Tuesday, August 3, 2010

MusicMan Month: Albert Lee Guitar

Today we are looking at an Ernie Ball MusicMan Albert Lee guitar. Albert Lee is a true guitar hero who was born in Britain and relocated to the US, where he plays country, rhythm and blue and rock music. His signature model guitar was introduced in 1993.

The Albert Lee guitar is available in a few different configurations: hardtail or tremolo, and 3-single coil pickups or 3 soapbar pickups, as well as a piezo option.

The guitar we are looking at today is a hardtail with 3 single coil pickups. It was built in 1994 and is finished in the breathtaking Pinkburst finish.

The 10-inch radius neck is made of insanely-figured birdseye maple. You do not see this wood used very much anymore, as the prices have gone up as more auto manufacturers are using it. The neck is finished in gunstock oil, so it darkened a bit over time. Schaller non-locking tuners were used back then, they have since moved on to locking tuners. The fretwork on the medium frets meets MusicMan’s usual standards, which means that it is excellent.

The body is made of ash, and with the hardtail bridge it strings through the body. The factory equipped this one with 3 Seymour Duncan single coil pickups laid out Stratocaster style. The body cavity and the underside of the pickguard are well-shielded, and the wiring is very tidy.

This guitar is really comfortable to play, and to me the neck is the best part. Despite the strat-like appearance, to me this guitar plays more like a Telecaster, which is fine with me. I have always liked the tele necks more.

This one went to live with my buddy Rob in Australia, where these are a little harder to come by. He was tickled pink to get it.

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