One of the first musicians I discovered back when I was just starting out was Les Paul. I read about his biography and he quickly turned into someone I looked up to. Then I explored the guitars that are associated with his name and owning the originals became my dream. But that dream hasn’t come true for me, not yet at least. So all I had left to do was explore the cheaper versions that would replicate the feel and character of the expensive Les Paul.
We’ve seen a lot of those and I’m sure you know many of them. But the chances are you haven’t heard of Oscar Schmidt OE20 – an affordable electric guitar that is quite a good alternative for the high-end models. It has a lot to brag about and we’ll see that in a minute. So, if you’re like me and Les Paul guitars have always inspired you, then you should definitely give this one a shot. Let’s begin this review and explore every feature it has on its sleeves.
The fact that Oscar Schmidt OE20QTE-A-U is an alternative to Les Paul doesn’t mean that it’s an exact replica or shares the same quality as higher-end models. It does everything it can in terms of emulating the tone and design, but it certainly has its flaws.
This bad boy has a solid mahogany body, which is virtually identical to the LP with its appearance. The particular model we’re talking about has a Quilt Tiger Eye finish and a single cutaway. A single glance is enough to identify the similarities with its original or affordable siblings. The neck is set-in and is made from maple, while the fretboard is built with engineered tech wood. Its 22 frets are easy to play, as you won’t have any trouble accessing any of them or moving along the whole thing. Unless you get a model that’s not in perfect shape, you’ll hardly find any flaws with the construction.
The hardware seems to be decent as well. What we have here is a simple deal – a tune-o-matic bridge with a stop tailpiece that holds the strings like a real guardian and gives you that extra sustain; chrome die-cast tuners that help you keep the strings in tune all the time; and the controls that scream Les Paul. We can’t forget the pickguard that saves the surface from your inattentive fingers.
You’ll be really pleased in terms of electronics if you keep an open mind and settle your expectations to a lower level. After all, OE20 is still an affordable model. We have two humbuckers on the bridge and neck positions. This combination of pickups isn’t the most typical one, yet it’s common for the Les Paul guitars. They are controlled with four knobs: each pickup has individual Tone and Volume knobs. There’s also a toggle on the upper bout of the guitar, which makes it possible to select the combination that your heart desires.
Oscar Schmidt OE20 Sound
Oscar Schmidt is quite versatile in terms of sound. What I mean is that it can be played clean or distorted without any trouble. Even though it might not be as defined as one might have wished, it still has the needed articulation and character. Dual humbuckers are especially suitable for heavier genres, but you can play anything your heart desires. There’s one thing you should keep in mind: the majority of affordable guitars aren’t consistent in their quality. Depending on the particular guitar you get, you might notice some intonation issues. But those are easily solvable if you have enough dedication to classic Les Paul sound.
Before reading the reviews or making the purchase, you should always figure out what you want. If you’re in for bells and whistles, Oscar Schmidt OE20QTE-A-U won’t be suitable for you. But if Les Paul sound is the only thing you desire, then this model will be at your service. It does have certain disadvantages, but those aren’t serious enough to be impossible to work around with. Plus, there are quite a few virtues that will lure you easily. This fella is a cool option and I believe you’ll enjoy it a great deal. Good luck!
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