Bargain Hunter Alert-A dirt cheap Strat that doesn't dissappoint

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TheClev, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    I've been trying to snatch up some inexpensive guitars to practice nut cutting and fret leveling on, and someone suggested Rondo music. I always wanted a surf green Strat, and I had $80 to spare, so I ordered this Omega one: http://www.rondomusic.com/product7006.html

    Much to my surprise, this is a really solid Strat copy. It has great tuning stability, with quality tuners unlike that Squier Bullet stuff and has a comfortably thick, unfinished neck. I can't believe this stuff is out there for less than $100! My only complaint is that the nut was cut too low and will need to be replaced. And of course, the pickups aren't mind blowing, but they're okay. Sound sample below of me screwing around through the switch positions. If you want a decent mod platform or just feel like adding another guitar to your collection for less than the cost of a stompbox, give one of these a try.


    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/theclev/omega-guitar-sample[/SOUNDCLOUD]
     
  2. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    Huh. I really thought more people would be interested in this. Guess it's just me who likes good, cheap guitars to experiment with.
     
  3. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    This is TGP you know, where the low end budget guitars starts at $1000 :p
     
  4. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    I'm impressed. That has been my plan as well. Get a cheap guitar to learn on. Actually my neighbor has a few old Harmony Strat copies..maybe from the 80s he will give me. The necks look surprisingly nice. Actually taking that file or leveling block to one of my babies gives me some pause though.

    FWIW, Ron Kirn has a good sticky thread on TDPRI for fret leveling.
     
  5. Beakertwang

    Beakertwang Supporting Member

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    How in the world can a company manufacture, ship, and sell a complete electric guitar for $80 and make any profit, let alone something playable? It blows my mind. I should definitely pick one up!
     
  6. dazco

    dazco Member

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    No doubt a great deal. But the fact is a $80 strat isn't going to measure up to what most have here. So deals like this tend to be impulse buys that you get then soon realize your others are just too much better to bother keeping this. Thats the way i see it anyways. For a beginner or maybe a beach guitar etc it's a no brainer, assuming the fretwork is serviceable as is. But most here have pretty nive guitars. Even a squier classic vibe MIM is going to be much better. You can only do so much for $80, especially consirdering the manufacturer is only getting maybe 1/2 that or less.
     
  7. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    Sure, but many of us are tinkerers, and many of us know people who want to begin playing. Does this Strat compare to my PRS guitars or high-end Fenders? Of course not. But with a new set of pickups and a minimal amount of work, I'd happily gig with it, and that's a heck of a find for 80 bucks.
     
  8. HTSMetal

    HTSMetal Member

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    I've purchased a few cheap axes from Rondo, and everyone of them has been on par with Squier Classic Vibe easily at about 1/3 of the price. This one, however, trumps them all:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its looks may be a bit off-putting to some, but in comparison to a 2006 Fender MIM HSS Strat, this thing blows it out of the water in terms of playability. Perfect frets, solid tuning stability, and my goodness those ceramic P90s sound amazing through a cranked Fender Blues Jr. I know it isn't standard TGP fare, but for $150 I'd heartily recommend everyone try one of these. You'll be shocked.
     
  9. Beakertwang

    Beakertwang Supporting Member

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    I'd slap one of those $40 Bigsby knockoffs on it, and I would rock that!
     
  10. doc

    doc Member

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    This thread is not only not TGP approved, it is also not Scott Grove approved.
    :mob



    A mild step up, my favorite mod platforms are the inexpensive Peavey USA guitars. Very good basic guitar with some cheap hardware that is easy to replace for a great result.
     
  11. DRS

    DRS Member

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    So, to be clear, you bought a neck and body from Asia that will require a new nut, electronics, and set-up for $80? And after you invest in these upgrades, you will have a guitar worth, what, $80? If I was interested in value, I'd get a used Robert Cray for $500 which is as well built as an AM Std but with better USA electronics and CS pups. I could see the Omega if you had a drawer full of parts and maybe you knew someone who wanted to start playing.
     
  12. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    First of all, I got this to hone my setup skills, so the labor cost is nonexistent. So let's take a look at my total cost: After a new nut, which I can buy for a few bucks and cut myself, a new switch and pots using a $30 wiring kit from StewMac, and a new set of Texas pickups (from GFS for $70), I have a little less than $200 invested in a guitar that plays well and sounds great -- and I don't have to worry about beating it up at gigs.

    No, it won't fetch much if I sell it, but I can always put back all the factory stuff, keep my pickups and electronics and probably still squeeze close to my $80 bucks back.
     
  13. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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  14. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    I'm tempted by this one as well although the basswood body does concern me a bit. I've seen some alder body Chinese Stratoids going for about $40 more.

    I've been happy with the Rondo SX Hawk with a mahogany body and stop tail I got for Christmas. It required only minimal setup, just a little intonation tweaking and smoothing out a few fret sprouts.

    The pickups on these cheap MIC guitars are usually high output ceramic single coils. They sound decent enough although they lack some of the nuance of more expensive pickups. I haven't swapped out the ones on my Hawk yet but I'll probably go with something different like dual HBs or P90s, or maybe the sorta Burns copies GFS sells.

    BTW, have you checked to see what the body rout is on the Omega?
     
  15. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    I haven't opened her up yet...still waiting for the new pickups to arrive. I'll find out in the next few days.
     
  16. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the basswood, works rather good for Jeff Beck in his no1 strat. :)
     
  17. wetordry

    wetordry Member

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    Picked up a junkstore sunburst early 90's Fernandes strat 2 days ago for 110 out the door.
    Near as I can tell it's a basswood body, sounds good to me.
    Have scored 3 cheapies lately that all set up great, good for gifts, or I keep one at work....so I hear ya!
    All 3 purchased with 5 strings only.:huh
    The Rondos look fun!
     
  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    Durability is my main basswood concern. I've seen some basswood guitars that chipped and dented easily and didn't hold hardware well.
     
  19. o0Ampy0o

    o0Ampy0o Member

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    I learned to play on a comparable Les Paul copy years ago and its action was easier than any guitar I have played since. The pickups screeched feedback but at a lower volume the guitar was very suited to learn on. I ended up passing it around to friends and relatives to learn with.
     
  20. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    Solid pickup. I'm absolutely smitten with my "Traditional Series" Strat I recently acquired. I've been playing it through my equally "cheap" AC30cc2 and my $30 SD-1 more than anything else I own lately.
     

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