Hawk SE review by SX

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 2.4 (53 votes)
SX: Hawk SE

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features — 7
MIC; Standard SSS strat stuff, chinaland hardware and whatnot. Here's the list of what most of these have:
- Made in China 
- 21 Frets 
- 25.5" Scale 
- Maple Neck and Fretboard 
- Alder Body 
- Fulcrum 6 point tremolo. 
- 3 Single Coil Pickups 1 Volume, 2 Tone, 5 Way pickups selector. "Fender style" 6 in line chrome tuners.

It sucks compared to anything in a higher price range, but for the price, it's fine. Mind you, this entire review is based on the price, compared to anything else, this thing sucks, but it's 100 bucks, what can you possibly expect from it?

Sound — 5
I play modernish progish rockish music. I borrowed this thing for a month to screw around. Lightly noisy, typical low quality. Bright like any SC, but lacks any depth. I didn't like it, and it really didn't suit anything. I was running it through my Peavey Ultra Plus and my Fender Mustang V heads through my Hartke cab. I got to run my buddy's A strat through my Mustang, the difference is massive. You won't be able to pull off any sound with this, unless your covering your favorite welfare band. This thing is 100 bucks, I wouldn't be angry, it's on par with Squiers at least, but the sound really does plain suck.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
OK, it was used, obviously, I only borrowed it. The finish looks nice enough, legitimate flaws if you get close, a paint bubble on the back most notable. I gave the guitar an hour of set-up loving, and got it playing nicely. The action can get nearly perfect if you want it to. Frets aren't half bad, and it has a nice neck.

To be honest, I'd TOTALLY buy one of these as a project guitar based on it's build quality. For 100 bucks, it's far better than you'd expect. The hardware and ESPECIALLY the tuners are downright awful, would not hold a tune for more than an hour. Pickup selector was noisy, and the jack was loose, and I could not get it to work better. It plays very well, and could be modified to be a legitimately solid guitar. FAR better than what you'd be getting in the price range

Reliability & Durability — 3
Everything on this thing is cheap, the finish looks nice, but it is going to relic itself in time. I would never take her out live without providing her with some serious mod love. With the right modifications and swaps, she would be a reliable gigging guitar. Out of the box, if I took this to a gig, I would expect the tuners to explode and kill the crowd, the bridge would more than likely spring out and morph into Optimus Prime and go on a rampage. Do not take a stock SX outside, you endanger yourself to harsh judgement, and your friends to bodily injury.

Overall Impression — 7
This thing, stock, will not fit any style of music. I've been playing for 3 years, I've owned an Epiphone G-310, Gibson Melody Maker Explorer, Epiphone 1958 Reissue Explorer, Gibson 05' Explorer and an Agile Baritone AL-2000. If I was a new player and lost this, I'd aim higher. I like its price, everything else is bad, but for a beginner, it's a good cheap choice. 

If you are brand new to guitar, this is the best guitar for less than 100 bucks to start with. If you want a project, it's a great choice. Just keep in mind, compared to the Agiles (which are amazing guitars for the price) you're getting junk. If you can stretch a little more money, go look at the Agiles. Those things are 200-400 for the cheaper ones, and play like guitars that are nearly twice as much new. I would compare an AL-3000 to those Faded LPs, minus the pickups, they're every bit as good.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have been playing guitar and bass for 30+ years too. I have an SX 6 string bass I paid $99 and shipping for...its excellent for the price. I have now, and have sold, more guitars and basses than many players have even tried. Names are NOT a decision maker, especially for a beginner or even intermediate player. I've had $100 guitars and basses that play and sound great for their price, and you surely cannot rate an instrument by playing through one amp, especially a s&#%@y amp. Also, Rondo has some great instruments and an excellent return policy, so I think, IMHO, SX instruments are great!!! If you don't like it, return it. WTH!!!!
    I've been playing guitar for 47 years and the most important piece of equipment is the guitar player. That includes how a player sets up and mods his guitar. I've played a very nice SX strat, but it was well set up and the bridge pickup was upgraded. Of course everyone has different hands (and ears), so guitars don't seem the same to every player. One of the best players I know has a "Frankenstrat" he made from all kinds of parts he had laying around. You know what? It's now his favorite guitar, but he customized it for his hands and ears. He did things like put some fine grade sandpaper in his left hand and gently sand the back of the neck for hours while he watched TV. The result is a neck that perfectly suits his left hand. You can put all your faith in a make or model, or you can get something decent and basic that you can afford and with a a little work have a great axe.