- Jan 28, 2009
- Reaction score
This one is a Sweetwater exclusive lemon burst with a quite nice veneer, gotta say. Perfect weight at 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and I really picked this one because of it being on the lighter side and it having one of the darker laurel boards I’ve seen. The real light boards are just a no go for me.
* It sounds good. Nice, balanced, acoustically loud. The probuckers are solid ... a little brash sounding in bridge but easily tamed with a bit of tone rolled off. That said, this kind of bridge tone is probably what many people would prefer over a smoother, richer sound. This is a personal preference thing. Neck pickup sounds pretty great with the tone all the way rolled off. Sounds nice everythIng wide open. Sustain is good even with a horrible setup, but more on that later.
* This is a great 50s neck. Really great. It is substantial but never feels clumsy. I have medium size hands but short fingers and it is very comfortable. I will put calipers on it when I tear it down here soon. C shape, almost no shoulder.
* The general fit and finish is quite good. I don’t think it’s reasonable to go over a 600 dollar import guitar with a fine toothed comb and nitpick every little thing. There really isn’t much to even say. The binding isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. The treble edge of the NuBone nut is a little sharp, will have to take the edge off it.
* Tuners seem to work well enough. Look so shiny. I don’t love shiny. Not sure if these are supposed to be a nickel finish but all the bits on this guitar seem pretty chrome.
* They could have picked a “less red” color for the back and neck. It’s pretty red. Again this is subjective.
* The frets. The ends aren’t gonna draw blood, but they need some work. The crowns are really rough. Like never been polished at all by anybody who gave a crap level of scratchy. Bending is bad. Pair this with a way too high action and some of the nastiest feeling cheap factory strings I have ever laid fingers on, and playability is not good. What is this black crap on my finger tips? Yuck. It’s amazing that this guitar‘s charms shine through these out of the box issues, but they do. The 55 point inspection is dubious, indeed. That’s basically Sweetwater making sure it at least functions like a guitar and doesn’t have any awful cosmetic problems. How anybody thought these frets were Ok to send out, I have no idea. But honestly, in this day and age, any 600 dollar guitar should have decent fret work out of the box. Plenty of makers do this. Epi is not there yet.
So in summary, this is a guitar with pretty darn good bones. Good value for money. If you have to pay $150 for a pro setup and fretwork, that makes me less enthusiastic. In any event, I only have two choices. Get to work on this thing or send it back. The thought of sending it back makes me a bit sad. As I said, it has its charms.