MAPLE TREE HUGGER
The materials list is pretty much standard: a mahogany body with a quilt maple top (and this is most definitely a top rather than a veneer – the edges of it are unfinished and there’s a carve on the bass side that also gives you a peek at the unpainted timber to let you see just how chunky it is); the neck is made of mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard; there are 22 frets and a three-a-side headstock which carries Grover tuners.
At the other end you’ll find a Tune-O-Matic-style bridge and a Diamond Custom Stop Tail with an engraved logo. The neck carve is a little fl atter than you might expect of a guitar of this style, perhaps a little more shreddy but not to ‘Ibanez Wizard’ dimensions or anything like that. The pickups are a pair of humbuckers co-designed by Diamond’s Jeff Diamant and Seymour Duncan and handmade in the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop in Santa Barbara, California. The controls are a master volume and a master tone control with a pushpull coil split which works for both pickups at once, and a three-way pickup selector.
PICK ME UP
The bridge pickup has plenty of attack and a tight, chunky low end. It also has lots of output, which makes it great for palm-muted chugs or screaming solos alike. It’s a little more reigned in the high end, so it’s not as rich as you might hope, but the neck pickup more than makes up for it. When you crank up the gain, the neck pickup gives you a juicy, Gary Moore-esque timbre with lots of pick attack and sustain, and a real sense of interactivity. When you roll the gain back and go for a clean sound, it’s delicate and detailed but still full enough to hold its own. Pop the coil split and both pickups take on a pleasantly ‘hollow’ vibe with scooped mids and brighter high end. The middle position is the big standout here, with the fullness of the neck pickup being balanced out by the clarity of the bridge.
The aggressive points might or might not be for you, but if you’re looking for a versatile guitar that can handle anything from smooth jazz to angry, angry metal it’s worth a look.