In this Rogue RD80 dreadnought acoustic guitar review, you will learn if this good value for money acoustic is for you or not from different aspects.
Choosing a guitar can be a daunting task, with all the options available. Whether it’s your first purchase or something for a particular gig, there are a lot of options out there. This Rogue RD80 Acoustic Guitar review will shed some light on a great and versatile choice that may be the perfect one for you!
At A Glance
- Excellent looks with good durability
- Fun to play and stays in tune
- Great for beginners and starters
- Very long-lasting guitar
- Great value for the money
- Available in three colors
- A good number of positive reviews
- Doesn't come with a case or kit
- You may find a lifting bridge issue
Popularity Over Time
History And Origin
Known as an affordable brand, Rogue guitars are available at large stores like Walmart. Don’t think that the low cost means that these guitars aren’t also high in quality! Rogue cuts costs in places that don’t affect the playability or sound of their instruments. The RD80 is their take on a classic “Dreadnought” guitar, which is a designation of large body acoustic.
Body And Neck
We’ll start the Rogue RD80 guitar review with its body and neck. One of the first cost cuts is in the body of this guitar. It has a mahogany stained back and sides rather than construction from mahogany. It has a cheap but adequate blonde basswood top. And its reliable, robust neck feels excellent under the fingers for this price point.
Fretboard And Bridge
Its fretboard is bound Sonokelin. Which is a classic material known for use on fingerboards. The bridge uses cheaper plastic and has been one complaint about this instrument. But given the performance of most other components, this is an easy fix should anything go awry.
Hardware And Finish
The finish of this guitar will not reflect in a mirror style manner like some of its pricier competitors. But this is a smart way Rogue has saved money. There is some gloss to it, so it reaps the tonal benefits of a sturdier finish. The RD80’s hardware is chrome, which is an industry-standard and won’t disappoint.
This guitar produces bell-like clear tones. These tones are impressive considering the low price point. It has a bright shine, which is hard to find in larger guitars at a reasonable cost. High-quality strings will increase the tone of any guitar. But with the RD80 this can make the instrument sound like one that costs twice as much.
Experiment with your favorite types of strings, and see the difference that they make!
The RD80 Dreadnought will stay sturdy throughout almost all home-playing situations. The same as with performances where you don’t need a pickup or amplified guitar. Still, Rogue’s dreadnought has cut some corners with its construction. So if it’s your workhorse instrument of choice it may be worth upgrading a component or two.
Much of a guitar’s playability can be fixed with a setup from a reputable guitar tech. But when purchasing a guitar like the Rogue RD80 you want it to function straight out of the box. The good news? This guitar is user-friendly with beginner applications at home practices or rehearsals. The bad news is that any adjustments to this guitar’s bridge or frets will need work from your local tech or luthier.
This is a very versatile guitar. It has enough subtlety and playability to suit ambient and jazz settings. But it also has enough durability and projection to aid in even the most bombastic of strumming.
Any prior comments on quality or long-term durability do not affect the RD80’s versatility. And they may even help it! Many folks have described this guitar as high enough quality to play at home. They also say it is an acceptable “substitute” if you already own a more expensive instrument.
Design And Looks
The RD80 Dreadnought has the simple and unassuming look many acoustic guitars do. Which is yet another smart cost-cutting measure by Rogue. Nothing is overly fancy or colorful, instead, the natural woodgrain is the star.
Dreadnoughts became popular in the early 1900s. The Dreadnoughts take their name from gargantuan British warships. As this suggests, they were larger than common guitars of the era, which produced a louder sound. Sized appropriately for volume, the RD80 doesn’t look or feel overly bulky.
- Standard mahogany-stained
You can customize a guitar like the RD80 that uses cheaper yet functional parts. You get an excellent chance to customize its sound and feel by upgrading certain parts. Several of those who left a Rogue RD80 review commented on the tuning pegs being lower quality. So the pegs are an excellent place to start.
The guitar’s nut (between the fingerboard and the headstock) and bridge are hard plastic. This plastic will last quite some time but doesn’t sound quite the same as bone or graphite alternatives. An upgrade to either of these will extend the playing life of your Rogue.
The Rogue RD80 is available for right-handed players.
Value For Money
Whatever your thoughts are on this guitar’s sound or playability, it is an excellent value for money. This is even without any upgrades or tune-ups. Sure, a new nut or string setup can take the RD80 to new heights. But what makes it so great for beginners or first-time buyers is that it’s a complete package out of the box.
Rogue RD80 Review Insight
Rogue RD80 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)
Product Name: Rogue RD80
Product Description: The Rogue RD80 dreadnought acoustic guitar can't be beaten for its features at the price point Rogue guitar makers deliver. It can be easily compared with the expensive models from other guitar makers purely because with bound blonde basswood top, nato neck, and chrome hardware, it comes with a Mahogany stained back and sides with bound Sonokelin fingerboard and bridge. Although its case is sold separately, the RD80 is a great value starter guitar at a killer price point with a bright tone.
- Body Style: Dreadnought
- Body Size: Full
- Top Material: Bound Blonde Basswood
- Back and Sides: Mahogany Stained
- Neck Wood: Nato
- Fingerboard: Bound Sonokelin
- Number of Frets: 20 (14 open)
- Bridge: Sonokelin
- Hardware: Chrome
- Color Options: Regular, Sunburst, Black
- Pickguard: Yes
- Pickguard Color: Black
- Number of Strings: 6
- Orientation: Right-Handed
Choose Rogue RD80 If
- You want an entry-level guitar
- You want a secondary guitar that is durable and inexpensive
- You are on a budget
- The size of a dreadnought appeals to you
- You are looking for a basic guitar to upgrade or amplify
Don’t Choose Rogue RD80 If
- The budget is of no concern
- You want a smaller sized or travel guitar
- You want the highest possible quality
- Flashiness and looks are a priority
- Name brands are a priority
Rogue RD80 Alternatives
- Incredible sound, impressive tone, standout projection, and incredible sonics.
- Fine hardwood construction: X-braced, A-grade Spruce wood, known for resiliency and versatility.
- Thinline cutaway design full-size (41") guitar for better access and more comfortable playing.
- Includes the Ashthorpe guitar, a soft nylon "gig bag" guitar case, 3 celluloid picks, onboard 4-band pickup EQ, cable, a shoulder strap, an extra set of strings, and an owner's manual.
- Classic acoustic guitar design
- Electric-acoustic versatility
- Perfect for students and all levels
- Designed for comfort
- Sold as a complete kit
- Dreadnought design
- Whitewood body
- 25-3/8" scale length
- Nato neck
This guitar lacks some of the higher-end luxuries that other brands may offer. But it is excellent when factoring in affordability and availability. If you are a veteran musician with a high budget, perhaps look elsewhere, but for a first guitar or a backup ax, the RD80 does not disappoint!
So, that’s my full review of the Rogue RD80 acoustic guitar. Hope you have find your desired answers.
James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.