Hondo Strat Copy (Circa 1977) Reviews 2

Paid (UK) 69 secondhand in 1979 - Two week's junior lab assistant salary at the time. Purchased at A1 Music Manchester England. It was the cheapest guitar in the shop that was intact, i.e. it had six strings and the electrics seemed to work OK at the time - but we live and learn. I was looking for a bargain at the time and ended up with a cadaver.

The body is quite heavy and it stays in tune quite well. The neck is quite good too. The action is pretty good too - very easy to play. The fact that this instrument was (and is) worth nothing encouraged me to play around with the settings. I have used it to experiment with alternative pickups and wiring configurations. I even re-fretted it 20 years ago (never again).

All in all, apart from the wiring quality and the frets - see below - the overall quality was reasonable considering it is a 1970's cheap copy. The bridge was more like a Telecaster bridge (not a very good one at that) and there was no tremolo. The bridge also had a large chrome-plated cover over it - like the sort you see on some Fender basses. This became an ashtray as it served no practical purpose. Since then I have given up smoking so it has absolutely no practical purpose now.

The original wiring setup was appalling. A good range of Strat-like sounds could be produced and the pickups were (and still are) not too bad. However, it produced a lot of hum and the potentiometers and three-way switch became very crackly very quickly - cleaning didn't get rid of the noise. It broke down a few times at gigs and too could never be relied on. The wiring inside was of a very poor quality and the frets wore down very quickly - a prime candidate for major surgery. Since then the pots and switch have been replaced several times and the pickups have been wired every which way.

If you see one pay no more than 20. Use it to take apart and learn how a guitar works and then use it to experiment with. The woodwork on mine was pretty good as were the tuning pegs. The neck has stayed straight and the paintwork has been very hard-wearing. On the down side, the frets were made of very soft metal and the electrics left a lot to be desired. These days 2 weeks salary could be spent on a guitar 10 times better than this - but you may not want to disembowel a nice instrument. However, if you and Ygor want to spend dark, stormy nights with an instrument on the slab, cutting, grafting and electrifying, get one of these.

Harry rated this unit 2 on 2004-11-03.

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