NGD Another Crap Grendel

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by nicomortem, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    So, I have bought several guitars from Rondo, and with the exception of the first, all have been messed up in some form or another. Sometimes, it requires work on my part that most people would have to pay for. Luckily, I know how to fix a lot of these things, which is why I still buy their defective, damaged, and otherwise defunked instruments. Here is my latest purchase, the new Grendel 727 with the Floyd Rose tremolo, for $250. I would like to formally suggest that SS.org users avoid this instrument. Right off, I noticed scratches on the body, some were minor and one is not-so-minor, but usually a brand-new guitar has no scratches whatsoever, and I pride myself on the fact that I usually keep them that way, or as close as I can. Also, a chip in the paint on the headstock. Also, the cavity that allows for the trem to be raised in pitch has the typical foam lining, however mine comes with 2 spare pieces stuck in there, with a split in the middle. Looks like crap. Not to mention the side-dots on the 24th fret are completely misaligned, like they didn't even try! The frets aren't all completely pressed in, I took my fretting hammer and tried to fix that, but they wont budge...probably because the fret slots were not cleaned prior to fretting, and there is factory dust and debris in the fret slots. They need to be leveled, because the guitar buzzes and frets out like crazy, they shipped it with ridiculously high action to compensate for that, and once you lower the action to reasonable height, there are certain spots on the neck that are completely un-usable because the strings just completely fret out. Worst of all, and this is actually design flaw, the fingerboard has a compound radius, unlike the description of the guitar. The radius on the 12-24th frets is so round, too round, that the D and G strings are completely un-usable as well, in the upper register. The saddles in the Floyd look completely flat, and there is no way to set the radius to be any where near as round as the fingerboard. So If you plan on buying this guitar, you can forget about playing any guitar solos.
    I'm going to have to remove all the frets to clean out in the slots, and re-fret, level, crown, etc. I am also going to have to buy a radius sanding block to reshape the fingerboard, something I've got no experience in doing. I'm going to have to do a lot of work to get it playable, and there isn't much I can do about the cosmetic flaws.

    I know that supposedly I can contact Kurt and get and exchange, or a partial refund. I know that supposedly he will even pay for my return shipping. I know that everybody else get's great guitars for a great value, and should anything be at issue, everybody else gets 5-star customer service from Rondo. I guess I'm just exempt, maybe because every guitar I buy from Rondo is messed up, and every time I ask Kurt to replace or partially refund, maybe he's sick of dealing with me. This Grendel's cosmetic issues are very minor, so maybe I'm just too anal about it. Thing is, I have had some serious damage in the past, some serious defects too, which would make the problems with this Grendel pale by comparison. Last time I bought from Rondo, I ordered a 6 string Hadron, and it was on sale for $99, down from $225. It arrived with a huge crack in the body! I asked for an exchange, Kurt said that I should have bought a case and that the damage was from shipping. But the box was completely fine, it wasn't crushed or smashed, bent or ripped. The crack was also under the clear-coat, indicating to me that it was like that from the factory. So I refused to buy a case, sent it back, got an exchange, and he sent me another one, this time with a crack in the neck! Even worse this time. And again, he insisted that it was caused from shipping, and said that I need to buy a case. Only this time, he refused to exchange the guitar unless I bought a case too! Kurt said that if I refused to buy the case, than he would only issue me a refund, not an exchange. And it just so happens that the sale ended and the guitar went back up to $225. So I couldn't just buy another one with the refund. I felt like the guy was holding my money ransom, and forcing a sale on me of a case. I told him how I felt, and I didn't swear, threaten, or otherwise escalate the matter, I just stood my ground and told him that I would only accept an exchange, for the same guitar at the same price, and that I would not be forced into buying a case. I said that I want to be treated like everybody else, and to receive the same value, quality, and top-knotch customer service that Rondo music has come to be known for. He banned me from ever buying from Rondo again instead. I had to order this guitar by paying my best friend and having it shipped to his house. He plans on buying the same guitar, and I plan on fixing them both up, since the one that he is going to order is bound to be messed up too. Needless to say, I haven't contacted Rondo about the issues with the Grendel, and I don't plan to. I just hope Kurt doesn't read this post and decide to ban my buddy too. And sorry guys, we cant afford $600 Interceptors, and all the other $200 seven strings out there aren't nearly as good of a value as the similarly-priced instruments available at Rondo. Hope you guys have better luck that we do!

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    Minoin and Shawn like this.
  2. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    First off, let me just say that if the way Kurt treated you is true and in no way exaggerated, then he's clearly in the wrong in treating you like that. I do not condone that kind of service to any customer ever, I think it's ridiculous that he wanted you to purchase a case as well to even send it back. And frankly, I don't know why this hasn't scared you and your buddy off from buying their instruments?

    You seem to keep coming back to Rondo Music even after what, 4-5 bad purchases? Save up and buy yourself something worth keeping and from someone who won't give you any flack for returning because of defects or damage. It just seems like stubbornness to continue going with the same low end guitar, that's still coming from the same low end factory. I don't think that's a valid excuse to just say, they're a better value than every other guitar in the market.

    You can snag a good used and sometimes even close to brand new RG7321 for 250 and even less. Wasn't there a guy that bought one for $50? There's the LTD M-17 that sells for $150-200 regularly, as well as the new Jackson Soloist Style 7's. I don't see the value you're getting here, considering these are from more established companies with better factories, workers, shippers, and resellers that will stand by their product and service until you're satisfied. Save yourself the trouble and have your buddy return that thing, and invest in something nicer.

    I know you said you can fix the issues yourself, but I wouldn't be bothered to. And on a side note, reading your post before seeing the pictures, my mind really pictured those defects/dings to be much more extreme. Albeit unacceptable, you can't expect perfection when you bought a Chinese Made $200 Range guitar ON SALE :rofl:

    Hope it works out for you in the end, wether you return it or not.
     
  3. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    well THERE'S your problem
     
  4. Stuck_in_a_dream

    Stuck_in_a_dream SS.org Regular

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    Or even a brand new
    1. Schecter SGR C-7, $199 @ MusiciansFriend, even get it cheaper using their 15% coupons that are frequently offered.
    [​IMG]

    2. LTD M-17 for $199 @ MusiciansFriend
    [​IMG]

    Of course going the used route will bring you more value for your dollar, but even brand new options are not that expensive.
     
  5. beneharris

    beneharris SS.org Regular

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    Wait, I'm a tad bit confused. If he banned you from buying from there ever again, why would you bother to do it, much less be sneaky about it?

    Also, I can see his point about a case, if it truly was damaged in shipping, and a case could have prevented that, he would have no reason to refund you money, and continue losing money trying to please you. Not trying to be a jerk, but it kind of seems like, if in fact, it left his shop with no damage, he has a point.

    Sorry you've had bad experiences though. :noway:
     
  6. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings No like the floppy

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    Write reviews.

    Write them every where.

    Horrible customer rape.
     
  7. loqtrall

    loqtrall Banned

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    This is a huge shit sandwich of a situation.
     
  8. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    ITT:

    OP keeps buying cheap, busted-ass guitars, keeps wondering why he keeps getting cheap, busted-ass guitars.

    Just playing devil's advocate here, but what did you REALLY expect?

    From what i've seen, the Agile stuff is way better built (in Korea) than the Douglas or SX stuff (made in China). Likely Kurt's margins on the low-priced stuff is really slim, making returns and exchanges (especially where he pays the return shipping) almost a money-losing proposition for him on the cheap stuff. The fact that you've had to return or exchange guitars numerous times without buying cases would probably annoy me as well, and i likely would have changed my return policy long ago. He's probably LOST money on you as a customer.

    How many $200 guitars have you bought from Rondo? Maybe save up and buy ONE $600 guitar that doesn't suck, and have it shipped in a proper case. :shrug:

    My 2¢.
     
    AxeHappy likes this.
  9. brett8388

    brett8388 SS.org Regular

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    +1
     
  10. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, well I guess when I see how all these other people have good experiences with buying $200 guitars from Rondo, I feel like I should be able to have the same thing. The fact that I am not able to receive the same quality, value, and customer service that everybody else seems to receive makes me feel cheated. I keep going back because I keep seeing other people having great experiences buying Agile's and Douglas' alike, and hoping that my next purchase will redeem Rondo Music, and allow me to share in the wealth. If not, I can at least vent about it on a forum.
     
  11. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    Some people are not very picky, have low standards, or don't know a good guitar from a bad one. You have to take all reviews with a grain of salt, ESPECIALLY on the cheaper stuff. (e.g. Douglas and SX vs. Agile)

    And please link to a few NGD/review threads of people having great "quality, value and customer service" examples on $200 guitars from Rondo. I'd really like to see what you're basing your expectations on.
     
  12. beneharris

    beneharris SS.org Regular

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    But if your vent is unfounded, its not at all fair to Rondo, who, while possibly not in the most tactful way ever, was just protecting their business. Seems he just wanted you to buy a case to save from damage in shipping.
     
  13. Stuck_in_a_dream

    Stuck_in_a_dream SS.org Regular

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    Or at the very least eliminate the possibility that the damage was due to poor packaging, maybe then he will be able to collect shipping insurance, just saying.
     
  14. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    Part of what makes them so cheap is that the instruments don't get inspected or set up AT ALL after they leave the factory. You can also be pretty sure that guitars in boxes don't even get opened at Rondo before being shipped out, UNLESS they get removed from their original boxes to be put into a case.

    At least if you order a case, someone has seen and handled the guitar, so presumably any GLARINGLY OBVIOUS faults with the instrument (like visible cracks) will have it moved into B-Stock inventory and a decent one shipped out.

    It's also a cover-your-ass move by Kurt with the cases. If i were him, i'd make his VERY generous return policy ONLY apply if you order a guitar in a properly-fitting hardshell case. That way, there is a MUCH more clear-cut way of determining if a guitar were flawed from the factory, vs. damaged in shipping to the customer.
     
  15. WhoThenNow7

    WhoThenNow7 SS.org Regular

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    Well, now I know where I'm never buying a guitar from.
     
  16. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    I think a lot of ground has been covered here. I'm not sure why you would bother buying another Rondo guitar after your earlier experiences.
    I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression that Agiles are ever perfect. I've never owned one and part of the reason why is because they come with a big asterisk on nearly ALL reviews: you purchase knowing that you are going to have to do the QC.
    It's a $250 guitar dude. That's what it is.

    In all honesty, and I'm not trying to be a dick here, but you sound like a really hard to deal with customer. Looking at your list of issues with the guitar, you've put the minor cosmetic issues ahead of the ones that effect playability. If this was my company, I'd be thinking that you were nitpicking from the start and that would make the more serious issues harder to take seriously.
    The minor cosmetic issues are just GOING to happen when you buy a $250 guitar and ship it, by itself, from across the world. "It's like they weren't trying!" is more like "they put $250 worth of equipment and effort into this guitar". They pump these things out quick and cheap and the labor force is definitely not getting any incentive to improve the quality. Otherwise the company would be paying for it and you wouldn't have a $250 guitar.
    So you have a few cosmetic issues, one of which you've highlighted particularly is the two pieces of foam in the trem cavity. But, that is obviously a common or standard practice because the photo on the Rondo site for this model shows the same thing:
    [​IMG]

    So those issues, you put up front: one doesn't matter (it is as advertised) and the others are less realistic of your ideas of what this guitar should/could look like.

    So when it comes down to the fret ends, you should put that up first. You also should have photos of that if you want the more serious claim to be understood.
    Also, you're claiming the guitar has a compound radius which has resulted in too much curve on the radius towards the bottom of the neck. A compound radius flattens towards the body, not the other way around. It does look like you have a serious issue with the fretboard radius, but it most likely wasn't intentional. Of everything you've mentioned, only the fretboard and frets sticking out are the ones that a company should take as reasons for immediate refund or exchange, but they're at the bottom of your list and you've not shown evidence of their extent nor labeled the problems correctly.
    If those problems are as severe as you've stated, the only reasonable thing to do is return the guitar and not give the company another chance. But, and again not trying to be a dick, but just being real, you should level your expectations a bit.
     
  17. Loganator259

    Loganator259 SS.org Regular

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    I'm sorry to hear about your bad experiences. A $250 guitar should be playable out of the box, however you can't expect it to play great out of the box, and you can't expect it to be cosmetically perfect, that's why it's a $250 guitar.
     
  18. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canada

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    This right here is part of your problem. If you've had negative experiences on multiple occasions, there should be no incentive on your part to go back. You're seriously just punishing yourself. The same money you applied to that particular travesty could have been much better applied to any number of other 7's coming from far more reputable companies.

    Furthering this, I have to say I agree with Feraledge in that you're highlighting negligible and honestly to be expected faults on an instrument of this price, before you address far more serious issues.

    TL;DR, return that pile of shit and go spend your $250 on a used RG7321.
     
  19. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

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    For what it's worth, I have an old Douglas Scope that I love and it was sub $200. I have a douglas 5 string bass and an SX bass, both of which play great. Thing is, they didn't come problem free. I had to set them all up. The 5 string had back bow so bad all of the notes fretted out. (even the open notes) The Scope had a faulty toggle switch and similar tuss rod/neck problems as the bass. The SX was fine, although the action was a little high.

    At the same time, I have a $400 Epiphone with side dots being lopsided, and shitty factory set up. My BC Rich JRV7 has a few spots where you can see (pin head sized amounts) wood through the finish. Hell, even my $800+ guitars aren't free from .... ups. My Epi LP MKH has random white flecks under the clear, and my IC507 had one of the worst out of box setups I've ever seen.

    Shitty setups and cosmetic glitches are to be expected, and in my case easily looked over. (particularly with cheaper instruments.) In fact if the guitar didn't fret out (and was thus playable,) I'd be perfectly content with that guitar for the price paid. It should certainly be playable, (preferably unscratched too, but shipping is a bitch which is why a case is desired and thus not exactly Kurt's fault.) but it's going to have some degree of issues. You might not like hearing it, but if crooked side markers and cheap foam jobs upset you to any degree, you'll probably want to save up some cash and buy a more expensive guitar. These are some of the corners cut to make cheap instruments.

    Hope it all works out for you dude. In the past few years I've ordered tons of guitars and it's never fun to receive a lemon.
     

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