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NGW: (2) Fernandes Dragonfly Elite/Douglas Spad


I've been playing guitar for a LONG time and usually have 1 or 2 guitars and play them for a decade. So, I was getting a little bored and decided it was time for some new gear. It ended up being New Guitars Week!

Based on comments made on TGP, I ordered a Agile 3010SE Les that I liked from Rondo Music in Dec... Absolutely blown away by this guitar.

Based on my experience with Agile, I decided I was going to give Rondo another shot and kind of liked the looks of the Douglas Spad in natural.

http://www.rondomusic.com/product1990.html (Specs are here, I won't get into it)

168.00 plus 20.00 shipping. I have guitar parts laying all over the place and wanted to play around with some mods/etc.. I've built partscasters before, with dubious results, and figured I could buy one of these complete for much less than assembling parts. Arrived on Monday. Opened the box and started playing around with it and was disappointed. The overall quality and attention to detail was not in the same ballpark as the Agile 3000 series +... Tuners: meh. Neck: needs adjustments. Nut: plastic. Frets: 24 and all of them need a good cleaning/buffing. Inlays: Mother of Toilet Seat. Pickups: ceramic-meh... split. Strings: Wow. SUCKED. Just all around,,, not all that impressed. But, hey, it's a $200 guitar, what can you expect? Guitar looks pretty good (mystery wood?) and it is light. Played rough out of the box. Fretted out on A note high E string.. So, I started working on it looking for an excuse to send it back.

Guitar was shipped during this cold snap. Let it sit for a couple days and started adjustments on the neck. Fret level: OK. Cleaned/Buffed frets, got the neck bow set, Set of D'Addario 9's, finally got the bridge/action set where I wanted it and.................. Lo and behold, I'm starting to like this POS!!! I still need to replace/cut a new nut but it is playing pretty good! Adjusted pickup height to suit and the pickups are actually sounding pretty good. With the split on the bridge hb,,, it does a real nice Tele sound..

So, if you are able and willing to do alot of minor adjustments and take your time getting it right,,, it's a very usable and even likeable axe..

Also while reading TGP, I got interested in a new Fernandes Dragonfly Elite on sale at Fernandes direct for 599.00 plus shipping! Wow.. I had played a Fernandes with the sustainer in a music store years ago and thought it was pretty neat but wasn't willling to install one in my guitars. Did alot of research and decided that before I pulled the plug, I would check Craig's List in my state and lo and behold, I found a 'like new' one that a young fellow had. It was priced too high with a new one on sale at 599.00 and I pointed it out to the seller without making an offer. He emailed me back with an offer I couldn't refuse, even though I had to drive almost 100 miles one way to pick it up. Got the axe on Friday.

http://www.fernandesguitars.com/dragonfly/dragonfly-elite.html (I have the Cherry Burst)

WOW! This is one FINE axe. From the tip of the headstock to the bottom strap button, this thing REEKS of quality. I won't get into all the details unless someone has a question so I'll point out the things that struck me.

I'm not into 'pretty' guitars but everything about this axe is pretty. It is a 'dual humbucker' with the Fernandes setup in the front bucker and a SD JB in the bridge postion. I am SUPER impressed with the JB pickup. Alot of guys poo-pooed the Fernandes bucker, but it also sounds good. The sustainer is just what I was looking for. Sustain for days! The sustainer can be adjusted for intensity by raising/lowering the front bucker. LOTS of tonal goodness and variety, with or without the sustainer. I'm usually not too impressed with tone knob functions (and I've played will all the different caps/pots) but there is something very usable and SPECIAL about the tone control on this one. I'll have to tear it apart and see what it is! Ha..

Bottom line: you absolutely cannot go wrong with an upper end Fernandes, especially at these sale prices. (I hope it's an legitimate 'overstock, while supplies last' offer!) I would have bought this guitar with or without the sustainer.

Now I got to quit reading TGP before I end up with something else!

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