Axis Super Sport Rosewood Review

manufacturer: Ernie Ball / Music Man date: 03/26/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Ernie Ball / Music Man: Axis Super Sport Rosewood
All rosewood neck and headstock, tall, thin frets, neck shape is a small c, locking tuners. Rosewood top on an Ash body, two humbuckers, volume, tone, 3 way Switch.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Features: 8.5
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 1 comment vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Axis Super Sport Rosewood Reviewed by: properpat, on march 24, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1000

Purchased from: ebay

Features: Not sure what year it is, that's not important anyway. All rosewood neck and headstock, tall, thin frets (22 of 'em), forgot the neck radius, neck shape is a small c, locking tuners. Rosewood top on an Ash body, two humbuckers, volume, tone, 3 way Switch. The stock features are fine, but I never could leave well enough alone (I have, and will continue to modify this guitar as I go). So far all I've done is remove the tone knob and installed my custom HighOrder Pickups (a 7.5K A5 neck pickup and a 10K asymmetric A5 bridge pickup). // 8

Sound: I play mostly just plain old fashioned rock mixed with some blues and occasionally some finger styled stuff. I'm playing this work of ART through a Fargen Olde 800 1X12 combo amp with an Eminence Wizard in it. When I bought the guitar the previous owner had installed Seymour Duncan 59's in both spots. I tried the guitar with those before I replaced them, but they were pretty dull sounding to my ears. Even then, the guitar had a nice upper-midrange cut to it that, if not tamed, could kill small animals and children. Once I put in my HighOrders that cut became a double edged sword that takes a great deal of eq'ing to wield without killing yourself. The Ash body is bright, but makes the bottom end nice and tight (I like to think of it like a playboy model, lots on 'top' that'll get you heard, with a nice and firm, but not too big, 'bottom' that's the envy of everyone else). This guitar was born to shred faces at 50 yards. The pick attack caused by the rosewood board is such a treat. It'll be just as snappy as you want, but it gets nice and mellow and weepy when you need it to. Long story short, this guitar has a multi-faceted personality (you just have to know how to bring each one out). I'm giving this a nine because, first off, no guitarist is ever going to find a guitar that sounds exactly like they want, we're always searching for something better. But this thing is as close as I've found. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When the guitar arrived the action was so high off the fretboard I could have drove my truck in between the strings and the frets! So I had the action professionally adjusted and wow is all I have to say. This is my favorite neck ever. I've played on other Axis guitars with the maple necks, and they just don't feel as good as that rosewood does. Couldn't explain why to save my life, but it's excellent. The finish had a few little dings on it when I got it, but I don't care in the least, it just gives this already amazing guitar so much more personality. A more diverse portfolio if you will. Plus I don't feel so bad really getting into playing it. I'm giving this a ten because, for me at least, this is the best playing guitar I've ever played, hands down, discussion over. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has seen a few gigs, of that I'm sure. And I'm also sure that it's a couple of years old, but it feels solid as a rock. I have No Doubt I could use this guitar until the day I die and that it'd hold together just fine. Oh yeah, I'd definitely gig this thing without a back up. The body finish has a good amount of pick scratching, but doesn't feel worn down or torn away or however you want to say it. So yes, I think the finish will last just fine. This gets a nine just because I haven't been able to test the durability myself as of yet. // 9

Overall Impression: Excellent guitar. In fact, when it comes time to buy a second guitar, I'm seriously thinking about buying another one! This guitar matches me quite well. It's made me rethink certain ideas I had about what an electric guitar should be. And in the long run, I think that's what counts. The instrument you play should inspire you to play more, better and be more creative in how you play. That's what I was looking for in a guitar, and I've found it. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Axis Super Sport Rosewood Reviewed by: Strangeman86, on march 26, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1000

Purchased from:

Features: I'm not sure when mine was made, but like all MusicMan's regular guitars, it was made here in the good ol' US of A. It has a 25.5" scale with 22 medium frets on an all rosewood neck that's finished with MusicMan's proprietary mixture (I believe it's gun stock oil and some sort of wax/paste, but I could be wrong). The body is swamp ash with a beautiful rosewood top. The top is finished in clear gloss, but the back is solid black. I bought mine second hand and it came with a set of Seymour Duncan '59 pickups that I quickly replaced with a set of highorder pickups (a maximus in the bridge and a low output A5 neck model). The bridge is the Standard MusicMan HardTail and the only controls are a master volume, a master tone and a three way blade style pickup selector. The features are wonderful for me, but I wouldn't have minded seperate volume controls. // 9

Sound: The swamp ash combined with the highorder pickups A5 magnets make this guitar quite bright for a humbucker guitar, but the percussive attack itself suits is wonderful to my ears. I do find myself turning the treble and presence way down on most amps, but I don't mind. Obviously this isn't the most low-end heavy guitar, but again, the punchy tone kind of makes up for it. It's more articulate to my ears than a mahogany guitar, it just feels more focused. Cleans are rather bell like and fairly twangy even with the humbuckers, dirty tones are well defined and great for rip-your-face-off leads. Rhythym work is clear and crunchy. I give it a nine simply because with certain amps this guitar can be too bright for me. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Again, I bought mine second hand, and there were a few small chips in the clear coat on the head stock, but other than that the guitar was beautiful and scratch free. The neck is as straight as Ted Nugent and has a smaller assymetrical 'c' profile. It took me a minute to get used to the assymetric aspect, but 30 seconds in I really started to love it. I had it setup using a Plek Pro machine and I can't recommend that enough. The joker who owned it before me had the action 10 feet off the fretboard. Once the gents were done Plek'ing this guitar it was absolutely like night and day. Now it's one of the nicest playing guitars I've ever had the privelege to play. The hand-applied neck finish combined with the rosewood is a joy to play. Fast and smooth, but just enough grip to dig in. An 8 pre-Plek, a 10 post-Plek. // 10

Reliability & Durability: MusicMan guitars have been played on stages night after night all over the world by thousands of touring musicians. Needless to say I have no quams with the reliability or durability of this instrument. The finish, like all MusicMen, is a high gloss poly that's protective without being too thick. // 10

Overall Impression: I play whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I think this guitar is a great rock guitar, but it would make a horrible jazz guitar in my opinion (it's just not smooth and dark enough, even with the tone knob rolled down). Everything else I think it would be quite acceptable for. But I knew all this before I bought this guitar, so it works for me. I'll probably own another one some day. I think the only thing I'd really change about this guitar would be adding some low-end into that natural punch it's got. Overall, I wish I could give it a 9.5, but I can't in good conscience give it a 10. // 9

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