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racerx

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
80
Just curious if anyone else had a similar experience or feedback related to the binding on a BFR Cutlass & Stingray.

A year or two back I picked up a Stingray and Cutlass second-hand and I love them. A few months ago I decided a perfectly responsible and reasonable financial decision was to pick up their BFR counterparts (Scarlet Red & Smoke White). They are lovely guitars and sound tip-top but I can't jive with the neck binding feel. To me - the mojo of the RS Stingray/Cutlass are the neck profiles and fit, but the BFR binding seems to disrupt that.

In the case of the Cutlass - I measured with calipers to compare the `RS` vs. `BFR` and found the nut width and neck thicknesses were (practically) the same. There was a perceived width increase on the BFR, but I think that came from the binding providing a sharp/squared fretboard edge as opposed to a more radiused edge on the RS counterpart.

In the case of the Stingray - the BFR nut-width is slightly wider per the spec sheet and also has the sharp/squared edge.

I tried to live with them but I found it quite uncomfortable to play thumb-over chords and many chord embellishments. However, playability is the main-thing and that's always most important to me. By contrast, my Valentine feels very comfortable and seamless with the binding.

It stinks because I'm a sucker for bound necks, block inlays, and/or matching headstocks but I ended up parting with the BFRs and going back to the standard-runs. Just posting to see if anyone else ran into this or if there are certain Cutlass/Stingray BFR runs with more inconspicuous binding I should keep an eye out for in the future.
 

Astrofreq

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Sep 5, 2006
Messages
3,965
Location
Santa Fe, NM
All I can say is there are guitars I bond with and those that I don't. Some players just connect with an instrument and everyone is different. I've owned numerous EBMM guitars over the years. Some I wanted to connect with, but just didn't and there's nothing wrong with that. I can't speak to the binding issue specifically, so I may not be helping much.
 

beej

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Aug 16, 2004
Messages
11,318
Location
Toronto, Canada
I bought a BFR LIII a while back and was a bit worried about the binding. Turns out I don't even notice it- in fact, the neck feels smaller and more comfortable than the other LIII I have (with no binding).

I'm guessing a lot of this just comes down to the overall feel of the neck. Since they're hand sanded, there are just going to be differences from guitar to guitar.
 

racerx

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
80
Agreed its likely guitar to guitar variation - like I said, the Valentine with binding is rounded well and you don't notice its there. Just a shame its so pronounced on these particular models. Hopefully a future run smooths out the edges a bit more and I can try one before buying. The StingRay in particular is my favorite all-around-guitar.
 

Wildhorse

Active member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
32
I have a Scarlett Red BFR Cutlass and can’t recall the binding being a distraction for me. I hope I don’t notice now that I know it’s a thing. LOL
 

racerx

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
80
I have a Scarlett Red BFR Cutlass and can’t recall the binding being a distraction for me. I hope I don’t notice now that I know it’s a thing. LOL

Hah - if you made it this far then you're probably okay. The only deal breaker for me was thumb-over chords and trying to do pinky embellishments (think Wind Cries Mary/Castles Made of Sand/etc). I've since moved on from my Stingray and Cutlass BFRs with binding back to standard issues and am much happier. Bummer because aesthetically the Scarlet Cutlass BFR was my favorite guitar ever.
 
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