Price paid: € 400
Purchased from: WoodBrass
Features: Mahagony LP Body, Maple Top, Set Neck, Mahagony Neck with Rosewood Fretboard, 27, 75" Scale, 2 Alnico Humbucker, 3-way Switch, 1 volume and 1 tone pot, black Hardware, no inlays.
Black back and cross with a grayish top. Very cool! The reason why I haven't given any more points is not because the guitar is bad, but because the lack of features. Some might say that this was intended (which it probably was), but still it leaves me wondering what this guitar would be like with hmmm??? Let's say a tone and volume for each mic or perhaps they should have installed locking tuners etc. All in all, very few extra features... I'd compare it to the Neanderthal: rough, though and plenty of force with no sophistication at all. Heavy! Very Heavy! Both in sound and mass... The incredible mass gives it tons of sustain, and it feels like you have a double neck hanging on you. The LP small body size (it's the thickness of the body and the size of the neck which gives this beast weight) still gives some possibilities to maneuver with it. After playing an hour with this and then changing to a Fender Strat I thought I'd been carrying "the" cross. Manufacturers page. // 7
Sound: Aaaahh The sound! All you tweakers and solo frantic guitarists turn around, if you by some weird coincidence are reading this. The man Who designed this had probably one goal: Great heavy-duty sounds. Thats why I have rated this fairly high. I believe this was what they where aiming for. The combined body and neck mass with the long scale and heavy string gauge are what this is all about. The rifforama that spews out of this monster is incredible. The shier feel of this guitar in your hands makes you play the heaviest things you can come up with. I never thought a guitar could be the source of inspiration, but I was wrong. I use a Mesa Boogie Single Rectifier Solo 50 head with Marshall 4X12 + some effects and I'm on cloud nine. The only problem I now face is that shredding with this is very hard and I'm the only guitarist in our band, so I have to choose what is more important at the time. Delivering an incredible sounding riff without the solos or trying to get the riff done with a normal six-shooter and then getting a proper solo done. (Of course a solo isn't just about the speed, but that's a discussion for another place.) This guitar sounds also very good with different tunings like drop-D and especially open D5 (also try a capo!), very different from a normal guitar with these tunings. If something has to bee reprimanded I'd comment on the neck PU. Perhaps the setting is a bit low (I'll have to try with some adjustments) but the output seems a bit on the shallow side.
Of course changing the PU's to something cool (SD, EMG, or whatever) could be in order since they are most definitely not something special... // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The factory settings seem fairly good except reminding about the aforementioned neck PU and the possible setting problem there. Maybe in the future I'll change the PU's to something else but for now they will do. One thing does concern me. The low B strings action is a bit too low. If you fret the guitar at, for instance the 10th fret, the string will make contact with many of the fret wires between the nut and your finger. This is not found on any other string, so I'm starting to wonder if the nut has a flaw. This is not a problem in a Live scenario, but could perhaps become a problem in the studio if a lullaby is played (=flaws/background noises heard more easily). I'm not saying that the action is too low but there is something to be fixed there. Don't know yet how since it's a stop tail and doesn't give the possibility of separate string adjustments. Anyway this is not a huge problem, but just something that bothers me a bit.
The factory set strings are heavy? Very heavy! Even so heavy I find myself thinking of changing to a lighter gauge. But perhaps I will feel differently after bashing out a few more notes. I know what you're thinking: You shouldn't need to adjust yourself to the guitar. The guitar should be adjusted to you But this is a completely different monster. This is the Frankenstein of Rock. It is the bastard son of a guitar and a bass. You have to show it the courtesy of getting to know it before starting with the name-calling. // 7
Reliability & Durability: This is an anvil! The electronics and hardware are probably just as durable as any other, but man, that body and neck will take any beating. The only thing that could happen is the neck snapping close to the nut/headstock due to a fall. I believe this is a common hazard for guitars with carved tops where the headstock is behind the body due to the downward angle of the neck, but anything will break if you try to wreck it with enough force. I do not think it is a good idea to treat this with less respect than any other guitar because it will just turn the other cheek, but I believe this will outlive time itself. // 10
Overall Impression: This is the first Baritone guitar I have ever owned so maybe my opinion doesn't mean anything, but this piece of ART is so much fun. If I ever have children, and they have children I will be giving this guitar to them to give to their grandchildren for Well you get the point. I imagine no backup Baritone is needed for this. If broken, I'd wonder how come I didn't notice the apocalypse. If this was stolen, I'd hunt down that son of a [female dog] and beat him to death with this guitar, and it would still be in tune!
This is an incredible instrument! Mind you it is done for a specific purpose and you have to accept that! You could say that it is too heavy, but that only ads to it's lure and gives it the character it possesses. You could say that it is only for rhythm/riff guitar playing, but that's like saying that a Lamborghini is for driving like a maniac? Stating the obvious are we?! I tip the proverbial cap to Epiphone and wonder where I will get a just as good shredding guitar for the same price. There, Epi. The gauntlet has been thrown down and if you can rise to the occasion I will dedicate the rest of my life to serving you. // 9