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C Fouke Industrial Custom Jazz Box
Overall Rating
Submitted: July 28th, 2002
by Scott Martin-tSSBq
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Sound Quality
I've had the guitar for almost a week now, and have played it extensively at home and at a rehearsal with one of my current bands. My musical projects vary from a jazz-rock-funk instrumental quartet to a goth-rock project to solo experimental looping. The acoustic sound on this instrument is remarkably full, even though it's only an inch thick. Chris used a thinner gauge aluminum for this guitar in order to cut down on weight, and he claims that this produces a stronger acoustic voice than his other Industrials. Since this is the only Industrial I've ever played, I'll have to take his word for it, but I love the way it sounds. My current signal chain is pretty simple: guitar into a Digitech Genesis3 modeling preamp, and then into a PA or a Peavey keyboard amp (or headphones when I'm at home). I'd love to hear this guitar through a real-deal tube amp at some point, but through the Genesis, it's got all the tone I ever wanted. I got the clean sound of my dreams by mixing a clean tube model with the direct sound of the guitar: sparkling highs, rich and full lows. My favorite distorted program is the Boutique (based on a Matchless DC30); the Industrial dishes out focused, clear lead tones and tight rhythms. The only tone I've been unable to get with it is a scooped-mid nu-metal tone, but this may be the fault of the Genesis, as I haven't been happy with those tones with my other guitars either. Since it's a hollowbody, the guitar does tend to feed back with high-gain sounds, but it's a musical sort of feedback which lends itself well to experimentation (cool trick: barre at the 5th, 7th, or 12th fret and tap or knock on the body to start harmonics). Speaking of which, this guitar gets IMPOSSIBLE harmonics - 4th-fret harmonics are clear acoustically, and high-gain tones with the bridge pickup yield striking 3rd and 15th-fret harmonics that I haven't been able to achieve with my wood solidbodies. This is the tone by which my future guitars will be judged.
Reliability/Durability
It's made of aluminum. How durable do you think it is? I could probably stop a bullet with this thing. Hardware is tight, strap buttons are great. The finish is already starting to accumulate some light scratches, but my feeling is that they will only add to the character of the guitar over time. I don't expect this guitar to ever have any serious problems, although I would never play a gig without a backup (having painfully learned that lesson just last week).
Price/Value
General Comments
I've been playing for about 10 years now, and like most players, I've been through a number of guitars in that time, ranging from a cheap Crestline Explorer copy to a Steinberger Spirit to a mid-80s Yamaha SBG1000. My current arsenal includes the Industrial, a Yamaha Pacifica 311 (the Mike Stern Tele), and a Kramer Focus for single-coil sounds. This is, without a doubt, the best-sounding guitar I've ever played. It will never leave my possession voluntarily, and anyone who makes off with it had best be prepared to reap some SERIOUS bad mojo. Chris has a unique vision, and I'm proud to have been able to participate in it, and to own such a fantastic guitar. My only fear is that I won't be satisfied with anything but an Industrial in the future - but, given the prices he charges, it's a managable addiction. I encourage anyone who wants a unique and beautiful custom guitar to check out www.industrialguitar.com, and prepare to be stunned.
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