A $100 guitar that's pretty amazing. Who knew?
The (in?)famous Rondo Music has these for $99.99. I needed a beater guitar as a backup, so I grabbed one.
It originally came with chrome hardware. I put a $5 Chinese black TOM bridge, $9 Chinese black tuners, and 2 $2 black dome knobs onto it. I am, therefore, $117.99 into it, and much to my surprise, it rules!
I'd have to guess that the pickups in this guitar were like eight bucks. I didn't have very high hopes for it at all. Man, was I wrong.
Once I swapped out the hardware, I did a setup on it. 1/4 turn tweak to the truss, a bridge adjustment, new strings (56-13 D'Add jazz strings), tuning down to C#, and a TOM intonation, and voila... the thing is a beast!
I play almost all active pickups, with my experience mainly being with EMG 81/85. Passive pickups are definitely a diversion from what I'm used to. Now, of course, the ultra-cheapo pickups that came stock in this guitar have nowhere near the gain that EMGs do (duh? haha), but once I adjusted the bridge pickup up closer to the strings, and turned the gain and presence up on my processor... great tone! I couldn't even believe it.
There are a lot of $100 guitars out there right now. Don't I wish that were the case back in high school in the late 80s... I've seen decent Schecters and such for around a C note. I decided to go with Rondo as I've had great experiences with their guitars before (both acoustic and electric guitars, and basses as well)
I'm really glad I did. Here is a picture of the work in progress (I still need to do some really minor stuff like swap out screws for black ones, and get a black knob for the 5-way)... maybe a black nut?
The headstock has no logo (which I thought was very cool). I think I am going to be lame and put an ESP logo on the headstock as a bit of a joke (I'd never try to sell it that way, for the record)
Here's a picture of it. Pardon the fingerprints. My lazy ass didn't feel like polishing it just yet.
Yay for my cheapo new guitar.
Anyone else have a super-cheap Rondo special? Like... sub-Douglas?