Versatile solid bodies
Marrying humbucking power to crisp single-coil cut, these crowd-pleasing, high-spec electrics are built to do it all
We guitarists each have our own individual gear needs, with some features essential to our playing. But when shelling out £500 plus for a solid-bodied electric, in expectance of an instrument with heaps of pro-quality features, the mind wanders. We imagine, or rather, we remember all the different styles that we’d like to play, all the tonal options that might not be mission-critical but are, nonetheless, hugely desirable. This month’s round-up is for all those wracked with doubts: the metal head who plays Talking Heads covers in a wedding band, the session players, the teachers – and those who haven’t really decided on what sort of guitarist they want to be. Perhaps that’s most of us. These guitars are spec’d for versatility, with coil-splitting humbuckers offering a wide spectrum of tone, and all are eminently playable. We have a Yamaha Pacifica 611 VFMX, a Charvel Pro Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT, Schecter Banshee-6 Extreme and a Fender Deluxe Stratocaster HSS. The Pacifica and the Strat are ubiquitous standard bearers, thoughtfully retooled, while Charvel and Schecter prove that you can build a guitar to shred and retain a softer underbelly for blues, soul, funk... whatever. Sometimes the ‘whatever’ is what we wanted all along.