Saturday, 17 November 2012

Aluminium-bodied Rogue guitar on Craig's List is a mystery
Jack emailed us about this unusual "Rogue" guitar being offered for sale on Knoxville Craigslist.

The body is from an Abel Axe guitar, an aluminium-bodied guitar designed by Jeff Abel and built in small quantities in the 1990s. I wrote about the Abel Axe in the 500 Guitars book and there are a couple of very nice photos on pages 9 and 11. We also looked at an example here on Guitarz in October 2011. What's more, according to the Abel Axe website the guitar is being re-introduced.

Back to our Craigslist guitar, I notice the body appears to be bare aluminium whereas most Abel Axes had bright multi-coloured finishes. I'm wondering if this is a body that was unused from the factory and which someone has completed with hardware and a generic neck bearing the "Rogue" brandname (whoever they are).

This seller is asking $400 for this guitar, which doesn't seem unreasonable given the provenance of the body.

Additional: Please see the comments - several of you have pointed out that "Rogue" is a house brand of Musician's Friend. Just to remind you, Guitarz is based in Europe with Bertam being in Austria (I think... or is it France these days?), David in Spain, and me in Wales. We don't always know certain things that might be painfully obvious to those living in America. Anyway, apparently this model is a Rogue Aluminator which may or may not use a body made by Abel Axe. More info is available on this article by the Unique Guitar Blog (which manages to mis-spell the name "Abel" throughout).

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!


  1. Google (or in my case, Bing) is your friend.

    1. It never occured to me to look on Google. It looked as if someone had put a replacement neck on an Abel Axe body. I hadn't thought anyone would go to the trouble of copying the Abel Axe design, getting it milled out of aluminium, etc. If that is what actually happened, and Rogue aren't using bodies made by Abel.

      Or perhaps this is what Abel were talking about on their website when they stated that the guitars would be making a comeback. Maybe they got a deal with Musician's Friend, who then insisted on putting their house brand on the guitars.

  2. They sell Rogue guitars on musiciansfriend. They mostly make acoustics and other "folk" instruments. Probably made by Daewon or Samick in China. I owned a mandolin made by them, and for only $40 it seemed like a decent instrument.

  3. Rogue is a brand of some of the cheapest instruments sold in the US. I once had a lap steel from them that was made from "Hardwood". So I have no idea what it was actually made of. So it's likely that the owner of this guitar needed a new neck at some point, and it was cheaper to buy a used Rogue with a decent neck than to buy a good neck alone.

  4. It is a Rogue Aluminator. I played one a few times in at a shop in Fort Collins CO in the late 90s. Not sure if they were back then but Rogue is Musicians Friends house brand now.


  5. Just some info - Rouge is the house brand for Musicians Friend

  6. Rogue is a very cheap brand, like you would find at a Wal-mart sold for beginners. I have a Rogue acoustic neck I pulled out of a dumpster, I think it will eventually wind up on a cigar box gtr.

  7. "Rogue", is one of the many Chinese made guitars sold in America, in this case by "Musician's Friend", They do make acoutics as well as electrics, some even of decent quality :-)

  8. I do like the oblong cut outs better than the circles. Wish I could buy this but I've got too much other guitar crap going on and I can't even play.

  9. I think you guys do a great job.
    TW from Michigan

  10. Whoever pointed out that this was a "Rogue Aluminator" is correct. Rogue is/was the in-house guitar brand for Musicians' Friend from the mid 1996 onward. MF used to be located in Medford, Oregon near the Rogue River. All Rogue instruments were Asian-made "knock offs" of various popular name-brand instruments. MF, now located in Southern California and owned by Bain Enterprises (of Romney fame) still sells a few in various beginner instrument categories. But the quality is (and has always been) pretty doggone are the prices (you get what you pay for). The Aluminator was an odd one for not being an especially cheap axe to buy (probably the most expensive Rogue that there ever was at about $399.00±). Someone at MF took a shine to the concept of an aluminum bodied instrument at NAMM show and paid to have the parts sourced and a boatload of them made. They did not sell well. There were many returns with quality issues (mostly neck and crappy hardware). But the sound was not the most pleasing either. I worked for MF at the time and (for me) it was a source of shame that we were trying to foist of these poor-quality rip-off instruments on the buying public.



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