Nick Jennison reviews the Rapier Saffire, a striking new collaboration between Alan Entwhistle and JHS. Now offered in a beautiful 3-Tone Sunburst, Greenburst and Vintage White offset with chrome hardware and 3-ply split scratchplates and black gloss headstock with redesigned Rapier decals, the new generation Saffire looks stunning.
The stunning new generation Rapier Saffire solid-bodied six-string electric guitar is a product design from Alan Entwistle, the UK genius guitar designer responsible for a host of successful guitar lines and accessories.
The Rapier Saffire Series is based on iconic models that played a major role in the industry of British guitars, serving countless up and coming 60’s British Beat groups and helped launch the careers of many guitarists in the '60s and '70s and, whilst Entwistle has successfully retained all the glorious charms and characteristics of the original Sapphire 6, significant and meticulous attention has been made within hardware upgrades, construction and playability.
Selected specifically for its natural sonic characteristics, Okoume, from Central Africa, is the chosen tonewood for the body, whilst for speed, comfort and accuracy, the 4-bolt, soft ‘C’ profiled neck with fully adjustable truss rod, is now crafted from hard rock Canadian maple, with a 12in radius, bound rosewood fingerboard with block inlays and 22 medium jumbo frets (including zero fret).
For accurate intonation, tuning stability and perfect return to pitch from the original vibrato design, the new generation Rapier Saffire 6 string guitar now features a smooth, friction-free, precision cut 43mm GraphTech Nubone nut, Wilkinson E-Z-Lok machine heads and high spec’d roller bridge.
Hardware upgrades also include a trio of Entwistle’s custom wound, Astrosonic single coil pickups, constructed with 7mm alnico 5, rod magnets mounted on a steel base plate, delivering a full rich dynamic response throughout all frequencies via a 5 way selector switch and single volume and tone pot. The latter, is wired with Entwistle’s own Smooth Track Tone Control circuitry, ensuring a gradual response and clarity throughout the full sweep of the tone control.
It’s quite apparent that Entwistle himself is a creative genius, as witnessed within the Saffire’s wiring, which includes the Entwistle ATN5, a 5-way rotary switch housed on the top horn offering a wide range of additional tonal extremities, from acoustic-like qualities, mid-range boost and high-end chime and clarity for extreme tonal versatility.
Specifically designed as a ‘player’s guitar’, the Rapier Saffire 6 string electric guitar, not only rekindles nostalgic memories for old-school players and collectors, it’s the professional choice for Britain’s new young talent, effortlessly lending itself to all styles, from country, jazz, pop, to blues and rock, whilst offering exceptional playability and performance.
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