Fretlight FG-421 (Sunburst) Reviews
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from Brooklyn, MI (USA)
November 24, 2012Music Background:
Long time guitarist/bassist/audio engineer
Great Guitar -- Except...My Fretlight surprised me with its initial build quality. However, I did have issues with its bridge. While it offered both height and string length adjustments, neither had enough adjustment to get the guitar playing to my personal setup standards. After a quick online search I found a Hipshot hardtail replacement that fixed both problems.
The guitar build is really good with nice finish and sharp/clean looks. The fingerboard being made of composite has the look and feel of ebony without the hassles of periodic oil treating of real ebony. I was having a little trouble with it staying in tune, but that seems to be tied to the original bridge more than the tuners. That said, I'm not beyond changing the tuners out if it continues to be an issue.
Even though this guitar played great out-of-the-box, I think the manufacturer should consider a better bridge assembly. This is because the supplied bridge mounting screws holding the bridge to the body interfere with both the length and height adjustments. I use a strobe tuner to adjust intonation and strive to adjust intonation as exactly as I can. The provided bridge fell well short of allowing an accurate intonation setup. The same mounting screws also contacted the bottom of the saddles, so even if I backed the height adjustment screws completely off the bridge base, the saddles remained high. Now that I replaced the bridge this guitar plays as good as ANY of my real Strats. For an import guitar, I was pretty impressed (except for the bridge).
As for the Fretlight system, I give it high marks for how easy it is to use. I got this guitar for teaching and to maybe use it to brush up on my own chops with the "advanced" disk set I bought containing all kinds of great information. The fretboard LEDs are bright when you see them head-on, but can be a bit hard to see in the playing position. With the Fretlight Studio software (included with the guitar) it is easy to see how a player should play following the fretboard lights. Even the placement of the LEDs close to the fret wire can aid a student to proper placement of their fingers for a clean, no buzz sound, which I think is a subtle but cool thing to show.
The rating I gave of 3.5 is NOT meant as a hit against the instrument quality per se. But players who have played their instrument for many years would likely point out the same issues I've tried to highlight here. Hopefully Fretlight would take note and fix the problem, which would certainly raise the rating to a 5. One last observation, I think the technology should be licensed to Fender to add to their lower-end guitar lines. A great way to create NEW customers in the future!
from Chelsea, MI
November 16, 2012Music Background:
Completely hooked . . .My son and his band mates have totally hijacked my Fretlight and are learning song after song after song. They are completely hooked on the Fretlight as the quickest way to learn new material.
Guess Iíll have to get another guitar for me to playÖ..
R D Jr
from Columbus, Ohio
August 3, 2012Music Background:
Pro Musician, playing for 25 years
I Love My Fretlight !What a great guitar! Not only does it help me become a better player, but I can also use it to gig out. This thing can really help me learn songs FAST. If you are in a cover band and need to learn many new songs each week BUY THIS GUITAR! You will not be disappointed. I have played by ear all of my life and never really learned how to read music. Playing covers at bars, weddings, events and such, I am always learning new songs. I would spend hours listening to music trying to learn the riffs. Now all I do is plug in the Fretlight and they are all at my fingertips, literally! Saves me so much time. Thank you Fretlight for this. Not only do you make a quality guitar but one that saves me so much time. All my musician friends that do what I do are blown away each time I show it to them. Now if I could just find something to help our singer with remembering all the lyrics!!!!
from Lafayette, IN
July 20, 2012Music Background:
The Fretlight FG-421 (Sunburst) guitarOverall I find the construction well made and the sound on par with a regular electric Guitar in this mid price range. With some simple changes it can be made into a really even better guitar... One put a set of planet waves locking tuners on it.. And Two get it ordered with the NTUNE pickup with hotter Alnico II pickups than the stock ones and you are set. But this is not what makes this guitar what it is and that it truly is the ultimate teaching instrument with the connection to the PC and the huge selection of educational teaching software and songs that cut the learning time in half and gets you really playing the guitar and having fun with it....you learn exactly where to place your fingers and even the exact speed at which to play...hey you can even slow it down till you get the hang of it ..."closing". I'm glad I bought mine from Sweetwater...good people and great Service !