For years now, the “girl guitars” company has manufactured eye-catching models that trumpet the edgy playfulness of estrogen-fueled rockers, and the black ice or vivacious velvet pearloid finish of the new Daisy Rock Siren is, once again, a far cry from subtle. But this guitar isn’t just a looker. It’s so light that it almost levitates, the factory setup is smooth as silk, and, unless your hands are as big as Easter hams, the slim, satin-finished neck lets you play anything from chord melodies to riffs to shred blasts with ease. It’s also a bona fide gigging guitar with gutsy tones, sturdy hardware, fret ends buffed and polished like torpedoes, and flawless cosmetic appointments.
While some might blanch at its giddy, Liberaceapproved top, the sound of the Siren is dead serious. Its light construction and high-gain pickups produce a taut crunch reminiscent of Pete Townshend’s SG-driven Live at Leeds tone. The bridge pickup delivers smooth midrange chime at clean-amp settings, and a snappy bite on overdriven tones that cuts without sounding overly bright or strident. Clicking to both pickups serves up rounder mids, but the overall tone is still scrappy when you crank up the distortion. You obviously get more low end when using the neck pickup alone, but the bass boost wasn’t substantial enough to lure me from the already stout and creamy combined-pickup sound. The Siren is a very dynamic guitar, as well, which triggered even more Live at Leeds memories when I knocked back the Volume knob for some clean and shimmery arpeggios, and then cranked up the knob to bring on the roar. The Siren might look like ABBA, but it rocks like Iggy!
I’ve grumbled at Daisy Rock founder Tish Ciravolo for years that her guitars aren’t just for girls, but I can’t argue with her mission to turn on more women to playing ferocious guitar. But for non-sex-typed guitarists in the know, these gaudy treasures are some of the best-made, superaffordable guitars you can buy.
Daisy Rock (877) 693-2479; daisyrock.com
PRICE $499 retail/ $349 street
NECK Maple, bolt-on
FRETBOARD 24.75"-scale rosewood
FRETS 22 medium
BODY Sycamore with pearloid top
PICKUPS Two Daisy Rock highoutput humbuckers
CONTROLS Master Volume, Master Tone, 3-way pickup selector
BRIDGE Tune-o-matic style
TUNERS Custom Daisy Rock
FACTORYSTRINGS D’Addario EXL 110
WEIGHT 6.18 lbs
KUDOS Excellent playability. Gutsy tones. Very light. Great value.
CONCERNS Neck pickup a bit bland.