My adventure in buying a really really cheap guitar.

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by diagrammatiks, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Background: I've got a lot of guitars, but I don't really have anything that I really like taking out. I go to jams sometimes at bars and I'm playing with expats and students. They are much much better players then me. So I feel kinda funky showing up my expensive stuff to rock pentatonics.

    There's been some really interesting cheaper stuff coming out of Asia. I was originally going to get an NK but I really can't stand that they can't make one friggin shape that's not a copy of something. I also already have 3 strandbergs.

    The Harley Bentons are nice but they are hard for me to get in China.

    So I'm scrolling the Chinese e-bay/second hand listing site when this guitar pops up and I just had to have it. It looks ridiculous and it's a body shape that I'm missing a seven string in.

    So here it is.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    excuse my filthy chair and floor. the house staff is on away with my wife and the kids and I can't be bothered to clean up after myself.

    So this guitar cost me exactly 200 dollars. It did not come with a trussrod cover or a back plate.

    The story is that this body shape was sold on reverb under the Gorse brand for something around 650 dollars. That particular version has all the accessories, locking tuners, and stainless steel frets. Mine doesn't have any of that. Mine has regular tuners and nickel frets.

    Through some light detective work, I'm guessing that the guys that I bought this from are the oem for gorse. They also do a lot of work for legator.

    This guitar was sold as a prototype.

    Soooo....how was it when I got? Pretty not great.

    All the big stuff was ok. The color stain on the back was evenly applied, the scarf joint on the neck is really good.

    [​IMG]

    But it was like it was built by someone who really knew what they were doing but just didn't give a fuck that day.


    You've got stuff like this

    [​IMG]

    Yolo Veneer

    and this..the center is just mostly dirty. But the outside lines are all yolo veneer.

    [​IMG]

    I also have no idea what it's made out of. The neck I'm going to assume is maple. The body is possible meranti or one of the cheaper lighter mahogany alikes. The fretboard appears to have been dyed. But it looks pretty ok.


    How'd it play?? Terrible
    It came set up like with 2mm action at the 12th fret and a lot of neck relief. It played ok set up like that.

    At my preferred action of 1.25mm-1mm B-E with no relief it was unplayable. It fretted out all across the neck. Terrible and unplayable.

    So I sent it to my setup guy and he went to town. He leveled all of the frets, recut the nut, shimmed the neck a little and setup the guitar. Now it plays pretty perfect. 1.2mm-1mm at the 12th fret no fret buzz.

    Throwing a bit of money at this thing helped a lot. The caveat with this is of course that the neck has to be straight not warped or warping. We'll see how that goes. The only thing my guy pointed out to me is the frets they used on this thing are pot metal.

    It's also got these cool wooden bobbin pickups
    [​IMG]

    That's pretty cool right. I'd definitely hire this factory to make some bobbins. I think the fretboard is this material just died black.


    TL/DR: Spent 225 on a guitar. Comestically hilariously. But after spending another 125 on a full setup/fret job it plays great. 350 dollars for a guitar that plays better and has straighter side dots then any Ormsby. The seller tries his best not to gaslight you as well. Pretty win.

    oh ya I need to spend 45 bucks on a backplate lol. Gaffer tape to the rescue.
     
  2. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    You don't say.
     
  3. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    you gotta read to the end. you don't leave a movie in the middle to rotten tomatoes it.

    but in all seriousness a used prestige can hit under 1mm just by telling it it's a real good boy.
     
  4. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    The outline of the "top" reminds of of the side-on silhouette of Hitchcock, if Hitckcock were a penguin. :)

    The funny thing is that your $200 has many of the same issues as a knock-off Taylor acoustic I bought for more than double that.
     
  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Chronic GAS

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    that's a neat take on the singlecut design. I wouldn't mind grabbing something like that and going to town modding it.
     
  6. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Nice story. Interesting shape too. I usually don’t like kiesel bevels on guitars, but I think it kinda works on this one.

    Also your guitar rack looks awesome.
     
  7. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Thanks. Been on an Ibanez buying kick recently.

    It's not really a bevel on this guitar. It's a visual illusion. The veneer is just applied to only part of the guitar.
     
  8. IbanezDaemon

    IbanezDaemon Raptus regaliter

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    Interesting read. It's pretty cool looking. Good to hear you got it playable!
     
  9. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    I don’t know if they are making anyone. There were at couple on reverb and eBay but at the higher price point. A lot of these Asia oem things seem to disappear after a run or two. That Harley benton multiscale tele just straight up disappeared after a month.

    Buy this instead.

    Then sell it to me when you’re bored.
    Inyen IFV 350 EMG Headless Electric Guitar - Brown
    https://reverb.com/item/25386711-in...tar-brown?utm_source=ios-app&utm_medium=share
     
  10. Un1corn

    Un1corn I love ShirokaneRinko

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    Nice story!
    I'm Chinese, there's a fairly large amount of weird cheap guitars on the used market.I bought one of them before, surprisingly playable.Sure there is some flaws and its not the best quality out of it's price but that's totally fine for me.the pickups were actually premium Chinese-made pickups, definitely not as good as Bkp or Duncan but better than most stock pickups.I don't think they mass-produced them,but I love the ideas.
     
  11. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Ya I'm always on xianyu all day long looking at stuff.
     
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  12. khm

    khm SS.org Regular

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    Gotta say, I quite like the look of it haha! Looks suspiciously like a Hapas neck in the back ground!
     
  13. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    Do a guidance on things from China thread!
     
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  14. Un1corn

    Un1corn I love ShirokaneRinko

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    yeah its xianyu
     

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