This toy guitar has a built-in amplifier and speaker. Although not a ‘serious’ instrument, I readily agreed to check this little guitar out for a friend. Yes, they literally found it in the trash.
Now, before you Gear Snobs click your tongue at anyone who would be interested in spending any time with this guitar, there are tens of thousands of three-quarter and seven-eights scale guitars sold each year, and a few hundred half-scale guitars. The youth market requires down-sized guitars for little people who don’t have the arm strength or finger length to support a full-sized guitar.
The only concern I had was, could the guitar be playable, have good intonation, and could it make music in such a way that would not discourage a potential future musician? Undeterred by your definition of “making music,” the Unbroken String Crew jumps to work!
So the mushroom-shaped plastic covers keep the sharp string ends from harming the little kiddies. The string tree is cool. The deep slots in the plastic nut are pretty standard for cheap Chinese guitars. What is wrong with those people, anyway?
I’m a little surprised that these open-gear tuners would ‘fly’ past the product safety people. Isn’t this a pinch hazard?
The battery under this cover runs a built-in amplifier. No buckle rash here (or maybe I should say, no safety pin rash.)
The amplifier works! Plugging in a set of headphones mutes the built-in speaker.
The bridge and saddle are one piece, and there is no adjustment for string height. Likewise, whatever the pickup height is, is what the pickup height is. This is just a toy, but now I’m a little worried that the setup will not go well.
The headstock needs some work. Here is another view of the tuner capstans, with the protective string covers out of the way for now. These plastic covers double as bushings.
Stamped steel tuners meet the price point of this toy guitar. But they are functional.
Here you can see what passes for bushings around the capstans. This can go into the sink for cleanup.
Maybe this is dried catsup? Ewww…
Dried catsup is easy to remove with a scraper, as any parent can tell you.
The very end of the headstock was dinged up during the guitar’s trip through the dumpster. As there is no need for preserving the VOS (vintage original specs) of the headstock, I’m sanding away with 80 grit.
A little clear polyurethane will seal up the wound.
Other than the dried catsup, there’s nothing wrong with the finish.
And there was more dried catsup on the fingerboard, but that’s all gone now. A little fret polish, perhaps?
Tuners were disassembled, cleaned, lubricated, and reassembled. Not bad for stamped steel.
Surprisingly, the gear lash and tooth mesh were both manageable. A little LokTite and we’re good to go!
All strung up and, surprisingly, fairly well set up. If I were to spend more time with this guitar, I would grind off some of the nut plastic to better define the string seats, but for now, I’ll leave it the way it came from China.
Every adult who has picked up this guitar has smiled as they played it. I’m still not sure that the young lady for whom this was promised has seen it yet!
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!
David Latchaw EE