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Rock Band is a very popular game and with it comes a guitar, usually the Fender Stratocaster, it’s black and white and looks pretty good actually, at least it looks like a real guitar, unlike the Guitar Hero guitar that looks like a toy really. While the guitar is nice looking, it’s still the same as all the others out there, not very original to have one like everyone else is it? You could buy a third party guitar to be different, but still it’s not very original either. I was recently contacted by MusicSkins to review their products and they’ve got a way for you to personalize your stuff with adhesive skins, they’ve got several hundred styles ranging from music, to models to art to pick from and they’re available for many types of devices. These skins not only offer a relatively easy way to personalize your stuff, but they add a bit of protection as well.

For review I’ve got the MusicSkins Pantera Rattle Skull for Rock Band Guitar skin, as the name suggests it’s Pantera themed, yes I like metal obviously. The skin is nicely made, and really does add to the look and feel of the guitar. Getting it on however is not as easy as you might think, it’s a sticker so it should be easy right? Well not really, it took me several tries to get it on correctly, luckily though the skin is easily removable and not permanent. The skin does have a faint texture to it, and it seems like a quality product overall, so read on to check it out and see the finished product…

There’s not much to the packaging , just a plastic envelope really. Inside you’ll find four skins actually. There cut to fit the Fender guitar for Rock Band with the holes cut out. The skin actually does have a faint texture to it, so it’s not totally smooth or slick.

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Obviously I picked the Pantera themed skin, but there are many others to choose from, hundreds actually.

Included with the sticker sheet is a thin piece of cardboard that is basically an advertisement for MusicSkins, but it also helps to kit the skin straight while shipping.

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The skins are actually 3m Controltac, so they’re high quality, 3m makes some good stuff.

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I hoped over to the 3m site and found out there are many, many types of Controltac, I’m not sure exactly which this one is though. This is the description from the 3m site:

Durable, dimensionally stable, vinyl film with positionable, pressure-activated adhesive (permanent, changeable or removable) that allows film to be repositioned on the application surface during installation. Available in a variety of colors, widths and lengths for use in electrostatic, piezo ink jet or screen printed graphics to produce multicolor emblems, striping, labels, markings and more.

From handling the skins I noticed that the material used for the skins is more of a thick rubbery type sticker and not really plastic or vinyl. It will stretch out a bit if pulled too much.

Specifications:

MusicSkins Pantera Rattle Skull for Rock Band Guitar

Rattle Skull – Rock Band – Guitar
Price: $25.00
Pantera – Rattle Skull – Rock Band – Guitar

This Pantera rock music skin is hot! This skin is called "Rattle Skull". This Pantera music decal fits the Rock Band Guitar and is made of durable vinyl to protect your Rock Band Guitar from scratches.

MusicSkins LLC is the leader in music and music-related, high-quality, vinyl skin products. We envision all MP3 players, laptops, and phones as portable canvases for art and individuality. Our focus on music, art, culture and personalization has created a stylish way for musicians, DJs and artists to become closer to their fans while providing a low profile alternative to bulky cases. From Hip Hop to Country, Art to Fashion, and everything in between, there’s a MusicSkin to suit every taste.

Our durable skins are made of premium vinyl, which will defend your device from the harshest scratches. The special adhesive is completely removable and leaves no residue so you can easily switch your MusicSkins for the latest release. MusicSkins add almost zero bulk so your device will still integrate perfectly with any case, bag, dock, iTrip or armband.

No Scratches
MusicSkins protect your precious device with a durable anti-scratch, anti-UV coating.

Easy On… Easy off
3M Adhesive technology prevents bubbles and allows easy application and clean removal.

Premium Materials
MusicSkins are Made In The USA. Ultra Premium vinyl sets us apart from all other skin products.

No Bulk
Ultra-low profile means flawless integration with all accessories including docks, iTrip, cases, bags, and armbands.


So the first thing you’ll notice is that there are no instructions included on how to apply the MusicSkins, it’s a sticker basically so it shouldn’t be that hard right to figure out right?

So I checked the MusicSkins site and in the FAQ I found this:

How do I apply my new MusicSkin?

    * Clean Your Device
    * Examine Your MusicSkin & Apply Your MusicSkin
    * Take your time. It might take a couple tries to get your skin on perfectly. Be gentle you don’t need to pull hard to remove the skin. It will re-apply very easily.
    * Pick a starting point on your Skin on the edge (preferably the largest area of the Skin).
    * Line it up over the top of your device as closely as possible. A good guide is to find a couple of buttons on your device close together and start applying the Skin there.
    * Carefully apply the Skin to the device making sure it lines up with all the button openings and curves on your device.
    * If the Skin does not line up correctly, carefully peel it off and try again. Repeat this process until you are stylin’!

It doesn’t say what to clean it with though, I used regular rubbing alcohol to clean my guitar, and the instructions seem easy to follow.

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I thought about filming the installation process but it took me a good thirty minutes to get the skin on my guitar, thirty aggravating minutes actually. I tried, and tried, and tried, taking it off and putting it back on several times before I finally got it almost perfect. As I was playing with it I found out the main reason it wasn’t quite working for me, the cut out hole for the Start button is just a bit too small, it’s very tight and doesn’t allow for much movement to adjust the skin. To get it on I basically had to center the sticker on the Start button, then apply from there. It also helped that I pulled off the selector knob, but only after a couple tries did I figure it would be easier to take the selector off while applying the skin. All that was just for the first part of it, the skin that comers the white section of the guitar.

Now moving onto the second sticker that covers the black was easier, but it still took a couple tries to get it just right. I found out that no matter how I tired it still just didn’t fit the guitar correctly, it seems like it was just cut a bit too short. The little piece that is at the very top that goes over to the right is actually up on the white part of the guitar. I thought maybe it wasn’t lined up correctly but the skin looks correct, at least the lines lined up this way though.

The pictures you see below are the finished product, it’s not quite perfect, but it’s the best I can get it, I tried many times and well that’s it…

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It does look good, at least I like it, and I think that’s what matters right? As long as the end customer or buyer is happy right?

So if you want your guitar to look good you can just grab one of these from MusicSkins, it adds not only protection but it adds a bit of personality to your stuff as well. They’ve got tons to choose from ranging from art, to models to music themes so there is quite a large selection to choose from, I’m sure there is something for everyone there.

One thing I noticed though is that there really isn’t many big label bands listed, most of it is small bands or artists really, I like Metallica and that’s what I really wanted but it wasn’t there, I’m sure it’s a licensing issue, but I like Pantera as well so it worked that they were listed among the bands.


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Conclusion:
Overall the MusicSkin is not a bad product, but as with any type of skin for any device it will take quite a bit of patience to get it applied just right.

I found the MusicSkin is well made, but the one I got didn’t seem to be cut quite right, it was just a bit off in terms of fitting the guitar perfectly. No matter how I moved it around it just didn’t quite fit like I expected it to.

Still though I like the finished product quite a bit, it looks good and adds a bit of personality to the product. I like the finished product and the look of it honestly, I think it was worth the bit of hassle getting it applied.

8

Pros:
+Durable protection
+Peels off easily
+Large selection to choose from
+Looks great once applied
+Adds a personal touch to your stuff
+Slightly textured surface for non-slip

Cons:
-Not cut quite right
-Time consuming to get applied
-No instructions included

Grades:  
Overall score-8-10
Design score-8-10
Performance score-9-10