Feb 22, 2016

Rondo Music Douglas Hadron 727 Guitar Review

Douglas Hadron 727
Douglas Hadron 727
          One of the latest additions to my guitar family is the Douglas Hadron 727 black flame from Rondo Music.  At about $200, this guitar features seven strings, a licensed Floyd Rose, three pickups, a flame top, and a neck through body.  If you know anything about guitars, you should be really perplexed as to how that's even possible at this price (I know I am!) - so does it live up to the high expectations its features set?  Read on and find out...

Douglas Hadron 727

Build Quality
          The build isn't perfect, but taking into account the asking price and the features packed in, it's pretty damn good.  My favorite part overall is almost certainly the neck-through build, which is extremely sturdy, feels great, gives awesome high fret access, and look great too.

          The neck itself is less spectacular, but still good, and I have no complaints.  It's a little wide and slow feeling transferring from a six string, but certainly manageable and you adapt quickly.  The 27" scale is alright, although after using it for several months, I've decided that I still prefer the feel of standard scale necks.

          The headstock is well made and I like the design, the "Douglas" logo is rather bland and ugly though, and I'm most certainly not a headstock snob.
Overall build quality is 9 / 10

Douglas Hadron 727
Neck-through build is fantastic

          One of the other things that I was excited for was the translucent flame finish.  Unfortunately, I felt rather let down by it in general - it's just much more subtle and less interesting in person.  

          When in dark or average light (see below picture), it simply looks like a gloss black finish.  Under bright sunlight or spotlights, however, the flame finish does show through and looks much nicer.  Essentially, if you're playing under a bright spotlight, it'll look rather cool; if you're playing in a dark club or room, it'll look like plain black gloss.
6.5 / 10 overall for being functional, but less attractive than expected

Douglas Hadron 727

          This one was a tall order, considering all the features packed in.  Most notable is the Floyd Rose tremolo.  Tremolos are quite tricky to deal with and bad ones are... really bad.  The Floyd on the Douglas Hadron is licensed and seems pretty decent overall, certainly workable, although not perfect.

          Dealing with a Floyd on this guitar is especially complicated due to having seven strings, and tuning takes absolute ages.  This is most certainly not a guitar I can recommend to a beginner.  However, if you have other guitars and are okay with finnicky tuning, it's certainly an interesting enough feature to be worth trying out.

          The switch is alright, haven't really had any problems with it cutting out though I have had issues with noise while switching positions.  The pots have been generally okay and have a nice range to them, but recently the volume pot started malfunctioning and goes back to 10 as you approach the 0 position.

          The pickups are generally okay; they'll get you by, but they're nothing to brag about.  More on that in the sound section.

           The tuners are actually excellent, this isn't as important since it's a locking nut anyway, but for what it's worth, the tuners are Grovers and hold strong.

7 / 10 for iffy controls and pups but a decent trem and good tuners

Douglas Hadron 727


           Isn't this all that really matters anyway?  Well, not really, but it is certainly important.  Overall, much of the sound of a guitar comes from the pickups, and the pickups it comes with are mediocre at best.  This isn't to say they won't get the job done - they will - but they're not anything to write home about.  I also reviewed the Rogue Rocketeer guitar, and found the pickup tone to be very similar to that guitar, a very cheap one, which doesn't bode incredibly well for the Hadron.  

           This isn't to trash the Hadron's tone - in fact, it is capable of sounding rather nice - but the stock pickups are beginner guitar quality and don't really deliver.  They are very hot, which can be a good thing, they just are also very muddy with any distortion and not the best for metal, which happens to be what everything else on the guitar is geared towards.  And good luck finding an affordable set of replacement pups for a 7-string Floyd Rose.

            Pickups aside, I think the body and hardware create a decent tone and it's something to work with.  Cleans are rather nice, and a dirty overdrive sounds nice as well, it's just that the pups should probably be swapped for a nice crisp metal sound.

           On another note, I thought the middle single pickup looked rather cool, but I very much wish they had removed it from the design.  The sound it contributes is worse than the other pickups, weak, and it gets in the way of heavy picking and pinch harmonics.  Two 'buckers and 24 frets would have been nicer.

Overall sound 6.5 / 10 for a decent starting tone with mediocre pickups

Overdriven and Distorted

Clean Demo

           Looking back on the scores so far, I realized I've judged the Douglas Hadron rather harshly.  The reason for this is that I judged it as a professional guitar, not as a cheap guitar for beginners to beat around.  For a price that sometimes dips below $200, you're getting a hell of a lot of guitar for your money.  

           It's not perfect, it's sometimes touchy, and it requires a lot of love and a bit of expertise to make it work well.  But the amount of features you get are simply unbeatable at this price.  I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, and I would never recommend it to a beginner, but there's a lot of potential here and it's certainly full of cool features if you're looking to try a 7 string or a Floyd Rose at a very low cost.

The details are 7 / 10, but the features are 11 / 10 at a ridiculous price.

Douglas Hadron 727 and Squier Stratocaster

1 comment :

  1. Great review brother! Keep up great work and playing! ALMOST HEAVEN, WV!


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