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NAMM 2022: Watch Guitar World's Paul Riario explore the many tones of Donner’s versatile, $260 DST-400

Donner DST-400 electric guitar
(Image credit: Future)

NAMM 2022: There’s no two ways about it: it’s been an incredibly successful NAMM season for Donner, which staked its claim as one of the event’s most productive attendees by unveiling an array of innovative entry-level instruments at the show.

Highlights from its drop include the carbon fiber Rising-G Pro, the ultra-portable Hush-I silent headless guitar and the mobile app-compatible DMI Smart Guitar, which provides Berklee-approved beginner courses.

Taking pride of place at the Donner booth alongside these new innovations, though, was the company’s existing Stratocaster-style model – the DST-400.

While roaming the show floor, Guitar World’s Paul Riario caught up with the Donner crew to get up close and personal with the DST-400, and put the ultra-affordable six-string through its paces.

The model itself boasts an impressive spec sheet: an alder body is paired with a C-shape maple neck and laurel fretboard, as well as a two-point tremolo system and vintage-style tuners.

Elsewhere, the DST-400 accommodates a pickup combination comprising two single-coils and a neck humbucker, which are wired to a particularly versatile control circuit. Aside from the standard five-way switch, the DST-400 also comes equipped with a coil-splitting tone pot, granting access to an additional tonal option.

In the video above, the bite-y bridge humbucker and warm neck single-coil both get an overdriven workout, with Paul later exploring the DST-400’s clean capabilities by way of some modulated fretboard noodles that take place in the neck, middle, middle and bridge and bridge positions.

According to Donner's Jake Wu, providing affordable instruments has been the name of the game for Donner since the company was founded around 10 years ago. 

Donner DST-400 electric guitar

The Donner DST-400 in action (Image credit: Future)

“Now we have a full range of products, from musical instruments to accessories,” he says. “We’ve been committed to providing enjoyable and innovative and aesthetically pleasing musical instruments for the [past] 10 years.”

For $259.99, the Donner DST-400 arrives with a gig bag and a range of accessories, including a guitar strap and guitar cable.

To purchase one, step this way (opens in new tab).

The DST-400 was recently joined by a number of new-for-2022 Donner DST six-strings, all of which made their debut at this year’s NAMM show. The three new models include the DST-100 Standard Series, DST-200 Designer Series and DST-152 Seeker Series – all but one carry sub $200 price tags.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.