with his and found his review reassuring. No doubt you are right that straight 10s is on the high side for a guitar in this price range, but I hope to be as pleased myself.
    rv_phoenix
    icefoxlc1995 wrote: i think its better if other people get the same guitar and then they can say whether it's nice or its crap
    No, you're wrong. It's not the guitar itself we are questioning (I'd say, after a longer relationship with Shine instruments, it's very likely to be an average workhorse, nothing special about it). It's the clueless review. It's the unmasked advertising to an instrument that doesn't worth it (because we don't write reviews here to support a guitar maker or another: we do it to give our fellows clues about instruments). It's about amateurs "reviewing" an object they don't understand properly and don't know to use.
    rv_phoenix
    Straight 10s for a cheap guitar, made in Korea or China (because Saein Co., the owner of Shine trademark, has a smaller factory in Korea and a larger one in China), with stock pickups and a semi-hollowbody design not appreciated by everybody? After a 'review' that doesn't say a thing about its key features? What about the hum generated by these stock Chinese-made P 90s? Is the middle position hum-cancelling or not? What is the quality of guitar's electronics (very cheap, given its selling price)? Do the volume and tone pots work like volume and tone pots, or are they acting more like on/ off switches, showing the same values after level 2, like in most Shine guitars? Etc. etc. etc. I think such reviews, very likely written by sales departments of various crappy guitar makes, should be banned from UG. Because they are simply cheating.
    Ibuildum
    I almost bought one of these last year, and now, wish I had. Looks great anyway. But to address this "review discrepancy" If the 2 gents love their guitar, what's the problem. If either wants to give it a "10", then that's their business. If I review a $250.00 guitar (AS a $250.00 guitar)then my numbers are going to reflect that. In other words " for a $250.00 guitar, I'll give it a 10" if it exceeds all my expectations FOR A $250.00 GUITAR. Does it compete with a $1000.00 (and up)USA made guitar? Probably not. But since I've shut down so many guitar snobs in the past by SHOWING them, let me tell my story. I've owned a USA Vintage '68 Tele and '72 Strat (REAL ONES NOT RE-ISSUES) And 50 other guitars. They were both fantastic instruments. I've owned 17 Strats at one time. Ya know which one was louder acoustically (unplugged)or had the most snap and pop. Or more specifically, which was the best damn Strat I ever put my hands on? Oh, that would be the Mexican Made Black Label SQUIER Strat that I got in a pawn shop for $80.00. That pretty much negates the Guitar Snob MYTH of only expensive guitars are worth high ratings. Here lately, I've taken 2 Squier bullet Strats, done fret leveling myself, sanded the face of the headstocks, and told Guitar Snobs that they were custom builds. People offer to buy them all the time at $500.00 a pop. So, WHB57, and Magnum34983, I'll be glad to accept your assessment of these guitars. Guitar Snobs WILL NOT buy them, which leaves that many more for the rest of us. I want one BAD!
    ShirleyRocks
    When I see a review that gives all 10s for a ~$200 guitar, I know the review is within the context of the price. I agree it makes no sense to compare it to a PRS, which might earn all 10s from reviewers who can afford them, but again, those 10s are in the context of cost and value for cost. Price certainly factors into reviews I read and write, so I don't see what the big deal is about all 10s for a $200 guitar. This review and others like it, tell me that in this price range, I will probably be pretty happy with what I get, which means it's a useful review.
    rv_phoenix
    Please allow me to quote myself (with all excuses): "Nobody says it's a bad guitar". The point is not the guitar, it's the review. Granting a straight 10 to a 245 USD instrument. I can also understand you like the instrument, but let me ask you frankly: look at yourself into the mirror and tell yourself you don't hear ANY difference at all between the PRS and the Shine. That you don't see ANY difference between Shine's finish and PRS's. I myself own quite a few cheap guitars. But I wouldn't grant them a 10. Not even to those superbly modded by myself, with Seymour Duncan pickups, JinHo locking tuners, Seymour Duncan tone & volume pots, internal copper shielding, hand-wiring and so on. Nor will I pretend they sound as good as a PRS. 'Cos they don't. I wouldn't trade them for your PRS, but they remain far behind it in all respects. (You really make me wonder why would somebody who owns a terrific PRS hollowbody waste his time and money on a Shine? No offence, but I feel it's a kind of blasphemy here...)
    rv_phoenix
    There's nothing wrong about a guitar being made in Far East. Think about Ibanez (originally a Japanese make), think about Yamaha (I myself own two of them, heavily modified, it's true, but still Yamaha). Think also about the best Fenders or Charvels nowadays: those made in Japan. The problem is Shine is not a premium Far East make. It's a cheap, mass-built Far East make. With cheap electronics, pickups whose impedances and outputs are right only theoretically speaking, whose truss rod bend in time and you need to adjust them every two weeks after a while etc. etc. Nobody says it's a bad guitar. But... c'mon: straight 10s? How much would you rate a PRS guitar? Or a Benedetto Benny? A 456? No, my friend, Shine hasn't reach the Toyota level yet. It still needs some decades to improve and to switch its philosophy from accidentally making nice guitars to a consistent production of excellent instruments. And we dont't rate the potential here. We only rate the things getting out of our instruments. Yours doesn't worth more than, let's be generous, a 7,5. Unless God made one of His extremely rare miracles and turned an average workhorse into a winner. We both know it didn't happen the miracle, though. Btw: the middle position can be hum cancelling by opposing the polarities, a simple operation any guitar workshop in the world can perform. What about the genuine hum in 1st and 3rd position? Are your Chinese P90s as smooth as PRS's? I very much doubt it. (Have you ever played on a PRS provided with P90s? And, if you didn't, how can you throw straight 10s, just like that?)
    icefoxlc1995
    Straight 10s for a cheap guitar, made in Korea or China (because Saein Co., the owner of Shine trademark, has a smaller factory in Korea and a larger one in China), with stock pickups and a semi-hollowbody design not appreciated by everybody? After a 'review' that doesn't say a thing about its key features? What about the hum generated by these stock Chinese-made P 90s? Is the middle position hum-cancelling or not? What is the quality of guitar's electronics (very cheap, given its selling price)? Do the volume and tone pots work like volume and tone pots, or are they acting more like on/ off switches, showing the same values after level 2, like in most Shine guitars? Etc. etc. etc. I think such reviews, very likely written by sales departments of various crappy guitar makes, should be banned from UG. Because they are simply cheating.
    i think its better if other people get the same guitar and then they can say whether it's nice or its crap
    wblakesx
    About the time (in the years around the time)my cherry and gold 1958 345 was stolen I picked up a couploe of new gib lps and left deep thumb prints in the neck purfs. Garbage but over a grand the... ~1974. When 345 went with my bother equip i was opoor and decided on trying tobgert unpoor so i quit for longer than intended. but gibies were screwing customers just like gm etc were...ho-ray china, their work/price is worth 20 thankyou chinese workers... meanwhile gibs is setting up big factories... where? nashviller? memphis? nononnono.... tadah-CHINA
    notryt
    I own a bunch of guitars.. all are cheap cuz I bought em used.. however I do own some agiles that are inexpensive, even new.. I have a al-3000 Ill put up agaainst anyones les paual and a ttc-630 That is an equal to an amercain Tele.. since I own both I can directly compare em. just cuz something dont cost much or is made elsewhere doesnt make it bad... take a trip to mexico and buy one of the $250 handmade guitars they sell on the street corner.... they ar amazing..
    TRexF16
    OK, I got to play mine back in May/June and here's my promised reply (see my post above from January). Based on how guitars act in Tucson, my home, where the humidity is normally 4-7%, it was as expected after sitting there five months waiting for me. The neck had a bit of a front bow, and there was a small amount of "fret sprout" along the edges of the fretboard. If the original reviewer, Magnum34983, lives in a more humid climate, I can well believe that his arrived perfectly set up. Mine probably was too when it got to Tucson, but no longer. So I had to straighten the neck (which the truss rod did nicely), and do a bit of dressing the edges of the fretboard. With just a bit of action adjustment it played very well, feels great in my hands, and I love the neck - on the thin side like I like 'em. Intonation was fine. Obviously the Grovers were fine. The Vol and Tone pots worked just as they should, and I got no excessive hum from the P-90s. I would say the pickups sounded just a bit "harsh", and I might consider changing them in the future, but I'll need to play it a bit longer to decide and through a few more amps. Cosmetically, the instrument is beautiful, but I did find on small flaw. It is as if there was an end grain check in the mahogany on the bottom edge near the aft strap button that did not get filled completely prior to application of final finish, and a bit of finish wicked into the check such that it is visible. Only about an inch long and nothing structural. I actually didn't even find it for a couple days. As my Mother in Law says, it'll never be seen from a galloping horse. So overall I am very pleased with this guitar. It's a real eye-catcher on stage and looks like it ought to cost 3-4 times what I paid. It plays very well once set up and the worst I can say about it is i might do a pick-up upgrade one of these days.
    wblakesx
    that should be 'Mint 1958 es 345 in orig case', not that trash out there now
    notryt
    Ive also owned some less hat 250 guitars valley arts strats 3 at one time a tc-630 agile an agile ghost a shecter damien, al-300 agile. sg-400.. a couple required pickup changes.. and you know what Ide give everyone of those a 10 too.. no they are not like my rg-1570 or gretch. But I bought at he time what I could afford and by playing em I knew they werent POS instuments
    davey i
    as it happens shine are also oem (original equipment manufacturers) to epiphone and ibanez and peavey products check it out on google so they can,t be all that bad eh. i have just bought a sil-50vs (vintidge sunburst)and was actually amazed at the quality i love it the floyed rose style tremolo is a doddle to use.and for us few that can,t afford a realy expensive guitar these are fantastic for the money