Bootlegger Guitar Reviews

We Ain’t Lying

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Bootleggers


Ace

I was looking for an affordable and portable long scale bass to use on this seasons summer fly out gig schedule and ran across Bootlegger guitars while surfing Reverb. 

They looked interesting and at the price, definitely had my interest.

The questions remained, “can they be any good?” I have had previous experience with the steinberger spirit and was disappointed, (to say the least)but could these be any better? Would the bootlegger product be good enough to use as a working, professional instrument and not a toy?

I had a few questions and decided to call them directly. Bootlegger is a small company and when you call you get Chuck, the owner on the phone. He was happy to take time and answer all my questions (even the dumb ones) and I made the decision to purchase a four string ACE bass in the latest red finish.

The bass arrived from California promptly and well packed . When I unboxed it I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the build.

The bass is built in S.Korea and IMO is comparable in build quality to brands like Schecter, Reverend, ESP LTD (all companies that use Korean factories) 

The bass is finished in a high gloss poly that is applied perfectly smooth and doesn’t feel draggy or sticky 

The bass is a five piece maple neck through with a Jatoba fingerboard with 24 surprisingly nicely dressed, level and polished frets.

Another nice touch is the dual action truss Rod .

The nut width is 1.5” with the nut material being advertised as graphite.

The neck profile is what I would describe as a “slightly chunky” jazz bass. If you like a jazz neck you’ll get along with this one just fine.

The basses are advertised as weighing 7.8 lbs. when I put mine on a hanging scale it was exactly 7.83 lbs. that’s pretty consistent.

The “body”, made from ash, is a small asymmetric design which is shaped on the bottom to rest comfortably on your leg. No need for a folding leg rest. It works quite well. It puts the bass in an almost “ classical guitar” playing position . Pretty thoughtful design. 

The hardware is made in Korea and consists of four individual “monorail” bridges with tuning knobs on the end. They work very smooth, not notchy and stiff like the ones found on the steinberger spirits. The saddles are adjustable for height but not spacing.

At the other end of the neck there’s a string capture mechanism involving four separate grub screws which are tightened with a hex key to lock down the string before trimming.

Double ball strings are not used. Just standard bass strings.

I needed to be careful not to over tighten the screws. If you torque them down too much you will break the outer wrap and the string will fail, so take it easy there.

The electronics are passive std. jazz bass configuration V/V/T and the pickups are 3.5” Humbucking soap bar and seem to be the same size as EMG soap bars.

The pickups are advertised as “Booheung” humbuckers. Who? After a little research I discovered that Booheung is a Korean OEM manufacturer, not a brand.

I looked up some of their customers and it seems that they sell a lot of stuff to Fender and Gibson. Interesting. 

The pickups are dead quiet and sound very, very good. No need to upgrade here.

One complaint is that the neck pickup IMO is positioned too close to the fingerboard, making slap style a bit uncomfortable. Bootlegger is aware of this and have already repositioned the pickup on their new five string model.

The bass came set up decently from the factory and matched all the advertised specs for string action (5/64….std fender spec)

The first fret action was too high though. I needed to get out my files and deepen the slots to achieve 18 thousandths at the first fret. It made a big improvement.

Overall, the bass plays and sounds extremely good and punches well above its price point.

Bootlegger offers a strap extender bar licensed by Warwick. It’s the one designed for the Nobby Meidel bass. It’s an absolute necessity if you want to play standing.

The reach without the strap extender makes playing in First position a literal pain.

With the strap bar installed the geometry is similar to a std. Fender bass. Much more comfortable.

Another excellent feature is the fitted hardshell case. Yes! They give you a case! And it’s a pretty darn nice one too. I hear a leather bound tool kit is in the works also.

They also offer a gigbag that, while it does the job, doesn’t blow my skirt up. I purchased a ProTec guitar bag for better protection while flying. 

I hope to make a demo video but my schedule is so damn tight, I don’t know when I’ll have the time. Thankfully @LowEndLobster has done an excellent video which Is on YouTube.

To sum up…

This is NOT a low quality instrument .

This bass specs out very well and is priced so affordable that I don’t know how they do it.

It’s an odd beast that can be viewed as a bit of a niche instrument but really doesn’t have to be.

It’s a full scale, good sounding, good playing, well built bass that does everything a bass should do.

Other than a few minor personal quibbles, there isn’t much to dislike about the Bootlegger Ace Bass.

Ace Bass land shark band

Les Haley LandSharks Band

Royal Blue Coil Split

I was a bit worried about this guitar before I bought it. It was undoubtedly beautiful in the pictures, but there can be a lot of things that look great online and don’t live up to the pics in person, but I had some very high end pickups I was looking to put into a hsh body and the pics looked great. Wow was I impressed. The pics do not do it justice. I have a vintage SG, a Gretsch white falcon, an American straw, and a few more toys I have gained through the years, but this has become my daily player and I have decided against putting the pickups in it. The Bootlegger Royal has such a impressive array of tons. I can use the coil tap and get a bright fender-type sound, or dig in on the humbuckers and get a real meaty sound. On top of the sound I really cannot say enough about the look. The frets are polished and have rolled edges once the strings were stretched out it held a tune well. The only thing I changed was adding some new knobs. Amazon Purchase 6/21

Bootlegger royal


DeVille

Beautiful Guitar! Stunning appearance! Plays very nicely! Amazing value!

– Ricky Vee


Royal Blue Coil Split

Got this guitar for my dad and he loves. It comes with a hard case which is awesome! Beautiful with a killer sound. Said it’s by far his favorite guitar. Very easy to play and well made. Thanks again!

41C ANCKdQL. AA75

Bootlegger Spade guitar…Can’t put it down!

Greetings & Salutations once more Mr. Wilson,

I wanted to reach out to you & tell you how much I enjoy my Spade guitar. It is quite possibly the best instrument I’ve ever gotten my hands on…& I mean it.

After years of having played every major/name brand guitar in various makes/models (with my eye on someday getting a headless), I very pleased that I chose the Bootlegger Spade model as my first headless. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • It is super light. I’ve come to a point in my life where lugging around much less playing a heavier guitar is no fun.
  • It’s super resonate! While holding the guitar & striking an open chord, I can FEEL the vibration from the resonance moving from the chord position, down the body & back through the neck. I have NEVER had a guitar do that before. Perhaps it’s the Spade’s construction (neck-thru, maple with ash wings) along with being headless, as I love it.
  • For the very first time I have an instrument where I can have my thumb wrapped over the neck or have it on the back of the neck & still get all the way to the 24th fret with the greatest of ease!
  • Lastly, ergonomic as all get out. Having the excess of body removed make it not only easier to play, but probably helps with the aforementioned resonance as previously mentioned.

In all, I absolutely love my Bootlegger Spade & as you can imagine, it sounded PHENOMENAL when plugged in!

That is, I assure you I did…once I picked my jaw up from off the floor, as I was so impressed with all that I mentioned. I It is my honest opinion that your design of the Spade with all its features are what made it sound not only good unplugged, but magnificent when it was plugged in.

Thank you so much for making this fantastic instrument & please feel free to use my testimony as needed in any/all future reviews of the Bootlegger Spade. Take care & feel free to reach out to me in the future.

Sincerely,

JP Tyler


Spade

Very nice little guitar at a great price. The pickups are really decent, way better than the ones in the Steinberger Spirit, the workmanship is excellent, no issues at all. Most guitars are best played in the casual position , with headless guitars doing well in the classical position, This little guy plays very well in a variety of positions – normal casual, classical, and in between that may be not strictly classical but perfect for me.

– Dave Butler


Ace Bass 4 White

The Ace bass is not only eye catching, it sounds as great as it looks. From reggae to funk, jazz, or rock music, the Ace, can do it. The bass is lightweight, and has a sweet, very playable neck and fingerboard. You can really sustain notes on this bass, and create a variety of usable sounds. The tone is next level.  Try a Bootlegger Ace Bass, and you’ll see it will be your number 1, go to, feel good bass.
Donald Fritzges


Ace 4 white bootlegger

Ace Bass 4 String Red 

Awesome Bass

Great quality, well balanced, and plays very well standing or setting. Love it!   Russell K Norris

Spade Guitar

Hi Chuck,I received my spade guitar yesterday. I’m very happy with it. It’s exactly what I was looking for. I have attached a photo below. Thanks again. Andrew Nash

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Ace Bass 

Awesome Bass

Great quality, well balanced, and plays very well standing or setting. Love it!

Russell K Norris

Ace Bass

Great Product,,, Nice set up, and cool little extra gifts added as a bonus. Would do business again.

Kathryn Rinal 

Royal Guitar

This is a fantastic guitar for any price, but at the price it’s being sold for, it’s a steal. The neck is fast, pickups are great for any tones you want and you get the coil-splitting too. A great guitar, a great value and customer service at Bootlegger is second to none. Bootlegger hit a home run with this guitar.

Steve Donovan

Royal Guitar

Played the Bootlegger Royal at practice tonight and it was an absolute BEAST! 😎🤘🔥🎸

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Scott Engle

Spade Guitar

5 Stars
It was a pleasure to speak with Chuck before buying and I really appreciated all his great attentions. The guitar arrived quite fast in Germany The guitar his great, easy to travel with. I am happy. Thank you!

  • Marc Brutin

Single Barrel Guitar

Chuck at Bootlegger was great to work with. He responded quickly and was very helpful. Shipped the well-packed Single Barrel out the next day. btw… the Single Barrel has a voice of it’s own… not a Blueshawk clone or Thinline wannabe. Lotta power in it’s punch. Thanks Chuck!

Mike Trainor


Spade HSH Tremolo

My new Bootlegger Spade headless in Blue. Features include floating trem, HSH pickups, 5 way pickup switch and coil tap for both HH pickups on the tone control. A tone lover’s dream. I call her Blue Angel. Check her out and other great guitars, basses, amps and effects pedals at Bootleggerguitar.com

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Marvin Sheats


Rye Guitar

Hey Chuck,

I got the Bootlegger Rye shipment today. I played it for about 30 minutes, I have to tell you it’s a real beast. The craftsmanship is excellent, fret edges are even smooth and silky. It looks beautiful and has a crunchy growl that really grabs you. The tone has real body to it, full and punchy. My next guitar will be another Bootlegger, these are going into my work rotation for sure. 

Thanks again!

Brad Puckett

Chuck Partington Jr.

DeVille Guitar

Are Bootlegger Guitars just  Gibson or Fender knockoffs? No; In my opinion They’re Better.

Better from the top down; Ownership, Dependability, Reliability, Playability, and Rockability. Added to kick ass guitars, each comes in its own custom hard case, with a flask thrown in for good measure. 

These guitars are under priced at 75% less than Fender, and 80% less than Gibson, while playing equally well or better than their legacy counterparts. I’m proud to endorse Bootlegger Guitar.

Chuck Partington Jr.

Rye & DeVille Guitar

Bootlegger Guitars are quality, professional level instruments at a entry level/intermediate price. They are well made and play and sound great!I play a Rye and a Deville and I love them!!

Jim Gustin

Single Barrel Guitar

Chuck and the crew are great guys who will take excellent care of you. 

I highly recommend them!!!

Royal Guitar

I was a bit worried about thos guitar before I bought it. It was undoubtedly beautiful in the pictures, but there can be alot of things that look great online and don’t live up to the pics in person, but I had some very high end pickups I was looking to put into a hsh body and the pics looked great. Wow was I impressed. The pics do not do it justice. I have a vintage SG, a gretsch white falcon, an American straw, and a few more toys I have gained through the years, but this has become my daily player and I have decided against putting the pickups in it. 

The Bootlegger Royal has such a impressive array of tons. I can use the coil tap and get a bright fender-type sound, or dig in on the humbuckers and get a real meaty sound. On top of the sound I really cannot say enough about the look. The frets are polished and have rolled edges once the strings were stretched out it held a tune well. The only thing I changed was adding some new knobs.

Virginia

Royal Guitar

Wow. What a Guitar

Thank you Bootlegger! My guitar arrived as beautifully as I expected. The quality of this instrument makes itself know as soon as you have it in your hands! 

The “shallow C” neck. is absolutely love! And the sound from the HSH Tesla pickups, 5 way switch and push pull pots give you versatility to jam your way! 

This guitar is obviously labor of love. Thank you Chuck and the collaborative work from Steve Stine and Reno Paulson! 

Beautiful guitar. Excellent communication. Awesome seller. Highly recommended! EXTREMELY cool! ? Would DEFINITELY buy from again!!!! ? 

i

Single Barrel Guitar

First-class all the way! 

I bought this guitar to celebrate the birth of my first grandchild. Like many here, this guitar exceeded my expectations. It is not a Fender or a Gibson clone, not a Fenson. either. It stands right alongside my higher-priced guitars. Setup was great right out of the case. The appointments on the guitar make it unique (headstock design, diamond inlays, neck shape). Plays great, sounds great, looks great. Rec’d the guitar 3 days after order & was also contact by the owner of the company!

Spade Guitar

I wanted a headless guitar and searched Amazon first. At that time this Spade guitar was not listed on Amazon.I purchased it from bootlegger president Chuck Wilson. I am very pleased with it, and impressed with the outstanding service I received. Chuck emailed me when his tech did the final set up before delivery to me. When it arrived Chuck had placed 2 of his business cards in the case. I emailed him that I was very happy with the guitar. Shortly after he personally called me to follow up and if I had any questions. Chuck personally design this 2nd version Spade. I feel like I bought a custom shop guitar for a unbelievably low price. To me this could be easily sold as $1,000 plus guitar. There are you tubes videos on this guitar but their recorded sound quality does not do it justice. I played it through a VOX modeling amp and it sounded awesome. My wife thinks it sounds better than my Fender Deluxe telecaster. I have been playing since 1962 and owed all the top end guitars from Fender, Gibson, Gretsch ,Brian Moore, Ovation etc. This one has the most bang for the buck. Easy to tune, perfect action, easy to string. Very easy to play the higher frets. Wood looks great Neck is finished beautifully, pick ups and all black hardware are quality. Playing comfort is great ,its light weight,but not too light. I spent hours researching headless guitars and this one was my top choice by far. FYI clip on tuner fits nice, strap fit is just right and guitar sits safely on my old stand. If your ready to dive in to a headless guitar this is it!.

Single Barrel Guitar

I bought this guitar to celebrate the birth of my first grandchild. Like many here, this guitar exceeded my expectations. It is not a Fender or a Gibson clone, not a Fenson. either. It stands right alongside my higher-priced guitars. Setup was great right out of the case. The appointments on the guitar make it unique (headstock design, diamond inlays, neck shape). Plays great, sounds great, looks great. Rec’d the guitar 3 days after order & was also contact by the owner of the company!

Spade Guitar

I wanted a headless guitar and searched Amazon first. At that time this Spade guitar was not listed on Amazon.I purchased it from bootlegger president Chuck Wilson. I am very pleased with it, and impressed with the outstanding service I received. Chuck emailed me when his tech did the final set up before delivery to me. When it arrived Chuck had placed 2 of his business cards in the case. I emailed him that I was very happy with the guitar. Shortly after he personally called me to follow up and if I had any questions. Chuck personally design this 2nd version Spade. I feel like I bought a custom shop guitar for a unbelievably low price. 

To me this could be easily sold as $1,000 plus guitar. There are you tubes videos on this guitar but their recorded sound quality does not do it justice. I played it through a VOX modeling amp and it sounded awesome. My wife thinks it sounds better than my Fender Deluxe telecaster. I have been playing since 1962 and owed all the top end guitars from Fender, Gibson, Gretsch ,Brian Moore, Ovation etc. This one has the most bang for the buck. Easy to tune, perfect action, easy to string. Very easy to play the higher frets. Wood looks great Neck is finished beautifully, pick ups and all black hardware are quality. Playing comfort is great ,its light weight,but not too light. I spent hours researching headless guitars and this one was my top choice by far. FYI clip on tuner fits nice, strap fit is just right and guitar sits safely on my old stand. If your ready to dive in to a headless guitar this is it.

DeVille Guitar

I am so happy with this guitar! I scoped it out for a good six months before finally making the purchase. Every part of the transaction was smooth – I even received direct emails from real people. I know; what a concept! There is not enough space here to go into specifics about the guitar, but I will say that, for the money, I’ve never found a better instrument. I’m already using it for recording and have gotten nothing but compliments on the looks. Thanks for the great instrument and service!

June 10, 2020 by Keith Varney

Single Barrel Guitar

Lawrence S. – Jan 13th, 2020

I bought this guitar to celebrate the birth of my first grandchild. Like many here, this guitar exceeded my expectations. It is not a Fender or a Gibson clone, not a Fenson. either. It stands right alongside my higher-priced guitars. Setup was great right out of the case. The appointments on the guitar make it unique (headstock design, diamond inlays, neck shape). Plays great, sounds great, looks great. Rec’d the guitar 3 days after order & was also contact by the owner of the company!

Hounder Guitar

First-class all the way! Chuck reaches out to customers to answer questions, provide information, and offer support. Love the business model and customer focus. Highly recommended! The Hounder is a beautiful, high quality instrument with excellent fit, finish, and attention to detail from end to end. The hard case is sturdy, looks good, and has an insert shaped specifically for the Hounder. Icing on the cake; all of this comes with a groovy little flask. Again, HIGHLY recommend Bootlegger! A+++

January 2020 by Marc USA 

Single Barrel Guitar

Hello CHUCK,

the guitar sounds exactly as in the demos – meaning absolutely great  :))) I will take it to a friend of mine [ he is a professional luthier ] to adjust it a bit, I like the action lower than it is now.thank you one more time, have a great day !!! all the best,

ALEX, Germany 

Royal Guitar

The quality of this instrument makes itself know as soon as you have it in your hands!  The “shallow C” neck. is absolutely love! And the sound from the HSH Tesla pickups, 5 way switch and push pull pots give you versatility to jam your way!  This guitar is obviously labor of love. Thank you Chuck and the collaborative work from Steve Stine and Reno Paulson! I am glad I bought from Bootlegger and proud to own a Royal!

December 20, 2019 by Chris

Rye Guitar

Cody Foster (The Exit Strategy/The Heather Roush Band)

I first learned of Bootlegger through a random stumble on Reverb. Like many musicians, I constantly and casually scroll through Reverb just to see what is up for sale that day while in search of the next “tone adventure”. My first interaction with Bootlegger was the Blues 15 tube amp. Being in the marketing and advertising business as my day job, I was intrigued by the subtle simplicity of the design and overall look. What I couldn’t understand was how someone was able to sell a 15 watt all tube head with a 1×12” cabinet with an Eminence speaker for under $600. I was skeptical but, even though I really wasn’t in the market for another amp at the time, I stuck it in my watch list to potentially purchase later.

Fast forward to about 1 ½ to 2 years later; I join The Heather Roush Band as the 2nd guitarist and vocalist and meet Roger Kohrs. Roger is the bassist and, having been a professional, touring musician for over 20 years, has had the ability to become involved with some great companies as an endorsee. One such company being Bootlegger. Roger now has a signature Ace Bass and had nothing but positive things to say about the company and its owner, Chuck Wilson. I decided to look at the site and see what they had to offer. The Single Barrel was the first guitar that caught my attention. A semi-hollow guitar with a Telecaster style bridge pickup, a P90 neck pickup, all for under $600? Sounded like a steal! I wasn’t in the market for another guitar, but I kept it in mind for later and began following Bootlegger on socials in more detail. Then came the release of the Rye.

As a guitar player I’ve always had a love for elegant simplicity. I’ve never owned super flashy guitars and seemed to always choose function over flash. Coming from a Punk and Blues background, I loved utilitarian grit. The Rye had every single bit of that and what I loved in a guitar. Top to bottom black, white binding, a dual humbucker setup with a set neck construction, an ash body, maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard all coming in at $549. That seemed crazy to me. Knowing the nature of the guitar market, I wasn’t sure how Chuck was able to make that happen. I asked Roger more about the guitars and he explained how the guitars are all precision built in South Korea and, including by selling direct, that’s how Chuck can sell great guitars at an affordable price.

Later, Roger mentioned to Chuck in a conversation that I was interested in the Rye and Chuck was kind enough to send one from Hermosa Beach, California all the way across the country to Ohio for me to road test and get my hands on. As soon as the guitar arrived and hit my fingers, I was instantly impressed. The guitar felt extremely rugged but incredibly comfortable. The neck felt familiar and was easy to play. The body had weight, but no dive and felt like something that could easily take the stress of many all-night gigs. I took the guitar home, strung it up with my strings and set it up to my specifications. After that, it felt even better. Once that was done, all that was left was to take it to a gig and run it through the paces.

I’ll start by saying that I am not a gentle player. I hit hard, I jump around, and I really get into the music. The Rye took every single hit and gave it back to me in spades. It rocked and rolled with me all night through every single song. I don’t use an overly complicated pedal set up but do play through unforgiving amplifiers that don’t necessarily hide my own flaws. That night, I was playing through my 2000 TopHat Club Royale 20 (essentially a hand-wired, hot-rodded AC30) and, let me tell you, the Rye rocked. It produced thick, LP style cleans as well as rich, and crunchy overdriven tones but never got muddy. I was incredibly impressed with the South Korean-made Tesla pickups and how they carried the sound as well as pick attack. On top of that, they were incredibly quiet pickups. They truly did work as great humbuckers.

Whether I was playing a clean, swirling, textured rhythm part or a soaring, saturated lead line, the guitar stayed in tune and in top form all night. Again, I was incredibly impressed. It not only fit my style but also my personality as a player, without being overly flashy or making sacrifices on quality for superfluous details. As I previously mentioned, it was a utilitarian, Rock and Roll machine. Full stop.

The Bootlegger Rye ships with a solid and reliable hard-shell case and the signature Bootlegger Flask, set up and ready to go for $549. I can assure you that is one heck of a steal. Especially for a guitar with a set neck construction. What Chuck is doing with Bootlegger is exactly what is needed in the modern guitar industry: fantastic guitars at an affordable price for the working, everyman musician. As a regularly gigging musician, I can’t recommend the Bootlegger Guitar Rye enough. If you are looking for a slick, rugged guitar that sounds great, will get through many long nights, and won’t break your bank to pieces, look no further. The Rye will do and be all those things. Like I said before, it’s a Rock and Roll machine.

When you choose your next guitar, consider Bootlegger. You can go get a guitar from a big box company like many others – and if that’s your thing, no harm no foul. Or, you can take a chance on and support a small builder and business that truly cares about the products he puts out and be rewarded ten-fold. You can stick with what you know or be an Outlaw and snag a Rye. It’s got my vote.

Spade Guitar

Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2019

I wanted a headless guitar and searched Amazon first. At that time this Spade guitar was not listed on Amazon. I purchased it from bootlegger president Chuck Wilson. I am very pleased with it, and impressed with the outstanding service I received. Chuck emailed me when his tech did the final set up before delivery to me. When it arrived Chuck had placed 2 of his business cards in the case. I emailed him that I was very happy with the guitar. Shortly after he personally called me to follow up and if I had any questions. Chuck personally design this 2nd version Spade. I feel like I bought a custom shop guitar for a unbelievably low price. To me this could be easily sold as $1,000 plus guitar. There are you tubes videos on this guitar but their recorded sound quality does not do it justice. I played it through a VOX modeling amp and it sounded awesome. My wife thinks it sounds better than my Fender Deluxe telecaster. I have been playing since 1962 and owed all the top end guitars from Fender, Gibson, Gretsch ,Brian Moore, Ovation etc. This one has the most bang for the buck. Easy to tune, perfect action, easy to string. Very easy to play the higher frets. Wood looks great Neck is finished beautifully, pick ups and all black hardware are quality. Playing comfort is great ,its light weight,but not too light. I spent hours researching headless guitars and this one was my top choice by far. FYI clip on tuner fits nice, strap fit is just right and guitar sits safely on my old stand. If your ready to dive in to a headless guitar this is it!.

Nov 2019

Royal Guitar

I took a chance buying this guitar site unseen, but I’m am very pleased with the quality of this instrument. Its lays right in my lap, and is easy to play. The pick-ups are great quality and it sounds fantastic. If I were to comment on anything about this guitar, is the neck up and around the 12th fret and on being just a little fat. This is personnel, not overall quality. Thanks for an American made quality instrument, and keep up the good work. DLC

Spade Guitar

Nick S. – Nov 1st, 2019

Guitar is awesome!! Stock pickups sound great and clean up very nicely. Holds tuning amazingly well and string changes are a breeze all things considered. My only gripe is the ergonomics if you play without a strap like me. Leg cutout sits at a strange angle so it moves around a bit but nothing that will make me put this thing down. Great job bootlegger!!

Spade Guitar

 2019

I wanted a headless guitar and searched Amazon first. At that time this Spade guitar was not listed on Amazon.

I purchased it from bootlegger president Chuck Wilson. I am very pleased with it, and impressed with the outstanding service I received. Chuck emailed me when his tech did the final set up before delivery to me. When it arrived Chuck had placed 2 of his business cards in the case. I emailed him that I was very happy with the guitar. Shortly after he personally called me to follow up and if I had any questions. Chuck personally design this 2nd version Spade. I feel like I bought a custom shop guitar for a unbelievably low price. To me this could be easily sold as $1,000 plus guitar. There are you tubes videos on this guitar but their recorded sound quality does not do it justice.
I played it through a VOX modeling amp and it sounded awesome. My wife thinks it sounds better than my Fender Deluxe telecaster. I have been playing since 1962 and owed all the top end guitars from Fender, Gibson, Gretsch ,Brian Moore, Ovation etc. This one has the most bang for the buck. Easy to tune, perfect action, easy to string. Very easy to play the higher frets. Wood looks great Neck is finished beautifully, pick ups and all black hardware are quality. Playing comfort is great ,its light weight,but not too light. I spent hours researching headless guitars and this one was my top choice by far. FYI clip on tuner fits nice, strap fit is just right and guitar sits safely on my old stand. If your ready to dive in to a headless guitar this is it!.

Single Barrel Guitar

Beast ! No cons what so ever !!!!!!!!!

Who-da-thunk ! After playing for 50+ years, thought the Spade would be a good guitar to practice on, Yup, but actually I’ll be using her live. Chuck gives a rather complete description of the pros and cons, but in reality there are more pluses. Build quality is excellent, from the fret work to the hardware. It’s really stable, and didn’t take long to get used to the feel (gotta stop tryin’ to fine tune the invisible tuners on the headstock though).Only needed some minor set up tweeks right out of the box (neck was arrow straight, needed some relief for my style) Even though it has the “dime” pots, the cavity is shielded, the pups are well balanced and can roar ! As primarily a Strat player, love the scale on this, and the ability to get vintage bucker tones without switching guitars. 

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: New | Sold by: musicworld2016

Spade Guitar

looking for a good quality travel guitar which would not break the bank and came across a video review of the Bootlegger Spade 2 by a guy named the ‘Tone King’.  I typically do a lot of research when looking at buying things, especially for something like a guitar, and knew there was a risk that what I saw on a video review would not translate to something I liked when I sat down to play it but was pleasantly surprised by the Spade 2.  In fact, I’d say its pretty darn good for an reasonably priced travel guitar.  I received it last week and sat on the couch playing a few blues scales and a little ‘Stormy Monday’ was pleased with the ease of playability and the tone I was able to achieve.  It’s definitely not in the same class as my USA made G and L legacy but I did have a fun time playing it and think it will be great for a travel guitar to take on the biz trips to Asia.  I plugged into a little Blackstar Fly 3 amp and thought ‘not bad’.  I then plugged into my Fender Hot Rod and ‘not bad’ became ‘pretty darn good’.  I’d definitely recommend the guitar over other cheaper travel guitars and look forward having something to do in the evenings after a long day at the factory-  

Tony 6/19

Spade Guitar

Wow!  The Spade arrived yesterday and it is wonderful. You were right, the online pictures do not do it justice- the guitar is lovely and the neck and frets are truly pro quality. I put some light gauge jazz strings on it (and tuned down a whole step) and the guitar  has a beautiful warm  tone.  I have been looking for an affordable travel guitar for three years and was never able to pull the trigger on a Chinese model because they always felt cheap. The Spade is a great guitar (at a great price; and thanks for throwing in the flask. I will toast you whenever I use it!).  Thanks Chuck. On Thursday i fly to the in-laws and this will be my first trip with guitar in hand.  

And thanks again for the GREAT service.  I will definitely spread the word on some online jazz guitar forums.  

Best

Niels

A happy customer! 7/19

Single Barrel Guitar

Great guitar!! UPS managed to bust off the selector switch, even though it was packed Extremely well. Sent a message to Chuck and he called almost immediately with multiple solutions to get this corrected. Since I’m good with a soldering iron, opted for him just to mail me a new switch. 2 minute fix. 

Greg Kinder 4/19

Hounder Guitar 

Try their products , then you’ll ask yourself the same thing I did… Why did I waste so much money on the other brands ? Truly one of the best kept secrets BOOTLEGGER !!!

Feb 19th, 2018 by Russ H.

Single Barrel Guitar

Bootlegger Guitar Single Barrel Matte Brown Stain Burst P90 & Single Coil All Maple Padded Gig Bad. So, if you’re looking for a well-playing instrument with lots of character/mojo that is sold well below what it’s actually worth (sounds like most musicians I know), then you need a bootlegger guitar. Chuck is a super cool guy, eager to answer questions and share knowledge/experience. The buying experience was hassle free and fun. The guitar is beautiful and plays and sounds like a million bucks. Get in on the ground floor before people start realizing what these guitars are worth!Try their products , then you’ll ask yourself the same thing I did… Why did I waste so much money on the other brands ?

Truly one of the best kept secrets BOOTLEGGER !!!

Feb 1st, 2018 by Jonathon B.