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Thread: Comparing 2017 and 2018 Cutlass

  1. #1

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    Comparing 2017 and 2018 Cutlass

    As outlined here, I recently bought and returned a 2018 EBMM Cutlass HSS RS because of an issue with the neck pocket. I really liked the guitar, but wasnít in love with the neck profile. It was nice, but I found it a little thin and small in the open positions.

    As I thought about what to do, I went to try out a 2017 Cutlass SSS and 2018 Cutlass RS SSS that were in stock at a store in my area. What I found was that I really liked the neck profile on the 2017 ó and it felt very different from the 2018. The 2017 felt like the neck was thicker at the top of the fretboard and it had more rounded fretboard edges. The 2018 felt much thinner in the open chord positions and the fretboard edges were quite sharp.

    When I called EBMM, they said the necks on 2017 and 2018 Cutlass guitars should be identical. Apparently the only difference is the roasted maple vs. satin finish neck. The profile should be the same.

    Since I want the Charcoal Frost finish, I have to order online, which means I canít try the guitar first. If all things were equal, i.e., the new guitar felt like the 2017 model I played, Iíd buy the 2018 in a heartbeat ó the roasted maple is incredible.

    So, soliciting advice on:

    1. In othersí experience, are the neck profiles for the 2017 and 2018 Cutlass models identical? Or have you seen differences?

    2. What would you do? Buy the 2017 under the argument that the neck profile in that model year should be identical? Or take the word of EBMM and buy the 2018 model in the hopes it feels like the one I played in the store?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by carterscott View Post
    When I called EBMM, they said the necks on 2017 and 2018 Cutlass guitars should be identical. Apparently the only difference is the roasted maple vs. satin finish neck. The profile should be the same.

    Since I want the Charcoal Frost finish, I have to order online, which means I can’t try the guitar first. If all things were equal, i.e., the new guitar felt like the 2017 model I played, I’d buy the 2018 in a heartbeat — the roasted maple is incredible.

    So, soliciting advice on:

    1. In others’ experience, are the neck profiles for the 2017 and 2018 Cutlass models identical? Or have you seen differences?

    2. What would you do? Buy the 2017 under the argument that the neck profile in that model year should be identical? Or take the word of EBMM and buy the 2018 model in the hopes it feels like the one I played in the store?
    Every neck is going to be slightly different because they are finished manually. The shape should be broadly the same, but how the edges are rolled, etc, will vary depending on who finished the neck, etc. I have two Valentines, and their necks are not identical, but that's a feature of an instrument that gets individual attention from a craftsman, in my opinion.
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  3. #3

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    Of course there’s going to be variation in finishing, but the two guitars I mentioned felt nowhere near close to the same. One was phenomenal, the other was okay.

    Welcome any thoughts from others. Right now I’m leaning towards taking a chance and buying the 2028 and hoping the neck feels the same as the 2017 I played.

  4. #4

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    That’s a long time to wait for a new guitar.

  5. #5

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    For what it's worth, my first year run Cutlass SSS has sharp fret edges. Not rounded at all. Every EBMM guitar I've ever played has had similar but never identical feeling necks. There are so many stories about stock instruments that are massed produced but one factor or another makes it a "special" guitar for someone.

    If you really like that 2017, you should get that one. I wouldn't want to order a guitar and wait that long only to be disappointed that it wasn't what you imagined it would be.
    EVH - Blue Quilt
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  6. #6

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    I’ve had a 16 and sold it form an 18. They felt very similar profile wise. I still have the 18. I changed to get the roasted neck.
    But the handfinishing does leave potential for variations.
    Hard to say what is the best approach
    Albert Lee HH - White
    Cutlass RS SSS - Ivory White
    Cutlass RS HSS - Firemist Silver
    Cutlass Hunter Hayes - Lake Tahoe Blue
    St Vincent - BFR Trans Gold
    American Vintage 59 Strat - Sherwood Green

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlbasscatcher View Post
    That’s a long time to wait for a new guitar.

  8. #8

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    Have both - a 2016 SSS and 2018 RS HSS.

    I don't notice much a difference in neck profile - as others said, they are hand sanded so slight differences can occur.

    The biggest difference in mine is what kimonostereo reported- sharper fret-board edges on the 2016 whereas the 2018 was more rounded (and comfy in my opinion).

    Get what feels best to you - you can't go wrong either way!!!
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    EBMM Albert Lee SSS (Sky Blue)
    EBMM Majesty (Iced Crimson)
    EBMM Cutlass (Vintage Turquoise)
    EBMM L3 BFR (Blueberry Burst)
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    I don't notice much a difference in neck profile - as others said, they are hand sanded so slight differences can occur.
    Thanks, thatís helpful to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    The biggest difference in mine is what kimonostereo reported- sharper fret-board edges on the 2016 whereas the 2018 was more rounded (and comfy in my opinion).
    Interesting, I found the exact opposite experience. The 2017 I played was really comfortable and the 2018 dug into my hand a bit more. I guess Iíll just chalk it up to finishing differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    Get what feels best to you - you can't go wrong either way!!!
    On feel alone, Iíd go with the 2017. But I think the roasted neck looks killer. Real issue is that I canít try before I buy.

  10. #10

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    You'll end up playing the one that fits like a glove a lot more despite the color. Get and keep the one you feel at one with. If you hate the color that much, put some stickers on it, or just live with it and grow to love it/make it your own. Like others have mentioned, having a guitar made then getting a neck you are uncomfortable with would not be ideal.
    Black Luke II

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    The biggest difference in mine is what kimonostereo reported- sharper fret-board edges on the 2016 whereas the 2018 was more rounded (and comfy in my opinion).
    I had a 2017 SSS and moved to a 2018 RS.
    Again, like others here, I thought the non roasted model had a far sharper profile to the fretboard edge than does my RS, which feels more rounded-over.

    Interestingly, a mate has a HSS 2017 bought when I got my SSS, same shop and time: The beveling on the fret ends is different - the angle is more shallow on mine and more vertical on his: Evidence of hand-finishing I think.
    Small difference but can have a huge impact on how the guitar feels.

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