NGD: Monoprice Indio Classic - Review

Wound_Up

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Scratchy frets are to be expected with inexpensive guitars. I checked out the latest Bullets and Affinities last week, and both had scratchy frets.

Nothing that 0000 steel wool and 30 minutes can't take care of. A polishing wheel and jewelers rouge makes quick work of it and does a beautiful job.

See, I used micro mesh pads that were too fine to take it all out and then I tried the polish that comes in the Dremel kit and neither did the job. So I ordered some real polishing rouge in a stick this time. It's extra fine, a step finer than the usual red rouge.

I tested it vs the little jar of "stuff" that comes in Dremel polishing kits on a stainless ruler that was unprepped beforehand. I didn't even wipe it off. No pre-polishing with micro mesh or anything. Raw stainless steel. The Dremel stuff just barely put a better shine on the "test inch" of ruler after 3 applications. That Dialux extra fine rouge? Lol. 3 applications and the other end of the ruler was almost a mirror finish! Talk about shocked! But that's exactly why I bought it. I kinda figured the Dremel crap was crap lol.

So I intend on using the Dialux on them next string change. They ought to be slick for the entire next year after this! Looking forward to it!
 

Paca G51

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Well , I ordered the Indio Telecaster from Monoprice yesterday morning and it arrived this afternoon! I have never ever had a delivery that quick ! Opened the box , took it out of the gig bag and looked it over , hmmmm, not bad . Plugged it in and tuned him up and intonation is pretty good , but it actually sounds real good for a $85 guitar . The only thing I can see right now is the frets need a little bit of attention. Very pleased !
 
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ChicknPickn

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I had been looking at them a while and resisting the impulse to buy yet another cheap guitar. But, I gave in when the price tag (before tax) landed under $60.

The only thing that was really rough was the fret ends and that took about an hour or so to correct.
Yes, that impulse to go cheap. I am so over it. Except for when I’m not.
 

Quexoz

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I recently bought a Monoprice Indio Classic T-style guitar for the amazing price of $63 with taxes and discounts.

Sounds like you got the "old style" Indio Classic. At some point they made changes to the bridge (3-saddle, top load), and a few other things. I also got the old model with string through, 6 saddle. Some FYI for you from my experience upgrading mine:

1. The control cavity was a little shallow and tight. A large Fender/Switchcraft style 3-way switch barely fit and required some bending of tabs. Might want to go with a decent "box" style one if you ever decide to swap it out and want to be safe.
2. I put a set of Wilkinson WOVTA Alnico 5 pickups in mine and am quite happy with them.
I put a cheap set of Wilkinson tuners and some brass saddles on it, shielded it, some light fret work, and it's all good to go.
 

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ChicknPickn

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See, I used micro mesh pads that were too fine to take it all out and then I tried the polish that comes in the Dremel kit and neither did the job. So I ordered some real polishing rouge in a stick this time. It's extra fine, a step finer than the usual red rouge.

I tested it vs the little jar of "stuff" that comes in Dremel polishing kits on a stainless ruler that was unprepped beforehand. I didn't even wipe it off. No pre-polishing with micro mesh or anything. Raw stainless steel. The Dremel stuff just barely put a better shine on the "test inch" of ruler after 3 applications. That Dialux extra fine rouge? Lol. 3 applications and the other end of the ruler was almost a mirror finish! Talk about shocked! But that's exactly why I bought it. I kinda figured the Dremel crap was crap lol.

So I intend on using the Dialux on them next string change. They ought to be slick for the entire next year after this! Looking forward to it!
I like the so-called fret erasers.
 

bgmacaw

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Sounds like you got the "old style" Indio Classic. At some point they made changes to the bridge (3-saddle, top load), and a few other things. I also got the old model with string through, 6 saddle. Some FYI for you from my experience upgrading mine:

Since I got this one just a couple of weeks ago I'm guessing they aren't selling the "new style" ones yet. Maybe the ship with the ones pictured on their site hasn't gotten unloaded yet or something or else they were trying to sell off old inventory.

I have a 4-way Oak-Grigsby switch I might use for this guitar. I also would like to use a no-load tone pot as well. I've installed switches (and pots) like this on some other import guitar bodies so I know that the fit can be tight, perhaps requiring some careful chiseling/filing work, and may require a US spec control plate.

On pickups I haven't decided yet. I'll keep the stock ones in there for now since I have them dialed in better after playing around with height as well as amp and effects settings. I might use a generic Alnico Tele set I have on hand or, if I continue to like how the guitar plays, I'll order something a bit fancier but not too expensive.
 

Quexoz

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Since I got this one just a couple of weeks ago I'm guessing they aren't selling the "new style" ones yet.
They were shipping the "new" ones several months (a year?) ago. There were some complaints about them in the reviews (not string through, saddles, thinner body? I forget exactly what all was changed). Maybe they switched back, or just have some older ones left in certain colors, don't know. As far as I can tell, the older ones are the arguably superior version, but for the price of them, either is solid, and some prefer the changes.

I used these saddles and potentiometers (smooth, not too stiff) in mine and they fit and worked perfectly. Very nice for budget stuff:
Full Size Potentiometers
Brass Saddles

That switch BARELY fit. I had to bend the contacts down and solder the wire to the 'bottom' edge to keep it off the shielding when installed, slapped a strip of electrical tape on it for added safety. It was nanometer close. Also had to file on the little metal 'ear' near the mounting screw to allow the control plate to move forward enough to get the plate screw back into the body. It was bumping the forward curve of the control cavity.
 

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Dufffy1111

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Sounds like a bit of a nightmare to me. The only cheapo guitar I ever bought, 2 years ago, was a Harley Benton Les Paul “copy,” but to my surprise, it is a beauty! Looks and plays great straight out of the cardboard box. Very light. Great Roswell pickups. Perfect fret job with no sharp ends. Is this rare, or was I just lucky? As good as my Les Pauls anyday.
I know what you mean.

I have an old but really great SX gg3 I think the model is. It is a great dark sunburst LP special p90 guitar, 2 p90s, 2 tone 2 volume, mahogany construction, set neck. This was also inexpensive. Way back then +- 299. A great guitar that I still have.

I want to put in a high quality presoldered wiring harness and 2 high quality p90s. This lp special type guitar is definitely worth upgrading, for my purposes.
 

jeffchinn0321

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Your review is consistent with others, the top loader/string through is a lottery...or box of chocolates. I guess it depends on the supply of bridges at the factory at certain manufacturing times. Mine (blue) has the same bridge, and sitting beside my MIM i noticed the bridge pickup is on less of an angle, i think yours is too. I think this might be why mine has less twang then my mim counterpart.
But for the price, can we really complain? Ive seen worse guitars!
I bought one of these off of amazon it was a top loader and I converted it to a string through body. I was able to use the original 3 saddle bridge to do this. I also put the 50s wind gfs pickups in it and a fender 3 position selector switch and 2 250 k push pull pots and wired it up for series parallel and out of phase wireing kinda like the Jimmy Page mod. It sounded and played pretty dam good! Oh yeah and I leveled crowned and polished the frets. I played it like that for about 6 months and decided it was time to try something new! So I started searching for the answer and after a couple of weeks I found it on amazon again. There were these pickups advertised to have the evh brown sound made by ebony for 90 bucks so I figured I would try them out and if I didnt like them I could always return them and return the guitar to the last mod I had made. After routing out the body to accommodate humbuckers I through them in and woe and behold these things sounded amazing! I also couldnt resist to coil split and do an out of phase thing and it sounded equally impressive in both those modes so guess what I cant just leave well enough alone I'm going to put a floyd rose into this thing! You ever hear of anybody this crazy? I also purchased a absolutely beautiful cozart copy of a tele which by the way was even higher quality than this guitar and I installed everything from this guitar from previous mod into that so now I have a jimmy page sounding guitar and a Eddie van Halen sounding guitar even thinking about pinstripeing it lpl.
 

Deaf Eddie

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Found a BAD issue - the saddle height adjustment screws are cr#p. The supplied allen wrench only works in about half of them, in the others it just slops around. Used a "real" allen wrench, worked better; it was mostly OK, way-snug in some, but still slopped around in one. If this was gonna be a "serious" keeper guitar, I'd have to replace the saddles. Probably OK for the grandson, it's something I don't expect he'll ever mess with.

Oh, and do NOT use the supplied allen wrench on the truss rod!
 

bgmacaw

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Found a BAD issue - the saddle height adjustment screws are cr#p. The supplied allen wrench only works in about half of them, in the others it just slops around. Used a "real" allen wrench, worked better; it was mostly OK, way-snug in some, but still slopped around in one. If this was gonna be a "serious" keeper guitar, I'd have to replace the saddles. Probably OK for the grandson, it's something I don't expect he'll ever mess with.

Oh, and do NOT use the supplied allen wrench on the truss rod!

Which bridge version did you get, the 6 saddle string thru or 3 saddle top loader?

I didn't use their included allen wrenches since I have several nice ones.
 

1 21 gigawatts

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I have learned to never use supplied Allen wrenches for anything. There is a reason that quality hex wrenches are expensive; they fit extremely tight and do not get misshapen. I got into building RC cars for awhile, and quality hex wrenches are critical.
 




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