Price paid: C$ 800
Purchased from: HotRod Guitars
Sound — 9
My RatRod is perfectly suited to play punk alt & hard rock, which I play, and by rolling back on the tone and volume controls can produce great blues and even jazzy tones. This guitar is as versetile as any Gibson LesPaul ever to roll off the line. I play my RatRod through a Standard issue Crate FlexWave 120 HalfStack, but I've also plugged it into the Fender FM100 HS, A Beringer 100w SS HS of some description, and the Marshall JCM 2000 of a good friend of mine, all with beautiful results. This guitar plays well through everything. The Kent Armstrong P ups are a tiny bit muddy when heavily distorted, but the overall sound is still excellent.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for around 15years now, in Alt Rock, Punk and Hard Rock bands, and this guitar seems tailor made for this type of music, I mean hell, it's painted up like a 50s-60s hotrod! I also own a PRS SE Standard, and a HotRodded LesPaul copy, both played through my Crate HalfStack. I have owned several other guitars, including a 72 Strat and an 89 LesPaul Studio, and I am happier with my Sparrow than any of them. For guitar of this quality, and with these features from another company, I'd expect to pay more than twice the money. The day I bought my RatRod (which is a Boss model btw, ) I directly compared it to a used Gibson LesPaul on sale at HotRod guitars for a cool $1k, and I had previously played similar higher end Ibanez & Dean guitars and I decided on the Sparrow. Just as much playability as the Gibson, more features and less money. Seemed like a smart move to me. Plus I just love the paint job! In my opininion, the Sparrow guitar is only lacking in the strap button area, & I wish it had come with a hard case.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I feel confident that My RatRod will stand up to the beating a plan to lay on it playing Live. This is one sturdy chunk of mahogany, and knowing that it was hand assembled here in Canada makes me feel really good about the workmanship. I would definately gig it with no back up. No hesitation. My only issue ist with the strap buttons which are average at best. They will be replaced with Schaller strap locks shortly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Hand set up at the factory in Vancouver, there's nothing to complain about. This guitar was clearly painstakingly assembled and set up, with attention paid to the smallest detail. Action Fit & Finish are all excellent! No dents, dings or scratches, everything works like it should. The action is set nice and low, no fretbuzz, or pick up noise. Great set up from the factory.
Features — 10
My RatRod, was made in 2007 in Asia somewhere, then hand assembled and hotrodded in Vancouver BC Canada. It's a 24 3/4 scale guitar with 24 jumbo frets made of stainless steel on a fat rosewood fretboard inlaid with classic trapazoids. Both the body & the neck are Mahogany, the body having a laminated maple top. It's finished in Metalic Red with beautifuly hand painted cream to yellow flames outined in green pinstriping. The finish is nothing short of beautiful. The RatRod is a LesPaul style guitar nicely equipped with 3 way switched Kent Armstrong Alnico style Humbuckers, and a Tune o matic type bridge kept in tune with Grover machine heads in conjunction with a bone nut. Tone and volume are manipulated using individual fullsized pots which are nestled in shielded cavities to reduce excess noise. Included with my RatRod was a pack of extra strings, a cleaning kit and some misc Sparrow Swag.