Douglas SR-370 review

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by Volsung, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Volsung

    Volsung SS.org Regular

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    For those of you who are interested, here ya go.

    **Features: 5**

    Body: Ash arch top body w/ highly figured Ash top
    Neck: Bolt-on Maple
    Fretboard: 24 jumbo fret Rosewood with white binding
    Inlays: Sharkfin Mother-of-Pearl
    Scale: 25.5”
    Bridge: Licensed Floyd Rose
    Nut: Locking nut
    Headstock: 7 in line with a finish that matches the body
    Tuners: Grover (a nice surprise outta the box)
    Controls: 1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way toggle
    Pickups: 2 “no name” 7 string Rondo humbuckers
    Thickness at 1st fret: about 21.5mm (going off my own measuring)
    Thickness at 12th fret: about 22.5mm
    Width at 1st fret: about 48mm
    Width at 24th fret: about 65mm
    Made in China 2007
    Hardware color: brushed silver on tuners and nut/ brushed “fools gold” on Floyd and knobs
    $160 plus $20 shipping to Nevada

    This is my first guitar with a Floyd Rose and an Ash body and my second 7 string. So far, I’m very happy.

    **Sound: 4**

    The sound from this thing is pretty cool. Since its Ash, it’s a lot brighter than I’m used to. After playing my Mahogany bodied Schecter and my Alder bodied Washburn & Jackson, the brightness of this guitar really stands out, not too much, but enough to really notice. Acoustically, it’s nice and crisp. Cleans plugged in ring nicely without any kind of crunch when picked hard. The heavy stuff comes through alright if you raise the gain just a tad. Natural harmonics aren’t as strong as I would like them to be (this could probably be fixed with a few tweeks to the Line 6), but the pinched harmonics ring loud and proud. The overall performance of the stock pickups aren’t as strong as the DDs in my Schecter, but they’re fine for right now. Maybe in the distant future a pickup change will be arranged, but I’m personally satisfied for right now. I’m positive real Duncan’s, EMG’s, DiMarzio’s, etc. would blow these pickups away.

    **Action, Fit, Finish: 4.5 (this is after I’ve adjusted it)**

    Okay, on the nitty-gritty of the axe. Out of the box, it came set up pretty well and packed very securely. It was out of tune, but since it was shipped from one side of the country to the other (New Hampshire to Reno, Nevada) that didn’t bother me at all. The bolt-on style of this thing is that on a typical Stratocaster (completely level). I like the neck pitch to be a tad bit higher than the Stratocaster pitch, so I took some old used Dunlop 50 picks I saved from way back, cut em’ in half, and shimed the neck. It didn’t raise it by much (about 1.5mm) but the feel is just right now. The Licensed Floyd Rose is actually pretty nice. I was kind of worried that it was going to be one of those really cheap string through Floyds you see on the SX guitars from Rondo, but it’s just like the Licensed Floyds seen on the ESP M-207,307, Schecter C7-FR and so on.

    The frets on this thing are very nice for a $160 guitar, but when I shimmed the neck, I got a couple dead notes. Thankfully it was only in a few key spots. So I had to file a few of the frets until all of the notes rang loud and clear. It could probably use a total fret leveling, but after the filing I did, all of the notes sound just fine and dandy. As far as overall buzzing, it’s there, but it doesn’t bother me at all (I like a little buzz…but just a little).

    Now, since I’m not a trem bar user, the very first thing I did to this guitar right when I took it out of the box was block the Floyd permanently. I took some wood shims and old used picks and set them in. Now it’s just like a fixed bridge, except now I have the fine tuning advantage of the Floyd (just what I wanted). The other thing I did was remove and rearrange all of the saddles to my liking since I wasn’t too fond of how they were arranged in stock form. That wasn’t too difficult. Now I’ve got the action at the 12th fret to about 2mm which matches my Schecter thus, making it perfect for me. String tension is perfect. Holds tuning pretty well when locked at the nut, but it goes a little flat after some long playing hours with bending (but that’s probably my own fault since I didn’t spend too much time on intonation).

    Reaching all of the frets with the fretting hand is nice and smooth. The block neck joint doesn’t bother me and the overall thickness of the neck feels nice in my hands. The one thing that is taking some getting used to is the feel of the Floyd Rose. The post where the fine tuners sit is quite challenging to get used to. Since I’m used to string through T-O-M’s and Fender style trems, I’d probably do better with a low profile Floyd, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. The higher strings (G, B, E) weren’t as easy for me to pick at a comfortable wrist position at first. The lower strings however, (B, E, A, D) were perfect.

    The one thing about the guitar that I just noticed not to long ago that kind of annoys me is the actual bolts on the joint. The angle of the bolt plate isn’t completely parallel. It’s off by 3.5mm or so. But, since it’s a $160 guitar, it doesn’t plague my thoughts that badly, but still…

    The finish on this thing is just fantastic. I can sit and just stare at it for a long time. Now the Ash that makes up the body isn’t really wavy Ash like the top is (maybe it’s White Ash or something), but it’s Ash none the less.

    One last thing I’ll mention is the input jack. I use an angled jack for the guitar hook up and loop it through the strap so it won’t fall out if I step on it. When it isn’t looped through the strap, it moves a little out of place and loses the signal. This was easily fixed by loosening the input jack so I could take some needle-nose pliers and bend the holding bar a little towards the input entry. Easily fixed and no problem.

    **Reliability: 4.5**

    I don’t play live, but I think this thing would do pretty damn well in a live situation. Since I blocked the bridge, string and tuning stability isn’t that much of a worry. Plus, put a DiMarzio clip lock strap on it, so no worry about strap stability. The stock strap buttons seemed nice and solid, but I like some kind of strap lock system on my guitars. The overall guitar feels real solid and nice.

    **Customer Support: 5**

    The one time I e-mailed Kurt, (it was regarding the Septor a year and a half ago) he was very quick and nice about everything. Plus, after hearing a bunch of stories from reviews on Harmony Central and the folks here, I’ve mostly heard nothing but the best.

    **Overall: 5**

    When it comes to guitars, I’m pretty easy to please. I was planning on buying the black Schecter Omen 7 FR prototype from DCGL, but when I saw this and it’s price, I was sold.. It’s a very nice guitar for such a low price. This guitar is PERFECT for those who would mod the hell outtta the thing. It’s also good for those whom might need a cheap guitar quick for their needs. And finally, it’s great for us poor folk who want a nice guitar for so little. This thing is really cool and I plan on keeping it for as long as I can.

    Fairly long review, but I wanted to be as in depth as possible. I hope this helps those who are interested in the SR-370.
     
  2. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Certainly looks nicer than the other Douglas superstrats. The fact that it's a seven only makes it better. Thanks for the review, it's the only one I can find so far.
     
  3. NewLastJam

    NewLastJam Ibanez RG 7321! w00t

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    I'm gonna get one of these. Thanks for the great review dude!
     
  4. MetalJordan

    MetalJordan SS.org Regular

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    well thank u for saving me time and not having write a review...but i disagree on the look and sound i believe they should both be 5
     
  5. Volsung

    Volsung SS.org Regular

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    Oh yeah...I damn near forgot you bought one too. I'm happy to hear you like your SR-370 just as much, if not more so, as I do.

    As far as sound, after having a few small sesions (at most a half hour at a time) with EMGs, SDs, etc. I'm more inclined to crisp higher output pups. I'm actually getting quite used to the stock pups, but a pup change may still be in order in the distant furture, well see though.
     
  6. MetalJordan

    MetalJordan SS.org Regular

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    yea well i was thinking of maybe eventually putting emgs on it but for now i like the sound a lot
     
  7. NathanCampos

    NathanCampos Seven String Stoner

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    I'd have to say the only thing intresting/unusual to me was the fact that it came out of tune. I bought 2 guitars from Rondo and they both came only a slight bit out of standard tuning and I live in Southern California.
    Other than that. Nice....
     
  8. Abser

    Abser SS.org Regular

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    I just got this baby and besides the gloss (god I bloody hate F****** gloss) it is AMAZING! Truly the best steal as far as string instruments go haha. I live in Montreal so tuning was a disaster but nothing 2 minutes can't fix. I have to say that the pickups are really appealing. Maybe it's the newly-wed love I have going from that first fat low b or the crispy yet warm clean that's coming out of my shitty 15 watt Peavey practice amp, but I'm loving every centimeter of this thing. Was hoping they magically made it neck through though :p, Might shove a D-sonic in there if lead requires so, but I'm just psyched about my first 7 string hehe.

    Can't wait to try it in the studio!

    I'm not paid for this but RONDO RULES!!!
     
  9. leipzig175

    leipzig175 SS.org Regular

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    I got this guitar several weeks ago(in black) and I am in love with it. Of all the guitars I've owned(all $375 and under), this is certainly the best. And for the price, and only $60 more dollars for a hard case, this is a guitar that anyone who wants their first or second seven string should pass up. My only concern was the tremolo, but I blocked it and the guitar has been wonderful since. Definitely a good replacement for my ESP LTD MF-207 that was stolen from me.
     
  10. Dead Moon Rising

    Dead Moon Rising SS.org Regular

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    i was thinking of buying one of theres guitars, can you tell me how heavy it its? I have a bad neck from a car accident and cany play too heavy of a guitar.
     

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