Price paid: $ 298.49
Purchased from: Beyond Eleven
Sound — 8
I love the way this guitar sounds; the humbuckers are really gutsy delivering bags of grunt. I playing mostly blues and rock and the M600 is ideal for both genres; great for covering ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cream, Zep, Hendrix, etc. Played through the crunch setting of my Marshall MG30 with a little added delay and reverb the sound is amazing and needs no other effects. Played 'clean' the tone pot offers a good variety between soft, rounded tones and hard, edgy sounds depending on the pick-up selected. I find I need to back off the volume to around 5/6 with the pick-up selector in the middle position. Separate volume pots would have been a nice addition.
Overall Impression — 9
I've played on and off for more than 40 years, but never come across a guitar of such quality for so low a price. I saw a guy playing a M600 while on holiday in the Canaries and talked to him about it (Cort guitars are not common in the UK). He kindly let me have a go and I just didn't want to give the guitar back! I admit to having some qualms about buying the guitar unseen from the States, but my experience with Beyond Eleven has been excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from them again. I was on the point of buying an Epiphone Les Paul when I first saw the M600 and have regrets about my change of heart; my Cort plays every bit as well as any Epiphone I've tried and came in at almost half the price and sounds better too! Would I buy another Cort M600 if mine was stolen? Yes I would, without hesitation. There's one thing I hate about this guitar and one thing I would change; the switch-cap on the selector toggle is cheap plastic and had to go. As mentioned previously I'd like to be able to mix the output from the pick-ups so separate volume controls would be a bonus.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I bought my M600 from an American dealer and had it shipped to the UK; the guitar had obviously been set-up by Beyond Eleven prior to shipping and despite being 7 days in international transit it arrived in almost perfect tune, which says a lot for the bridge/nut/tuners. Having allowed the guitar to acclimatise I tuned it properly and haven't needed to touch it since; the guitar has been played almost every day since it arrived a month ago. The intonation is spot on and needs no adjustment. The strap buttons are solid and of equal quality to the rest of the hardware. I'm using the guitar with a 5.5cm leather strap and find it sits perfectly for my style of playing. I should add this is not a heavy guitar and I'd be happy to play it on stage for protracted periods. Would I depend on this guitar? Yes, absolutely! I NEVER gig without a back-up, but suspect the back-up will just sit in its case and never get used. No worries with the finish of the body/neck, my only concern may be the abalone inlays in the mother of pearl fret markers; they look fine now, but I wonder how well they'll survive.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is low and easy; I find this guitar very forgiving, which is ideal for me because it makes this instrument easy to play! The quality of the components used is adequate; remarkably good, given the cost. The overall finish is excellent and in my opinion the guitar looks very classy.
Features — 9
Made in Indonesia 2010. 22 large frets, rosewood fretboard (12" radius) with mother of pearl and abalone inlay block fret markers. The scale length is 629mm. Body and neck are both mahogany. Neck is deep-set. Body is slim Strat-type and has flame maple top. Mine is in antique violin finish. Two Duncan Designed HB102 (H-H) humbuckers, TonePros locking C-TPFP bridge & CT1 tailpiece. One volume pot, one tone pot, 3-way pick-up selector. Tuners are unbranded, but are a very efficient Grover type.