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Monday, October 1, 2012

The Rustic Viking by Chili Custom Guitars ...(Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $3,450.00 USD with case + shipping 

Chili Custom Guitars is a Manufacturer of handcrafted, custom boutique, electric guitars by master luither Horst Weinelt, in Austria.

This Rustic Viking model has an iroko cambala neck dressed with a wenge wood fingerboard separated by red chili  inlays tied up with red binding ending in with a corian nut on a stone-veneer headstock in a solid one piece 300/400 year old larchwood body.

Roller bridge and tremolo from ABM Germany, Dual Action truss rod, 16:1 Axetec England machine heads, (1)volume (1) tone knob (1) dual gang pot blend pickup selector switch knobs

Iron Gear hot slag set from Axetec, 500k CTS pots.

Amp used:
Bogner Alchemist 2 x12
Vox AC 15 
Fender Blues JR 
Orange TH30H with a PPC 2x12 cab 

Cables used:

Kerley 50's Pure Nickle

Selector position 1: Just Neck 
Warm full- very American vintage PAF dipped in honey with a mean growl. 

Selector position 2: Neck and Bridge
An even balance of warmth and clarity without the mud. Lots of clear creamy harmonics.

Selector position 3:  Just Bridge 
A very hot and full LP/PRS bridge, almost as hot as an active with a round, "kick you in the face" finish. 

Action, Fit & Finish: 
The finish is a beautiful natural wood grain with a low shine, the action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on. 

Reliability & Durability: 
The guitar seems to be well made. It is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics all knobs and hardware installed snug and proper.  

This is one of the most beautiful guitars I have seen in a while. Just her physical appearance is enough to make you want to take her home -- but most of us know that the really sexy ones are a basket case and will make your other guitars jealous. With that said, she is amazing through and through. This guitar was not on the calendar for review -- one of our readers had recommend that we check this company out and all I can say is WOW! I had contacted Horst -- the master luthier and owner of Chili Custom Guitars via Facebook and with in 3 days he had a guitar in my hands. Now I cant stop thinking about her brown curvy body and spicy chili pepper bite.  

So to the review -- The first thing I notice is the the chunky neck, it is about 2" wide but plays like a 1.75" with a tapered end. It is probably an illusion since the fingerboard is wrapped in a blood red binding (Host will make the neck to your liking since each guitar is hand-built). After getting used to the neck, and i'm a "full fat D" neck kinda guy -- I strapped her up and plugged her in. There was zero noise, no ground hum, no pot crackle, nothing. Now I only mention this because she was just shipped over night form Austria -- and I know that FedEx was not careful with her as her box was destroyed. So after she was beaten like a redheaded stepchild for 24 hours -- her electronics, hardware, and joint were 100% and that shows me the the quality of build is way above average. I have other guitars in my fleet that will fall apart if you play them too hard-- let alone get the crap kicked out of them.  This was built with the guitar player in mind. 

Now that she was plugged in I needed to start on her neck and work my way down. The selector switch is not a switch, but a blend pot that allows you to get a full spectrum of different sounds by blending the pickups by the percentage of current/sound as opposed to the normal neck/both/bridge setup you will find on most two-pickup configurations. This took me a few minutes to figure out, but I'm a self-proclaimed guitar player - enough said.   

Overall this guitar is amazing. She is well built, beautiful, and easy to play. The roller bridge and tremolo system makes for easy setup and maintenance. I have yet to find a reason that I would not use her on stage. 

What I would change: 
I would use a Tusq nut vs the corian, but that is just preference and she is 100% out of the box perfect.   

My advice:
Buy it! I normally give the guitars to a local high school after bringing them around the country to display at our booth at shows and events -- but I think I need to buy this one for myself -- she spoke to me and said "play me hard and all night". 

Chili Custom Guitars
5071 Wals Siezenheim
+43 664 223 72 77
Posted 10/2012