Price paid: $ 3000
Sound — 10
The sound is an aquired taste. It will feed back, considering there is no block in the middle. But for you jazzers out there, its an amazing amazing sound. Just the sound your lookin for, if you like the wes sound, or the Grant Green, or what ever. It's very easy to get your own sound out of it. I am a firm believer that tone is all in the fingers, but buying this guitar will get you there alot faster then I expected. Don't try slapping dist on it, it's not a rock guitar, unless you are actually Steve Howe. This is strictly for a jazz tone. The classic '57 humbuckers, are the stock picups and they are just amazing. I wouldn't change those pickups for anything. Beautiful, very responsive, and just huge tone.
Overall Impression — 10
I used to play rock guitar mostly. I recently started to listen to jazz, and was amazing, now I'm a jazz guy. I've been playing for around 6 years. I use a old late '80s Peavy Classic 50, and it sounds just huge. If it were lost or stolen I'd cry. I would purchase it again, if I had the money on hand, for sure. Expensive guitar. Like I said it had just a huge tone. Very big guitar. The color shows fingerprints pretty easily. This is way better then the Herb Elli's guitar my buddy just purchased, the tone is way bigger, and smoother.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a very beautiful guitar, I would imagine you would be very very careful with this guitar. You shouldn't smash up a thing like this. You can depend on this guitar, if you treat it nicely. The finish is strong, I cant wait til it starts cracking so I can hear the real tone of the wood. Give that a good 20-30 years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Plays beautiful. The pickups were set up perfectly. The guitar sounds bigger with bigger strings, I've tried .10s, and they sounded a bit tingy, but then switched to .12s and they just sound huge. Plays like a dream.
Features — 10
My Steve Howe model is a 2006. Made in the USA, in the memphis factory, an amazing place. It has 20 frets. Solid top. Top is made of maple, neck is mahogany. Tune-O-Matic. Passive electronics. 2 volume tone, 3-way. I bought this guitar in search of the Herb Ellis model, which was my first choice, I live in wisconsin, and they dont have any stores with a selection of hollow bodies, so I drove to memphis, to buy one there. They told me they had the herb ellis and theyd set it aside for me. Well I got their, and the people working the store, didnt have the right guitar. As you can tell I was pissed, I drove 14 hours and they didnt have the guitar I asked for. So I'm frantically thinking, I cant buy a jazz box in town, so I have to buy one here, I tried the one they set aside for me, and it was junk. Sounded horrible, and all that. I always liked the Steve Howe Version but I through it out of my purchase, because it was out of my price range. Anyway, they convinced me to try this steve howe, and it was amazing, and I was sold there. Played beautifully, sounded just huge, and looked beautiful. I came back to wisconsin, with a big debt, but an amazing guitar.