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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Cyclone by Jarrett Guitars, Featuring a Floating Top ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer 
Street Price: $3,495.00 USD with case + shipping  

Jarrett Guitars is a Manufacturer of handcrafted custom boutique American built electric guitars. 

This Jarrett Cyclone w/Floating Top has a rare flame mahogany top, solid mahogany body, a one piece mahogany short scale 23.5" neck dressed with an ebony fingerboard with a hand carved dog bone tail piece. This guitar is patterned after the Turner Model 1.

Gotoh locking tuners, Resomax aluminum bridge with Graphtech Tusq saddles, 3 "speed knobs," Volume, Volume, Tone.

Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro neck humbucker pickup & Graphtech Resomax aluminum bridge with piezo system and a 3 way selector switch with 500k pots.

Amp(s) used:
Vox Pathfinder 15R
Vox AC15 
Orange Tiny Terror Combo
Fender Blues JR
Marshall Class 5 

Cables used:

Selector position 1: Just piezo system

Bright and poppy with bell like qualities and a full lush acoustic sound without the pops and farts you get from an under saddle acoustic pickup. 

Selector position 2: Humbucker and piezo system
A warm but full acoustic sound with a meaty core, would be great for country or pop.  

Selector position 3: Just full humbucker 
A slightly under-wound sound giving it a thin but vintage tone.

Action, Fit & Finish: 
We were given the prototype so it has been in many hands before ours. The intonation was dead on and the action was low without any buzz.

Reliability & Durability: 
The guitar seems to be well made, no hum or crackles from the electronics, all knobs and hardware installed snug and proper.

Where to start? This guitar is patterned after the Turner Model 1. While never playing a Turner Model 1, I will assume few of our readers have either and try to explain it the best I can.

The body felt like a smushed flattop thin Les Paul combined with a Music Man with a shaved top and fat ass -- to say the least this guitar is unique in its appearance and in its playability. The first thing I noticed is the floating top. Basically, the top part of the guitar's body is mostly separated from its back. I really didn't know what to expect for this feature as this is the only time I have ever seen this design. What I found is that the floating top was able to vibrate more freely giving this guitar longer sustain, it did however reduce the low end frequency response of the humbucker making it thinner sounding than expected – giving the guitar more of a twang then a cry.

The 23.5" scale neck was a blast to play, I was able to fly up and down the neck without any hesitation. The pickup setup was fun. With just one humbucker and a piezo bridge by Graphtech I was able to dial in tones from a nice country twang to a smooth Texas blues. 

What I would change:
I love this guitar just the way it is, but if I was having one built just for me (Jarret Guitars will personalize any guitar to your liking) I would want mine to have a Seymour Duncan P-Rails Hot SHPR-2 and the Graphtech Resomax aluminum bridge with a five way selector switch and the P3 MOD by DC Voltage so I wouldn't need a 9 volt for the active pickup. 

My advice: 
This guitar is truly an instrument that any serious guitar player needs to play. It offers tones that you can not get from any other "standard" body style and it is amazingly conformable to play. If you are in the market for a personalized hand built guitar, you can not go wrong with a Jarrett. 

Jarrett Guitars LLC
606 Post Road East
Suite 525
Westport, Connecticut 06880
(p) 203-586-6179 

Posted 07/2012