This is a pic of me with my Ruokangas and Ibanez
First of all. When it comes to this guitar, there is no possible way to improve it, because it is perfect for what it does. All the hardware, quality and materials are top notch. This particular guitar cost me 2100 euros, but the price tag read 3500 euros. I got this one cheap because it`s a discontinued model and it was the last one in stock. Luthier Juha Ruokangas has made only 20 of these jewels and propably won`t make anymore, unless custom ordered..
Anyways.. to the actual review then..
wilkinson vsvg tremolo (stays in tune to the day I die)
humbuckers (custom made by harry haussel)
playability (the reason I bought this guitar)
20 year limited life-time guarantee against flawed workmanship
materials (all woods are thermo treated = ages the wood)
unique pickup mounting
only 21 frets (I used to play with a 24 fret Ibanez)
I was first very keen into buying an american made strat. I tried many and they were all very good, but something was missing. I already owned an Ibanez RG470 that had gone through a series of modifications (new duncans, gotoh floyd rose, gain booster etc..) and it was hard to beat by stock guitars. Well I searched and searched for a good deal, but nothing could beat my Ibanez (I still have her). Then, one day, I went to buy some george L`s guitar cable from a shop in Hyvinkää (Finland). It was Ruokangas custom guitars shop and it was the only place that sold george L`s guitar cables in Finland. I stepped through the door and.. I felt again like a child in a candy store. There were the most beautiful guitars hanging on the walls and I just stared them for a while.. Then I met the luthier himself behind the desk and we talked about his guitars. After I had bought the cables I just happened to ask him if he might have any used guitars (his cheapest model costs about 2000 euros). He said that he didn`t have any used ones, but he has this one guitar that has been on shelves for about two years now and he might give me a fair discount. My heart bounced.. We went to the back of the room and there it was. Ruokangas X.0. custom. I tried it and it was pure love at first sight. My eyes wandered in her sweet body and beutiful neck, but then I noticed the price tag.. 3500 euros. Bloody Ass****. I couldn`t afford her. So I asked what`s the discount then? Juha said.. you can have it with 2100 euros. I heard the bells ringing. I had found my bride. So I came back a few days later and took her home with me.. and they lived happily ever after..
I have Duncans Screaming Demons in my Ibanez, but they are no match to X.O.`s sound. I don`t know how Juha has made the guitar sound so big and sweet. The sound changes dramatically although the impedance levels on Ibanez and Ruokangas are about the same. Ruokangas is a very ambitious luthier and he has much to show yet. A company like this in a stage like this is at it`s best, because now is the time when they have to show how good guitars they can build. Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, PRS and other big brands have nothing to show off anymore. They already have all the fame and glory one could possibly dream of.
Materials are all the best there is. Period.
Workmanship is the best there is. Period.
Sound 11 / 10