I purchased this guitar at an absolute steal. I did fit the Les Trem ii and some Zebra pups I had lying around. They sound the same as the stock Entwhistle 58’s but just have more output which is what I prefer. This can be credited to the actual construction of the guitar which has an ‘inherent’ tone irrespective of the pickups fitted.
There have been many reviews on this guitar so this post is just to advise that the frets fitted are not nickel imo. My reason for coming to this conclusion is that;
A: The guitar is 12 years old and there is not a single mark on the frets although it has obviously been played
B: The frets are lighter in color than all my other guitars (Typical nickel color slightly yellow) and they also don’t tarnish
C: I tried polishing them with a Dremel but the buffing pad attached did not go black as is usually the case with nickel and my efforts made little to no difference.
D: I remember reading somewhere that they were made of a different material but cannot find that post any more.
Having owned more than 50 guitars in my lifetime from Gibsons, to Strats, PRS etc etc, I must ashamedly admit that the fit and finish of this example is right up there with the best. Yes the back is made of 3 pieces mahogany and the neck as well but really, who cares? It makes no difference in sound or build quality imo.
The neck is dead straight and the rosewood board fitted with SS ? frets is an absolute joy. Each fret is meticulously rounded on the ends so great care was taken in that department. The board is also fitted with what seems to be actual Mother of pearl inlays as it definitely ‘moves’ with the light. I haven’t got a guitar here atm with mother of toilet seat so I cannot confirm.
The beautifully deep wine red colored mahogany body which is a bit thinner than a usual LP, is capped with what seems to be a solid slab of Crotch Walnut finished in a nice subtle burst. It is double bound as is the neck and head stock. Removing the pickups reveals some depth to the top but without scraping the (black) finish inside the cavities this is un-confirmed. The top is a 2 piece book-matched affair.
Full size unmarked pots reside inside and the stock Entwhislte 58s sport a 5 wire harness easy enough to fit splitting coils or whatever you desire. I changed these out for some PAF style with braided wire I had lying around to get 8.5 and 10.5 Ohms output for some additional drive which I prefer. This did not change the inherent tone of the guitar which I am pleased about. If they did, I would have refitted the originals.
Talking of tone, ‘its all in the wood’ Yes we’ve heard that before but I can certainly say that this is the case in this example. It has a slight lift in the mid-range and a solid bottom end, not flubby like some of my other LP guitars. Is it the wood?? Who knows.
The neck is a very comfortable flatter C shape not dissimilar to some Ibanez speed models but still a bit thicker than those. Not as thick as a typical Gibbo. Similar to a modern Epiphone. The rear of the well proportioned headstock has a nice volute which gives the rear a nice solid look. It is fitted with what I can only describe as ‘top notch’ tuners possibly from the Ghotho family also un confirmed. They are after all these years completely un tarnished and plated in gold as is the rest of the hardware. They feel very solid when tuning as if they gears are well meshed and well greased. Very smooth. the top of the headstock is black fitted with Abalone Logo… Snazzy..
At this point, and for the money I spent (USD 240 excl the Les Trem) This is by far the nicest playing, and feeling guitar of the 50+ I have owned. She is definitely ‘a keeper’ and from what I can gather quite rare to boot. Currently my nr 1 at gigs. I am a guitar tech so I approached this review from a build quality perspective.
Score out of 10….
Body: 9 Only lost a point for the multiple piece construction
Fit and finish: 10
Value for money: 10
Compares somewhat to but is in my opinion better than:
Highest end Epiphone.
Highest end PRS SE