What you are paying for with this instrument is the build quality and standard of components. Don't expect any case candy or even a fancy case, just a typical g and g type job but a very big centre pocket for storing your nick nacks which is gooood. There is a simple but clear build sheet. I have always been a strat man with a playing style similar to that of Mr K. I have an 80s Schecter ST In my arsenal, an old tele which I never use and threw in a custom shop strat to buy this, which has been a dream of mine for some time. I like and am used to a vintage 60s c profile neck. This guitar has a flat Indian rosewood board. Different but certainly not displeasing. There is a nice shallow draft to the mahogany neck and abalone position markers which are small but can be seen in the ivoroid neck binding in low light. Useful! The stainless steel frets are an excellent choice. Thin and finished perfectly. The body of the guitar is a lovely mahogany (the same as the neck) and is flawlessly made and presented with an angled cutaway heel section. Full ivoroid binding around the solid carved quilted maple cap in a gorgeous caramel colour. So far so good. The guitar is not light, but not too heavy either and given the hardware on board is less weighty than you might expect. All the hardware is gold with the strings nailed down at the nut and into a Gotoh Floyd Rose at the blunt end. Surprisingly, the Floyd was down on the deck when I got this and I had to set it up to float. Mildly annoying on a four grand guitar but I am sure the factory has its reasons. The guitar keeps in tune well and the Floyd is sensitive and does its job well. For me, the wammy bar is a little closer to my picking hand than I'm used to but I can learn to live with that and there is none of the worry of over tightening the arm and wrecking the thread as happens on a traditional strat trem assembly. It seems to function better tuning wise than a two pivot job and the arm seems to sit in just the right area. The only downside of course is that to some, the Floyd is a techy looking unsightly lump and you might find it coming into contact regularly with your picking mitt. Again it's what you're used to. Pickups: two EMG SA and a EMG 85 in the bridge. This is my first guitar with active pickups. The difference in tone and output is frankly incredible...and a little bit devastating. The tones are wonderful, clear rounded with just "more" of everything and the SPC tone control rolls off some brashness very well. The SA85 I think has a very high output and doesn't sit perfectly in my view with the middle pickup for traditional out of phase strat tones. I am having to use middle and neck position to get that. Once you're used to it the bridge pick up will provide a significant boost when selected with a lot of grit and you might not need to engage your overdrive pedal for that blues grind. Indeed, pull the tone pot and your into searing lead mode which feels like a nitrous injection to my ds1 pedal. Be warned though you may find yourself fiddling with the tone and volume control in the middle of your favourite solo to tame the beast. For me the jury is out in terms of working practicality. We will see. So in a nutshell, an expensive, magnificently built instrument oozing class and quality which may take a little getting used to. Oh, and be sure to buy some strap locks first. You wont want to drop this!
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peffert's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
June 11, 1988, Mark Knopfler appears in concert tribute to Nelson Mandela with a totally unknown instrument at the time and he will play for a decade ... This is a Pensa Suhr guitar made especially for the guitarist. Rudy Pensa is a seller of renowned guitars in New York and working at the time with John Suhr, which manufactures instruments for Rudy. This Pensa Suhr was studied on the idea of Rudy Pensa collaboration with Suhr and Knopfler. The goal was to create a guitar scene to have a compromise between the "Fender" style and "Gibson" style, thus avoiding changing unexpectedly Mark Knopfler guitar at his concerts. The result a mahogany body with a maple table stuck like a Gibson Les Paul, the table is "carved top" (convex) as the Gibson but the form is stratabound. Two single coil pickups (Fender-type sound) and a Humbucker (Gibson-type sounds). Type vibrato "floyd rose" but based on the table (ie not "floating" giving more sustain as a Gibson) and a lock nut ropes. The latter tremolo system was adopted for the meeting of the guitar tuning, not for its versatility, Knopfler is not a big fan of this type of vibrato. In a few words the history of this instrument exception.
Pensa today continues to sell these guitars and it has the exclusive give the name of MK (Mark Knopfler) has its models. John Suhr, though, has created his company in 1997 in Lake Elsinore, California where he produces guitars including the standard carve top model "knopfler spec" is a simile Varsity Pensa Shur I just mentioned.
characteristics may change from one model to another depending on option requested, these guitars are manufactured on demand. Regarding the one I am pleased we have:
quilted maple top 3/4 inch thick,
mahogany neck backshape (.840 "to .920")
rosewood fretboard, compound radius 10 "- 14"
Dunlop 6105 stainless steel frets
creme binding on body, neck & headstock,
Pickups: EMG SA, EMG SA, EMG 85 in cream
EMG SPC mid boost circuit (push / pull pot)
Gotoh Floyd Rose tremolo
Gotoh Kluson style tuner staggered Nonlocking
trans caramel color
Abalone dots and logo
since I saw this guitar in 1988, I always dreamed of having a recently ... and this dream has become reality!
And I'm not disappointed! quite the contrary!
Ergonomics is so perfect that you forget the instrument and can focus solely on the game! The back of the neck is very smooth with a thick varnish which gives a feeling of being oiled, like a Les Paul, but with a stratabound profile. access to the treble is just amazing, no obstacle.
The violin is to die for! surgical finishes. The most beautiful instrument I've ever touched. The frets his polished to perfection, the settings (accuracy, action, leveling the frets ..) reach a level of perfection that I have ever seen on other stringed instruments!
In short we are in the super premium!
So yes you tell me, it's beautiful, it's well done but the sound?
This instrument is not only beautiful, it sounds wonderful!
on its highly crystalline single pickups, very punchy with a great dynamic! I have the same EMG SA on a Godin but with Suhr sounds much deeper, with rich bass. The violin is not there for nothing! it is whether the microphones are not manufactured with special specifications for "matcher" perfectly with the instrument!
The sustain is phenomenal, it is certainly related to vibrato that rests on the table.
About vibrato is actually a gotoh floyd, but it is not floating and based on the table, which avoids detuning in case of breakage of strings. It can operate it as loosen the strings. Those looking for a guitar to play vibrato to Setve Vai must go their way, it is not the intent of this guitar. For cons, the advantage of this system is that the guitar no moving at tuning. The string change is against quite tedious because it requires the use of tools (allen wrenches, pliers to cut the "ball" of the string before passing the vibrato ..)
selector positions allow a wide variety of sounds, all very well defined. This guitar sounds as good as its clear that its full, accurate notes, it does not "drool" no. The tone knob gives the EMG SPC system (Strat presence control) mode on / off, ie that the system is active or not, the remaining potentiometer setting the tone (not intensity of boost when the SPC is active). The SPC can put a "kick ass" sound, and out of the mix for a party lead.
Difficult to define without comparing her ... say it is, neither Fender or Gibson. I do not think you buy this instrument to find a super strat or another, I think it is in its own category.
I have since yesterday, but I know I got the holy grail! I have 14 other guitars but Suhr is off category! For a Gibson custom shop budget, I made the choice to take the Suhr, I should be very personal choice, but for me the choice of difference, except, of scarcity, the best and dream!