Top positive review
Great little guitar, with some effort
Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2013
My 7yo wanted a guitar of her own. I agreed, but wanted something smaller than a dread and cheap enough that I wouldn't be upset if she decided she didn't want to play it. (And, if possible, use it as a back up or camping guitar that doesn't sound like a toy). This guitar was all those things; but not without some effort (minus the 5th star for that).
They call it a 7/8th size. It's about 3/4" +/- shaved off every dimension and about 1/8th" narrower at nut and about 1/4" narrower at the saddle. And even though the neck is shorter, Rogue maintains a 25-1/2" scale by pushing the bridge farther away from the sound hole, so you get the full length of the strings when you play it. It feels surprisingly solid, has decent intonation (comparable or better than most full size starters), and holds its tuning really well. And it is also more comfortable for smaller bodies and hands.
It sounds nice out of the box, but it's not very playable for young fingers. The light (I assume they were light) "Martin" strings it comes with are nice, but definitely feel hard. The action is also set too high to play it comfortably for very long. There is an adjustable truss rod. (Other reviews complain that the action isn't adjustable. Access to the truss rod is under the little triangle with 3 screws on the head stock. Remove it, and it exposes the rod end just under the nut. It is not inside the sound hole at the base of the fret board like most guitars built today).
Once you lower the action, those factory strings start buzzing, and they don't get any softer to the touch. I tried several different strings trying to find the right combination of sound and playability:
Martin silk and steel, light -- softer but, muddy and dull for A and low E, still too much buzz.
D'Addario EXP10, extra light -- similar in playabilty to Martin "silk", fixed the buzzing, but sound was too tinny.
Ernie Ball Earthwood, "silk & steel extra soft" (10g- 50g) -- did the trick; nice feel, reasonably full sound, minimal buzzing with action set low. Everyone is happy, and I don't mind playing it when someone else wants to strum on my guitar.
So that adds about $20 to the purchase price, but still a lot less than a professional set up. At $70 and an hour or 2 of labor, it's still a good bargain. My daughter picked the blue burst. I was terrified what it would look like in person on a $50 guitar, but it's not too bad. At least I haven't gotten the urge to refinish it yet.
I don't want to over sell it. I wouldn't buy it for an adult for anything more than singing around a campfire, but It sounds about as good as any $100 full size starter, and is much easier to play.