Spade – Reverb Buyer 2021

Yes, i own a bootlegger Spade Gen 2. In my opinion it is a great guitar, especially for the price. Let me give you a little background. My day to day guitars are a Fender Nocaster (custom shop) and an L5. I like to play with low action and low tension because i suffer from something called focal dystonia in my left (fretting hand). Last summer i was preparing for a trip to the in-laws back in the day when people flew in airplanes. I did not want to bring either of my expensive guitars on the flight, so i searched the web for travel guitars. There are many choices, most of them feel like toy guitars or they are geared toward the more fuzz tone generation ( dont get me wrong, i am 63 and wanted to grow up to be Duane Allman before i discovered Wes Montogonery).
I went to guitar center ready to bring home a travel guitar costing many 100s of dollars but i couldnt pull the trigger because the neck felt to cheap ( and the fret edges were sharp!) and the pickups were unable to deliver the warm clean sound that i prefer.
The bootlegger is a very well built guitar. It is also gorgeous. I dont work for them, im just a happy customer.
I suspect that i am the reason why they do not recommend going higher then 10s. Frankly i was nervous purchasing a guitar online without wrapping my hands around the neck. The owner of Bootlegger is *incredibly nice*. And he was also very attentive when i told him about my hand condition. I asked him to string it up with Thomastick Swing 12s. He was unsure the guitar could handle the tension (i.e. he told me that upfront ) but he was willing to give it a try. A tuner snapped. He promptly called and offered to refund my purchase. I told him to put some 10s on a new guitar and send it over. I have not regretted it.
I have since strung it up with Thomastick 11s However, to get a rich sound I tune down to C. The guitar sounds great and plays great in this configuration. Does it sounds as good as my L5 or Nocaster? No it does not. But for the price it is a very well made and good sounding axe. It was also a breeze to take on the plane. I used a soft shell case ( it comes with a hardshell case) and easily put it above my seat. Apparently the plane was full of guitar players because several people asked me about it. Although the guitar is short, it has a full size neck.
The week with the in-laws was great. I played my guitar every day.
Happy to answer any questions.
Cheers (Reverb Buyer 2021)