|J. Reynolds JR-6 Electric Guitar|
|Who the heck is J. Reynolds anyway? Well, I don't know... But, the parent company is Kaman Musical Instruments, which is the parent company to such
brands as Hamer, Takamine, Ovation, LP and a host of others. So, by pedegree, we can assume that the guitar should at least be pretty good. J. Reynolds
is one of an ever-increasing number of brands that is focused on the goal of delivering a good guitar that the average guy can afford. Since you won't
be seeing any full-page ads for J. Reynolds in Guitar Player, that cost won't be tacked on to the retail price of a J. Reynolds electric guitar.
Lately, I have developed a keen interest in the affordable end of the guitar market. These are the guitars that people generally get started on, so knowing which ones are good and which aren't worth their low price is important. I will state right up front that this is a really nice guitar.
Other things i like about the J.Reynolds JR6 are light weight, slim neck profile and the die-cast machine heads. These are all indicative of a guitar with a much higher price tag.
The guitar I played was pretty well set up right out of the box. I have had my hands on several of these guitars, though, and the setups vary somewhat. For the most part, they are set up pretty well, but can be easily adjusted to play great. I went the distance on this one and spent a good hour dailing it in just to see how good a guitar I could make it. I really think that, with manufacturing techniques being what they are, a lot of the difference between cheap and expensive is brand name and setup. It was pretty easy to get this guitar into gig-ready shape, but I did polish and profile the frets in addition to adjusting the truss rod and setting string heights and intonation at the bridge. These are things the average beginning guitar player won't be able to do.
Dispite this, the guitar plays pretty good right out of the box. The J.Reynolds JR6 is very lightweight. I LOVE LIGHT GUITARS. They feel better. They sound better. They're better (in my not-so-humble opinion). So, from a simple playing enjoyment standpoint, you can't go wrong with the JR-6.
The J.Reynolds JR6 sounds good. They use basically the same pickups as every other cheap guitar builder but, since the body wood is better, the guitar sounds better than any other inexpensive guitar I have played. I actually did a gig on it and found myself wondering what's so different about the J.Reynolds and my own much higher-priced guitar. Sure, my guitar, with it's custom wound pickups and hand selected body blank, etc. is a better instrument but, when you consider that you can buy more than 25 JR-6s for what I paid for my guitar, and that I was perfectly happy with it on the gig, it kinda makes me wonder where all the extra money went that I spent on mine.
Simply put, this is the best low-priced guitar I have played. Forget about the Squires and whatever else, the J.Reynolds JR-6 really plays. It is easy to work on, sounds great and costs very little. What more could you want?