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Review

Shergold Masquerader SM04-SD

Issue #56

When I plugged in for the first time, I found the response of the guitar to be very balanced. Chords sound full, in tune and have plenty of string separation.
Danny Gill

 PROS


High-quality parts

Good tone

A lot of guitar for the money


Cons


The design may not be for everyone


SPECS


Mahogany Body

Rosewood Neck

Seymour Duncan ‘59 Neck Pickup

Seymour Duncan TB-4 Bridge Pickup

Guitar Interactive star rating:  4.5 stars

Shergold Masquerader SM04-SD

MSRP £799 (UK)  $TBA (US)


Shergold Masquerader SM04-SD

Recreated for the 21st Century by UK born guitar luthier, Patrick James Eggle, the Shergold Masquerader has captured the very essence of British Rock ‘n’ Roll, but with a modern twist. Danny Gill test drives the Shergold Masquerader SM04-SD.

As a fan of Patrick James Eggle and Faith acoustic guitars, I was curious to try the relaunched Shergold line of solid body electrics also headed up by the famed British luthier. Shergold has four new guitars in their line, each boasting different features while retaining their distinctive design. The model I reviewed is the Masquerader SM04-SD which differs from the first three models in a number of different ways. Perhaps most significant is the switch from a rosewood neck to a mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard. This seems to be an industry trend in response to the restrictions on importing and exporting rosewood. The mahogany/ebony combination offers a dark, rich tone which has been seen and heard before; most notably on a Les Paul Custom.

While the guitar boasts an old school look, the features are distinctly modern and high- end, especially for a guitar in this price range. Here are some of the basic features:

  • Locking Tuners
  • Tusq Nut
  • 12” Fingerboard Radius (similar to a Gibson)
  • 42.5 mm nut width
  • Medium Jumbo Frets
  • Seymour Duncan pickups. (JB in the bridge, ’59 in the neck). There is also a push-pull coil tap on the tone knob
  • 22 Fret Bolt-On Neck
  • Brass Saddles on Shergold’s own Tele style bridge
  • Thru-Black High Gloss Lacquer finish

When unboxing the guitar and strumming a few chords acoustically, the Masquerader gave a nice resonant ring which is always a good sign. The action felt a bit stiff but nothing a quick setup wouldn’t cure. The staggered aluminium fret markers are another unique feature of the Masquerader and can take a bit of getting used to. The contoured body is very comfortable to sit with, and the Masquerader is very well balanced overall.

When I plugged in for the first time, I found the response of the guitar to be very balanced. Chords sound full, in tune and have plenty of string separation. The JB kicks out a lot of midrange power and produces a sweet sustaining overdrive yet cleans up nicely when turning the volume down. In the neck position, the guitar had a thick tubular tone that showed off the resonance of the mahogany.

Splitting the coils gave the guitar a cutting Fender-esque tone while still maintaining much of the guitars original output. I especially enjoyed the warmth of the single coils when in the middle position using both pickups.

I would describe the neck as a ‘full-bodied’ C shape; not quite as big as a 50’s profile Gibson but certainly larger than the 60’s profile.  My overall impression of the Shergold Masquerader SM04 is that this is a very solid guitar for the money. High-quality parts, good tone and comfortable playability, to go along with the retro vibe.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

shergoldguitars.com

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