Anyways, This guitar is my third, and as a present to myself for sticking to playing, I decided to order here, drawn in by this shops stelar reputation and the promise of a great setup, and I promply overshot my Budget by 200 quid when I saw Richard playing this git on his youtube channel. He nearly had to fix up a Vintage for me^^
So after short and very polite conversation about availability, order time and payment, the order was placed and, me thinks, 10 days later the guitar arrived here in Germany, in a rather beat up box from DPD. No worries, the packaging was very, very solid and would have taken way more abuse.
That was beginning of January.
And after one month with this guitar I can say: You can pry this from my cold dead hands (please don't tho).
Why I love it:
First of all, the guitar sounds gorgeous. The neck and middle are brighter than on my other strat, and sound sweet and full. But the killer is the bridge. The P90 slays. I never was a fan of the bridge pickups of my other guitars, the strat sounded too thin, the LP too harsh, this thing is fat like (you won't write that here) and even with tone on 10 never harsh. It distorts gorgeously. Neither of those pickups will ever be replaced. Best would be to go to youtube and listen to Richards video about this guitar, and other reviews.
The neck is a C-profile, and it is rather thick compared both of my modern-C guitars, but I love playing on it and the satin finish feels great. And now I can finally talk about the setup. The fret ends are finished so nicely and so smoothly, I had to rework the fret ends of my other guitars. Rguitars defined my standard here. This is what should be the norm.
The action was set up nice and low, with little buzz, even with my heavy hands. I did not leave any instructions on how I would prefer it set up, but I have not changed a thing on the action. The intonation was perfect. No doubt I will order here again,
Now, I'm not a big admirer of finishes, I care about how guitars play. Bumps and bruises don't worry me. Not that any of those are on this guitar, it looked perfect when it arrived!
So why only 4 stars?
This guitar has 2 things I would consider design flaws. One is rather minor, the other is rather annoying.
The minor one is that the design of the output jack is flawed. The jack is not mounted on a plate, but screwed into a concave metal piece that is recessed in the body and then screwed into the wood. The idea is that you put the cable into the hole and just push it in and the concave cutout guides it into the jack. And that would work, if the thread of that thing wasn't wobbly as all hell. But it is. And in combination with the tight fitting jack, the output jack is pushed through the metal piece into the body, and you then have to unscrew the metal piece, fish the jack out, then screw the jack back into the piece and the piece into the body. That happened twice to me. You also cannot just screw the jack through the piece in full length, because it blocks the piece from being screwed into the body. Theoretically, you can tighten a nut on the jack against the metal piece, but that doesn't work. My solution was threadlocker. That also isn't a big deal when the jack needs replacing, since you simply cut off the jack and heat up the threads to remove it. I don't blame Richard for not noticing this, since that flaw only appeared after plugging in and out multiple times. I think this flaw is a nuisance, but nothing really important.
The other issue is more serious and it concerns the Bridge pickup mount. As I tried to lower the pickup a smidge, both adjustment screws stripped out and the springs below the P90 pushed the pickup into my strings....when repairing that issue, I found that the cavity for the pickups isn't deep, so adjustment space is limited, but there is a good reason for it: The pickup-screws already extend through the body into the trem cavity. That is why they stripped so easily in my case, there is not much wood to hold those screws. After removing the pickup springs and repairing the screw holes with toothpicks the pickup is now permanently in the lowest position (not exactly low, but still) exactly where I wanted it). Also notable, one of the springs below the 90 was installed crooked and was bent out of shape.
I think Fret-King should consider here to mount this pickup in some other way, at best on the pickguard, if possible.
That being said, this is a killer guitar. It sounds amazing, it looks amazing, it plays amazing, especially with the setup from Richardsguitars. I wholeheartedly recommend it.