|Body And Neck:|
The world of cheap acoustic guitars really is a minefield – for every one good guitar you’ll find a truckload of miserable models. Thankfully, the RA-090 from Rogue is one of the good guys, combining decent quality and playability with a super wallet-friendly sub-$100 price tag. Let’s take a closer look.
For such a cheap guitar, the Rogue RA-090 shows off decent looks that would happily fit into any guitarist’s collection – whether complete beginner or intermediate player looking for an affordable steel-string to mess around on. Rogue went to extremes to ensure this guitar could be sold at an incredibly low price, and that’s reflected in the materials used in the body and neck.
With a large dreadnought size, the body of the RA-090 is made entirely of laminated whitewood, with a glossy finish and black pickguard on the face. Note that it comes in a selection of colors, including natural, sunburst or black. Joined at the 14th fret, the neck is made of solid nato, while the 20-fret fretboard is painted maple. Nothing high-end, or even mid-range, here, as you’d expect in this category, but it feels well put together and durable enough. As with many in this range, the guitar would benefit from a good string change and set-up out of the box, which would increase both the playability and tone.
There are no electronics on this model, although an electro-acoustic version does indeed exist. This solely-acoustic version is fitted with run-of-the-mill sealed nickel tuners, which work fine although they feel a little stiff. There’s also a painted maple bridge, stock strings, and a plastic nut and saddle. Of course, on a guitar over $100 you’d be a little disappointed with this hardware, but for the price this is more than acceptable.
As far as sound goes – you guessed it – it’s nothing high-end either, but all-round it’s very acceptable. For an instrument that costs so little, the RA-090 offers a sound that punches above its weight. It’s clear and quite balanced in tone, although it’s certainly more bright than warm. With the classic dreadnought body shape, it’s not lacking volume either, so is great for practice, jamming and impromptu performances (although think street corner, not concert hall).
Perfect? Nope. Close to perfect? Not even that. However, for a guitar that will tax your wallet as much as a couple of pizzas, we’re impressed with the overall feel and sound on offer with the Rogue RA-090. Whether you’re a beginner or someone looking for a basic acoustic to beat around, the Rogue RA-090 is definitely worth checking out.