The Richwood Stratocaster type guitar is a “economy class” guitar. There are lots of Stratocaster type guitars, but looking at internet reviews there not all quit as good as the Fender Stratocaster. This guitar has good reviews, and one of them is this one! The guitar is pretty cheap, and can also be bought second hand to get it even cheaper. I think it should be compared with the Squire guitars, it’s the same principal. Making good guitars for a relatively low price.
It has a standard string length from 25.5 inch (equivalent for 62.5cm). It contains a Stratocaster shaped headstock with six oil bladed mechanics. There is also, like on the original Stratocaster, a iron string tree. A truss rod is inserted to adjust the neck position. The neck is bolt on, so it can be bolted off if needed. There are several versions of this guitar, but this specific model has a rosewood (not sure) fret board (the light versions have maple wood here) and 21 frets. The scratch plate is triple layered and comes in white. Mine was modified and has a cream colour plate, it looks better I think. It has three single coil pickups , just like the Fender Stratocaster has. It also contains the classic five-way selector switch to change between the pickups. The bridge positions activates only the bridge pickup. Switch it up one to get the bridge and middle combined. Then middle only, middle and neck and finally in the neck position only the neck pickup is activated. The classic tremolo is on this guitar together with the standard volume and tone knobs (one volume, two tone knobs). Last but not least is there the chrome jack input. Just like the original Stratocaster most things are adjustable. For instance the saddle height and the pickup height. I’m not sure about the nut, but it’s probably a plastic one, looking at the price. The jack input is metal, just like the bridge and classic tremolo. With transparent finish, this thing just looks cool! I have a red transparent finish, so it’s the red with the wood coming through. That combined with the cream scratch plate and the iron parts…It’s just brilliant.
Sound and Feel:
The guitar is very light, this is the first thing you’ll notice when you get it in your hands. I think it’s reliable enough to take it on a live gig, and without a backup. The guitar plays easy for me. I don’t have much experience with other guitars, so I can’t really compare it to other guitars. I’ve played a Gibson Les Paul a couple of times, and I didn’t notice any big differences towards my richwood. The sound is overall good. The sustain is not really the best possible, but then again, it’s budget. If I had to choose between $400 price difference or better sustain, I’d go for the $400 for sure! The pickup do their job, once again I don’t have any good comparison for that. My guitar came with really old strings, and replacing them already gave me a sustain boost, so maybe the sustain is my own fault. The pickup selector works fine, just as the volume and the tone knobs. There is a little grounding problem, meaning that the guitar buzzes when the strings aren’t touched and stop buzzing when touching the strings. The volume knob also gives a bit of noise when it’s turned. With the five way selector, the sound can go from nice and warm to very bright. With some effects added, this guitar is just fine for all styles. I did some action adjustments and I can just say I couldn’t get it any better. Also the intonation is perfect, the neck is nice and straight and the pickup height is fine. The setup is just brilliant.
Well, this part is going to be very small, which is good.
-the sustain is not very good, but that can be a personal mistake as well
-the frets are a bit high, which can annoy when you want to slide up with sweaty fingertips
-I fiddled a bit with the spring tension screws, and now the bridge squeaks when using the tremolo bar.
-The setup is perfect, but if you change it, it’s hard to get it that good again.
I had to look very hard for these little points, most of them are not realy relevant, concerning it’s a budget guitar.
The Squier guitars are probably the most related to the richwoods. Theye are made for the same group of customers: beginning players who search an affordable good guitar. Squier is an official Fender related brand. Like Fenders little brother. Reviews on the internet tell me it’s just a fine guitar, with some budget flaws.
Originally made by Kaz