New Cutlass

gwjensen

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I had 2016 Cutlass I let go to buy a 70th Anniversary Broadcaster. The honeymoon didn't last long, but I just got a second bite at the apple with this 2022 model. Impeccably built, feels great, sounds great, stainless steel frets, roasted neck... probably my easiest playing guitar.

Tone-wise its more modern than vintage, but can be EQ'd toward a more vintage tone. Even just rolling off the volume and tone can accomplish that to a degree, but these are robust pickups and not your first choice for Sultans of Swing type tones. The in-between settings are very rich and full bodied; more so than any other Strat that I can recall, and reason enough to buy it IMO. The neck setting has a very big tone almost verging on a bucker or P90, but brighter. In fact, these are very bright pickups with the tone all the way the way up, but rolling it down a bit smooths things out and changes the character of the tone to a more traditional sounding Strat, but bigger...

The active buffer keeps the volume pretty consistent between the five settings. I had some apprehension about this battery-dependent gizmo (and the guitar won't work without a battery), but it does eliminate the single coil hum and keeps a consistent volume in all settings with no loss of highs when rolling down the volume. It just works and this is an electric guitar, so I'm okay with it.

The wax and oil finished roasted neck is downright luxurious with a subtle off-set V that turns into a more substantial C as you go up the neck. The stainless steel fretwork is custom-shop worthy and maintenance free. As much as I like nitro for its soft glow and the patina it develops over time, this poly finish is nicely applied and I'm okay with that. I also prefer just one tone control and the jack on the side for a more streamlined look.

The set up was pretty much perfect. I straightened the relief a bit (piece of cake with the heel wheel) and experimented with the pickup heights a bit, but it was basically good to go right off the rack. Gets my two thumbs up.
 

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red57strat

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I have the HSS version in firemist silver. The neck is a little smaller than I like, but the oiled/waxed roasted maple and stainless steel frets make it great! The sound is a little more hi-fi than I go for, but they guitar responds really well to its tone control, and the right vintage style amp really fattens it up.
The tremolo feels great and stays in tune really well.

A drawback is that my germanium Fuzz Face style pedal sounds really harsh with this guitar due to the guitar's buffer.
 

gwjensen

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I have the HSS version in firemist silver. The neck is a little smaller than I like, but the oiled/waxed roasted maple and stainless steel frets make it great! The sound is a little more hi-fi than I go for, but they guitar responds really well to its tone control, and the right vintage style amp really fattens it up.
The tremolo feels great and stays in tune really well.

A drawback is that my germanium Fuzz Face style pedal sounds really harsh with this guitar due to the guitar's buffer.
I've heard that about fuzz pedals with this guitar. I only use a three knob eq and reverb... Keeping the tone control down a bit is the key. All the way up it's very bright, but at least its there if you want it... I think its a fat sounding guitar for a s-style
 

John C

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Congrats! That's a beautiful guitar - of the two current finishes I have yet to see a tobacco burst in person (just the powder blue) but I love that finish, and that's one of the nicest necks I've seen on a Cutlass.

A few years ago someone on the EBMM forums discussed that the buffer circuit just more or less overwhelms those germanium fuzz pedals creating a harsh and often (depending on the pedal model/design) unusable tone.
 

gwjensen

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Congrats! That's a beautiful guitar - of the two current finishes I have yet to see a tobacco burst in person (just the powder blue) but I love that finish, and that's one of the nicest necks I've seen on a Cutlass.

A few years ago someone on the EBMM forums discussed that the buffer circuit just more or less overwhelms those germanium fuzz pedals creating a harsh and often (depending on the pedal model/design) unusable tone.
Thanks! I think the neck seduced me right off the bat.
 

Telekarster

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Ha! And here I thought you were talking about the car! LOL!!! Nice guitar man! That flame on the neck is outta sight! Rock on!
 

KC

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I've had my Cutlass for 3 years now and it's been my #1, long enough to actually put some dings and dents in it, honest player wear. I have not yet gotten into dead-battery trouble, though I carry a spare 9-volt in the case. (I was worried about this too.) The active electronics are really an eye-opener -- treble bleed works well to keep articulation up & down the volume knob, without getting screechy. Even output across all 5 selector settings, yay, and no hum. Great neck, no fret wear that I can see. Three cheers for Music Man.
 

gwjensen

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I've had my Cutlass for 3 years now and it's been my #1, long enough to actually put some dings and dents in it, honest player wear. I have not yet gotten into dead-battery trouble, though I carry a spare 9-volt in the case. (I was worried about this too.) The active electronics are really an eye-opener -- treble bleed works well to keep articulation up & down the volume knob, without getting screechy. Even output across all 5 selector settings, yay, and no hum. Great neck, no fret wear that I can see. Three cheers for Music Man.
Good to know the Cutlass has served you well. I think the batteries last a long time unless you keep the cord plugged into the guitar for extended periods. I totally agree with you about the active circuitry and the stainless steel frets will probably never wear. I was playing along to Steely Dan last night was just loving all the tones in the different positions at different volume and tone levels through a couple of different amps. It'll even do very convincing jazz tones. Can't wait to get back to it tonight.
 

Double Stop

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It's a great guitar, indeed! I'm actually playing my powder blue Cutlass right now as a matter of fact! Love the neck on these. Slim, but still very playable.

Congrats!
 




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