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 Cutlass 2 700Stratocaster Beware, The Cutlass Is The Real Deal


After a few complex models with varying degrees of success, MusicMan's Modern Classic series is a breath of fresh air. Consisting of the Stingray and Cutlass 6 string electrics, they offer simple, classic designs with great playability and tone. Here we will review the smartly-named Cutlass, in traditional sunburst with rosewood fretboard.


Cutlass 3 350


Squint your eyes and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a Strat - it's even identical in length - but the Cutlass's clever features set it apart from the Stratocaster in many ways.


Cutlass 4 350


The Cutlass takes its origin from an early design by Leo Fender at MusicMan, which had much less of an impact at the time than the 4 string basses. The Cutlass takes inspiration from this model but is greatly improved upon for a modern market and the resulting package is a good one. This Vintage Sunburst model looks superb, blso worth a look is the Vintage Turquoise model, it looks sensational...


Cutlass 5 350 Cutlass 6 350  


To modernise the design, it has a number of clever touches. Installed inside is a 9v Silent Circuit and the noise-cancelling it provides is superb and you don't get all the usual hum of a single coil guitar. Tonewise you get classic single-coil sounds, all the bite and high-end ring, but much more cleaned up and crisp. It's a very natural sound, great for funk and full of energy. On a clean tone the clarity is simply incredible. Wind it up with overdrive and it responds really well too. The razor sharpness at the top end may not appeal to all but dial it back with the active tone controls and you can obtain a very rich tone all round.


Cutlass 7 350 Cutlass 8 350


MusicMan's necks are famously comfy, and the Cutlass's satin polyurethane is super smooth and fast. They have installed a superb tremolo system which beats Fender's by a mile. The hardware is first-class; Schaller rear-lock tuners are always a good bet, stainless steel frets keep it relatively buzz-free and the controls feel nice and sturdy to hand. All in all, it's a very well-built package.




A really smart, sharp and nifty little guitar that deserves to be very well recieved. It would be lazy to call the Cutlass a Strat-clone, and although it inevitibly takes some influence from it - not least in the tone department - it still stands well apart from its rival. The tones and playability are excellent, the Silent Circuit works brilliantly and the overall package is high quality. The options list is a little sparse but don't let that deter your interest in what is a fabulous guitar. A blast from the past, brought up to modern standards in style. A Modern Classic.


Vintage Sunburst Cutlass RRP – £1863.00


 Build 4 Star
Look 4 Star
Feel 5 Star
Tone 5 Star
Value 4 Star
Our Score 4 Star


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Published 13th March 2017