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Unread 07-27-2012, 03:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

For so long I've heard such great things about Rondo Music, and their generously affordable line of guitars. I was skeptical. Why wouldn't I be? The price point of most of Kurt's guitars is just ridiculous (in a good way).

Anyways, about a week ago I was experiencing severe G.A.S and finally decided to take a look at Rondo Music Home Page to see for myself what the hype is all about. Long story short, I binged.

I ended up purchasing a Douglas Gravity WF SH TA (to be exact)
the list price is $139.95, but it ended up being around $160 with shipping.
(Still an amazing price)



Here's a quick run down of the specs

-Flat-top guitar with basswood body and ash burl top!
-Hard rock maple neck with adjustable truss rod!
-Rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and dot inlays!
-Bound body and gold hardware.
-Two humbucker pickups for traditional sound!
-One volume, one tone control, plus and 3-way pickup selector switch
-Traditional TOM bridge
-Die cast chrome tuners!
-Trans amber finish!
-Width of the Neck at Nut: 1 5/8", at the 22nd Fret: 2 1/4"
-Length: 39 1/2", Scale Length: 25 1/2"
-Width at the Widest Point: 13", Body Thickness at the Edge: 1 3/4"
-Weight: 9 lbs

I'll start with the bad:
CHEAP ELECTRONICS
First and foremost the pups. Double HB configuration. The cleans for both the neck and bridge aren't too shabby, but as soon as we add some distortion they are as muddy as a sandlot during a tsunami. Zero note definition.
I guess you can't expect much from cheapy chinese pups. I'm sure the rest of the cheapy electronics don't help either.

Strings
I already knew the guitar would ship with cheapy strings, but I never thought my E string would snap while tuning the damn thing.
Easily fixed with a set of D'addarios

Nut
Wooden nut. I can already tell it will need replacing.
Nothing a Graph Tech won't fix.

That's really all I have to complain about - and this was already to be expected.

The good:

Tuners
Die-Cast Chrome tuners (gold finish)
I've heard people complain about SX and Douglas tuners time-and-time again. I haven't had the guitar long enough to tell, but I've played it for about 8 hours straight today and it has yet to go out of tune.
However, that won't stop me from throwing some Grovers on there.

Hardware
TOM Bridge and tailpiece are of good quality.
The Bridge looks like it could be a ABR-1.
The switch feels nice. No wobble, and locks into position nicely.
Intonation was perfect aside from the Low E and D. Easy fix.

Neck
Satin Maple (2 piece)
Relief was perfect out of the box.
The satin finish is a pleasure for my hands. Silky smooth. No stick.
Definitely not the typical fender tele shape. It's a little wider, but it feels really nice.

Fretboard
Glossy Rosewood.
The glossed rosewood looks stunning, and feels nice on my fingers.
No sharp edges, no fret popping. All frets were even, No string buzz.

Body
Maple back (seems to be 3 piece), 1 piece Ash Burl top. Bound body.
The quality of this thing is ridiculous. The top is absolutely stunning, and binding on a $140 guitar?
I shit you not, the quality of the Neck and Body of the guitar can easily stand its ground against a $+500 guitar.

Aside from the cheapy electronics, and the questionable nut and tuners this thing is amazing. It just feels like a quality made guitar, and it looks the part as well.

I will upload my own pictures tomorrow morning.

Thanks for reading,
Taylor
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Unread 07-27-2012, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

GFS will be your best fix for the pickups and tuners, and then one of the guys here on the fourm can get your set up with a good harness. Awesome guitar!
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Unread 07-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Pics! (phone quality )




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Unread 07-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

I'm very curious about Douglas, SX and Agile, seeing the Rondo Music website.....sounds like best 'bang for the buck' [although I'd mod them out, LOL!!]
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Unread 07-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Looks decent. Made in China?
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Unread 07-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GERRYGTR62 View Post
I'm very curious about Douglas, SX and Agile, seeing the Rondo Music website.....sounds like best 'bang for the buck' [although I'd mod them out, LOL!!]
I was too until I binged and went ahead and bought one. I received a gem. You know that feeling you get in your hands when you're holding an expensive quality guitar? I get that same feeling with this little dude. Everything except the electronics, and nut are quality (Tuners are questionable).

I mean lets be honest here - am I going to throw on a graph tech nut, CTS pots, SD hums, and Grover tuners? Of course I am. With the quality woodwork and fretwork, after those upgrade this thing is going to hold it's own against any Gibson I have.

(also, I don't have it pictured, but the Pup cavities are very nice)

Maybe I got lucky and received a nice one, but from what I've read/heard, they all seem to be this wonderful.
They make great modding guitars and for the price you definitely can't go wrong. Especially seeing as you can get some SX for $85!
I highly suggest checking the "New items and Specials" section of the site as well. There's usually plenty of B-Stock parts and guitars on there for even cheaper. (theres a full set of grover tuners 18:1 on there right now for $20 - If only they were gold plated )

Anyways, Thanks for the comment!

-Taylor
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Unread 07-27-2012, 10:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Congrats on the new geet, there are some wonderful bargains around these days and it looks like you've got hold of one of them, terrific modding platform, HNGD.
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Unread 07-27-2012, 11:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedersenkirk View Post
Looks decent. Made in China?
I'm not positive, from what I've read, Rondo's SX brand is Chinese made while Douglas and Agile are supposedly Korean. However, Don't quote me on this. Either way; Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, or wherever they're made... They're an absolute steal.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

I have an Agile 3000M (maple top) and I like it a lot. Quality is top notch and if it isn't, Kurt will make it right.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Oh yeah, HNGD! Nice tele!
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Unread 08-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

I've got a burl-topped Gravity outfitted with more traditional Tele-style electronics. It certainly has some flaws out of the box (frets could use a polish, and the nut is atrocious), but it stays in tune decently well, sounds okay, and plays well. It's an absolute steal for the price, even if you have to pay for a setup.

I'll have to double-check, but I'm almost positive there is a "Made in China" sticker on my Douglas.
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Unread 03-29-2014, 12:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

I've been looking at the same Douglas Gravity you have. It sure looks like a great guitar. I am a little confused because Rondo Music says the Scale length: 24 3/4" which is my favorite scale length.
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Unread 03-30-2014, 06:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

HNGD! that looks cool.
i have never had a Douglas but i have heard with a little modding they are killer,
i have almost pulled the trigger on the very same tele more than once.
here is what Leroy(RIP) did with his.



btw SX and Douglas are made in china Agile is Korean
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Unread 04-12-2014, 08:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

OK. I bought one just like the one reviewed. It arrived in good condition but of course I had to set it up to my preferences. It took me a couple of hours testing and setting up the little gem, but now it sounds and plays as good as it looks. Everyone is just blown away by the finish. It's a beautiful little guitar. Aside from the body shape the guitar is not at all like a telecaster. For me it's better. The scale is 24 3/4" which I prefer to the 25 1/2" scales on most telecaster type guitars. I also like the 22 fret neck which gives me that high D (my singing key is G major or its minor relative E minor). Most telecaster type guitars have 21 frets.
Kurt from Rondo was great to deal with. Not that I had to return the guitar or anything (there's no way I want to let go of this guitar anyway). Believe me, I was a little worried about buying a guitar through the mail. In 48 years of guitar playing I had never bought a guitar without getting a chance to play it and look it over in person first. I could have saved myself the worry. For $157.00 (including the shipping) I don't think I could have done better.
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Unread 04-12-2014, 09:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

that's a pretty cool scale length for a Tele-style. Congrats.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 02:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulbookwood View Post
OK. I bought one just like the one reviewed. It arrived in good condition but of course I had to set it up to my preferences. It took me a couple of hours testing and setting up the little gem, but now it sounds and plays as good as it looks. Everyone is just blown away by the finish. It's a beautiful little guitar. Aside from the body shape the guitar is not at all like a telecaster. For me it's better. The scale is 24 3/4" which I prefer to the 25 1/2" scales on most telecaster type guitars. I also like the 22 fret neck which gives me that high D (my singing key is G major or its minor relative E minor). Most telecaster type guitars have 21 frets.
Kurt from Rondo was great to deal with. Not that I had to return the guitar or anything (there's no way I want to let go of this guitar anyway). Believe me, I was a little worried about buying a guitar through the mail. In 48 years of guitar playing I had never bought a guitar without getting a chance to play it and look it over in person first. I could have saved myself the worry. For $157.00 (including the shipping) I don't think I could have done better.
OK. I put in some better pickups and it's a huge difference. I highly recommend putting some new pickups in a Douglas Gravity WF SH. The choice is yours, but the guitar responds very well to decent quality humbuckers.
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Unread 07-05-2014, 11:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kungphugrip View Post
HNGD! that looks cool.
i have never had a Douglas but i have heard with a little modding they are killer,
i have almost pulled the trigger on the very same tele more than once.
here is what Leroy(RIP) did with his.


http://www.leroybeal.net/guitars/bou...especial05.jpg
http://www.leroybeal.net/guitars/bou...especial10.jpg
http://www.leroybeal.net/guitars/bou...especial12.jpg
btw SX and Douglas are made in china Agile is Korean
Does anyone know what type/brand of "Filtertrons" they are, and where they can be bought? ( I just got my Gravity WF SH TA and I love the look of the gold filtertrons! )
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Unread 07-05-2014, 02:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivamoon View Post
Does anyone know what type/brand of "Filtertrons" they are, and where they can be bought? ( I just got my Gravity WF SH TA and I love the look of the gold filtertrons! )
i think they are GFS filltertrons(maybe nashvilles)but im not 100%
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