Hameln Ionia Guitar with Floyd Rose Tremolo, Flamed Maple Top & Cherry Sunburst Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hameln Ionia Guitar with Floyd Rose Tremolo, Flamed Maple Top & Cherry Sunburst
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(More customer reviews)
The short version - if you want a divebombong guitar you may have to work on it to get it working properly (see the ugly section in this review)

Once all the issues have been addressed it is a very nice guitar.

If the flaws listed below were addressed (excluding the pickup issues)
I would rate this with four stars.*************************************************************************

The good ... the basics of the guitar are good. The neck (wide-flat C shape - excellent for shred guitar) and body are well made. Once properly setup it plays well and has excellent intonation and the tone is evenly balanced.

The bad ... the pickups work ok but I found the overall tone was thin.
I solved this by replacing the pickups. I am not here to push another product so I am not going into what I used. You may like the original pickups but I did not. In fairness I must say I have replaced the pickups in 50% of all the guitars I have ever owned ( after playing for over 37 years that number is over 50 not counting this guitar ).

The ugly ... The tremelo was not functional as received.

Why? ... OK here goes

1.) The locking nut should not move but it did. The locking nut was secured to the neck with tiny phillips head screws that did completely lock the nut down. The nut that was on the guitar requires a #3 flat head phillips but that is not what was on there. I replaced the nut with an after market unit that uses #4 flat head screws and that completely elimnated any movement at the locking nut. If the original nut had been mounted to the neck using two 1" #3 flat head wood screws I am sure that it would have worked perfecyly.

2A.) Tremelo cavity has finish protrusions that rub on the tremelo body.
This prevents the tremelo from moving properly and causes the guitar to go out of tune when the tremelo is used. I had to chisel out the affected areas to remove the offending finish build up. The cavity was not routed out correctly and I had to chisel out some of the wood as well.

2B. There is a metal plate under the tremelo that is held down by two medium wood screws. These screws came out the other side of the guitar (into the tremelo cavity area) and were snagging the tremelo springs.

Once I replaced these screws with a shorter version and had cleared out the tremelo cavity I needed to setup the guitar to play to my specications. This required me to adjust the height of the tremelo. The two pivot posts that control the tremelo height are adjusted using an allen wrench.

4.) The allen wrench hole rounded out when I tried to adjust them so I replaced them with standard after market parts (which dropped right in with no trouble).

After all of this the tremelo started to work pretty well but then I discovered that guitar would not stay perfectly in tune when the tremelo was being used. A floyd rose licensed tremelo should stay in tune when used if it is setup correctly.

5.) The cavity that the tremelo sits in is a little tight and the tremelo rubs on the guitar body as it moves up and down. As I use the guitar the tremelo is working better and better (that would not be true without all the work that I did) and I am using this guitar at paying gigs with good results.

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Product Description:
This guitar features a double cut-away body, expertly crafted from solid mahogany with a flame maple top.The neck is hard maple with a rosewood fret-board, and is fitted with 22 frets, a string-locking nut, and two-way adjustable truss rod.The sealed-gear tuning machines and Floyd Rose bridge tuners make it easy to tune.The guitar is equipped with the Floyd Rose licensed tremolo and locking nut, one humbucking and two single coil pickups, a 5-way pickup selector switch, one volume and two tone controls, and a pearl-finish pick guard.The guitar is finished with a cherry sunburst gloss lacquer top, clear gloss lacquer neck, a black gloss lacquer headstock, and chrome hardware.Also included is a deluxe padded carrying bag, a $60 value, yours free with purchae.At Hameln our aim is to please you with prompt and courteous customer service while saving you money on a guitar you'll love. Our satisfaction guarantee gives you the benefit of an instant exchange if you have any concern in the first 30 days and the safety of a full one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

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