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New Douglas Tele-style from Rondo

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by bluescube, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC


    Flat-top guitar with Basswood body and Ash Burl Top
    Bound body and 3-Ply Pickguard (tortoise/white/black)
    Hard Rock Maple neck with adjustable truss rod
    Maple fretboard with 22 frets and dot inlays
    Two single-coil pickups for traditional sound
    One volume and one tone control plus and 3-way blade stlye pickup selector switch
    Traditional Wilkinson bridge
    Die cast Chrome tuners
    Width of the neck at the nut approx: 1 5/8"; at the 22st fret approx: 2 1/4"
    Overall length approx: 39 1/2"; Scale length: 25 1/2"
    Width at the widest point approx: 13", body thickness at the edge approx: 1 3/4"
  2. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    :lol:I like the Xavier look and poly finish somewhat better.
  3. thegiftofyears

    thegiftofyears Tele-Meister

    Apr 24, 2009
    South of Canada
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
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  5. tomringg

    tomringg Tele-Meister

    Feb 25, 2009
    They look very nice. Maybe a bit too shiny? I like that the neck is not yellowed.
  6. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC
    The natural is nice too and comes with rosewood
  7. smsuryan

    smsuryan Friend of Leo's

    what radius is the fingerboard?
  8. pullchord

    pullchord Tele-Meister

    Jul 6, 2008
    Fort Lauderdale
    I'd be a little suspect...

    ...of the quality on something this inexpensive. While Tele's are beautifully simple in design, there's still the matter of hardware; the quality of the metal and machining, fretwork, etc. I'd have to hear more from other buyer-owners. God knows there are some ridiculously overpriced clones being produced now. "You get what you pay for"....??
  9. bowlfreshener

    bowlfreshener Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    You'd be surprised as there is a lot of positive feedback regarding the guitars from Rondo, not only on this forum, but all over the internet. Yes, there are some things that may need to be swapped out, but I think the wood is decent, and for around $100 I can't find a decent neck and body for that price. I will admit that I have done some swapping of saddles, electronics, and pickups on my 4 SX and 1 Douglas Tele that I have purchased from Rondo, but still after all that, I have some great guitars that cost around $200 each after all the mods...
  10. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    ********************************************************** are correct when you say "you get what you pay for"..However..this isn't a $100. guitar made in the USA..if that were the case..then no WAY in hell. BUT..we are talking about a guitar that is made in CHINA and the Dollar is 7 to 1 at this present time. So that would make these guitars anywhere from $700 to $900. US Yankee Dollars pending on what model you would get if it were made here in the STATES.

    These guitars are Bang for the Buck without any many many cases..much better quality then it's American counter part sad to say. :eek:
  11. B Valley

    B Valley Tele-Afflicted

    May 19, 2008
    Glendale, Az
    I have two SX Teles. I like the necks so much they've become my favorite guitars, over a couple Fenders. My wife gave me one for Christmas and one for my birthday. For Father's Day she gave a Douglas MNO 630 from Rondo. It's gorgeous.
  12. bendecaster

    bendecaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 1, 2007
    I've got 2 of those Douglas Tele-things, an amber one, and a red one, but they are earlier models that are top-loaders(one was drilled, and ferrules installed). I really like the string-through ones there! I guess it's time for another. Though it looks like they've changed the headstocks on those too! The amber one is my #1 gig machine! I have a SX in CAR, and it is very nice too!
    Hope you get lots of use out of yours! What's the neck like? Nice to see they are offered in maple boards now too!
  13. Muddslide

    Muddslide Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 28, 2008
    Gypsy Caravan
    Man, I would LOVE to hear what you think of this one. I have been GASsing bad for a hollowbody or a semi-hollow.

    Really been thinking about a Gretsch 5120 or 5129, but I'm interested in the Douglas ones as well.

    I am especially smitten with the Douglas SNO685 which is similar to the old Gibson top, single cutaway, two P-90s and a Bigsby!
  14. pullchord

    pullchord Tele-Meister

    Jul 6, 2008
    Fort Lauderdale
    I just now ordered the WTX150 red Tele with binding and rosewood fretboard. How can I go wrong for $130? I feel bad about 'stringing' two builders along for the past few weeks with questions and e-mails. But with my $ituation I just could not justify spending close to a grand on yet another guitar. Even if I spend another $100 on pups and $50 on a better bridge, I'm still ahead...
  15. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I ordered my first Tele and thought,I can't body a decent body and neck for $100.
    I thought I would mod the hell out of it and all would be good. But after I got I did some serious setup on it and was really impressed.
    Then I bought the SX 335 copy. Did the same on the set up, and I was very impressed again.
    I also bought a WNO-645 with the name Shine on the headstock. It must be a Douglas because of the simularities, but man what a jazzer that baby is.
    I have just ordered this new Tele TL-100 and expect it will be as good as all the others.
    Kurt at Rondo is a great guy to deal with, and his products are a great value.
    If you do your own set up's and mods then you can tweak these guitars a bit and have a solid instrument.
    I still think the pick ups in the 335 copy is better than most replacements. I wouldn't trade those for any brand name, they sound that good.
  16. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    Update in the Douglas TL-100
    This is the one with the rosewood finger board and the Ash Burl top and back.
    First off, they are currently sold out.
    So if they come back and you get a chance to get one, here is some things you want to know.

    Finish is flawless.
    To get the action down low like a fender, you will have to level some frets.
    I had 4-5 that I had to cut down, so get out your fret rocker and files. The fret ends all need work, especially down the neck. So level some frets and file the fret ends.
    After polishing all the frets with a dremal tool and polishing discs I got from Stewmac, I strung it up and lowered the t-style saddles all the way down to the plate, and no buzzing at all. I need to put a little arch in the saddles, so I shimmed the neck .040.
    I then matched the saddle radius to the string radius and it plays like an old school tele.
    Also I changed out all the pots and wiring. To my surprise the control pocket routing is large enough for full size pots and big fat paper and oil caps with room to spare.
    I rewired it using vintage braided cable, and vintage layout and it is mow the quietest Tele I have ever played. I also used the volume mod, using a 150k resistor and a .01 cap.
    It keeps the treble and clarity the whole range of the pot, so you don't lose it as you lower the volume. Not my invention, but its cheap and effective, so why not add it?
    The stock pick ups are totally different animals with the vintage wiring, definite keepers.
    Now that it plays like a dream and sounds very nice, I got a really nice tele that I'm in for less than 200 bucks.
    Had a lot of entertainment and education all along the way. I got it sold for 300 if I decide to sell it.
    I really enjoy taking these SX and Douglas guitars and reworking the frets and wiring, changing knobs and pick guards, tuners, whatever it take to make them all they can be.
    I've had no problem selling them what I got in them plus enough for a burger.
    I do it because it keeps my mind occupied while the rest of me goes to hell.
  17. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    Also forgot to mention, I flipped the control plate to put the volume control up front and the switch in the back. Very nice if you like volume swells, plus I don't keep hitting the switch all the time.
    I also switched to brass saddles, the ones from Stewmac drop right in without any mod needed.
    I also bought a russian paper and oil .047.
    I have used about every type of tone cap from ceramic to PIO and while the value of the cap will change your tone, I haven't found any noticeable difference between the various types, so don't spend a lot if money on fancy high priced tone caps, you won't feel or hear any benefit.
    Orange Drops, Mallory, generic all sound the same . Now switching values will certainly effect the tone.
    My advice, buy a bunch if cheap caps of varying value and play around with them. A Tele is the easiest guitar out there for accessing the controls, so you can just clip in different values till you find one you like, then solder it in.
    If this guitar becomes available again, it's a great guitar to rework to your own liking.
    All it takes is some elbow grease, patience, and some inexpensive parts and tools, and you will have something really worth the time and money.
    Good Luck,
  18. black6host

    black6host Tele-Meister

    Mar 4, 2011
    New England
    Hi there Boredguy,

    Got a question for you, what types of files are you using for your fretwork. That's the one thing putting me off from trying to do my own as the tools at StewMac might be good quality, they are also very expensive.

    What kind are you using and if they're StewMac, which ones are needed? (I know nothing of fret work, yet!)

    Thanks much!
  19. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I have a Fret End Dressing file, and a Fret Dressing stick with 10 assorted grit belts from StewMac both for about 15 bucks and a set if jewlery files from Harbor Freight for about 8 bucks.
    Tape up your neck real good, the blue painters tape stays on well and comes off without leaving any adhesive behind.
    Then just go slow, I need a magnifying visor with a built in lamp, also from HF, to do a really good job.
    The StewMac fret end file has two smooth sides to keep you from scratching any unwanted areas.
    I do a final polish with a set of wheels also from StewMac that are used with a rotary tool.
    If the fret is just a little high, use the fret dressing stick to cut it down. Files can cut fast and deep and leave scratches that can be a real pain.
    But you can't get in trouble with just the fret end file and dressing stick and polishing wheel.
    They take more time and a lot more elbow grease, but you can't slip up and do any real damage either.
    I get a real kick out if taking these cheaper guitars like, Squire or SX or Douglas and making them into a serious instrument that hopefully will be played by somebody for the next 50-60 years, ir more.
    What all these cheaper guitars lack is the hand work nessasary to properly finish the guitar.
    Well the hand work is what I enjoy most, that and some experience at doing a proper set, is all a lot if these guitars need to be taken seriously.
    Give it a shot, you will not be sorry you did.
    Happy to help in any way!
  20. black6host

    black6host Tele-Meister

    Mar 4, 2011
    New England

    Thanks for taking the time to respond and explain. I've got a tele laying around (my number 2) that I think could use some work. I may just take a go at it. What do you use to determine frets that are high? Just a simple 3-4" fret rocker or do you also need a long one to ensure the neck is perfectly straight before checking for high frets?

    BTW I do have Dan E's book on how to make you electric play great. Haven't gone over the section on this stuff yet, but from what I've seen he likes having a lot of tools on hand. Wish I could just afford the basic repair and setup kit StewMac sells but that's pretty pricey at close to $500.00...

    That plus Dan E seems to like using a lot of homemade type tools. Some I'm going to make myself. Need Popsicle sticks and old strings, have 4 year old and plenty of strings. No problem :cool:

    Thanks again!
  21. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    Just a simple fret rocker will do fine.
    I think I got mine off Ebay, they're not expensive, but simplest way to find uneven frets.

    Good luck,
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