My Ministar Rokstar showed up Tuesday.
Nice and compact in a reasonably-sized zippered nylon bag.
I pulled it out and tuned it up. A few things struck me:
1) The tuning machines feel solid and precise.
2) If the true test of a guitar is how it sounds unplugged, then Ministar is on to something. They claim that since they have a ‘neck-through’ construction, i.e., they use a continuous piece of wood, that the guitar will have as good resonance as a full-bodied bolt-on or set-neck. And the Ministar concept gained some traction, I think, with that Gibson Holy Explorer offering, which doesn’t have much more wood to resonate. But I digress. The point is, the Rokstar sounds decent when unplugged.
3) The frets are smooth along the edges. My rule of thumb is: if the company takes the time to smooth the fret edges, it is a decent company that cares about quality. If not, it isn’t and doesn’t. We’ll see how it develops
4) The guitar doesn’t seem slapdash or low quality. It just looks like they used the cheapest/simplist method that WILL work to address any and all guitar-playability issues.
Well, I assembled it and plugged it in 2 days ago, and it’s okay. There still is some getting used to, because while there is a block to rest your arm on, and a knee rest for the guitar, it doesn’t have the mass of a real, full-size guitar, so it does move around on you more. Getting used to that may make my playing on a regular guitar more stable.
The sound is okay. The P90 pickup basically just sounds like a humbucker with the tone turned down. It didn’t sing out like Leslie West’s tone on “Mississippi Queen”. Then again, this isn’t a name-brand boutique P90 pickup.
In any case, it is well above “just good enough”.
I think it will be a very playable, very satisfying travel guitar.