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This article was originally published in issue #53
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The Canadian Maple neck certainly felt smooth to play; the build quality is outstanding. Nothing got in the way while playing this instrument. The Hanji inlays do look cool and perhaps are the only feature on this guitar that makes it aesthetically stand out aside from this sleek design and matte black finish, it’s subtle and understated.
Quality Build for the price.
Sleek design and great looks
Not versatile tonally
After building guitars for some of the world's best-known rock & roll superstars, including John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin and Matt Bellamy from Muse. Hugh Manson has developed a reputation for high quality. With that in mind, he has collaborated with Cort Guitars to create two new electric guitar models for 2017, the M-Jet and Classic TC. Sam Bell takes the former out for a spin in this issue.
In this review, I shall be looking at the M-Jet which resembles a more modern take on the classic T-Style guitar design we all know and love. Hugh Mason is the mastermind behind Mason Guitar Works and has built custom designed guitars have gained a reputation in the musical instrument building industry for forwarding thinking and innovative design. However what makes the M-Jet unique?
The guitar features a T-Style design with a single cutaway with a recessed horn for improved upper fret access. The American Basswood body features a tummy cut and an arm bevel contour for increased comfort; this is an ergonomic enhancement on the classic T-Style design which can dig into your ribs and forearm. The guitar features a classic two-piece tailpiece that is often found on many popular hardtail style guitars; this has been known to increase sustain and improve tuning stability. The guitar features two humbucking pickups which are controlled by a single volume and three-way toggle switch which is nicely placed under the volume control for ease of access. The Mason Dual Humbucker pickups are specifically voiced for this guitar featuring a slightly higher output bridge pickup for a tighter low end and enhanced lower mid-range. The neck pickup has been voiced for a more rounded sound with classic vibes. The bolt-on neck is made from Canadian Hard Maple and features 24 medium jumbo frets over a 25.5-inch scale length; the rosewood neck has Chinese number characters as fret inlays, this has been dubbed the ‘Hanji’ inlay on the Cort Guitars website. Finally, the headstock features a modern take on the T-style design with locking tuners and staggered tuning posts.
The Canadian Maple neck certainly felt smooth to play; the build quality is outstanding. Nothing got in the way while playing this instrument. The Hanji inlays do look cool and perhaps are the only feature on this guitar that makes it aesthetically stand out aside from this sleek design and matte black finish, it’s subtle and understated. Personally, my only issue was that sonically this guitar didn’t respond tonally. It sounded a little one dimensional, and in spots on the neck, it felt slightly unresponsive. The notes didn’t seem to pop of the fretboard or bloom acoustically, and the pickups sounded quite muddy. However, this could likely be remedied with a different pairing of amplifier. This made my personal playing experience quite difficult to make a real judgment on; maybe I am not the type of player this guitar was designed for?
I'm not sure, but, if you are looking for a very affordable guitar with quality feel and looks, this might be the guitar for you. I would then suggest making your judgment on the pickups/tonal response of the guitar. A particular amplifier or even pickup swap might bring this top quality instrument truly to life.
"Hanji" special inlays
Staggered locking tuners
Manson Humbucker Pickups