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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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NGD! looks like Beowulf already slayed this monster :(

I ordered a Douglas Grendel fron Rondo late wed night last week and it arrived in the late morning today. Sadly when I took it out of the box, I noticed the joint where the neck and the headstock meet (scarf joint?) had failed and a little bit of surrounding wood on the neck side had cracked, so I can't really speak for how it sounds acoustically. If it counts at all, I did pluck the strings a tiny bit and it didn't sound honky like some cheap electrics do acoustically. So my guess is it wouldn't sound that bad.





The second thing I noticed was a really dirty fretboard in serious need of cleaning and conditioning, and the frets looked rusty. My other 7 string that I've owned for almost 10 years didnt get its fretboard/frets cleaned untl last year and even on mine they didn't look this bad. Makes me wonder what kind of climate it sat in and for how long. But, it's a $180 guitar made in China, so I'm not angry. I actually enjoying cleaning up something I've just bought. It makes me feel like its MINE when I'm done!


I set it on my couch and looked at it from afar. Not a shabby looking axe. I've never owned or even seen a Septor in person so I can't say how good or bad this one looks compared to its Agile counterpart. But if I saw a guitarist in a band using one of these, I wouldn't instantly assume it's a piece of shit.


Now for some shots of the nut. On the little E side, just a tiny bit of the nut hangs out too far. The top of the nut has a few scuff marks and the nut slots have dust in them. No big deal at all to me, especially since this is, yep, you guessed it, a $180 Chinese made guitar.





Now, this is no KXK super duper access neck joint, but I can reach the 24th fret of the highest 4 strings pretty easy. I'm not primarily a lead player, so this aspect isnt incredibly important to me, but if I wanted to play up high, I could do so easily.


Now due to the broken joint pictured earlier, these strings are sitting quite high off of the body, but it appears that they would sit pretty high normally. I would want to lower the treble side of the pickups just a hair, but that's about how far they would be sticking out of the body. I like this because I really like to dig in with my pick on the lower strings so if the strings sat low on the body, I'd had to adjust my technique a little bit.


You can't really see it, but the ferrules aren't seated perfectly in their respective holes. They didn't feel loose so I'm not bothered by this at all.


Let's take a look inside the control cavity. Looks pretty clean despite what the flash makes it look like. I didn't know mini pots came stock on these . I just now noticed an extra wire route on the left side of the photo near the volume pot. So I guess if I ever wanted to go active, I know where the battery compartment is going. The pups are 2 conductor so I will most likely swap them out for some used Dimarzios. I like the toggle switch. It feels very stiff and its a box-style(?) instead of the LP style which I'm a bit tired of now.


There's a small bit of paint missing near the toggle switch. Again, doesn't bother me at all.


The neck profile is very similar to that of a certain Schecter Omen 7 at my local store, but the Grendel feels slightly thinner and I believe it has softer shoulders which to me makes quite a difference in feel. This neck is also quite round, far different than the really flat profile of my Intrepid.

Overall I'm pretty impressed with the fretwork and side dots. I can't feel any bit of the frets hanging over the edge and trying to slice my fingers until about fret 14 on both sides all the way through 24, but even then it's not as bad as some of my other guitars.


The logo. A small stray white mark by the L. The tuners are mini Grovers and they were seated just fine in the headstock. All of them turned easily both ways.


I've played other no name brand guitars at this price and some that cost a little more and I've put them down thinking why the manufacturer even makes this guitar since its so impractical and uncomfortable etc. but that's not the case with this one. Assuming I get a replacement that arrives in one solid piece, I have a feeling I will enjoy it very much. It's comfortable to sit with, upper fret access isn't bad, it's lightweight, I like the location of the knobs and switch, the neck joint feels solid and looks flush, and overall the guitar looks pretty good as does its bigger brothers, the Septor and Interceptor.

I haven't emailed Kurt yet but I'm sure there will be no problem with me returning this. I just looked at the Agile site to make sure I was spelling Septor correctly and I don't see the Grendel listed anymore. Sure hope I can get a replacement.

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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
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Sorry about the neck.

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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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That is the worst nut cutting I've ever seen.

$180 went far, though!
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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Did you order a hard case with yours?

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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Armada View Post
That is the worst nut cutting I've ever seen.

$180 went far, though!

Thats to give you the option for heavier strings to downtune for teh djents.

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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #6
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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by possumkiller View Post
Thats to give you the option for heavier strings to downtune for teh djents.
Joking? I hope so.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:28 PM   #9
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Dog gone man, even for a cheap ass guitar, it should've arrived clean at least, I don't buy a guitar without getting a hardcase to go with it. I would've been mad if I were in your situation.


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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Armada View Post
Joking? I hope so.

Yeah. That sucks for you man. I hope ours dont arrive in that condition. We got them just for modding anyway though. Thinking about trying our first swirl jobs lol.

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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting the pics and the mini review. Aside from the obvious scarf joint failure, it seems decent for $180. Hopefully that is just a fluke and not indicative of the overall quality of these guitars. The attention to detail looks like it got sloppy in some places but that can be expected with any budget import model. Hopefully you can get one with a non-broken neck and let us know how it plays/sounds. I'm sure Kurt will make things right for you. I had an Agile that I had to return due to shipping damage and it was a totally painless process.

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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:11 PM   #12
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looks decent, Sorry about the neck, I do have to admit I laughed at the title because I knew what it was going to be about.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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i hope you've fixed the neck joint lol!

otherwise, you could try to stick an even shim under the neck to lower the action, if you could cut a piece of wood to fit into there properly
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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:30 PM   #14
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Regardless of how low the price is, if you send someone a broken product that isn't EXACTLY what it was advertised as it needs to be refunded or replaced. Thankfully Kurt's a badass with that shit, sorry to hear about the bullshit but I hope you have a great one soon. I've only heard good things about these models so this hit me out of left field.

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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:45 PM   #15
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I would return it, that can't be reliable once heavy string start a-pulling. Sometimes things slip by. From what I hear Kurt is great with this. Eat the week you'll miss it and get what you paid for. Mine should be here end of week, and I'll let you know how it arrived. I didn't get a case either, so I'm slightly worried.

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Unread 11-03-2010, 02:22 AM   #16
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Please don't spend good $ on DiMarzios or a hard case for that. I mean its yours and you like to tinker and all but really, save the cash you would spend on the DiMarzios and a hard case, return that sorry excuse for a guitar and buy a used Ibanez or some inexpensive Warmoth parts or something and tinker away. I am not trying to poop the party but really

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Unread 11-03-2010, 02:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaloHat View Post


Please don't spend good $ on DiMarzios or a hard case for that. I mean its yours and you like to tinker and all but really, save the cash you would spend on the DiMarzios and a hard case, return that sorry excuse for a guitar and buy a used Ibanez or some inexpensive Warmoth parts or something and tinker away. I am not trying to poop the party but really

On a positive note: Hot avatar!
i purposely didnt order a hard case since i already have a gig bag sitting around that it could have fit in. the whole reason for buying this was that so i could have a working 7 until my warmoth 7 is complete. by the way just an hour or so ago i got an email saying my warmoth body/neck had shipped. im sending it off to get painted and im not sure how long that will take, but i guess i can wait. plus, i could put the refunded $180 towards the electronics and hardware for the warmoth. and thanks for the avatar compliment! not only is she gorgeous to look at, her music is very relaxing and has helped me through some seriously rough times.

i hope i haven't necessarily dissuaded anyone from buying one of these. brand new guitars from rondo show up on peoples doorsteps quite often with cracks or chips in the finish etc. i just chalk up the failed scarf joint to the common rondo experience, and ive heard nothing but positive things about their return policy (so long as you're in the US!) so im not angry about this at all. like i said, its a nice looking axe and i bet would sound pretty good after a pup change. a few other users on here have grendles en route that should be arriving shortly and hopefully they will be able to tell you more about playability and how the stock pups sound. until then, if you have any more questions, let me know. ill be mailing this back late tomorrow afternoon so if you want any specific closeup photos, let me know quick.

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Unread 11-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #18
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In regard to their being no Grendels left, I emailed Kurt to ask if there were going to be any more and he said

Quote:
The black is sold out until mid 2011 – we should have some Natural ones in before year end.
I'm not a big fan of natural guitars, but I guess if that's all he'll have then that's what I get if I want a Grendel.

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Unread 11-03-2010, 05:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPhoenix19 View Post
In regard to their being no Grendels left, I emailed Kurt to ask if there were going to be any more and he said

I'm not a big fan of natural guitars, but I guess if that's all he'll have then that's what I get if I want a Grendel.
Hmm. I wonder if the naturals will have different body wood? Natural basswood tends to be, well, ugly.

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Unread 11-03-2010, 05:17 PM   #20
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Unread 11-03-2010, 07:33 PM   #21
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Ask him to ship you a replacement neck?
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Unread 11-03-2010, 07:48 PM   #22
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wow, never in my days have i seen a scarf joint fail. lots of broken headstocks and necks but never one on the scarf joint. i wonder if they didnt use enough glue. thats an easy fix with wood glue and some mylar to work the glue into the crease with
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