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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Malinoski Guitar Rodeo Model #103, ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $2,000 USD with case + shipping

Malinoski Guitar is a Manufacturer of handcrafted custom boutique American built electric guitars.  

This Rodeo model #103 has a 25 -1/2" scale an acrylic lacquer and oiled Spanish Cedar body w/oiled Douglas Fir pickup plate attached to an oiled Birdseye Maple and Cherry neck thickness  7/8" medium  "C"  w/ Padauk fretboard featuring 24 large frets 12" Walnut p/up covers radius topped with a Delrin nut 1 11/16" and Weighs in at 5 lbs 15 oz.                                                      

Sperzel tuners Hipshot SS bridge @ 2-1/8", thru-body strings                    

Malinoski Type2b SC neck and middle pickups , Type2 blade HB bridge pick-ups w/ bridge transducer Push-pull truss rod & carbon fiber rods, single volume pot with push/pull piezo activation Single tone pot 5-way selector

Amp Used:
A boutique Amp from Peter Malinoski's collection at the Amp Show.

Selector position Neck Standard Single Coil:
Has some spank, Strat like but meatier with a rounded bottom end.

Selector position Neck & Bridge Standard Single Coil:
Bright and smooth, what you would want from the middle pickup on a vintage Strat. 

Selector position Bridge P-90:
Very vintage and broken in p-90 sounding, it was a very unique pickup for the bridge position but it worked very well. When blended with the piezo element it sounded better then my acoustic guitar when plugged in. 

Piezo element mix:
The guitar is set up to have a blend between the body pickups and an under saddle piezo element. The Element itself was clear with bell like qualities and made the guitar have true acoustic proprieties.  

Action, Fit & Finish:
Everything on this guitar was hand made excluding the bridge, tuners,knobs and pots. The pickups, pickup covers, body, neck, fretboard, etc... This is really a playable piece of art. The action was low without buzz, and the intonation was dead on. The finish was natural and beautiful without a flaw. The guitar felt like it was built with care and attention to detail.

Reliability & Durability: 
The guitar is well built. There was no pick-up hum (no p-90 hum) or crackles from the electronics--all knobs and hardware installed snug and proper.

I met Peter at the NY amp show on June 3rd. At that show each vendor has their own room; it's a cool set up. I really didn't know what to make of the guitars when I first saw them, they are very unique. My curiosity got the best of me and I played them all. The Rodeo was by far my favorite. It weighed in at just under 6 lbs and had a nice feel to it. Unlike most feather weight guitars, this has that full sound like you would expect out of a much heaver guitar. The guitar was thin, comfortable to hold and was fun to play. The best way to describe the body design is if you combined the thin body of an SG and a the shape of a Tele then carved the back and sides down rounding them out with a wood resonator at its heart. The guitar's tone is just as unique; I was able to get a Strat, Tele, vintage LP, and acoustic sound out of her. I really enjoyed how the piezo under saddle pickup was blended with the body pickups. This eliminated the feedback, quacks, and pops you normally get with an under saddle setup. Overall I was really blown away by the design. Most luthiers do not stray at all from your standard body shapes, and that's normally a good thing, but not in this case. Peter is not only a luthier, but a visionary that I believe has created a new body style that can easily become an industry standard.

What I would change:
Nothing, this guitar is so unique that I wouldn't want to change anything and take away from its beauty or playability.

My advice:
If you are a collector, or you are looking for that unique guitar that will make you stand out this is it. If you are a touring/gigging musician that uses more then one guitar during your set including an acoustic, this guitar is all you need. So my advice is buy one.

Peter Malinoski Guitars
MD, United States 

Posted 06/2012