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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Forza by Jarrett Guitars, Truly an Amazing Handcrafted Guitar ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,695.00 USD with case + shipping
Factory Up-Grades: 
Electronics: Jarrett electronics upgrade
Pickups: Duncan Custom Shop Jarrettbuckers, Alnico 5
Tuners: Gotoh Delta 510
Strings: DR Pure Blues 11 - 52

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

This Forza Player’s Series by Jarret Guitars was made less that 3 days before this review just for Local Music Gear Magazine. This guitar has a solid maple top with beautiful 4A quilt veneer, prima vera or "white mahogany," body, a 335-type design, hollow on both sides with a center block. It has a 3 piece maple neck,  dressed with a Macassar ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets ending with an 1 11/16th" Graph Tech Tusq Nut, packed and shipped in a TKL custom hard shell case, with a 1 year warranty on  parts and labor.

Gotoh Delta 510 tuners, Resomax aluminum bridge with Graph Tech Tusq saddles, 3 "speed knobs," Volume, Volume, Tone.

Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Jarrettbuckers, Alnico 5, neck and bridge humbucker pickups with coil tap on each, Jarrett electronics upgrade with 5-way selector switch.


Amp used 
Marshall Haze MHZ40C 

Cables used:

Selector position 1: 
Just Neck Full Humbucker
Warm and crystalline clean tones. Full and bright distorted tones with smooth sustain. Very 1959 PAF ish with a little less dirt. Great for Jazz and Blues.

Selector position 2: 
Just Outer Coils
Bright full and crisp - very Eric Clapton strat like 

Selector position 3:  
Neck & Bridge Full Humbuckers
An even balance of warmth and clarity great for classic rock and rockabilly

Selector position 4: 
Just Inner Coils
Bright clear highs with low mids -very Stevie Ray Vaughn strat like

Selector position 5 : 
Just Bridge Full Humbucker
Bright and full rock and roll lead AC/DC, Slash (Appetite) sound

Action, Fit & Finish: 
The finish is vintage natural quilt with a mirror like shine, the action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on. The guitar was even in tune when I took it out of the case for the 1st time.

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

To start the company's customer service is excellent; part of the process we have at Local Music Gear is before we interview a company (look for a exclusive interview with Jack from Jarrett Guitars in an upcoming issue) is we do a little background check on the company to make sure their values meet our expectations. But with all that said there are companies that have great customer service and an inferior product. As consumers if we shopped just on customer service alone, it would be like going into Peter Lugers for dinner and feeling satisfied and full after the host greeted you, but we demand a little more than that when we open our wallets. So back to my review, the guitar is wonderful. It is like a Les Paul dipped it’s strings in to the F-hole of a hollow body PRS and nine months latter out came the Jarrett. She felt a little strat like at times but in a good way. It has the perfect balance between beauty and dirt. Her sleek gently curved double cutaway body fits the player like a glove allowing you to comfortably reach all 24 frets. The Forza is a dream to play and makes you not want to put her down. Since she only weighs in at 8 lbs you can play her all night.

Side note:
I decided to call and see how much a guitar by the Gibson Custom Shop set up like the Jarrett Forza would be. After I got the run around the price came in at $3,375.00 plus tax and shipping. That was if I went with the Les Paul Doublecut Classic Exclusive and had them coil-tapped busterbuckers with a 5-way selector switch. I also could not speak to the Custom Shop directly, I had to go to a dealer in my area. The best part was they couldn't give me a date that it would be ready, just that they where happy to take my payment. Now the up-grades I requested any guitar tech could do for around $500 with parts, but Gibson wanted $1,375 to do the same up-grades. That is just about double the price of this Jarret Forza Player’s Series

What I would change: 
This guitar has a lot going for it, but the neck is too thin for my liking. Since their guitars are made to order I would just get mine with a fatter neck.   

My advice:
When you are shopping for an all American made handcrafted guitar that offers the material, craftsmanship, tonality, and quality that is offered by Jarrett, your price tag is normally two to three time more. Not only is this guitar made using the same process that the Gibson Custom shop, American Made PRS, & American Made Fender use, I believe that each of the guitars that comes out of the Jarrett workshop are given the full attention of the luithier so the build quality is superior to the competition. So my advice is if you like the old school humbucker chambered body sound and want it wrapped in a pretty package, order this guitar.  They give you seven days to try it risk free.

Jarrett Guitars LLC
606 Post Road East
Suite 525
Westport, Connecticut 06880

(p) 203-586-6179

Posted 04/2012