The fingerboard is a 12” to 16” compound radius, nailing that perfect balance between the greater traction desirable for playing chords closer to the nut, and extra reach desirable for soloing higher up on the neck. With the neck radius already quite fat at the nut, the flatter fretboard higher up the neck makes quite a difference when it comes to bending strings and executing tight hammer-ons and pull offs.
This is enhanced by the fact that the fingerboard has rolled edges, which provides the SD-2 with that ‘played in’ feeling instantaneously. Couple all of this with 22 jumbo frets and a deep cutaway, and the SD-2 truly puts the ball in your court when it comes to diversifying and expanding upon solos.
The SD-2 features a DiMarzio DP100F Super Distortion pickup on the bridge, and a DiMarzio DP-151 PAF PRO pickup on the neck, with a five-way pickup selector and volume control. The bridge pickup by itself captures the high-energy humbucker appeal; there’s oomph and vibrancy underlined by solid and penetrating lower frequencies.
Pickup position two engages the bridge inner coil, while pickup position four, conversely utilises the neck outer coil. Both of these positions deliver that whack, off-kilter split-coil sound. This can be dialed in to an atmospheric, contemplative twang, great for rock ballads that need some added grit. The middle position, on the other hand, is more multi-layered as it uses both inner coils. I like it for full and open chords, as it really brings out the presence of both pickups.
The neck pickup is responsible for delivering a low-end that drives deep into the guts. Cranking up the gain results in the tone breaking up and pulsating with the power of that heavy low-end. It produces dissonant, high-octane tones with the creaminess and articulation to meet the demands of both belting rhythm guitar and slaying lead.