Douglas Gravity WF SH TA Tele (Review)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by twebby, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. twebby

    twebby Senior Member

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    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)

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  2. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    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!
     
  3. twebby

    twebby Senior Member

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    Pics! (phone quality :()
    [​IMG]
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    :dude:
     
    2 people like this.
  4. GERRYGTR62

    GERRYGTR62 Senior Member

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    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!!]
     
  5. pedersenkirk

    pedersenkirk Senior Member

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    Looks decent. Made in China?
     
  6. twebby

    twebby Senior Member

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    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
     
  7. RaSTuS26

    RaSTuS26 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  8. twebby

    twebby Senior Member

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    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.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Hecubus

    Hecubus Member

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    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.
     
  10. Hecubus

    Hecubus Member

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    Oh yeah, HNGD! Nice tele!
     
  11. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  12. Paulbookwood

    Paulbookwood Junior Member

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    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.
     
  13. Kungphugrip

    Kungphugrip Senior Member

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    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.
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    [​IMG]
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    btw SX and Douglas are made in china Agile is Korean
     
  14. Paulbookwood

    Paulbookwood Junior Member

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    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. :cool:
     
  15. Malikon

    Malikon BigDumbMonkey V.I.P. Member

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    that's a pretty cool scale length for a Tele-style. Congrats.
     
  16. Paulbookwood

    Paulbookwood Junior Member

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    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. :thumb:
     
  17. shivamoon

    shivamoon Junior Member

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    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! )
     
  18. Kungphugrip

    Kungphugrip Senior Member

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    i think they are GFS filltertrons(maybe nashvilles)but im not 100%
     

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