AudioRumble rating 88/100
What We like
Excellent budget price.
Very good sound.
Comfortable, very playable and fun.
Versatile for pretty much any style.
What We don't like
The case is sold separately
While Oscar Schmidt – a subsidiary of Washburn – may not be the biggest name in guitar, they sure can build a budget axe that would appeal to any guitarist. And with the OE20G, you’re getting a lot of guitar for $190.
If you can’t tell from the pictures, this guitar certainly has the Midas touch! A beautiful golden finish and an all round solid vintage look.
But, of course, there’s no actual gold involved – not for $190. The single cutaway body, with its classic Les Paul style, is made of mahogany and is surprisingly light to hold, and therefore perfect for beginners. There’s an elevated cream pickguard, to save the lovely glossy body from scratches.
You’ll find a maple set neck, which offers good sustain, on which sits a nice rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, with plastic block inlays. There’s a classic vintage 3+3 headstock with some nice die-cast tuners, and the Oscar Schmidt logo emblazoned on the top.
The hardware and plastic on the guitar all matches the golden color scheme, and gives this guitar a superior look, without making look tacky in any way. In all a great looking guitar, with pretty good craftsmanship.
As for pickups, the OE20G comes fitted with two passive Belcat humbuckers, at the neck and the bridge. These generally provide a colorful sound and are satisfying to listen to – not too noisy, with a satisfying output.
For the price it’s good to see not one, but two control knobs for each of the pickups – a volume and a tone control, for added versatility. This is in addition to a three-way pickup selector switch, for easy switching between the two humbuckers.
Finally, to help keep your strings in place – and to provide good sustain – you’ll find a solid Tune-o-matic bridge with a stopbar tailpiece, while out of the box the guitar comes fitted with good quality string – nothing you’ll want to change immediately.
It doesn’t come with much more out of the box, and a gig bag is out of the question, but this should not be a deciding factor.
For a sub-$200 guitar you’re not going to get the biggest sound going, but this really doesn’t perform badly at all. In fact, it’s pretty great!
It’s warm and clear when played clean, and has a full sound when played with some gain. Perfect for some classic rock, blues, and even a bit of jazz. But it’s very versatile, and can pretty much keep up with whatever style you want to play.
What’s more, the tuning is very stable. It can take a good old bashing on the strings without the need for constant retuning.
For a Chinese-made instrument this really is top notch and a serious contender for ‘best in category’ when it comes to entry-level guitars. However it would please any guitarist – not just a beginner. Very playable indeed.
With Oscar Schmidt's OE20G, you certainly aren't getting a big name – but overlook that and you can find yourself with one of the best performing entry-level guitars in its price range.
AudioRumble rating 88/100