Donner HUSH-X Headless Guitar | Regards

Published 1 month ago on May 17, 2024

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Donner HUSH-X Headless Guitar | Review


Donner has announced the launch of the latest addition to their HUSH lineup, the HUSH-X Headless Electric Guitar, following the release of the HUSH-I Mute Electric Guitar in 2022. Available in maple and mahogany, the HUSH-X features a compact, neck-through, detachable body with screw-free metal hardware and the Donner patented Headless Tuning System, making it comfortable for guitarists of all skill levels to play. Nick Jennison tells us more.

2023 has been something of a “glow-up” for Chinese gear brand Donner. Their impressive showing at April 2023's NAMM show included "super-strats" with roasted maple necks, digital multi-FX, digital pianos… Donner was out to make a statement.

One of the pieces of gear we were most intrigued by was the “Hush” line of headless guitars. The “Hush-I” silent acoustic guitar has been out for a minute now, and Sam Bell was pretty impressed with it, but we’d also been promised an electric guitar in the same form factor. Enter the Hush-X - a 25.5” scale guitar that’s not even 30” long!

Composed of a single piece of mahogany that makes up the neck and body (so it’s technically a neck-thru, right?) and detachable “wings” in the form of two metal frames, the Hush-X comes in a semi-hard gig bag that looks more like the case you’d keep a pool cue in. Bundled within is a very impressive package of accessories, including a clip-on tuner, strap, picks, earphones (which are very high quality, albeit with a *really* short cable) and all the tools you might need to adjust the setup on this guitar. That’s already a big win for the Hush-X over the Hush-I since the saddle height and truss rod are adjustable, meaning you can get the action just how you like it. Not that you’ll need to do much, as the factory setup is very good.

Regarding playability, the Hush-X really surprised me with how good it is! The fretwork is first-class, and the asymmetrical neck profile is very comfortable indeed. It also balances very well on either leg and is equally well balanced on a strap - with or without the body wings. It is very light and did tend to move around on my lap when I got a little too vigorous with my playing, but that’s undoubtedly just me being a bit of a lummox.

Tones come in the form of a bridge humbucker and a neck single coil, with a three-way toggle switch to select either pickup or both. The bridge humbucker is very warm and full in the mids and does tend to dominate the middle position sound somewhat, but it has plenty of punch and weight for heavier styles. The neck single coil (by contrast) is very airy and open, with a deep midrange scoop and lots of clarity for clean playing, but it also does a very convincing bluesy lead tone.

Connectivity is not a subject we often have to broach with guitars, but the Hush-X actually has two modes of operation with two separate outputs. The regular 1/4” jack output connects to normal guitar amps/pedals/processors. Still, there’s also a 1/8” headphone output (hence the earphones) and a separate 1/8” input for connecting an aux device like a phone, laptop or tablet. This means you can use the Hush-X as a regular electric guitar or practice silently in headphones. I’m not sure what kind of preamp is being employed for the headphone out (if any). Still, the tone is actually quite enjoyable despite having no built-in effects - usually, the sound of electric guitar pickups is quite dull when played “direct”, but that’s not the case here.

In the brief time I spent with it, the Hush-X was full of pleasant surprises. I’ll be honest; not being the biggest fan of headless guitars, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I’m happy to say my cynicism was unfounded. This is a really fun guitar — ideal for a young musician looking to get started with guitar, but also a great choice for travelling. The price is a little higher than your typical starter package, but the quality of this instrument is exponentially higher too.

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