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C Fouke Industrial Fly
Overall Rating
Submitted: December 27th, 2003
by Orren Merton
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Sound Quality
I am not sure how you would describe what I play, but I guess you could call it Techno Rock. I wanted an electric guitar that would lend itself to everything from gut crushing savage grind to glassy clean folky riffs. I took my time before writing this review--I've had the guitar for months now--and I can say with authority that even though the honeymoon period is over, I am still in love with this guitar. It has a substancial presence even unplugged, which is great for practice, and when you plug it in, what you play is what you hear. Any electric guitar is only going to sound as good as its pickups, and the Armstrong pickups are able to translate the power and sustain of this guitar very well. It has a bright sound, full and clear but still thinner than a wooden hollowbody guitar. It can sustain for days. It sounds great either distorted or clean in humbucker or split mode. Sometimes I've wished for a "woodier" tone, depending on the sound I'm going for, but hey, it's aluminum after all! I'm guessing that a Mahogany neck might "mellow" the sound a bit, but of course not having one, I can't be sure. The way it is works for what I play, so I am happy.
Reliability/Durability
This guitar is aluminum. You can smudge it, but I'm betting that 90% of the damage common to wood guitars when you drop them, they tumble off their stand, etc. wouldn't even touch this puppy. The wood neck, of course, is as vulnerable as any wood neck, but Chris's bolt-on work looks absolutely rock solid, so I certainly have no complaints.
Price/Value
General Comments
I've been playing guitar seriously, at home, onstage, and in the studio, for 15 years now. I've owned a sizable number of mediocre guitars, and the occasional good one. This guitar definitely ranks as one of the best. I would not hesitate in ordering another custom guitar from Chris. With different pickups, tremolo options, neck woods, you can really make every aluminum guitar play and sound different, and his workmanship is wonderful. Considering that other models of aluminum/metal guitars sell for 2-3 times what Chris charges, I think these guitars are some of the best kept secrets in the guitar world.
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