Hawk SE review by SX

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 2.4 (53 votes)
SX: Hawk SE

Price paid: $ 97

Purchased from: rondomusic.com

Sound — 8
I play metal so the single coils are not really the best to use for what I do but none the less the single coils are actually better than I expected them to be. Even at just position 5 with high gain I do not get much noise and when Switch to position 4 it is without any hissing, buzzing, or humming. Volume and tone knobs as well as the pickups selector are quiet. This can do everything from some light jazz and blues to heavy rock and yes even metal. I ran this guitar through Amplitube and a Fender Frontman 25R. Sounded great through both.

Overall Impression — 8
I play metal and this is not the best thing for the job but it can still play metal just fine if you know what your doing. I have been playing 2 years now and I actually sold my Douglas Flying V to buy this and I have absolutely no regrets for doing that. If it were stolen or lost I would absolutely get a new one. I have compared it with some squiers and I have to say its about on par with the CV series. The only things I wish it had has really is just a string through bridge but blocking the trem works almost as good. If you want a Strat and don't want to spend $300 - $400 then buy this, you will love it.

Reliability & Durability — 6
This guitar will withstand live playing just fine though I would never do it without a backup no matter what guitar I was using. The hardware is cheap but it does its job just fine, the only things that I feel need be upgraded are the tuners and the plastic nut. The finish is flawless and is thick so I have no worries that the finish would wear away very much over a long period of time. Again I want to give it a 10 but the tuners and plastic nut stop me from doing that.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This is where the guitar really shines, literally. The pictures shown on rondomusic site do not this guitar any justice. The finish is darker than shown on the site and has a metal flake in it that you cannot see in the pictures on the site. I intended to strip the coloring off of the neck due to it appearing to be completely orange but it actually has more of a brown tint to it. When it arrived I inspected every single inch of this guitar looking for flaws and I only found 1 flaw and that was a back bow in the neck. After giving the neck some relief I realized that the frets are done very well and that this guitar was all ready perfectly intonated and set up with a comfortable action with very little fret buzz. I want to give it a 10 but the tuners on it are not the best, they hold tuning rather well except the low E which slides out of tuning a little bit after a hour or so of playing.

Features — 8
Made in China 21 Frets 25.5" Scale Maple Neck and Fretboard Alder Body Body color is Candy Apple Red. Strat style body. Fulcrum 6 point tremolo. 3 Single Coil Pickups 1 Volume, 2 Tone, 5 Way pickups selector. Fender style 6 in line chrome tuners. Comes with a nicely padded gig bag and 2 allen wrenches for Truss Rod and Saddle height adjustments. I would have preferred 22 frets rather than 21 but this is no big deal.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Amuro Jay
    Darkdevil725 wrote: You guys have to realize that when rating this guitar I was also considering the cost of the instrument.
    Nobody understands this. Ever.
    Seref wrote: No $97 new guitar is anything higher than a 5. Also, you lose points for reviewing it through a Frontman.
    I have a Fender Frontman 212R and its pretty decent, but yeah this is a terrible review; either obvious troll or 11 year old
    Everybody listen up! If you want to buy a guitar from RondoMusic, anything under $100 will be crap. Skip the unbelievably cheap ones and save up a little more for something with humbuckers. Their single coils suck. And yes, for $97, I'm sure the guitar is fine. But if you want a strat for that cheap, buy a squire. Much better. I'm a firm believer in RondoMusic, I have and sx sr1 std, and they are just fine if set up well. But honestly? Metal with a frontman and 97 dollar strat? Jeez even I did better than that. I had a squire strat with a peavey vypyr.
    I got one of these for 50$ and honestly it's not a bad guitar. The sound could definitely be better though to be fair the cleans on a 6505+(my amp) aren't exactly the best in the world. I wouldn't play metal on it without upgrading the pickups, but for rock and anything lighter than that it's fine. I used to own a MIM Strat that I had originally bought for around 400$, and while that one is clearly superior to this guitar it's not so superior that I wouldn't play this one. The finish on mine looks nice, the neck looks nice(though I prefer Rosewood, which is what all of my other guitars have except my acoustic). It doesn't come out of tune easily(Or at all in the 2 weeks I've had mine). I seriously only have two complaints: shitty pickups, and the action is difficult to adjust. The pickups are fairly quiet though which is a plus This is my 11th guitar and as mentioned I'm playing through a 6505+, with a Marshall JCM 900 cabinet. I'd say the 7.4 review is fairly accurate. I might even be inclined to give it an 8 due to the price.
    This guitar gets a high rating because it is the finest beatstick you can buy for under $100. It is rather unwieldy, but it's much less conspicuous than an actual axe, and it won't kill, only stylishly maim.
    You guys have to realize that when rating this guitar I was also considering the cost of the instrument. And no I was not saying it is better than a $400 or $500 guitar I was suggesting that if you did not or could not pay that much that this would be a good alternative. And to the rest of you saying you have used SX's that were horrible that is not my fault that you got some bad lemons as rondomusic guitars are a hit and miss deal. Also to those who think that single coils cant do metal then you are just ignorant. Obviously if I had rated it as a $500 guitar I would have given it much lower scores but I did not rate it that way. I know frontmans suck, thats why I ran it through the frontman but it actually sounded good through the frontman so I think that still says something.
    Tones not bad, but playability might be ****ed up. I found an SX once in a practice room and it was playable, but nothing more. For a guitar sooo cheap it not bad.
    Man... you gave an "8" in the sound category??? Damn... these reviews are biased.
    No $97 new guitar is anything higher than a 5. Also, you lose points for reviewing it through a Frontman.
    Mr Winters
    If you want a Strat and don't want to spend $300 - $400 then buy this, you will love it
    Are you actrually saying that it's better to pay 97 bucks for this thing rather than to save money for a real Strat? You serious?
    I've played one of these. I found it to be quite basic! The finish was rough, the neck was rough, there were little gaps and plenty of evidence that the Quality Control dude took the day off when the guitar was built. Still, for something so damn cheap, what can you really expect? Remember boys and girls, you get what you pay for.
    Andy V
    I really liked playing this guitar. And no, you can't compare it to a fender. But that's the point, it's not a genuine strat, it's an entry level guitar at an entry level price. So many people getting all exited and trying to show how knowledgeable they can be by pointing out how good the fender's are, but that's not smart at all, that's obvious. The fact is, if you want to buy a reasonably priced guitar, at a fair price then this is a really nice piece of equipment