Elite Review

manufacturer: Monterey date: 02/25/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Monterey: Elite
Boasting a classic design with exceptional playability, the Monterey accentuates the recognizable shape of musical history but with modern touches added for the uncompromising player.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
Elite Reviewed by: Liam, on february 25, 2008
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Purchased from: Local Music Store

Features: My Monterey is a 2004 model, made in Korea. It has 22 jumbo frets that make playing easy. The body is made of mahogany with a maple top and is a bit thinner in width than a normal Les Paul. The neck is also made of mahogany; but in general the guitar is of course a lot lighter, I feel the fretboard is a lot wider than a Les Paul also. Standard pickups fitted, a JB in the bridge and a nice sustainer fitted in neck position, giving it a nice sound. // 9

Sound: The Monterey Elite is truly a great sound. The thing that sets it apart from others is it sustainer, hell this thing can ring out on any half decent amplifier. Also kicking it in bridge position is the Standard JB that came fitted, very rich and lovely full sound. I'm using my Hiwatt 40watt practice mainly with this guitar as I don't gig with it, and it sounds just great. FX used, I have a range of budget pedals (Behringer) and they are sound great along with this model. Slap into neck pickup for a nice sustained solo, bridge for a lovely warm sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Pickups set just fine, I had one problem with the sustain pick up once, took to the store and it was fixed with no charge. Just a slight shipping defect I think. However it did come shipped with very loose tuning pegs, tuning kept slipping and there was a problem at the bridge, this took some money to fix. And it appears a lot of people have the same problem with this guitar. Tone and volume knobs both fallen off in gigging which is more of an annoyance than anything else, but of course this is a problem. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar has been gigged, but with slightly bad outcome. Strap buttons tend to slip all the time, and you'll end up with the guitar on the floor with any vigorous playing, this is fixed with locking strap buttons which everyone should use in my opinion. As I said both volume and tone knobs fell off while gigging but it's only a cosmetic flaw really. On the other side of the scale, I dropped my Fernandes once outside a gig on a concrete floor with only the finish damaged, to the bottom of the guitar. And I continued to play the gig with the guitar. I always take a backup to gigs with me and I've only had to use one once, that was when the locking strap failed and the neck slammed to the ground during tune up and the nut completely smashed to pieces. The trouble finding a replacement bone nut was unbelievable but needless to say the guitar is in perfect working order again. // 6

Overall Impression: I play a steady soft rock with my older bands I was with, and a heavy screamo/emo music with my current band. And my Fernandes can play through both of them, with my death metal pedal at my foot you can't go wrong. I've been playing for nearly 6 years, owned a few copies and re-issues and this has to be one of the best looking and sounding guitars I've owned. My favourite feature with my Fernandes is the sustainer pick up for those screaming solos, it's a lovely feature. Only wish it was fitted with a tremolo bar and a none Floyd Rose bridge. My least favourite thing about my Fernandes is probably the weight, I've played a few LP's in my time and I love the heaviness to them, now the Fernandes Monterey being a les paul style guitar I would love it to be a little heavier. If it were lost I would certainly find my self another, it's a great guitar for a great price. Much better than comparison models. t does have a few downsides, which mentioned above do lower this guitars "greatness" but for the price you cannot beat it. You can grab one of these for a few hundred pounds here in the UK and I would suggest it. My favourite memory of gigging my Fernandes was, small gig in my local town, working out the set list for the night when taking out my Fernandes hearing a passer by saying "wow" that made the gig for me. Overall, a very nice sounding guitar with a great look. That will get working to what you put at it. // 8

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