Monday, January 10, 2011

Indie #29 - 'Shape custom double cut' wine red

So, there's an element of coming full circle here. My first Indie was a 'double cut semi-hollow shape' and almost 30 guitars later here's another one. Also, the first was an 'orphan' i.e. a b-stock item straight from Indie and so is this. I never actually found where the obvious blemish on the first one was, but this has a little fault in the neck binding and has obviously been very lightly used, perhaps for demos.

This is a new for 2010 model, taking the semi-hollow double-cut shape body and this time going with humbuckers (with fetching zebra bobbins) rather than P90s and adding a new control layout with two volumes and master tone. They've also upgraded the bridge to a fully adjustable Tonepros item instead of the old fixed-intonation one.

These changes add a little more flexibility, refinement and by moving to humbuckers perhaps a broader appeal. Total Guitar certainly seemed to like it and there's a pretty decent review here.

Adding the extra volume control has used up the position previously used for the pickup selector, so they've moved this forward to the lower horn. I really like this position, it's where it is on my Indie Shredder and on the Washburn NX3. It's not a particularly common position for it, but I think this really works.

There are lots of other little improvements and tweaks which seem to be aimed at making the guitar stand out in a crowded field, while not really costing a great deal to do. The maple neck now has a clear satin finish, the fretboard is now bound and there are trapezium inlays, much like you'd expect on a Les Paul. Although I always quite liked the Indie logo at the 12th fret and it looks particularly classy on the Shape natural.

In play it does the usual thing pretty nicely. Twin humbuckers and a set neck is well trodden territory but unless my ears deceive me the sound chamber and maple neck perhaps make it slightly brighter than my other similar Indie Shape guitars.

Both volume controls have been fitted with a treble bleed circuit, which really helps keep things clear when rolling down the volume, especially on the neck pickup. This was done on my Shape Floyd as well, so I guess Indie have started doing this as standard.

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