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When you're sick of Strats, St. Vincent answers the call

Sterling by Music Man St. Vincent

If you wanted a guitar that's different, well, here it is.

There are two versions of this axe known as the St. Vincent. The Music Man version is over $2,000. The Sterling version seen above is much more reasonably priced, and that's the one I'm talking about here.

Quick specs: Mahogany body, rosewood fingerboard, 25.5" scale, 9.5" radius, 22 frets, HHH pickup layout.

For anyone that says that they're sick and tired of nothing but Strat and Les Paul shapes, the St. Vincent is your answer if you want something different.

Although the St. Vincent obviously has a unique look, this is a guitar for Strat players that want a different shape, as you will find things here inspired by the Stratocaster guitar.

The tremolo system will be very familiar. Strings go through the body and out the back, and there is a removable plate on the rear with a cutout, just like a Strat.

You've got 5-way switching here, also just like a Strat - with the exception this is 2-knob instead of 3-knob. And that's fine since most players, myself included, prefer 1 knob for volume and 1 for tone because it's easier to deal with.

Sterling by Music Man St. Vincent Rear

There is a contour cut on the back of the body, again just like a Strat but with the difference the cut is longer and larger due to the body shape.

The neck can best be described as Strat-ish, with the huge advantage that there is a truss rod adjustment wheel at the butt of the neck (something ordinarily only seen on high-priced Stratocaster models).

There is no single-coil hum on the St. Vincent since all three pickups are mini-humbuckers.

As for how this guitar sounds, the mini-humbuckers have good treble response and have that "sounds like humbucker" tone to them. This is basically what a Strat would sound like if it had 3 humbuckers in it. It's not the same "quack" as a Strat is, but if you can imagine a Stratocaster and Les Paul tones in the same guitar at the same time, that's more or less what the St. Vincent is. Yes, the guitar has a unique - and very usable - tonal character.

The best part about this guitar is that while it looks radically different, you do not have to learn the guitar all over again just to play it. It has good, thoughtful design.

Said another way, St. Vincent is different without being difficult, and it looks cool. I like it.

190114

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