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Thread: NGD: Hunter Hayes Cutlass

  1. #1

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    Post NGD: Hunter Hayes Cutlass

    Sorry for the long post, but there was a lot to say about this one.

    A couple years ago, well after Iíd contracted MMGV (Music Man Guitar Virus), my son and I had the chance to catch a performance by Hunter Hayes at his labelís HQ. It was a set of 8-10 songs in front of a crowd of probably 250, and we were less than 5 ft from the stage. It was a great chance to observe his custom Cutlass guitars, which by then were, I think, very close to being, or perhaps were already, final prototypes of what would be released so far as the electronics are concerned.

    There were several things that immediately caught my eye: hard-tail bridge, brass piezo saddles, a toggle switch down between the second and third knobs. We had the chance to talk to his tech briefly after the set, and he confirmed the piezo, but didnít share a lot more about the changes from a stock Cutlass. He did suggest they were working toward a signature offering. I knew that day that I wanted one of these if and when they became available to purchase, so I did what any smart forum user would do - I called Pete DuBaldo the next day.

    Fast-forward to January 2019, and on day 1 of NAMM I see news that EBMM has announced the limited release of the Hunter Hayes Cutlass. When I received confirmation from Pete that he had ordered me one, needless to say I was excited and looking forward to getting this thing in my hands.

    So before anything else, a huge ďTHANK YOU!!Ē to Pete for being such an outstanding guy and serving his customers so incredibly well. Iíve seen him go above and beyond so many times, Itís truly a remarkable experience doing business with him. Heís never failed to deliver what he said he would.

    I had several things I was uncertain about when I saw the actual specs on the H.H. signature model. First, with no tone knob, would it fit into what I play? Would the ďneck blendĒ control be useful for me? Would I like the thinner neck carve?

    A few weeks ago, I had the chance to play one in a GC in Nashville. We plugged it straight into a vintage Fender amp in their platinum room (I donít recall even noticing which model, sadly - I wasnít there for the amp), and I was blown away by the tonal range of the guitar. The neck carve, while noticeably thin, was very comfortable. In short, my anticipation cranked up significantly.

    (IF YOU READ PAST HERE, MAKE SURE YOU READ IT ALL TO GET THE CORRECT TAKEAWAY)

    Yesterday I saw those magical words ďOut for deliveryĒ when I looked at the tracking. I had to get through meetings in the afternoon without too much obvious distraction before I could get home and open it up. I grabbed my son, whoís a huge guitar junky also, and we broke it out. I plugged it into my main rig (a few pedals into a Kemper/interface/Yamaha studio monitors).

    And then I was perplexed. It seemed overly bright, sometimes harsh, even shrill at times. I could find certain amp profiles (I use almost exclusively MBritt profiles, which are generally very well done) that might be usable, but I was really struggling with this guitar. I resorted to plugging into my 20W Blackstar HT Studio, and it was better there, but I was still scratching my head.

    After hours of experimenting, I decided to make a simple, but as it turns out, fundamental change. The guitar came with M-Steel 10-46 strings, and I changed to 10-46 Regular Slinky strings.

    And THAT was what I was looking for!! We were both blown away by how much of a difference a set of strings could make. The guitar was now what I would call very well balanced, and an absolute joy to play. I obviously donít have Hunterís rig (or his fingers/ability) so the M-Steels may work fantastically well for him as a lead guitarist fronting his own act. For me, playing mostly rhythm in a band context, the Slinkys are without question the way to go for my ears and rig. (Another possible factor here is that we long ago switched my sonís Cutlass from the stock 9-46 M-Steel to the 9-46 hybrid Slinky set, so Iím accustomed to that tone from his guitar, also.)

    Bottom line: The Hunter Hayes guitar is an absolute home-run from the Hunter/EBMM collaboration! The pickups are great. They are clearly different from standard Cutlass singles, but I need more time comparing them to feel comfortable trying to describe how they differ in tone/output. The versatility afforded by the neck-blend is remarkable. Having played my sonís Cutlass a lot over the years, I prefer the vintage bridge on the H.H. model for palm-muting near the saddles. The neck is very comfortable. The piezo into the right amp is great, and Iíll blend it in at times, Iím sure.

    I absolutely expect I will be playing the fool out of this guitar for a very long time.

    Iím honestly amazed that this is the first NGD post for one of these. Last time I checked, there were still several of them on Reverb, and a few other dealers still had them available. Donít sleep on the Hunter Hayes Cutlass! Itís a great option, especially if you like hard-tails as I generally do.

    Iíll try to get some better photos soon, but it will be a little while before I have time to do so. Capturing the color on this one is tricky - somewhere between medium blue and turquoise is the truth - but here are a few I took with my phone in a room with a combination of both natural and artificial light.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NGD: Hunter Hayes Cutlass-img_5145-2-jpg   NGD: Hunter Hayes Cutlass-img_0147-2-jpg   NGD: Hunter Hayes Cutlass-img_0027-2-jpg  
    ---------------
    Hunter Hayes Cutlass in Lake Tahoe Blue
    Valentine BFR in Three-tone Burst
    Luke 3 HH in Starry Night
    Valentine in Trans Maroon
    Reflex Game Changer HSH with Piezo

  2. #2

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    Congratulations, enjoy!! Haven't read the essay yet =D

    JPXI Cardinal Red G57082
    JP12 Cherry Sugar G59225
    JP12 7 Cardinal Red F29322
    MAJESTY Glacial Frost M08083
    MAJESTY Ferrari Rosso M07113
    ARTISAN MAJESTY 7 Rosso M04775
    NOMAC MAJESTY Timeworn Matte Silver M06246
    MAJESTY Charred Silver Sparkle M08237

  3. #3

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    How is the neck carve compared to a stock Cutlass? Is it the same?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlbasscatcher View Post
    How is the neck carve compared to a stock Cutlass? Is it the same?
    Significantly thinner. Think Axis SS but without the asymmetrical profile.
    ---------------
    Hunter Hayes Cutlass in Lake Tahoe Blue
    Valentine BFR in Three-tone Burst
    Luke 3 HH in Starry Night
    Valentine in Trans Maroon
    Reflex Game Changer HSH with Piezo

  5. #5

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    Congratulations! That's a real beauty!
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

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    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  6. #6

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    Beauty! I’m about to put my vintage turquoise Cutlass RS up for sale to part fund one of these. Got word they are coming to the UK, probably end of the year. Gonna get mine sold and whack the money down as a deposit
    Albert Lee HH - White
    Cutlass RS SSS - Ivory White
    Cutlass RS SSS - Vintage Turquoise (SOLD)
    St Vincent - BFR Trans Gold
    Valentine (Trem) - Toluca Lake Blue
    American Vintage 59 Strat - Sherwood Green

  7. #7

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    Wow congrats!!! Looks great!!!

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!!"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrapperJ View Post
    Beauty! I’m about to put my vintage turquoise Cutlass RS up for sale to part fund one of these. Got word they are coming to the UK, probably end of the year. Gonna get mine sold and whack the money down as a deposit
    Awesome - you won’t be disappointed!
    ---------------
    Hunter Hayes Cutlass in Lake Tahoe Blue
    Valentine BFR in Three-tone Burst
    Luke 3 HH in Starry Night
    Valentine in Trans Maroon
    Reflex Game Changer HSH with Piezo

  9. #9

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    Cool Story and nice guitar, congrats. Cant agree more on the hardtail, my preference as well.

  10. #10

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    That is awesome!! Congrats!! Great story
    EBMM Axis Super Sport (Pacific Blue Burst)
    EBMM L3 HH (Olive Gold)
    EBMM L3 HSS Roasted (Bodhi Blue)
    EBMM Silo Special (Blue Dawn)
    EBMM Albert Lee SSS (Sky Blue)
    EBMM Majesty (Iced Crimson)
    EBMM Cutlass (Vintage Turquoise)
    EBMM L3 BFR (Blueberry Burst)
    EBMM Cutlass HSS (Firemist Silver)

    www.TheseGuysLive.com
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  11. #11

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    I'm very glad we were able to get you one of these!
    Have you got G.A.S. for another EBMM???
    Visit the all new
    https://www.DUBALDOMUSIC.com! <--- My Store --->DuBaldo Music on Facebook & on twitter
    Do you want to TRADE your used EBMM in for a NEW one? -- Email me for details!
    pete@dubaldomusic.com <--- My email
    www.YELLOW9.com <--- My band

  12. #12

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    That’s a beauty!



    Axis Hardtail Transparent Purple #89749 (3/28/97)
    Axis Hardtail Transparent Amber #G03900 (10/21/98). FS on REVERB.
    Reflex Classic White #G71108 (7/14/14)
    Cutlass
    StarryNight #G79870 (12/14/16)
    Stingray BFR
    Natural#G59581 (10/3/17)



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