A one piece carbon fibre instrument with premium features and more durability than any guitar on the market.
Cost: $4300 for base package, from Rubato.guitars
Overview & Final Score: 9.5 out of 10
The spec sheet of the Rubato Lassie is unlike one I’ve ever reviewed before. The Lassie sports a one piece body and neck, made from a carbon fibre monocoque that weighs in at a whopping 5.5 pounds. More familiar, but premium guitar specs round out the instrument including a zero fret string guide, mini rotomatic locking tuners, and medium jumbo stainless steel frets. Sporting a 25.5″ scale length, the Lassie should feel more familiar than foreign.
The electronics are stripped down and simple, highlighted by two Porter mini humbucking pickups that are controlled by a 3-way selector alongside single volume and tone knobs. The simple electronics are not lacking in quality either, with Orange drop capacitors, Bourns potentiometers, and a Switchcraft switch. A hipshot fixed bridge joins grover strap-locks in the quality hardware department as well.
The Lassie is a surprisingly flexible beast, despite having only a 3-way selector to control the Porter mini humbucker pickups. These pickups were a great choice, as they balance that single coil top end with the thickness and body of humbuckers nicely. So while it doesn’t have fancy switching or coil splits to create diverse sounds, it is a very open sounding instrument that can easily be shaped by your amp or pedals.
Perhaps most importantly is just how great the guitar sounds. It doesn’t sound “non-guitar-like” in any major sense of the phrase despite such unique construction. This might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it is. Rubato have completely reworked how an electric guitar can be made yet it feels no different in terms of playing experience. If anything, it just feels and sounds slightly better.
You can further tweak the sonic capabilities of the Lassie by ordering different pickup combinations from Rubato during construction as well. But overall, it is tough to argue with the clean, lush sounds of these minihumbuckers. It’s just a great sounding guitar, through and through.
I cannot emphasize enough how comfortable this carbon fibre neck is. It feels far more rigid than any guitar neck I’ve played but it’s still smooth, fast, and thin across the whole fretboard. The rigidity is actually somewhat comfortable, as I feel like I have complete control over the neck, with no chance of it fighting back. And of course, the tuning stability is supreme. So far, the Lassie has lived up to the hype of having a perfectly intonated neck that will never shift. With no moisture or temperature impacts on the carbon fibre, the guitar did arrive almost perfectly in tune and has stayed that way for about a month now. Other highlights include the great upper fret access and the quality fretwork, which is to be expected on a guitar of this price.
Finish & Construction: 10
Rubato guitars has considered every aspect of guitar construction with the Lassie. And even if some of it is overkill, it all combines to create a really thoughtful instrument. The one piece construction is solid as can be and all the hardware is premium in origin and feel. Even the pickup installation is innovative thanks to spring mounts on the bottom of the pickup that hold it secure to the body, preventing any wobble or drift over time. Mini-rotomatic locking tuners and a borderline too-heavy duty aluminium flight case wrap up the impressive construction and storage feature list.
It is interesting to have a guitar without a true “finish”. Though that isn’t to say that the symmetrical carbon fibre body isn’t gorgeous. It has this amazing pattern and sleek shine to it. The Lassie is also shockingly lightweight and comfortable, with a full scale length making sure it never feels foreign.
Yes, this is an incredibly expensive guitar. And that is something I normally have railed against in my career. However, this is one of the few instruments that is unique in more than just aesthetics or a neat wiring trick. It’s a one piece guitar that will be set up for life while accumulating far less scratches, dings, or dents than any other $4000+ instrument. So while I do acknowledge the ridiculous price compared to the $500-$1200 guitars I normally review, this is really the closest thing to a structurally “perfect” guitar on the market. It’s similar to the Morifone Quarzo in the sense that I appreciate when people bring an actual engineering and sustainability point of view to guitar building. The Lassie is an incredible instrument that will fail you far less than other guitars on the boutique market, and for that it deserves high value marks.
Good for: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Gigging Musicians, Musicians Who Travel Frequently, Players Who Want To Replace 10 Guitars With One