Clutch Review

manufacturer: AXL date: 08/18/2011 category: Electric Guitars
AXL: Clutch
It comes with 24 frets, a Strat-style tremolo, two single coil pickups and one humbucker. The body is solid Alder and the fretboard is rosewood. There is two tone, one volume and a 5 way Switch.
 Sound: 7.3
 Overall Impression: 7.3
 Reliability & Durability: 7.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7
 Features: 7.3
 Overall rating:
 5.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.3 
 Users rating:
 4.5 
 Votes:
 13 
reviews (3) pictures (1) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Clutch Reviewed by: Sherifnada, on august 18, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 295

Features: I'm not sure when this was made, but it was made in China. I live in Egypt so that's where I got it from. Doubt many of the guys on here will have to get their guitars there lol. 24 frets. Maple neck. Rosewood fingerboard. Alder body. It's a Standard but imo really cool black finish. But then maybe it's because this is my first electric after owning an Acoustic for 8 months. The pickups are 2 single coils, and 1 humbucker EMG-designed Alnico; they're the ones that came on the guitar, passive pickups. There is a volume control, and 2 tone controls for both of the single coils. The tuners aren't locking. It has a two-point floating tremolo bar, and again, no locking. I'd say it's good value for the money. // 8

Sound: I mainly play metal, with a pinch of rock and blues. Sounds best for metal but it also does rock and blues. I'm running it through a Roland Cube 20X and it sounds good. Not the most impressive of sounds, but it's a good sound for a beginner guitar. I don't get much hum or noise out of the pickups. The humbuckers sounds great for leads or anything that uses distortion. You can also make the single coils (especially the middle pickup) sound good with distortion sounds if you use lots of gain. The clean sounds work best on the single coils but you can use the humbucker to get certain funky "flat" sounds if you use the right EQ and effects, but overall it sounds good for clean sounds. I don't love the tone control knobs though. You'll be great with tuning until you decide to use the tremolo. It could go off tune if you make heavy use of it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set-up good but not perfect. I changed the height of the pickups, especially the single coils because the high strings weren't coming off as loud as the low strings. The build of the guitar was great. Nothing was flawed or rusted or not braced correctly. It took me less than 30 minutes to get this guitar customized to my liking. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I never played a gig before, but if I do, I would prefer to have a backup just in case something goes wrong with the tremolo because it's not very stable. It would withstand headbanging definitely, though. The finish isn't scratched, but then I've only had this for a month. It doesn't look like it's that easy to scratch though. // 7

Overall Impression: I play metal and this is a great match for it. The only thing I wish would've asked about/tried more comprehensively before buying this is the whammy, as I would've probably went for a locking system if I knew this would be the case. If it was stolen I'd probably go for something better like an ESP, probably a KH series because I seem to have fallen in love with those. However, if you're just starting out or have been playing Acoustic for a brief while, for example, and getting into electric I would recommend this for you. It's great value for the money. // 8

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overall: 7
Clutch Reviewed by: StormLexer, on march 10, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: It comes with 24 frets, a Strat-style tremolo, two single coil pickups and one humbucker. The body is solid Alder and the fretboard is rosewood. There is two tone, one volume and a 5 way Switch. I give it a 7 because there isn't any locking what'soever on it. So when you mess with the tremolo it can sometimes go out of tune. But it usualy stays somewhat in tune while you're messing around with it. Plus the pickups aren't that great. // 7

Sound: I'm running it through a First Act amp, so I can't comment on the sound of the guitar much. But, when I run my DigiTech RP150 to my surround sound it sounds pretty good. The humbucker doesn't sound good with clean at all, so I have to Switch it to the middle pickup. Which is kind of annoying with the placement of the Switch. But overall it sounds good for a beginner-type guitar. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is pretty good for me. I can play comfortably. I don't really like super low action. I tried it once and it felt awkward when playing. The pickups were fine also, I never had the need to adjust them. Everything was perfect on the guitar though, I never found anything flawed on it. Well, besides some things like the input jacks and tuner knobs coming loose. But that is a quick fix. Also, i've had it for almost a year now, and I don't have any big scratches, dents, or chips on it. I have minor scratches on it but they're hardly noticeable. But i'm only sure how I got one scratch, that was because of my brother, too. It seems like it can be scratched easy, but I don't know. I only have 3 on it, and its been a year. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've never played it Live, but I wouldn't see you having any problems with playing it Live. I've played it while moving around and headbanging so yeah.. Haha. The hardware itself hasn't messed up, dulled down or anything. The strap holders holded I guess. But I replaced them with strap locks anyway. I wouldn't really gig with it without a backup though. Cause of the tremolo issues I talked about earlyer. // 8

Overall Impression: I've only been playing for like a year and a half. This guitar was my second after my First Act guitar broke, it's great for metal. And well, if it was stolen/lost, I probably wouldn't buy another one. I'd probably go for a different model or a different guitar all together. But I love that it's a cheap, good, and definitely metal. Only thing I wish it had would be better pickups. // 7

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overall: 7
Clutch Reviewed by: ethan_hanus, on january 31, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Not sure of the year this particular one was made, or where it was made, didn't say on the guitar, but when I got my hands on it, it was in pretty poor condition, so I ended up refurbishing it just to do this review. It has 24 frets, rosewood fretboard with a maple neck, no finish, 25.5 inch scale, neck has the feel of a Fender Strat C shape neck, except with a nice neck pocket couture to allow better higher fret access. Body is made from Alder, has your typical poly finish on it, has the shape of a Strat on steroids. The bridge is like a Indonesian Strat style bridge, almost identical to the one on my squier, block and all, except the trem arm is actually Standard size, not that bulky oversized Squier one. The bridge on this one was in pretty piss poor shape, took a lot of work to get all the rust off of it and set it up properly. After that it worked pretty well, held it's tuning decently. Guitar has a HSS set up with passive EMG's that, at the time where specifically made for the Axl Mayhem guitars, but after talking to a EMG rep about them, I've been told that those specific pickups are now being remade and called the EMG SRO series pickups. Has 3 controls, 1 volume and 2 tones, and a 5 way Switch just like a Standard Strat setup. The tuners are pretty cool, they are very smooth and have a high gear ratio to make up for their small size, they seem pretty sturdy and I prolly wouldn't feel the need to replace them. // 7

Sound: This guitar is geared for metal for sure, more towards riffing. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a lead guitar because of the neck, but it'll work great for leads, I just think it does rhythm much better. The pickups are cool though, they are not only geared for just metal, and are capable of other genre's and does them fairly well, not the best, but fairly well for a metal guitar. I used Valveking 112, new tubes, with a WGS V-30 speaker, with a TS9 as a boost. This guitar is just balls to the wall when you crank the gain, the bridge pickup has such a high output(16.7k if I remember correctly) that it just overdrives the preamp into metal territory with ease, while remaining very clear. Compared to my Bareknuckle Painkiller, this pickup is much more bassy and has a more scooped midrange with a average high range, but still remains pretty clear even under lots of gain. The single coils run around 7.9k I think, and hold their own under lots of gain, but, they are single coils, and have that single coil twang. These are the pickups that work best for all the other genres. The neck pickup can get some pretty sweet, smooth creamy lead tones though. The pickups are kinda noisy, not too much though. The styles this guitar can do is pretty wide, the feel of the neck helps alot with blues, and since you can phase your pickups with the 2 and 4 positions it's really useful for getting funky sounds and jazz sounds. I have to say it does metal the best, being designed for metal, but it does jazz, blues, rock, ect pretty well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it it was a piece of trash, not something you could really sell, and it was barely playable, most likely because the owner never took care of it. But from what I saw, the bridge is really prone to rusting, especially the action screws. The saddles are your typical steel USA style saddles on your typical Strat style 2 point trem. The action is pretty poor as well, it sits rather high, bout 3-4 mm, much higher than a Fender Strat, but really isn't a problem The single coils were adjusted rather nicely, it's the humbucker that has problems, on this particular guitar, the height screw on the upper part had stripped out, and I found some ridiculously huge springs in there. The humbucker has to sit rather low, because of the huge output difference from the single coils. The finish is your typical black with poly coat, nothing really special about it. The inside of the guitar was a nightmare, I've rewired this thing a few times, had to replace the stock Switch because it was a POS, but the pots are actually rather nice. The inside is rather nasty and rough, unfinished paint pretty much. The bridge routing was cut just barely enough to fit the bridge, if you wanted to put in a aftermarket bridge, your going to be doing some cutting. The neck was the nicest thing on this guitar, nice smooth neck with a really nice neck pocket couture. // 4

Reliability & Durability: After I refurbished it, I took it to church to play with in the band, it held it's own pretty well, but I would not rely on it 100% just based on how much it took to get it working well again. Besides my particular guitar, I'm positive that if you get one that's in good shape, it'll stand up to gigging very well, as long as you don't plan on using the trem too often, and you keep that trem well oiled. Other than the bridge, the rest of the hardware seemed to be in great shape, so I would say that it'll last quite a while, again, if you take care of it. The finish is pretty tough, poly finishes have always been pretty tough, so I would think it'll last a pretty long time. // 8

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this guitar is that it's a pretty decent guitar for the money(originally cost $600-$800 I think), but improvements can be made, and should be. If it was stolen or destroyed, I wouldn't bother buying a new one, cause there's better out there now for cheaper. I love the pickups and the neck, those are my favorite things about this guitar, I hate the bridge with a passion, it's a piece of junk. I compared it to my highly modified Squier Affinity Strat with Bareknuckle pickups. // 7

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