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Fret King FKV22HB Semitone

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • 22 Medium jumbo frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42.5 mm
  • Pickup: Fret King WDG mini humbucker (neck), WHS Single Coil (center), WHHB humbucker (bridge)
  • 1 Volume adjustment
  • 1 Tone / Vari-coil tandem controller
  • 5-Way toggle switch
  • Vintage tremolo
  • Chrome hardware
  • Colour: Honeyburst
  • Gig bag included

Further information

Colour Sunburst
Pickups HSH
Fretboard Rosewood
Tremolo Vintage
Body Alder
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag Yes
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New pickups - then good!

Hollowbuddy, 14.10.2016
After a guitar like the Fretking Country Squire, I've been looking for a long time. HSH is my favorite pickup constellation. Most of the time you can find them on metal shredder axes with high gain pickups and Floyd Rose. But I'm more like Blues, Jazz, Fusion, Funk and Latin.

The Fret King is a very nicely designed and cleanly crafted guitar. For a Thinline Tele it is not easy. If you look more closely, a relatively small area is hollowed only in the area of ??the F-hole, and the electronics compartment has only the size of the metal cover.

Most thinline tellies are quite copulous. This is somewhat better with the Fret King, although the Locking Tuners with more weight the head plate pull down. However, you should already use a wide belt that is roughened inside.
Ergonomic adjustments such as Tummy Cut or Drop Top are not available, but at least one rounded neck / body transition without backplate.

The neck is pleasantly matt lacquered and has a medium strong C profile. The side, very small dots lie exactly on the line between the neck and the fingerboard. This was probably no different, as the rosewood fingerboard relatively thin. They are not particularly good to see. The corpus binding is creamy in my copy. A Tortoise binding was shown on the product photos. But I could not say what looks better.

The Vibratosystem is a hermaphroditic telescopic bridge with brass rifles and 2 point strat vibrato. The string riders are compensated, but still require a compromise in the setting. When the correct E-string is in the correct position, the H-string sounds too low and the A-string is correctly set, the low E-string is too high.

The guitar was delivered perfectly tuned and with a well-adjusted string position. However, she sounded disappointing with the 9er work. After five minutes, my fingertips were raven black, I made a short process and drew up 10 DADdarios. When the old strings were loosened, the strings of the strings could be seen on E- and G-strings. Who is attracting such strings? With the new strings, the Fret King sounded much more radiant, crisp and firmer. Only the vibrato feathers, neck curvature and string rider adjusted, now it could go!

Unfortunately, the pickups do not do justice to the acoustic sound of the guitar. The bridge humbucker (14kOhm!) Sounds nasal, bass and mid-range. From open heights like a PAF-like pickup no trace. The mini humbucker (6,4kOhm) is also rather covered and delivers a jazz tone even with a fully up-tweaked tone control, as I would have expected it with half-twisted soundblende. He also has incredibly powerful basses. Also split the humbuckers do not make a good figure. The sound does not get rid of the amp's speaker. The singlecoil in the middle is so far ok.

The next disappointment is the double pot, which according to the manufacturer's description is on the one hand as a sound diaphragm and on the other hand as a continuous coil coil. In fact neither one nor the other works. Apparently, a potentiometer with linear characteristic was installed (500k linear), because it does not happen with both functions when turning back. Only on the last 2 mm is the sound abruptly completely dull, or a coil audibly short-circuited. Can be that such special potpots (it is even a triple pot, the taps of both pickups are on 2 levels, the joint rotated + the sound diaphragm on the 3rd level) can not be obtained with logarithmic characteristic, but that is a Typical case of? Good idea of ??technical implementation failed ?. The non-stepless coilsplit I could still have forgotten, but not the completely useless sound diaphragm.

What now?

First impulse:
Pack and return!

Second impulse:
The basic substance of the guitar is true! So what cost 2 better humbucker and how can I change the circuit so that I can work with it?

After a short search I then for 209¤ two Seymour Duncan ordered. At the bridge a SH-1? 59 and at the neck a seymourized mini humbucker, both 4-wire. The sound difference is phenomenal. The neckpickup sounds like a hermit from singlecoil and humbucker, with tighte bass and the SH-1 at the footbridge is also pleasantly open. The unspeakable Poti flew out. Instead, I now realize the coilsplit over the switching contacts of a logarithmic push-push potentiometer, which also serves as a uniformly functioning sound diaphragm. In addition, a continuous coil coil works only with a significantly lower resistance value of the potentiometer. Only with a logarithmic 20 k poti did it work convincingly. After I found the best sounding potentiometer for me, I measured the resistance value and then replaced the potentiometer by a fixed 3.8 k resistance.

Authorized question: Is the price / performance ratio still correct?

Honest answer: NO! ?BUT:

The concept of the guitar is quite special. Was it a normal? Strat, Tele, whatever, I would have sent the guitar back, simply because there are numerous alternatives in a similar price segment. But a Thinline Tele with mini humbucker? Singlecoil? Humbucker equipment and an exotic vibratosystem with compensated telebrandrists can not be found again - at least in this price range.

For comparison: For my? 60 Roadworn Strat I paid a few years ago new 980¤. I was satisfied, however, only after the zinc cast block against a steel block and the Tex Mex pickups first against Amber- and later Kloppmann pickups exchanged. There, too, the basic substance was so good that it was worthwhile to reinsert another 450¤.
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