SonicPulverizer 09/03/2012

Music Man Axis : SonicPulverizer's user review

« 80's Heaven... for some »
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The Musicman Axis features a figured maple top in a beautiful trans amber finish. Basswood body, maple bolt-on neck and a maple fretboard. In the Axis you'll find a pair of custom wound Dimarzio humbuckers routed through a single volume control and 3 way switch. Also sports Schaller tuners and a licensed Floyd Rose locking tremolo. I really enjoy the subtle birdseye details in the fingerboard, it's details like this that make the gutiar feel expensive.

UTILIZATION

The Axis is a blessing to you back. Having handled mostly heavy Les Paul styled guitars for most of my playing years, it is a relief to handle a guitar so lightweight. The small body shape makes the guitar feel very compact whilst maintaining a 25-1/2" scale length. It can take getting used to the ultra slim neck of the guitar, I found myself stumbling over quicker flurries of notes at first. Tuning stability is amazing with the locking tremolo reinforcing it.

SOUNDS

I played the Axis through a Soldano Astroverb head. Mesa 4x12 cab. No pedals.

The axis is supposed to invoke EVH sounds when thought of. I'm not particularly an EVH fan so I can't attest to it's accuracy in this regard. I do know, however, that the Axis can cop Thin Lizzy tones such as Jail Break and Chinatown perfectly. I wasn't all that fond of the clean sounds I was getting from the Axis, but the guitar wasn't exactly designed to play nice. The Axis excelled at mid gain sounds and not so much with high gain. The body shape does not lend itself to extended low end frequencies.

OVERALL OPINION

I will admit that the Musicman Axis has never really appealed to me. I have had many chances to play one and, until recently, always passed it up. The guitar sounds great, really. I just couldn't get adjusted to it. If your hands are accustomed to neck profiles similar to a Les Paul's, you may find it rather difficult to get your bearing on the Axis. I feel that the subtle aesthetic gestures and the brand image will justify the price to some, but I just couldn't connect with it.