NGD: Ruokangas Unicorn

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by -JeKo-, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. -JeKo-

    -JeKo- SS.org Regular

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    People here @ Sevenstring.org aren't probably too familiar with Ruokangas Guitars (from Finland) so I figured I'd share this with you guy as well. I've been eyeing their guitars for about 7-8 years now and I finally took the plunge. Unicorn is their take on LP/single-cut style guitar (as you can probably tell ;) ). I've always had trouble finding a decent Les Paul and I've given up so many times... This, however, solves all the problems! You get top-notch build quality, best hardware etc. It's simply one of the nicest feeling guitars I've ever played. The satin finish on the back of the neck as well as their superior SS-fret job makes it a breeze to play this thing! BTW, look at those fret ends:village:

    Does anyone here have a Ruokangas? The Hellcat and Aeon are their 24-fret models. Pricey guitars I admit that but what you get is an instrument for the rest of your life.


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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. silverabyss

    silverabyss J. Custom taste, Gio budget Contributor

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    Stunning, that looks like a keeper :yesway:
     
  3. Matt08642

    Matt08642 SS.org Regular

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    Holy shit, those frets look immaculate, and the fret ends looks smooth as hell. Also, that action has to be like what, less than 1mm?
     
  4. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

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    HNGD, this looks like one hell of a great guitar!
     
  5. Dyingsea

    Dyingsea SS.org Regular

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    Anything Ruokangas is exceptional.
     
  6. -JeKo-

    -JeKo- SS.org Regular

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    It's a little higher than that but still super easy to play. The fret ends themselves are a piece of art.
     
  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    That is how Gibson should be working... How does it play?
     
  8. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    Understated in the absolute best way :yesway:
     
  9. gunshow86de

    gunshow86de Beef Jerky Time Contributor

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    The Unicorn has been one of my "bucket list" guitars for a while now. Congrats :yesway:
     
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  10. MatiasTolkki

    MatiasTolkki Gulag resident

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    I've known about Ruokangas for awhile becuase Matias Kupiainen of Stratovarius has been using a Hellcat Artist that he had custom made by them. They are REALLY nice looking guitars, but they are WAY more expensive than even an ESP custom order guitar. I like em, but cost performance is terrible.
     
  11. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Awesome! Their fretwork in particular has always looked insane.

    My only criticism is that their figured arctic birth top upcharges are outrageous. Several thousand for the nicer ones (on their builder app a few years ago). If that's the best you can do, just offer flame maple already...
     
  12. -JeKo-

    -JeKo- SS.org Regular

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    Juha (Ruokangas) has said that those super figured pieces are very rare, maybe 1/100. Now that it's a hefty upcharge, only those who really want one are prepared to pay the premium price for it. If they were much cheaper, more people would buy them but they'd have none in stock. Birch is not commercially available the way maple is so they actually have trees cut for them and hope for the best. Those tops are also thermo-treated afterwards as well.

    Luckily I'm a plain top guy so I didn't have to pay any extra :) All those Arctic Birch tops are equally brilliant tonewoods, so the good thing is that you don't need the eyecandy (an exceptionally figured top) to make your guitar a premium instrument.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  13. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    Happy NGD!! Ruokangas are known for their immaculate fretwork but they also put in so much work into every other detail. There guitars always look super clean.
     
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  14. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    I bet you're more than happy with it!

    Juha invited people on a domestic forum to meet him, and roughly a month ago me and 15 other guitarists went to the Ruokangas Factory (or a small shop on the Finnish countryside). We had a great long talk about the guitars, tools, building processes, tone woods, running the business etc and also had a chance to test few guitars. The fret ends are perfect indeed.

    Generally speaking, I think a guitarist feels comfortable when he has tools that inspire to play and write music. If one can achieve the inspiration with a certain instrument, any price tag should be worth it. Everybody knows you may not notice that significant difference between 2k and 5k guitar. The higher you go, the more it starts leaning towards the eye-candy, smallest details or even art. Juha made recently a 30min long video about the prices, check that out.

    Happy NGD!
     
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  15. Power2theMetal

    Power2theMetal The deal was rigged

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    Absolutely stunning! HNGD, best of luck with it in the future.
     
  16. MatiasTolkki

    MatiasTolkki Gulag resident

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    I watched that video, and his part 2, 12 minute one as well. Juha seems like a cool dude and really passionate about what he does. Better than Jeff Kiesel.
     
  17. bloc

    bloc tha vagina finda

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    That fret job actually turned me on for a sec
     
  18. -JeKo-

    -JeKo- SS.org Regular

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    He really does. I've watched Kiesels videos as well and have owned two of their guitars (sold the other one recently but still have one left). Kiesels are good bang-for-the-buck but Ruokangas is on a whole other level IMO. Juha has five other team members/builders working alongside him and their total amount is 100-120 guitars per year. There's no assembly line so each luthier builds a guitar from stratch to a finished product, just like Fender Masterbuilds.

    They have a super cool 3D Guitar Creator in the works as well! If you ever got some spare time, try it :) It currently features only their Duke model but I'm guessing the other ones will be added there later on, maybe sometime next year.

    http://ruokangas.com/creator/
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  19. MatiasTolkki

    MatiasTolkki Gulag resident

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    I have a Carvin JB200 and a Kiesel V220 right now. I looked at the price of the Hellcat basic model, it looks so nice. I think I'm going to order one someday.

    BTW, do you know how long it takes them to make the guitar from order to shipping? that's something that I need to know :/
     
  20. -JeKo-

    -JeKo- SS.org Regular

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    The Hellcat was on my bucket list for a very long time but then I started gravitating towards the Unicorn. Maybe I'm getting old, haha! Hmm, difficult to say and probably best to ask Juha directly. Maybe something like 6-9 months?
     

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