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Thread: OLP Silhouette impression

  1. #1

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    OLP Silhouette impression

    Hi.

    I guess I'm not he first rambling about OLP and S.U.B guitars on this forum.
    Probably not interesting for those of you who have the real thing. But I want to share this.

    Last week I bought a OLP Silhouette from a lady for $150 incl. gig bag and shipping.
    She had never used the guitar and the plastic on the pickguard, back plate and tuners was still on.
    It didn't come with a tremolo arm. When I asked her about it, she didn't seem to know what it was.
    I asked her for a $20 refund, but I haven't heard from her.

    I had no expectations. Read some good and some bad about the OLP guitars.
    I just wanted a cheap guitar with single coils in the middle and neck position for recording Strat bits.
    Had a USA Strat Deluxe and an early 90's Japanese Squier that I sold. The squier sounded much better than the Deluxe by the way. Beautiful instrument and i miss it.
    Thought I swap the pickups on the OLP for some vintage sounding single coils
    in hope to get close to the sound of a vintage Strat.
    Anyway, I unboxed the guitar and picked it up. I could immediately feel the quality.
    The neck felt really good with nicely crowned fret ends. The weight of it was also surprising.
    Not light, not heavy, just right. Goldilocks...

    Probably worth mentioning that I've never played a $2000 Music Man or any Ernie Ball Music Man.
    I have a 1977 Music Man Stingray II. Fantastic guitar once you learn how to work those knobs and switches.

    I plugged it into my amp, tuned it and and started playing. I couldn't believe what I heard.
    The single coils sounded sparkly and full. Everything I liked with the Squier, but a bit more of everything.

    Then I did what I always do with Fenders; shorten the saddle screws so they recess into the saddle for comfort.
    Swapped the stings to my favourite brand, 011 gauge.
    Set it up to my liking and played it again. It hit all my Strat spots with a vengeance. Unbelievable.
    It even sounds better than one of my favourite guitars, a Fender Jazzmaster. Sh!t...
    Love this guitar so much. The neck is perfect for my hands, chunkier than a Strat.
    How on earth does a $2000 Music Man feel and sound like. I don't get it...
    I just have to try one some day. Or maybe not...

    But... not everything is bliss. The Humbucker doesn't sounds too good in my opinion.
    The pole screws are loose, you can just push them in and out. Too thin for the threads on the back plate.
    It has to go. I read on the Music Man website that the Silhouette comes with DiMarzio DP197 Virtual PAF.
    A bit strange since DiMarzio don't make them anymore.
    They recommended the DiMarzio DP223 PAF 36th Anniversary as the best alternative.
    I ordered one today for $75. I rarely use the bridge pickup on any of my guitars unless I fool around with Rock or Metal.
    I believe DiMarzio is the only big brand Humbucker I don't have. So I'm excited to hear how it rocks.

    Now the worst part: It will not stay in tune. It's the worst guitar I ever had when it comes to tuning stability.
    I don't even use the tremolo since I don't have the arm. I've lubricated the nut loosened the six screws
    on the tremolo. Done everything I did to the Squier and that one was perfect.
    Since I don't have the trem arm and read that a fender one will not fit, I ordered D18 Wilkinson Stainless Saddle Trem supposed to fit all Strats for $48. It's free floating with two anchors. Just enlarge the two outermost holes and set the anchors. It will fit 53 - 62 mm spacing. It also have a tension adjustable push in arm.
    Hope that'll sort it out.
    I use a locking loop when installing strings. Never failed me. So I don't think it is in that end of the guitar.
    We'll see...

    I'll keep you updated, (if anyone shows interest)

    OLP Silhouette impression-finn-bilde-jpg
    Last edited by obo; 02-20-2018 at 04:35 AM. Reason: "%R&"$#$#"

  2. #2

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    Well you’ve piqued my interest
    I look forward to pics after bridge replacement and new pickup plus the next review.

  3. #3

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    Hello:-)

    That's a nice guitar, the olp used to make cheap guitar but with good quality. Trust me I owned a olp luke and I was very happy (after a long changing parts process and professional luthier help); but trust me again, the Musicman guitars are totally other planet (in fact I sold the olp and I bought a real MM Luke II - A M A Z I N G).

    Yes as you are doing, I would have suggested you a pickup swap and of course all the hardware swap: the bridge and the turners are very important and, yes, the ones used on the olp are quite crap :-(
    I also suggest you, as you are having problems with tuning, to get your nut checked and, better, ask a new one, bone or tusc/graphtec.

    After all those changes, you'll have a quite good guitar, comfortable to play and with a very good sound! (I just said "quite good" because after having a MM guitar there is still a big difference - the main difference in my opinion is the quality in general but the wood used is amazing and the playability is great!)

    Keep us updated about it man!

    I attached 2 photos of my old olp, I was very proud of it :-)OLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215146-jpgOLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215118-jpg

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrapperJ View Post
    Well you’ve piqued my interest
    I look forward to pics after bridge replacement and new pickup plus the next review.
    I will document the bridge replacement with photos and post them here.
    Could be helpful if someone want to do the same thing.

    O_

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bebop80 View Post
    Hello:-)

    That's a nice guitar, the olp used to make cheap guitar but with good quality. Trust me I owned a olp luke and I was very happy (after a long changing parts process and professional luthier help); but trust me again, the Musicman guitars are totally other planet (in fact I sold the olp and I bought a real MM Luke II - A M A Z I N G).

    Yes as you are doing, I would have suggested you a pickup swap and of course all the hardware swap: the bridge and the turners are very important and, yes, the ones used on the olp are quite crap :-(
    I also suggest you, as you are having problems with tuning, to get your nut checked and, better, ask a new one, bone or tusc/graphtec.

    After all those changes, you'll have a quite good guitar, comfortable to play and with a very good sound! (I just said "quite good" because after having a MM guitar there is still a big difference - the main difference in my opinion is the quality in general but the wood used is amazing and the playability is great!)

    Keep us updated about it man!

    I attached 2 photos of my old olp, I was very proud of it :-)OLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215146-jpgOLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215118-jpg
    I will.
    I'll start with the bridge, since I have to replace it anyway.
    The nut and tuners are fine, I think. The tuning tends to go sharp. That's usually a tremolo problem in my experience.
    I have a graphite nut if the problem persist after the bridge change.

  6. #6

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    I've heard stories that the quality on OLPs was hit-and-miss, but most of the ones I played were good guitars for the price point. I had an MM1-F (the Axis clone) in natural that I got because I couldn't afford the Axis that I wanted. It served me well for a couple of years. I sold it shortly after I got my first EBMM, and I don't have a bad thing to say about it. It was rock solid, and as I recall, I actually sold it for the same amount I paid for it. There have been times that I kind of wish I'd kept it and done a few upgrades.

    As bebop pointed out, there's a huge difference between the OLP and EBMM, but there's also a huge price difference. In my experience, the neck profiles are a bit different. My MM1 neck, though comfortable, was much chunkier than my Axis neck (which happens to be the perfect neck on the planet). Obviously, you get a massive upgrade in materials, electronics, service and attention to detail with the real deal. Definitely get your hands on an EBMM one day, but I take no responsibility for the amount of money you'll spend once you do.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bebop80 View Post
    Hello:-)

    That's a nice guitar, the olp used to make cheap guitar but with good quality. Trust me I owned a olp luke and I was very happy (after a long changing parts process and professional luthier help); but trust me again, the Musicman guitars are totally other planet (in fact I sold the olp and I bought a real MM Luke II - A M A Z I N G).

    Yes as you are doing, I would have suggested you a pickup swap and of course all the hardware swap: the bridge and the turners are very important and, yes, the ones used on the olp are quite crap :-(
    I also suggest you, as you are having problems with tuning, to get your nut checked and, better, ask a new one, bone or tusc/graphtec.

    After all those changes, you'll have a quite good guitar, comfortable to play and with a very good sound! (I just said "quite good" because after having a MM guitar there is still a big difference - the main difference in my opinion is the quality in general but the wood used is amazing and the playability is great!)

    Keep us updated about it man!

    I attached 2 photos of my old olp, I was very proud of it :-)OLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215146-jpgOLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215118-jpg
    Thanks for your input by the way. I appreciate it.
    Nice LUKE.
    How many guitars does Music Man make that isn't a signature modell?

    O_

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by obo View Post
    How many guitars does Music Man make that isn't a signature modell?
    O_
    Silhouette, Armada, Cutlass, Stingray, Axis (though it started life as the EVH, so not sure it counts).
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by spychocyco View Post
    Silhouette, Armada, Cutlass, Stingray, Axis (though it started life as the EVH, so not sure it counts).
    Thanks for both inputs.
    I like the Armada, but I would never pay for it.
    If they have a Sterling version, maybe?
    I'm a recording musician. Quantity and diversity over quality all the way. A variety of different and good pickups, good strings, good amp and good recording techniques does it for me.

    I had a Fender Telecaster Baja Custom Chop. I believe that's the most expensive non USA Tele? Correct me if I'm wrong.
    The craftsmanship and feel of the OLP is far superior to the Tele Baja that costs around $1000 new.
    If the OLP's tremolo had been better, or if it had a hardtail, yeah... no contest.
    Anybody know in what price range the OLP Silhouette was when new? Hard to know what to compare it to.
    Last edited by obo; 02-22-2018 at 01:43 PM. Reason: #"$%&#%

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by obo View Post
    I'm a recording musician. Quantity and diversity over quality all the way.
    Really??
    Quote Originally Posted by obo View Post
    The craftsmanship and feel of the OLP is far superior to the Tele Baja that costs around $1000 new.
    REALLY???

    Second part really surprises me but as an engineer/musician I don't agree with the first at all.
    EBMM Stingray 4 HH Stealth Pearl
    SBMM SUB 4 Custom: Space Bass Refinish Aguilar OBP 3TK PP pre, Nordstrand pup, and GK3B Divided pup
    Oscar Schmidt Acoustic

    4 string bass>Roland GR 55 synth>EHX 95000 Performance Looper = endless entertainment

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKlein40 View Post
    Really??

    REALLY???

    Second part really surprises me but as an engineer/musician I don't agree with the first at all.
    Hi Max.

    OK. First part:
    I don't have any bad guitars, they are all quality instruments in my opinion, but I haven't paid more than $900
    for any of them.
    My answer was in general to claims that a Music Man is worth $2000 because of quality and wood. Maybe they are...
    I play guitar instrumentals with mostly clean sound. I like to hear the unprocessed sound of
    different pickup types and their characteristic sound.
    I use quality pickups - Humbuckers, Mini Humbuckers, Wide Range Humbuckers, P-90's, Lipstick, Filterstrons, Hi-Lo Trons,
    Jazzmaster pickups + Ibanez pickups, Jackson pickups and now with the OLP; Strat sized single coils (again).
    I have guitars from Hollowbodies to 6 and 7 string Super Strats. Also baritones and basses and
    good amps. (Two of them old Music Man). Thats my tools.
    If I play a guitar with Seymour Duncan Jazz in the neck position, you will maybe be able to recognise it.
    But will anyone be able to hear if its mounted on a $2000 or a $500 piece of wood? Or Music Man wood?
    I understand that good musicians need a good (sometimes expensive) instrument that let them play their best.
    What feels right is right, right?

    Second part:
    When I got the Tale Baja, I spent hours crowning the fret ends. They where very sharp.
    The switch and knobs felt flimsy. I didn't feel like a $1000 instrument at all. It did sound very good, though.
    The OLP has a very comfortable neck with nicely crowned frets.
    Switch and knobs feels solid with the right amount of resistance.
    Volume and tone cuts off gradually like my more expensive guitars.
    It feels to me like a $1000 (or more) guitar except for the tremolo and bridge pickup.

    I have played a Music Man S.U.B bass with upgraded pickups and a John East preamp (supposed to sound close to the original Sting Ray preamp). I was shocked how good it sounded. The best I've played.
    I want a EBMM Stingray bass. Unique sounding instrument.

    People will never stand united behind one instrument or manufacturer. The same with cars, shoes, shampoo and so on.

    Lets keep on disagreeing
    Last edited by obo; 02-23-2018 at 09:49 AM. Reason: %#/#/&"%"$

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bebop80 View Post
    Hello:-)

    That's a nice guitar, the olp used to make cheap guitar but with good quality. Trust me I owned a olp luke and I was very happy (after a long changing parts process and professional luthier help); but trust me again, the Musicman guitars are totally other planet (in fact I sold the olp and I bought a real MM Luke II - A M A Z I N G).

    Yes as you are doing, I would have suggested you a pickup swap and of course all the hardware swap: the bridge and the turners are very important and, yes, the ones used on the olp are quite crap :-(
    I also suggest you, as you are having problems with tuning, to get your nut checked and, better, ask a new one, bone or tusc/graphtec.

    After all those changes, you'll have a quite good guitar, comfortable to play and with a very good sound! (I just said "quite good" because after having a MM guitar there is still a big difference - the main difference in my opinion is the quality in general but the wood used is amazing and the playability is great!)

    Keep us updated about it man!

    I attached 2 photos of my old olp, I was very proud of it :-)OLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215146-jpgOLP Silhouette impression-20170722_215118-jpg

    I swapped to a graphtec nut. It helped a lot on regular playing. Tried the trem with a Jazzmaster arm; Still no good.

  13. #13

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    I completely agree that you can get a quality instrument for under $1K, even under $500, especially with all the mods you can make now. There are winners and losers at every price point. I have a Squier HM3 that I paid less than $200 for at a pawn shop in college that still sees regular playing time despite the other guitars I have in my collection and a $1,400 Les Paul that I've never really gotten on with. As a guy with quite a few useless, dust-collecting pawn shop guitars stuffed back in the closet that aren't worth the effort to try to sell, I can't agree with the general idea of quantity > quality, though. I'd trade every one of them for one quality sub-$500 guitar. But there are different levels of quality.

    That said, I also think the fit and finish on an EBMM gives it something a little extra that the under $1K guitar, no matter how good, can't match. I've got necks on cheaper guitars that I really like, that Squier for example, but none of them compare even remotely to the feel of my two Axis models, nor did the OLP Axis I owned or the SBMM Axis models that I've played. Not saying they're not good guitars, just that the EBMM is far better, IMO. I'd recommend at least playing one for comparison. I get that it's a personal thing, and the fit, finish and detail may not make it worth the extra money to you. For me, though, my two are worth every penny paid.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  14. #14

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    Well done mate, I'm sorry for the persisting problem. I would say that could be the bridge setting (springs, bridge quality, etc....) try to put something on the saddles to reduce friction. Oil, WD40 :-) or anything else you use to put (people is also using the lip balm - I prefer fluid stuff -)
    Last edited by bebop80; 02-23-2018 at 02:03 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by spychocyco View Post
    I completely agree that you can get a quality instrument for under $1K, even under $500, especially with all the mods you can make now. There are winners and losers at every price point. I have a Squier HM3 that I paid less than $200 for at a pawn shop in college that still sees regular playing time despite the other guitars I have in my collection and a $1,400 Les Paul that I've never really gotten on with. As a guy with quite a few useless, dust-collecting pawn shop guitars stuffed back in the closet that aren't worth the effort to try to sell, I can't agree with the general idea of quantity > quality, though. I'd trade every one of them for one quality sub-$500 guitar. But there are different levels of quality.

    That said, I also think the fit and finish on an EBMM gives it something a little extra that the under $1K guitar, no matter how good, can't match. I've got necks on cheaper guitars that I really like, that Squier for example, but none of them compare even remotely to the feel of my two Axis models, nor did the OLP Axis I owned or the SBMM Axis models that I've played. Not saying they're not good guitars, just that the EBMM is far better, IMO. I'd recommend at least playing one for comparison. I get that it's a personal thing, and the fit, finish and detail may not make it worth the extra money to you. For me, though, my two are worth every penny paid.

    I'm sure you're right.
    Where I live, there's no EBMM I can try. They are not common instruments here.
    I think my local music store have Sterlings on their website, but not in the show room.
    Thats one of the reasons I could get a 1977 Music Man Sting Ray II, good as new, for $750 and
    the OLP for $100. (I finally got a $20 refund for the missing arm). People here don't know the brand.
    I have two old MM amps, HD 130 and HD 150. They where given to me. His son had moved out years ago
    and didn't want them. "I have some old amps at home, you can have them, some old crap".
    They have served me well for 20 years. The HD 150 is fantastic on bass. HD 130 is good.
    Not a Fender. Sounds a bit harder.

    Maybe one day I'll prefer a couple of high end guitars, EBMM or something else. Everything is changing all the time.
    Last edited by obo; 03-02-2018 at 03:07 AM. Reason: "#$%%$#"#$%&

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