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Review: Recording King guitars

C-flat 06 Feb 11 - 02:34 PM
Mark Ross 06 Feb 11 - 02:56 PM
C-flat 06 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM
alex s 07 Feb 11 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,FlydePlayer 07 Feb 11 - 12:09 PM
C-flat 08 Feb 11 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Norm 15 Feb 12 - 08:00 PM
Dave Hanson 16 Feb 12 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Tony 16 Feb 12 - 12:38 PM
Dave Hanson 16 Feb 12 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Tony 16 Feb 12 - 07:05 PM
Mark Ross 16 Feb 12 - 07:17 PM
Midchuck 16 Feb 12 - 09:33 PM
GUEST 28 Nov 12 - 03:39 PM
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Subject: Review: Recording King guitars
From: C-flat
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 02:34 PM

After much searching I came across a little gem of a guitar in Durham.
I've been looking at parlour guitars for a while now until my GAS (guitar aquisition syndrome) finally got the better of me and I starting shopping in earnest.
I tried a good number of mid-range guitars £500 - £750 but none of them made my ears prick up.
In the end I was persuaded to try a Recording King.
Initially put off by the cheap price (£250) and the "made in China" label, I started to play and found, to my amazement, that the notes leapt out. Evenly balanced across the strings with the sort of strident tones you might expect from a high-end instrument.
On close examination the finish is really very good too.
I haven't come across this label before in the UK but if this is typical of the standard of factory produced instruments they're putting out at this price range then we can all grab an absolute bargain!
The 12 fret parlours' neck is designed very much for the picker and it looks absolutely right too. A real joy to play.
I'm sorry if this sounds like an advert, I'm just a bit astonished at the price and kept picking other guitars up to reassure myself that it did actually sound as good as I thought it did.
In the end I forgot to even barter and lamely handed over the cash!!
(Anyone who knows me will be surprised by that!)

No doubt there'll be tons of people saying "Recording King"? "Yeah, been around forever" "the sound-hole rots after a month" or whatever. For now, I feel like I've nabbed a bargain!
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has tried them. (I can't be the only one?)

C-flat


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 02:56 PM

I have tried the 12 fret, and I think it's the best del for the price- $295 here in Oregon.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: C-flat
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM

Good grief!!!
That's less than £190.00 in the UK!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: alex s
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 09:40 AM

One of our club regulars has just bought one and it's great for the money. Well worth a look.


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: GUEST,FlydePlayer
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 12:09 PM

I have been checking these online. Need to get one in hand to try, some youtube recordings sound great, but that does not indicate natural volume. Would prefer the ROS06 as sold in states which has tortoisehell binding and heel triangle, without herringbone join across the back, although the ROS016 looks a fine job - enjoy and forget the US price!


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: C-flat
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 02:55 AM

You can tell from my original post how pleased I am with mine but, as you say, you need to get one in hand to try.
The neck is a very different profile to other guitars I own and certainly aimed at a style of playing in keeping with the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: GUEST,Norm
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 08:00 PM

The sound hole rots after a month ;)


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 03:45 AM

What does ' recording king ' actually mean ? I see lots of banjos and some mandolins on eBay by many different manufacturers but all called ' recording king ' I'm baffled.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 12:38 PM

Dave, Recording King is a brand. Brand owners can have their products manufactured in their own factories, if they own any, or in any other factories. It's commonly believed that General Motors had the Geo Prizm manufactured by Toyota so that it wouldn't fall apart as quickly as all the other GM small cars. In the same way, Fender could have Guild guitars made in the old Guild factory, or in a Fender factory, or in a Gibson or Martin or Samick factory, or anywhere else they choose, as long as the manufacturer conforms to the quality standards that Fender wants to maintain for the Guild brand.

I just did a search for "recording king" on eBay Musical Instruments, and all the results were for RK brand instruments. I noticed a couple of cases where the seller claims the instrument was actually made by the Gibson company for RK, but it's clearly labeled RK and not Gibson, so Gibson never vouched for its quality and probably wouldn't admit having made it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 02:39 PM

Thanks Tony.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 07:05 PM

But back to the original subject:

I've been interested in 12th-fret steel-string guitars for a long time, ever since I tried out an expensive handmade one that someone brought to a singaround. If the mass-produced ones sound anything like that, I definitely want one, in place of the collection of dreadnoughts which I never play.

I found that, in addition to the Recording Kings, there are also 12th-fret models by Trinity College, Art & Lutherie, Washburn, Bedell, Great Divide, and Johnson. But I could never find one in a store, even stores with hundreds of guitars in stock. The only way to get one is to order it and pay before it's shipped.

I finally found a Great Divide 12th-fret in a store, yesterday, and it had the kind of sound I was hoping for. But it's a small-bodied guitar, about a 0-size, apparently intended as a sort of travel guitar (the "Campfire" series), and it sounds a bit like a child's guitar. Still, it's made me feel that a 000-size such as the Recording King would be just what I'm looking for.

My question:
Does anyone have experience with the return policies of companies like Woodwind & Brasswind, and Music123, and Musician's Friend? They all sell Recording Kings (for $255), and they give the impression that you can order one, with free shipping, and try it out, and if you don't like the way it sounds you can ship it back for a full refund. But in each case the exact wording of the published return policy makes me suspicious.


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: Mark Ross
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 07:17 PM

Recording King was made by Gibson back in the '30's. Nowadays they are made in China to specs provided by the company which now owns the name(they are located near Bean Blossom in Indiana). Quite good workmanship and definitely worth the price,

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: Midchuck
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 09:33 PM

I recently acquired a new ROS-06 from my local music store. They were selling them for about $255 US, the same as Elderly or Musician's Fiend (not a typo). But they gave me their standard 20% (semi) pro musician's discount, so I got it, with no case, for just over $200.

It needed some setup work (I actually took out the bone saddle and put in a micarta one, and thought it improved the tone - it was awfully bright with the bone); and the tuners are fairly cheesy - I will probably switch them out when I find replacements that are a good fit.

But I would have to say that, dollar for dollar of cost, it's by far the best value in an acoustic guitar I ever bought. I have guitars I've paid ten times that for, that are only two or three times as good.

(Well, I did get a new Martin 00-18 for $155 US - but that was in '62.)

Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: Recording King guitars
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 03:39 PM

Read that the original RK guitars, sold by Montgomery Wards, were manufactured by Gibson.


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