This is a quick overview of how I develop rating boxes and the thought process behind choosing the ratings.
How ratings are ranked
Each ranking factor is in comparison to the other items in the roundup. So when comparing something like Construction, this is relative to the article and shouldn’t be compared to rankings from another article.
Rankings are based on my experience with the brand/product, the materials used to make the product, where it’s manufactured, the manufacturer’s use case, and user-generated reviews online.
It’s critical to note that because something gets, a low ranking doesn’t mean it still can’t perform that particular function. For example, if something gets a low score for “Traveling/Gigging,” the reason could be that the guitar is so expensive that you wouldn’t want to travel and gig with it because of the stress it would put on your instrument.
Vice versa, if a product gets a low score in Construction, this is generally because it uses laminated wood, plastic materials, etc. However, this construction may be perfect for durability and protection against humidity swings.
So it’s critical that you take into account the whole review before making your decision, as your particular needs may “discredit” the rating.
The Ranking Number Explained
We use a scale from 1 to 5. We will never give a guitar a perfect five because there is no perfect musical instrument/product. Also, with instruments made from wood, there will be differences from instrument to instrument.
The product performs good to great in that category if a product has a three or above. Anything below a 3 means that this is an area where the product isn’t designed for.
You may notice that certain products that aren’t the “Best Overall Pick” get a higher rating than the best overall. This is usually because the product is objectively better but is either expensive or excels in a narrow use case. The best overall option is an option that will cover a wide variety of buyers and use-cases.