Starting out on your guitar-playing journey is probably one of the best decisions you’ve made in your life. After all, this is one of the best instruments when it comes to self-expression since its features make it so flexible and modular. By using the right combination of amplifiers, effects, and other devices, you can do pretty much anything that comes to mind when you play your guitar.
However, there’s a catch – it’s not exactly the cheapest hobby if you really want to sound good. And despite the huge oversaturation of the market with so many different guitars out there, it’s far from an easy task to dig up a lower-priced guitar that still provides great tone and performance quality. But at the same time, it’s also not impossible to find some great brands and models.
With all this in mind, we’ve decided to look more into Hard Luck Kings Guitars and see what makes them so appealing for their price. Although not exactly in the “mainstream” of the electric guitar world, we can say, with a lot of confidence, that these instruments are pretty underrated. So let’s get into it and examine them a little closer.
All About Hard Luck Kings Guitars
The company and the main features
Hard Luck Kings guitars have been around for a while, but are overall a relatively young company. Formed sometime in 2010, they managed to fill in some of the “market gaps” with their affordable and yet pretty reliable guitars. Of course, aside from regular 6-string electric guitars, we can also find acoustic guitars and electric basses as well. Every year, they throw out a new collection and it seems that they mostly sell out everything.
Looking into their arsenal and what they have to offer, these guitars all bear the well-known designs that have been established by those classic legendary companies like Fender and Gibson. The headstock design is a bit different, but we’ll get to some of the features shortly. But other than that, we have standard Stratocasters, Telecasters, modified Les Paul shapes, and even Flying Vs and some of those “offset” guitar models.
For instance, some of their guitar models replicate the standard Explorer or even the legendary Firebird shapes. They even have a collection of SGs, but all of these instruments have their own unique twists to their body and headstock design. They are by no means bad but are just different. Although we’re not certain, this is most likely done for copyright reasons so that they don’t have any legal troubles while also keeping these guitars’ costs at a minimum level.
As for acoustic guitars, they have a few basic models that they put out every year, although these are all pretty much the same. These are released under the name “Honky Tonk Series” and come in a few different color variants. Other than that, they’re the typical Western-style acoustic guitars with no additional electronics – just good old simple instruments.
The materials are those standard ones that you find with many of the guitars of this price level. They’re also all done according to standard model designs. So you’ll have the Les Paul copy with the body made of mahogany, while the Strats and Teles are done using alder for body and maple for the neck.
The design features might be a little weird to some guitar players. But as we already pointed out, they probably don’t want to risk any kind of copyright infringements and are playing it super-safe. The headstocks resemble some of the original guitars that they’re mimicking and sometimes add a very unusual and a unique-looking twist to them.
Although all of their Strat-style guitars – like for instance their Kustom Series 20 Bombshell Joker – will have three single-coil pickups, three pots, and a Fender-style tremolo bridge, you’ll see a different and more “modern” headstock on it. And Gibson-inspired guitars, like their Maverick Ice Man or Bossman Cutlass Supreme, will have “3 + 3” headstocks with some pretty odd twists to the design.
In the end, it’s all accompanied by some pretty affordable prices, usually going between $150 and $250. This price range is pretty great for beginners or intermediate players.
Simplicity, reliability, and affordability
It takes no more than just a glance to realize that Hard Luck Guitars company was started with three important issues in mind. These instruments are pretty simple, they’re fairly reliable, and are affordable. To be fair, you won’t experience any unwanted surprises with them, like pickups buzzing or strings going out of tune after a couple of songs.
At the same time, you get fairly stripped-down instruments with some basic features that are expected. All of this is rounded up with surprisingly low prices. This is exactly why they might be really attractive to entry-level players, possibly some intermediate musicians who are looking for budget options.
Nothing too fancy, but well worth the price
Of course, being at this particular price level, you can’t really expect some professional electric or acoustic guitars. When you get a guitar that’s around $200, you get exactly that – a guitar at an entry price level. However, what really got our attention here was the fact that these guitars performed pretty well compared to other instruments of this budget level.
The pickups were more than just decent, the guitars stayed in tune, they were not difficult to set up and intonate, and they just felt great in our hands. In addition, you also have some pretty unique-looking designs here, which can be a pretty great thing if aesthetics and image are also important to you.
And yeah – they’re nothing too fancy. Hard Luck King Guitars are pretty straightforward and “to the point.” However, they manage to surprise us with some of these basic traits and features, which provide great quality for this price. In fact, we would argue that they manage to outperform this price tier and can even be a good option as a spare guitar for some advanced and experienced players.