6/07/2018

2018 Eastwood "Warren Ellis" Baritone Tenor Electric Guitar



Don't be misled by Eastwood on this instrument -- a 26" four-string guitar means that this is a plectrum guitar with a different title (and tuning). Designed to be tuned like a 4-string mandocello in CGDA 5ths tuning (with the C a couple steps below guitar's low E), this should really be advertised as a "guitcello" or "cellitar" for the use they intend.

And -- persnickety comments aside -- I really, really like this instrument. I can't say that about a lot of Eastwood products (which are hit or miss for me), but this thing is interesting, feels good, and sounds good. It's a few steps up from Eastwood's average quality level and seems about the equal of any Fender Mexico instrument I've handled. It needed a good setup when it arrived, but after that it was playing like a champ.

I think it deserves to be used as intended -- with a low, 5ths tuning or open tuning jumping-off from that -- but the scale and generous fretboard width mean that one could certainly retune it to any number of plectrum banjo or ukulele-style tunings and rock it. The neck pickup is wound stout and sounds gorgeous -- a bit like a hot P90-meets-Charlie-Christian vibe where the notes slur just enough when you're picking on it. The Firebird-style mini-humbucker at the bridge, however, is underwound in comparison to the neck and that meant that the owner and I had to play with pickup heights a lot to get what we wanted out of it. We did get it dialed-in, though.


Tortoise on Olympic white is always a welcome look. This has a full-size Mustang-style body.


The beveled headstock and tortoise trussrod cover give a '60s high-end Teisco look.


The board is rosewood with medium-size frets.



At first glance, the bridge looks like it was custom-fit for these guitars -- and then you realize that it's probably from a fractional-size electric bass of some sort.


Those knobs, though!



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