THE GOOD NEWS is that the quality of entry-level guitars has improved dramatically in recent years. Many marquee USA brands now offer alternative lines produced overseas that benefit greatly from the know-how that went into producing a company’s flagship models. Even though these import brand guitars often cost significantly less than their upmarket counterparts, many offer similar playability and performance that will please all but the most critically discerning players.
Two new models with street prices less than $600 recently introduced by Sterling by Music Man — the Mariposa and Cutlass CT50HSS — show just how much the gap between entry-level and flagship guitars have narrowed in recent years. Both instruments provide features like roasted maple necks, locking tuners and custom-designed pickups usually found on much more expensive guitars. These Sterling guitars are close enough to their Music Man equivalents to fool most audiences and players, although your budget and bank account will certainly notice the huge difference in price.
FEATURES The Sterling by Music Man Mariposa features the same compact, angular body style of the Music Man Mariposa model designed by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta, At the Drive-In), and the Sterling Cutlass CT50HSS is the equivalent of the Music Man Cutlass RS HSS, featuring a humbucker/single/single pickup configuration and Strat-like asymmetrical double-cutaway shape.
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