Bad Cat Unicorn

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by thunderkyss, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Active Member

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    I've had this guitar a couple of weeks already. I was wanting to wait on starting this thread until I took the time to open her up to get a better idea of how it's constructed. But I just haven't made the time.

    I guess I really don't want to know. It's not perfect but it's pretty nice especially considering what I paid for it.

    This is one of the eBay pics


    [​IMG]

    Very nice looking guitar right? Then I'm hearing all these good things about Chibsons & whatnot... $270 shipped, why not?

    [​IMG]

    I really liked the headstock. They're calling it a BadCat Unicorn. That nut looks fugly.

    So it arrives 13 days after I ordered it. It was in a molded Styrofoam box taped shut with a shipping label.

    It was extremely light. Even though I was expecting it to show up & the package was about the right size. I found it hard to believe my guitar was in this box.

    So I got it open & it looked just like the eBay picture.


    [​IMG]


    I need to get the DSLR out on a sunny day. I expected the top to be a veneer & maybe it is, but it's got way more depth to the flame & grain than I've ever seen in a veneer. You know the flames are horizontal & the grain is vertical & depending on how the light hits it you see more of one & less of the other. If you study it, fix on one spot, it's like looking into a pool of water. Like you could reach in & be elbow deep before you touch the bottom.

    The fingerboard is immaculate. Rich color, strong grain, smooth. The inlays are sharp. Corners aren't rounded, there's no filler, they're almost perfect. They don't have the gloss of mother of pearl, but definitely been polished. They aren't dull.

    The binding fit & finish is nice. Can't feel a single fret end. However, it looks like the "aged yellowing" is painted on. You can see the brighter spots in the original eBay photos, I thought it was just a glare off the flash or lighting, but nope. It looks like a varnish that didn't bond.

    The electronics I can live with. I don't think they're anything special, but I'm not one to fuss over electronics. The pickups aren't microphonic, they're not shrill. I can get it to sound like I want it to sound through all my rigs.

    Now the neck pickup doesn't sit square in the pickup ring. So sooner or later I will yank it out & see if I can fix it. If not I'll probably replace it with something from tone emporium or something.

    The strings were not tuned to pitch, as they shouldn't have been during shipping (especially oversees). When I did tune them up there was a lot of buzzing & the strings felt thin. Like 8s or smaller. Absolutely no low end on the bass strings.

    I raised the bridge a little at a time to get rid of the buzzing. After getting to what I consider borderline high, I noticed a lot of the buzzing was coming frome the retaining wire on the t.o.m. I formed the wire around the screws, took care of that. I can probably lower the bridge now, but i end up playing it now every time I grab it. So... good enough for me.

    The low end showed up as well, when I got the action high enough to allow the big strings to vibrate. & the strings don't feel so cheap anymore either. I'll still change them out later.

    So... how does it compare to my Les Pauls? Eh... hard to say. The money thing gets in the way. I mean this thing isn't perfect the binding varnish thing says "cheap guitar." I don't like the gray colt of the tulip tuner buttons, I'll probably try to change those to an ivoroid looking buttons. The nut looks funky, but the strings slide through like they should.

    I won't confuse this guitar for my Les Pauls, it feels different, sounds different, but that's ok. Les Pauls aren't my favorites.

    But this is, imo, a damn good guitar I could gig with. Probably last a long time, I don't know about 60 years, but a good while.

    I bought my first guitar in '93. $500. This guitar is 10 times better, adjused for inflation.
     
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  2. GIBSON67

    GIBSON67 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen those and they do look sharp...and that price, wow!
     
  3. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

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  4. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Active Member

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    Nice. That thing has the same body shape as the Bad Cat, that shallow cutaway is the same. So I am sure they are related in some way.

    However, that guitar was made in South Korea. The Bad Cat was made in China.

    A couple of other differences... I doubt anyone individually hand filed these frets on my Bad Cat. It's also got Kluson knock off tuners, a plastic nut, Definitely not D'Addarios & I question if they're even 9s, & my Bad Cat doesn't have genuine Abalone Inlays.
     
  5. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

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    Wow..the top on that thing is incredible! Beautiful gtr, congrats!
     
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  6. Gianni

    Gianni Well-Known Member

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    :applause:

    Congrats! :yesway: She’s quite a looker! :yum:
     
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  7. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Active Member

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    I found out there's a guy in Finland making high end versions of the Les Paul, Ruokangas. He uses Spanish Cedar for the backs & necks instead of Mahogany. He says today's Mahogany is too dense & not as close to the Mahogany of yesteryear as the Spanish Cedar is.

    He uses Baltic Birch for the tops & they look amazing. So instead of Maple on Mahogany, he uses Birch on Cedar.

    His model name for this guitar is "Unicorn"

    [​IMG]


    The shape is a bit different from a Les Paul. The lower cutaway is not as deep. He hand carves the tops... So anyway, looks like my Bad Cat Unicorn is a copy of this copy of a Les Paul.
     
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  8. Gianni

    Gianni Well-Known Member

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