Re: Prestige RG5220 or 5120M (Fishman vs Bare Knuckle), opinions please
I had the RG5221 and the RGR5220. I played the RG5120M at a local GC.
Both are great so you can't really go wrong with either. The following is just my opinion so you know how that goes.
The finish on the 5120M is much nicer. The green is basically a matte finish and it's not open pore where you can feel the grain. I happen to like bright green, but this finish up close just seemed like a very thin veneer rather than a true ash top.
I really liked the coil split sounds on the RGR5220. In humbucking mode the bridge pickup was good, the neck was average. These pickups are on the lower end of high gain or upper end or mid gain. I thought these pickups were pretty versatile. I didn't feel that these pickups were exceptional, but were still good/great depending on what you like.
The RG5221 was all high gain. It comes with ceramic in both positions which is moronic. There are other options for coil splitting that I never got to explore. The separate voicing's aren't necessarily that useful. Voice Two is darker and rounder. Voice One is brighter and edgy. I always wanted to just choose one or the other and add the coil split, but never did. I think with the alnico neck and coil split option these could be a very versatile set too. One thing about the Fishman's that's awesome is they are quiet like having a noise gate on. They also have a very quick pick response. I did notice a bit of upper mid range harshness that I didn't with other passive high gain pickups(Titan and Aftermath). Caused listening fatigue, but could've just been a bad combination with my other gear. Those pickups were very different than anything else I had and the settings on everything needed to be adjusted to accommodate. I became very interested in the Fishman lineup after using these though and want to try them again.
I bought mine used on the cheap, pretty much mint condition. However, there were some issues with the finish I didn't care for. The binding on the RG5221 body was cream, while the binding on the neck was white. Also there were inconsistencies with the finish where the binding met the mahogany. These are three piece bodies and neither of my examples were very resonant. On the RGR5220 there were white streaks in the walnut neck stripes. There was also a side dot that was out of round. The RGR5220 just wasn't finished as nicely as the RG5221. The RG5221 was almost perfect except for a few of those binding issues that were much more minor. Maybe it was just poor masking, or poor sanding before they decided to go ahead with the clear coat. I guess I'm just saying that these guitars are expensive so watch out for those things if you're buying new. If those things don't bother you, you can find them in the $1300-$1400 range if you wait. I sold both of mine for that and got them cheaper than that to begin with.
All that said, I wish I'd kept the RG5221 because it just felt so easy to play and part of that was the Fishman's. I'm also tired of not being able to tune how I want with locking trems. They're stable, but you're kind of stuck in one tuning.
I was hoping to see a fixed bridge in the same green with the ice finish for 2020, but needless to say it didn't happen.
Last edited by Frankhenrylee; 01-16-2020 at 05:46 PM.