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Retro Vision Solid Body Electric Guitar - Blonde
With the versatility to play classic country, rock, blues, and jazz tones, you can make this Retro Vision Solid Body Electric Guitar the workhorse of your collection!
This full-sized, 22-fret, single cutaway electric guitar features two single-coil pickups and is capable of producing a wide range of tones. With the bridge pickup, you can get that bright, rich, cutting tone known as the country "twang" made famous by artists such as Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. With the neck pickup you get a warmer, mellow, bluesy tone, such as that of Albert Collins or Muddy Waters. Additionally, rock musicians as diverse as Syd Barrett, Chrissy Hynde, and Keith Richards have found a way to make their own distinctive sound using this style of guitar.
The guitar is constructed with a basswood body, bolt-on maple neck, and rosewood fretboard. It features locking tuners and is strung using Monoprice's coated-steel strings (light, 0.010"). The chrome volume and tone knobs are accompanied by a three-position switch, which lets you select the neck or bridge pickup, or both.
Before it gets shipped to you, each Monoprice guitar undergoes a setup, tuning, and inspection process by Master Luthier Roger Gresco here in Southern California. The setup ensures that the neck is straight, the action is right, and that it will stay in tune. Additionally, it comes with everything you need to get started, including strings (installed), a heavy-duty zippered black gig bag with shoulder strap, and a truss-rod wrench.
I'd buy it again.
PROS: - Good quality
- Decent action/setup
- Surprisingly decent sound
- Not made of cardboard or something (I don't know how they made it this cheap)
CONS: - Not perfect show-room quality? Nobody is paying this little and expecting to show this guitar anyway, its for jamming and risk-free travel and you know it.
Mine is definitely a burst pattern, with solid butter yellow edges tapering to show translucent wood grain toward the middle. I love the color and Deep finish, which works great with the white pickguard and rosewood. Can't make out a wood seam on the front. It's not a "standard" color, but Someone did a nice job on my Retro Vision body.
Nice neck, with proper Tele shape and fretboard radius. The guitar arrived with lockers unlocked and 3 turns of string around the tuners. Fortunately, I think it was just a matter of convenience, as the factory setup intonates fine and doesn't stress the nut with the smaller effective spindle diameter with the lockers engaged and the extra string nipped off.
The guitar arrived totally playable out of the box with just a tune. Tuners don't inspire a lot of confidence, but they all work pretty close to the same. Bridge doesn't distort or exhibit any other functional goofyness (and a lot of aftermarket Tele bridges and benders carry strings without a body passthru anyway).
Pups sound great, though not very loud. Twang and grease, and some blue smoke, as well as standard Tele single-coil clean through my old Hellhound (and new Monoprice 40w). Pots are smooth and even, and feel nice, except one came a little crooked. I can still make all the train sounds.
Factory strings aren't bad, but changing to my DR 10-46s gave me a basis of comparison.
Green Grass and High Tides, My Next Broken Heart, Suspicious Minds, Baby Please Don't Go...This Monoprice Tele did them all the day it arrived.
This is a lot of guitar for $133!
Playability and Setup
CONS: A fret edge would catch a callous every now and then. I taped around it with scotch tape and filed the little microburr with an emery board.
As mentioned, strings don't pass through the body. Time will tell how hard this is on the bridge end and the 7 mounting screws.
PROS: Perfect condition for play straight out of the box.
Flawless paint job.
Comfortable to play.
CONS: None so far, and I've looked hard to find some.
My suspicion is that the wood used to make the body of the guitar is slightly uneven in natural color - but I can't really confirm that and it's only speculation.
The sides of the body "plank" are definitely yellow and look like... (Red: 239 Green: 217 Blue: 105 ) or EFD969. That said, on the front and back sides of the plank, the finishing color looks thinner, and you can definitely see the dark streaks and lines that you'd normally see in a plank of pine wood. And the wooden "patina" of the front of the plank is much more visible from a little further away.
OK, so that said, I think Monoprice should re-do the pictures for this guitar, because it doesn't look like the one in the picture. However, the guitar finish itself is of a great quality, as are the electronics, and the feel of the guitar and the tones are the twangy kind you'd expect from a more classic guitar with this same kind of pickup configuration.
All in all, a great guitar. Definitely excellent for a beginner for myself. I'm very pleased with Monoprice's quality, delivery, packaging and service. It's obvious to me that Monoprice wants to leave a favorable impression - and they do!
PROS: Great tones, great electronics, excellent guitar for a beginner, excellent packing for shipment, set up was super-easy and quick, great finish.
CONS: Color is definitely more yellow than pine or wood-colored.
PROS: Great guitar.
CONS: Priced unbelievably....good.
PROS: Very easy to play. Smooth action. Finish flawless. Strings are top notch. Love the "M" logo on the headstock. Nice touch.
CONS: Cons: It seems most of the screws holding the pick guard and some on the other hardware are stripped. The driver inserting these screws was not adjusted correctly. Both guitars are effected. Not a huge deal, but something that could be addressed.
PROS: Great looks, play-ability, sound, tuners (locking)
CONS: For this price I can't justify a "con"
I've tried import Telecasters from other venders and never bonded with them. This one is a another whole story. I've been playing for 48 years and am floored by the quality instruments that are being imported today.
The set up was as expected. ALL guitars need to be set up according to their owners playing style. I enjoy this work, do it to all my guitars and also as a side job to performing and teaching. I found it odd that the strings were installed on the locking tuning pegs with lots of wraps around the posts (?)
After some back and forth with Monoprice excellent customer service, they made good on the defective tuning peg.
Thanks for making great products at great prices.
PROS: Nice finish, neck and electronics.
CONS: One defective locking tuner.
PROS: - Playability
CONS: For the price, really? I've nothing negative to say.
This guitar compares favorably to the made in Mexico instruments from a well-known manufacturer that cost several hundred dollars more. I have a large collection of vintage guitars and a few months ago bought the gold-top Route 66 Modern LP-style guitar from Monoprice just to see what it was like. I was so impressed that I bought the Retro Vision model as well. These will be my go-to guitars for practice and traveling, saving my vintage stuff for gigs and recording.
Well done Monoprice!
PROS: Setup out of the box was perfect. Finish is perfect. Price point is excellent for this quality. Packed well, shipped fast.
CONS: Plastic parts (e.g., pickguard) are a little below the quality of the rest of the instrument.