Review: Raato Custom PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale

Kitarablogi jumped at the opportunity to take a new Raato Custom Guitars PenetRaatoR Multiscale 6 for a spin.

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The PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale (prices starting at 3,270 €; this guitar: 3,900 €) is a handcrafted electric solidbody guitar, which offers each string its own scale length. Here the bottom E-string has a scale length of 27.75 inches, while the treble e-string’s scale is 26.5 inches. A previous review explains the ideas behind multi-scale guitars in more detail.

I must say that I rather like Raato Guitar’s crossbreed of Gibson and B. C. Rich elements, which make for a stylish instrument. The body’s core is crafted from basswood, with an added pear back and figured maple top.

This model’s neck consists of three long strips of wood – a centre piece of hard rock maple flanked on both sides by sapele mahogany.

The PenetRaatoR sport’s a very strong bolt-on neck joint using six screws and washers.

The neck has received an oil-and-wax finish. The body, as well as the headstock’s facing, have been bleached and finished with a thin satin lacquer.

One of the custom options on this PenetRaatoR is Raato Custom Guitars’ Lichtenberg Figure process used on the body and headstock face.

Putting Lichtenberg figures into wood is a relatively dangerous procedure (”don’t try this at home”), in which an electrical current is carefully used to produce lightning-like burns in the wood. You can take a look at the process in this Raato Guitars VIDEO.

Mika Ruotsalainen has gone even a bit further by filling the figures on the front with a gorgeous mixture of blue resin and holo-glitter flakes.

The PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale’s fretboard is made of African ebony, and it sports two octaves’ worth of expertly finished jumbo-sized frets.

This guitar comes with glow-in-the-dark side dots – and company logo – made of Luminlay.

Locking Hipshot Grip-Lock machine heads make sure you tuning stays spot on, even in the middle of Metal Mayhem.

The well designed hardtail bridge is also a Hipshot product.

This PenetRaatoR comes with a pair of Bare Knuckle Pickups’ Nailbomb humbuckers with ceramic magnets. You can already guess from the name that these pickups are meant for all types of Hard Rock and Metal genres.

The review guitar’s controls are spartan and to the point:

We find a three-way toggle pickup switch, as well as a master volume control with an integrated push/pull-switch for pickup splitting.

This is what a boutique class control cavity should look like. The soldering is clean as a whistle, and the electric shielding is thorough.

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Despite Raato Custom Guitars’ PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale being a rather large electric guitar, its weight is surprisingly moderate. The instrument sits comfortably in the lap, proving equally well-balanced hanging on a strap.

This guitar’s lucky owner (thank you for the loan!) has chosen an asymmetrical neck profile for his own Raato guitar. The neck, which is thicker on the bass side, fits very nicely into my own hand.

The workmanship on this guitar is top notch throughout. Take the fretwork on the PenetRaatoR, for example, that makes this instrument very fast and easy to play. The owner requested his guitar be set up for drop-C tuning.

Played acoustically this Raato displays a fast and precise attack followed by long and smooth sustain.

Bare Knuckles’ considerable expertise in the field of pickup making is clearly evident in the Nailbombs’ sounds, which is couples merciless power with a high degree of musicality. Yes, these are high-octane pickups, but one-dimensional there not.

Here’s a clean audio clip that starts off with the split settings (neck, both, bridge), before switching to the full humbuckers:

The Raato PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale has been crafted to rock hard, and rock it does indeed:

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It is very clear to me, judging by this review, that Raato Custom Guitars stands for top class workmanship combined with a fresh and fearless approach, when it comes to body shapes and different finishes. PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale is a fine example of what a boutique grade modern Metal guitar can be.

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Raato Custom PenetRaatoR 6 Multiscale

Prices starting from 2,890 € (traditional scale) and 3,270 € (multiscale)

Reviewed guitar: 3,990 €

Contact: Raato Custom Guitars

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Pros:

+ handmade in Finland

+ wide range of custom options available

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ soundSave

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