Douglas Corvus Baritone with a hard shell case $139 USD Interesting deal for a baritone, the controls are nicely placed to not block strumming anywhere. I've had an SX bass, it was Squier quality. The Douglas models are typically a step up in setup if not quality.
SX LEO NA $125 USD This seems worth it for the finished one piece finished swamp ash body alone, though the neck is a remove-it to set relief type. The $109 USD Hawk MN Fat Ash has a modern near the nut adjustable neck.
I've had one SX and worked on a couple others, they are lacking mainly in the poor quality nut and average tuners (easily remedied). The single coil pickups are Affinity-Squieresque, I haven't had my hands (or ears) on the humbuckers.
I've yet to see a Squier Bass VI in person yet, I'm surprised Fender put so many of the original Bass VI's features in it (especially when the similarly equipped pawn shop model is more than twice the price)
I realize these are two different animals ... but with a more accessible scale for chords, and less than half the price (with a case), not to mention less expensive strings... it seems Rondo has something I'd like.
I think we need a new sub topic under "Coffee Shop"' called: "Stop me, I'm having a GAS attack" so we can talk each other down (or into it). Thank heavens I can't actually play any of these guitars, I fear if I did I would succomb, probably to the baritone. There is a baritone emulation on my Mustang III that with a bit of tweaking sounds pretty good. With my bass hands often being squeezed on a 25.5 scale, a baritone could be just right.
That 627 has been sitting at $139 for a couple months at least. I finally gave in and ordered it last Thursday while sitting at work. Should be here tomorrow. Hoping it will into ate better than the Strat I've been using to fake the baritone thing. It'll be my only guitar with a working whammy, and I'm a little worried about tuning it, but we'll see.
Last Edit: Feb 11, 2014 8:44:50 GMT -5 by ashcatlt
I'd be very interested to hear your insights ash. It doesn't look to have the lock button like some Fenders have on the vibrato plate. There seems to be equal love/hate for both versions of the vibrato. The adjustment though looks pretty straight forward from what I've looked up.
Just a side note on his hardshell cases: my SX 5 string fretless had such a nice case, that when I sold it, I gave up my 30+ year old bass hardshell case for my Fender with it because his was so much better.
Sorry, but I've had my eye on it for a while, and actually held back for a while even after it was discounted. I gave you plenty of chances! .
But, you know, the full normal price on these isn't all that bad, and while I've only had it for a day I think it's easily worth it. It is definitely a decent guitar. Needs to acclimate to its new environment and then have some slightly heavier strings put on and a good setup. Right now there's a lot of string buzz, but I am confident I can get it dialed in. I'm not super picky, but it feels solid - noticeably heavier than my Xavier offset. I haven't noticed any sharp edges on the frets or anything. The neck feels good, and even the trem has a nice smooth feel to it. Haven't plugged it in yet. I will probably rewire it with the switching from my baritone strat, but until I hear it (and see if the pups are 4 wire) idk if I'm gonna keep these pickups or go to something else. Might be a good excuse to try some GFS Dream180s...
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2014 13:16:40 GMT -5 by ashcatlt
I'm afraid I have to retract a bit of my earlier statement. After it sat for a while, and I had a bit more objective feel of it, I found it be be a bit of a mess, actually. I think overall it's a decent guitar, but the finish work was really half-assed. The fret edges were like a set of razor blades set into both sides of the neck. I'm all for a little pain - even some blood - in a performance, but this was just too much. Also, the frets are poorly seated, and you can see some big file marks on a number of them. I took it off (found a shim in the pocket...), beat on the frets with a hammer, and filed down the edges a bit. I don't have patience enough to do a real pro job, but it is noticeably less bleedy.
But I guess I didn't beat the eighth fret hard or long enough or something. With the strings that came on it, there was all kinds of buzz, getting worse the closer to the nut you played. On a whim, I tuned it up to standard (E-E), and most of that buzzing went away. So it needs heavier strings, which is cool with me, but it really seems to be an extreme amount of flex in the neck. Makes one worry that breaking a string would render it unplayable, that even wiggling the whammy might throw things off... But, yeah, it didn't buzz in standard tuning, actually felt pretty good, except that fretting at the seventh on the higher strings carted out completely.
So, I don't mess with truss rods. Nor do I have the files to widen the nut slots for bigger strings. So I took it up the hill to the shop that's done a decent job on all my Xaviers. They want their specialist to look at it, fix the high fret, help me find a set of guages that will feel right for me (I play 11s on my Fender scale guitars, 12s on my Gibson's) and get it playable. He was supposed to be in on Tuesday when I dropped it off. They hadnt seen or heard from him by Saturday when I checked in. Apparently he has a habit of falling off of wagons and occassionally into jail...
But! While I had it all apart (and before I had dude put new strings on it) I rewired it. The pickups that came in it were microphones that couldn't do anything but squeal even through my 4watt Vox. Two wire humbuckers which might be halfway decent if you potted them, but I ripped them out and stuck the Dream 180s in. I have to say I think I'm going to like them. Considering that they talk about added power and things, they are surprisingly light wound for HBs. It works out to mean that they have a nice clarity, even a bit of jangle, but also respond very well to the "broadbucker" thing - much better to the same cap values compared to the super hot Lil Killers in the strat/baritone thing, and also combine really well in system series - not quite the massive dark crunchy thing that my other guitars do, more like just a hotter HB.
Overall, I think it's going to be a decently playable great sounding guitar, but it has taken some work to get there. Ive bought a bunch of cheap guitars lately, and this is by far the worst in terms of out of the box playability. At the reduced price I paid...well, it'd be hard to buy the nice hardshell case and the parts at that price. So, if you think of it as a halfway put together kit it's probably worth it.
And while we're here talking about pickups which are microphones - I had guitarfetish send me one of their soundhole mounted magnetic pickups. It is unusable. Worse than the pickups in the baritone. It squeals like crazy, and transmits every touch or brush or bump on the body of the guitar. Unusable. I think it'll sound nice once potted, and again it was super cheap, but...
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2014 13:55:39 GMT -5 by ashcatlt
You're making me glad I didn't bite on one now Ash. I don't like having to hand them off to someone else to tweak if I don't have to... Well... That, and I played a couple of Squier Bass VI's and realized I probably couldn't get more bang for the buck than one of those... and no mods required. Strangely, both were already "sold" with a month or months long back order date for more. I'm sure a few bucks over would have freed them up Close to my goal of last fall, I am trying to keep to my guitar count down (the only true addition is the Bullet Tele HS as a travel guitar), but I still can't pass on a rescue that's worth a flip (currently a blue Kramer Striker 5 bass, and an Olympic white MIM Strat, picked up for $100 & $150 respectively, all done and about to sell). Though the Kramer is quite the player... I'm probably losing money on my time alone, but it keeps me busy and occupied.
Oh! And while I was beating on the frets the machine head for the first string fell apart. I didn't notice till I went to string it back up. Of course, I had done the whole thing on a carpeted floor. Found all the parts except for the one tiny little screw that holds the whole damn thing together! So I "borrowed" the one off the Squier.
But I did get a nice hardshell case which will hold any of my electrics (maybe a little padding) and probably my short scale bass also. The bridge seems pretty decent. I've never really worked with a floating trem before, and I'm afraid I might enjoy it a little too much. I found that thing just seems to end up in my hand. Don't wanna turn into one of Those Guys, though...
I'm pretty much going to call my stable complete as of now. I've got some refinishing and some pickguard construction to do. I have to actually rewire a couple yet. I'm thinking of just cutting a new body for the mini... But I no longer have any good way to justify further guitar purchases since I have all of my bases covered. But when the one with Wolverine on it came up for $50 I kinda had to jump on it. That is a surprisingly playable little guitar! Tuned up to A, it really kinda rips.
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2014 18:34:23 GMT -5 by ashcatlt
That little Peavey? Heh... Nice it's the "classic" wolverine.
Yep, that's the one! I have kids, so I can get away with this kind of thing from time to time. Better yet, their mother has forfeited her vote on what I do with my money! (Well, aside from the pile of it that the state takes in her name...) But, yeah, it's a nice little guitar for the price. The light strings it came with combined with the shorter scale made it play like rubber bands at standard tuning, but it really acts like a guitar up at A. With a single HB, V and T, it's currently a bit limited in it's sonic pallet. I'm sure I will fix that eventually.
In other news, I was finally able to pick up the baritone last night. It was two weeks after I dropped it off before they even heard from this "my guy" that they were going to have fix it. He took the thing apart and said that he wanted to take his time with it because it was "kind of an extreme case". Then he disappeared again. So they had their other guy (who is actually the guy that does most of my setups) just slap it back together. I asked if he had at least fixed the one high fret that was causing trouble and they said "No, not so much", but when I messed around with it a little bit at the store it wasn't really noticeable. They put on the Ernie Ball baritone set, starting on 13. I was a bit worried that this would be too loose. I mean, it's only 27 inch scale, which is only like a fret longer than a standard Fender, which leaves like 4 more frets worth to get down to B, and we're only going up 2 guages from where I normally string my Fender scale guitars, so... I only really played around for a couple seconds in the store last night, but it felt okay. I won't have a chance to really decide if I'm happy with it until next week.
I noticed that Rondo now has a 30 inch version of this same guitar. Unfortunately, I can't really recommend it.
Last Edit: May 1, 2014 13:28:50 GMT -5 by ashcatlt