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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:19 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
I found what I'm looking for, an Outlaw X720.

Got it Friday, she's been cleaned, restrung, set up and played for many hours both at band rehearsal and at home.

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Been curious about these for a while. Loved the shape from first sight. Researched as much as I could, I read the cool story from Tim Hartman "The Last Outlaws" http://www.proteuspages.com/EbayStuff/G ... laws3.html and that put me over the edge. Found this one at Guitar Center.

It was sold as a "1979 Outlaw". I don't know how they come up with 1979... anyone know?

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Maybe the owner told them he'd bought it in '79, which I would believe since it has the 500k pots from factory (looks like it's from factory).

It's 100% stock and in really good shape. Dings, scratches and places where the clearcoat has slightly lifted off the guitar are numerous, but I like that as it makes me unafraid to use it. Came with original black Electra case, phaser and power ovedrive modules, and Electra warranty card hang tag.

Neck:
This was my big question. Was afraid it would be the bigger than '50's profile of the X930/X940 models (if you've played one, you know what I mean). The Outlaw is not that big. But it's close! It's fat and wide. I actually like it a lot. It could have bigger frets, although the frets on this X720 were barely played so there's almost no wear on them. I could play it for hours so therefore the neck's not outside the realistic realm. Bigger frets and a slightly smaller neck profile would have made it amazing, however. The Grover tuners are not as smooth as I'd like, are they drying up inside a little? Neck through, looks cool inside.

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Neck Heavy
This was my other big question. Was concerned that it may be wildly neck heavy, where the neck takes a nose dive if you let go of it while playing. The truth is that it is neck heavy. However my Gibson SG is worse! The Outlaw isn't horribly neck heavy, it's manageable. My wide leather strap keeps it in playing position just fine, although I feel and see the tug on my shirt from the weight pulling it down. :lol: It's not like my Omega or Dynasty where I can let go of the neck and have it stay exactly where it is. Here's a side by side so that you can see how an Outlaw looks beside its design inspiration, the SG.

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Feel/Vibe
Something about it makes me want to play it. This is hard to describe but very important to a guitar, it's the X factor that makes you "bond" with an instrument. I think it's the crazy, unique good looks (pointy-ness, tortoise shell binding, almost glowing abalone inlays, massive chrome tail piece), the somewhat challenging neck, absolute top shelf quality, MPC nuttiness and obscurity just make me want to keep playing it.

Sound
A lot of these MPC's had 50k pots instead of 500k pots. I didn't know what to expect! Looked inside and was happy, it's has the correct pots. :D Plugged in it sounds wonderful, it's very clear, present, full, and in your face. Sounds almost identical to its stablemate and contemporary, the X930. I had to go back and forth between them to identify any differences. The stock pups on these Electra's are not my personal favorite but they work very well. If you're using them with a band on stage, they can all use some wax potting to eliminate microphonic feedback. The bridge pickups on all of my Electra's sound almost a little honky or out of phase as compared to my Gibson bridge pickups (don't know how else to explain it). This is just their character, it's neither good or bad. Here's the Outlaw beside the X930.

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Qaulity
These Outlaws were among the top of the line for Electra. Get one in your hands and you'll believe it! Wow, stunning craftsmanship and solid as a rock. But objectively, was I just being an "Electra fan" and seeing more quality than is actually there?! I live by the Guitar Center and needed strings, so I thought I'd thought I'd test my affection and visit the Guitar Center's wall of new guitars. I studied and handled the new Big 3's, the Gibson's, Fender's, and PRS's. The new Gibson's were astonishingly horrible, embarrassingly so. Fenders were nice to really nice. The PRS's were fantastic! Paid for my strings and immediately went home (2 minutes away) to study and handle the Outlaw again. Turns out that I wasn't just being an "Electra fan", and I tell you honestly if I was. Comparatively, these Outlaws are on par with the current Big 3 although 35 yrs. older. Actually much better than some of the Big 3, in fact. My opinion based upon quality of construction, I'm not comparing sound because I didn't play them all.

Overall I really like the Outlaw. Most everything about it is very nice. It is a unique animal, unlike any other guitar I've played. I think that it was designed to be this way. So hopefully this helps someone considering an Outlaw purchase.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:47 am
Posts: 1301
Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
Review appreciated -

And very nice axes -

Congrats!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm
Posts: 1569
Location: New Jersey
Nice review - I agree with everything you said. They are tanks. I've had a couple and probably should have kept the one with the ebony fretboard. I still hate the 5 way rotary switches but they'd look even funnier with a strat type 5 way. Nice score with the modules and case. Both of mine had real good sustain and were pretty loud and resonant unplugged which I always believe is the sign of a good chunk o wood and solid craftsmanship. Glad you like it!

I remember having a set of bullseyes that were a little wonky and instead of properly taking them apart and greasing them I took off the keys and dumped some 3 in 1 or machine oil in. It worked but I shouldn't have done it. I would think it's unlikely that the gears themselves are stripped. Those particular Grovers are also tanks. Nickel - if my addled wits recall correctly.


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