Donner DST-400 Electric Guitar
• Alder Body with Transparent Finish
• One DONNER Seeker Series Pro Humbucking Bridge Pickup with Coil-Split System; Two DONNER Seek Series Pro Single-Coil Middle and Neck Pickups
• AAA Canadian Maple Neck
• Satin Slim-C Neck Profile
• 9.5” Radius Fingerboard
• 2-Point Tremolo Bridge with Vintage-Style Saddles
• Vintage-Style Tuning Machines
• Includes Gig Bag, Strap, Cable, Set Up Tools
Our score 4.5 out of 5 stars
Since 2012 Donner Music has been making affordable, quality instruments for all level of musicians and they continue that with the release of their Seeker Guitar model. Based on the popular S-Style guitar The DONNER Seeker Series DST-400 sports a two-single coil, 1 tapped humbucker pickup configuration which offers players sonic flexibility capable of both traditional single coil twang and modern humbucking crunch all one instrument making it the perfect tool to express your musical vision without breaking the bank.
I had been aware of the Donner company since the company’s introduction in 2012 however I had never tried one of their products until recently. Given the vast number of manufactures trying to enter the music gear market it can be a little daunting when trying to search for that new piece of equipment. Many companies offer lower to mid-priced options while sadly sacrificing tone and quality. I can safely say that the Donner DST-400 does none of those things. Right out of the box the instrument looked great. From its high-quality chrome parts and high gloss transparent teal finish to the satiny smooth neck I could tell this was not just another run of the mill sub $300 priced guitar. Aside from finding a small gap in the neck pocket, several dull frets and the rosewood fret board needing some oil the guitar structurally is solid and almost ready to go right out of the box
Before plugging the DST-400 in I wanted to check out the guitar’s overall resonance. A feature common with budget line guitars is a thicker polyurethane finish which while providing a stronger finish can deaden some of the guitar’s natural resonance and tone. After just a few strums I was hooked as both single notes and chords rang out with impressive volume and sustain with an excellent level of clarity. Plugged in the DST-400 continued to accel. The single coil tone is what is to be expected as both the neck and middle position pickups provided a nice mid to low level sound with just the right amount of snappy treble twang. The bridge position humbucker can cover everything from over-driven sizzle to molten high gain and with the pull of the second tone pot you can expand your tone pallet even further as your humbucker is now a single coil allowing you to cover even more tonal territory without switching guitars.
Even with higher end guitar models you must allot for a break in period. Frets need to be worked in, adjustments need to be made to various components and players must get comfortable with the over all feel of an instrument. My first sit down with the DST-400 was as though I had been playing this guitar for years. The neck had a nice smooth feel with no rough fret ends whatsoever. The 9.5” radius allowed for fast runs and effortless string bending. The body contours were all in the correct spots making sitting or standing feel very nature. The guitar is not overly heavy and is balanced nicely. The traditional control layout puts your volume, tones, and switch all with in easy reach while the polished, rolled edge, two-point bridge provides a nice resting spot for your palm. The only issues I came across here was that the pull knob to engage the humbucker coil tap can be a little difficult to operate due to the knobs lower profile and the fact that it is a pull pot as opposed to a push pot. The other flaw I noticed was based around the tremolo bar. I loved that it’s a simple push in bar and not a screw in type however the bar can get pushed down a little bit too far which results in less bridge travel due to the bar hitting on your control knobs. I as was able to remedy this issue with just pulling out on the bar some after which it seemed to stay in place without any problems.
The musical gear market can be very daunting. As more and more companies look to capitalize and expand their budget friendly offerings it can add to the confusion of where to start and who to buy from. I would highly suggest starting with the Donner brand. If you are looking for an S shaped guitar that offers high end features and top-notch craftsmanship all while not breaking the bank, then the DST-400 should be at the top of your list. The company may not have the name recognition like some other instrument makers but what they do provide is a comfortable, great sounding instrument at an affordable price.
For more information on Donner or to Purchase a DST-400 visit www.donnerdeal.com