The beauty of a guitar is defined by a lot of things. The price of a guitar of course plays a big role, so does the sound it produces. Yet one of the biggest deciding factors for whether a beginner buys a musical instrument or not is the way an instrument looks. The Oscar Schmidt OE20G is one of the few affordable guitars that has a design that would color me impressed if I saw someone playing it. Let us take a closer look at this marvelous guitar and see what makes it so beautiful.
Oscar Schmidt is a smart guitar manufacturer. They understand that some of the most beautiful guitars in the history of the world have already been made. Which is why they take the Les Paul shape, tweak it slightly, and produce their own beautiful instrument. The Oscar Schmidt OE20G is a blatant copy of the Les Paul design, and yet it feels fresh, beautiful and wanted. The rounded body with the typical Les Paul cutaway and neck is lovely. The colouring options available for the guitar are all rather great. The golden colouring design even reminds me of a vintage Les Paul style guitar that Jimmy Page used to play.
The body of the guitar is made of mahogany, a very atypical choice for guitars in this price range. Mahogany is known for its moderate weight and high durability. It is also known for having a great bass response and warming effect on all of the sounds produced by the guitar. So what you basically get with this guitar is a comfortable, durable and great sounding instrument all for the price of an instrument that is missing one of the above mentioned aspects. As my cousin likes, Jack-Frickin-Spot.
The neck of the guitar is rather standard in the price range. Maple is tonewood of choice, which further reinforces the guitar. Makes this one of the sturdiest and steadiest instruments in the price range. The neck is bolt on, which is a shame, but alas, nothing can be done. A set, though neck is expensive to make and even more expensive to get right. A bolt on neck done right is just fine. The fretboard is dark, handsome and made of rosewood.
So, let’s get the bridge. Typically the Les Paul design guitars have a traditional Tune-O-Matic bridge design. The same goes for this one, with a little bit of customization of a stopper. The result is a very nice bridge that, while not accommodating of a bar, will help you produce a great sound. It is also extra easy to restring.
The nut of the guitar is made with plastic. An unfortunate happenstance which is not that hard to fix if you have an extra tenner in your pocket. Otherwise the nut grinds down easily over time, and has a problem with string buzz.
The tuners on the machine are unfortunately not much better than on other guitars of the same price. An issue that needs to be fixed by manufacturers immediately, yet can also be fixed at home if you known how to use your tools.
The guitar is equipped with two humbuckers for maximum warmth and power in sound. The humbuckers even clean up the string buzz that the nut cannot handle. The two Oscar Schmidt produced pickups have a great sound, especially for a guitar this cheap, and have a long life. Definitely a quality set to get a hold of on your first guitar.
The controls are fairly simple. Two knobs for volume and intensity, one lever for pickups. Easy and intuitive.
The guitar is one of the best sounding in its price category. Versatile and yet slightly biased to warmth in tone, this guitar is bound to serve any genre well. When kicked into overdrive the guitar is powerful, especially with sustain, but can also be very pleasant and smooth. A lovely sound overall.
I can say only one thing after the review: highly recommended. This guitar is one of the best beginner, affordable guitars you can lay your hands, so go out looking and see what you can find. With slight upgrades it might even serve a professional really well.