The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165805   Message #3981826
Posted By: GUEST,matt milton
13-Mar-19 - 12:27 PM
Thread Name: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
C-sharp: you are clearly my long-lost brother in a guitar-shaped parallel universe. I agree with everything you say about Recording King guitars. And the ROS series in particular. I use 0.13-0.56 strings on them, and often detune down a semitone or tone. I’m a total Recording King evangelist. (Except for their newer models, that is… they’ve let themselves down a little on some of them…!)

I own a ROS-616, all solid mahogany OM size, 12-frets to body, which is frankly one of the nicest sounding and playing guitars I have ever touched. I bought it new in 2013, for £340. I sometimes go to big guitar expos and take it with me: I can pick up a £2000 luthier-made guitar and compare it to the ROS-616, and the 616 always wins. It has a beautiful tone. And it is as loud as any dreadnought I’ve yet tried.

I bought a ROS-06 last year as a cheapo ‘beater’ guitar so I wouldn’t damage my beloved 616 at sessions and open mics. Same size and dimensions as the 616, but solid spruce top and laminate mahogany back and sides. But even the 06 is still a very good guitar. Cost me £120 secondhand with a hard case. It is a very ‘beefy’ sounding guitar, with a chunky classical shaped neck. Sounds actually quite dreadnoughty for an OM.. It doesn’t project as well as the 616, but is still a loud guitar. The bottom few strings can sound a little dead at times – it walks a fine line between sounding warm and sounding a bit dead. But I replaced the bridge pins with brass ones (which made a very small difference) and just make sure I change the strings on it more often than I would normally. (Whereas I hardly ever bother changing the strings on the 616 and it still sounds good)

Most recently I bought an RNJ 26NA ‘Greenwich Village’/ ‘Nick Lucas’ model. It’s a parlour guitar, 13 frets to body, solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides. Sounds wonderful. Quite a bright tone but very sweet, not harsh at all. I didn’t think I would ever play a guitar I liked as much as the 616 but the RNJ26 is a lot of fun and really growing on me. It is deliberately deeper than the average parlour, which gives it a little bit more bass and volume.