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 Post subject: New Electra Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I know a few of you out there have had the opportunity to try out the New Electra Omega that has been at NAMM and at Electra fest, but I have been chomping at the bit. I wanted one ever since I saw that Ben Chafin was the guy behind it. You see, I have owned a number of guitars designed by Ben - and still have two of them.

Well, it finally happened, I got a new Electra Black Omega. I will be brief (I always say that, but never seem to be brief):
- It is a great guitar, fit and finish are terric
- Even more importantly, it came out of the case and a quick tune is all it required. It is setup very well, and intonated too. This is a good $100 savings vs. most other guitars I get. Mind you I do most of it myself now, but I'd pay at least that much for the typical guitar to get it playing like it should. This one absolutely does.
- It was light weight. I thought being solid mahogany it would be a hefty boy, but no - it is a very comfortable weight. A friend immediately commented the same thing when he picked it up for the first time.
- The neck is chunky - This particular model has a 50s style profile that I really like. I like big necks. Pay attention though, because different models may have different neck profiles. Ben says the Invicta will have a more slimmer 60s profile.
- The fretboard is ebony, and along with the frets it has a little bit of a different feel than my electras. It wasn't bad, in fact it was very good. After about 15 mins of playing I was adjusted to the difference in feel. After that point it seemed like it was better than the older ones I played (and I like them a lot). In this case, the brightness of the ebony goes well with the solid mahogany body.
- The pickups are designed by boutique pickup winder Amalfitano. They really sound great. The neck is PAFish, but the bridge is a bit hotter. However, maybe it was the design of the pickup combined with the zing of the ebony board, but it really sounded great. Normally hotter pickups sound dark to me or lack some clarity, but these didn't and really did an excellent job. This pickup snob (ME) might just leave them in there. That is saying a LOT.
- This guitar is acoustically loud and lively. It is darned near impossible for me to get a guitar that doesn't sound good acoustically to sound good with pickups. You work with what you have to work with. But this is lively acoustically, and I am sure the upgraded hardware helps too. This one is fantastic.
- Nice case and freebies came with mine. Case is nicer than I expected.
- It has push/pull pots for the first two volume pots, for single coil operation for each pickup. It has a single tone pot. I like the inline configuration - kind of feels like an MPC guitar feels. The tones are pretty good for single coil operation, not going to make you run and sell your strat or tele, but sound very good. Better than most.
- That neck joint - it feels like a neck through (it isn't), but it does not have a weird feeling neck angle that some neck-throughs. I don't see or feel any seams. Very close to the feel of my Endorser (but I like this fatter neck a little better), and the top of the line or better than any Japanese Electra I have had. I love Electras. But I love the combination of this fat neck, that deep heel-less set neck, and the way it feels. You can hit every note, including the last frets, and they ring out just as strongly anywhere on the board. It is stellar.

The competition is pretty tough. The differences in this guitar make it worth it. But you will wind up upgrading them to make them sound and play like this. They won't play like this one, they won't sound like this one, and after upgrades and modding them to make them sound that way you are going to spend more. If you like a bigger neck guitar, check these out. You will love it. If you are used to rosewood or maple necks, this one will feel different, but don't worry, you will get used to it quickly and wind up liking it better. The build quality is top notch, and you probably won't have to touch the setup if it was like mine.

If you want a that isn't the chunky 50s style then check out the Invicta - it is going to be the slimmer style. Actually, I hope they eventually make them with both styles. I may eventually like to get others. It sounds and feels like a custom shop instrument. My custom shop Dean Hardtail sounded a lot like this, but it was a $3K guitar. My Les Paul has had LOTS of tweaking to sound this good, and started out a $2K guitar. I own a PRS SE model, and I upgraded the keys, put Lollar pickups on it, and other setup upgrades to get it to play like I wanted - so the cost is likely more after all that (and resale value will be less because you never get your money out of upgrades). This one you don't have to upgrade - it is already upgraded.

I really love vintage Electras. I started out being a bit skeptical, but I liked what I heard. But I have found I have room for both - old and new. The new ones are familiar, but they are much more than the same guitars warmed over. They embody that same good bang-for-your-buck mentality in which vintage Electras were known, but it is now updated for 2103. Good luck to the new Electra Guitars, and I expect they will do very well this Christmas season. Mine is supposed to be for my Christmas! :hyper:

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 Post subject: Re: New Electra Guitar
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:43 pm
Posts: 18
Great review!

I like the necks on both the Omega and the Invicta. I not sure I would call the Invicta a 60's slim neck but it is
thinner than the Omega(very comfie, not to thin). The Invicta also has the Rosewood Board.

Congrats!


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 Post subject: Re: New Electra Guitar
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:11 pm
Posts: 657
Location: Tenn.
Well, you have me sold! I have wanted to try one since I saw them. I was tied up and did not get to NAMM, Just miles from it. I was holding out for a Mocking Bird but after that review, I can remember the new car smell of me first Electra and couple that with having an Omega on my wish list, no more used guitars for a while.

Thanks for helping me decide,

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 Post subject: Re: New Electra Guitar
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm
Posts: 1569
Location: New Jersey
I have a friend with Amalfitano Strat pickups and they sound really good. Seems like the mew Electra's have very nice materials. I'll always look twice at something with an ebony fretboard.


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