Wallace Detroit Guitars Wallacaster
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Most of the other components on this guitar were, however, quite traditional (not to mention, premium): Wilkenson brass compensated saddles, Gotoh vintage-style nickel tuners (three on each side, which is definitively not in the Tele tradition), CTS pots, a three-position pickup selector switch, orange drop caps, and a Switchcraft jack.
A plainly stated rosewood fretboard fit the décor of the instrument nicely, as well as the bone nut and single, lone nail head in a block on the guitars top! A large, offset headstock wears the company's logo and established year, 2014, which is actually branded into the wood. A compounded neck profile was also a nice touch, measuring .875" at the 1st fret and .910" at the 12th fret, and the guitar had a familiar 25.5" scale length. In classic Telecaster fashion, the neck has 21 frets (modern Teles now sport 22). And while Wallace chose to incorporate a black pickguard motif, the shape of the pickguard is custom, and lends itself well to the contours of the guitar.
The back of the headstock bears a plain, stamped serial number that might be easily missed. Four oversized, non-recessed, screws attach the neck plate, which is also nicely embossed with the company logo. The hand-rubbed, oil finish can be felt but not seen. Two custom, hand-scatter-wound P90 pickups, and traditional strap buttons round out the feature set.
The three-position selector switch was smooth and functioned flawlessly, as did the guitar's single volume knob. There is definitely something to playing a guitar with aged wood. To say the guitar fit in the hands like an old glove would be understating the feel and vibe of this particular instrument. The heel of the guitar did make upper access as cumbersome as other traditionally shaped, T-style instruments. Par the course for a traditional aesthetic, but that's what you get when you crave classic vibe. And classic vibe, the Wallace guitar has it in spades.
The guitar had some heft to it, probably around nine pounds, and felt a bit beefier than other Telecasters in our collection. There is no "comfort curve" or cutaway behind the slab of wood, which would of course make it more comfortable when resting against your body, but then it would deviate even further from classic designs.
Classic Fender tone was so well matched to the Wallace guitar that we felt we would be hard pressed to do better. But why let that stop us?
Our Friedman Phil X 100w head through a Mezzabarba 4x12 were well up to the task of trying. Our second sound test was also very pleasing to the hands and ears. Dialing in a healthy amount of amp gain and volume, the Wallacecaster pushed the Greenback-loaded cabinet into sweet, singing overdrive. The P90s did create an expected level of noise, which is also par the course given the traditional configuration. However, the acceptable noise level was easily kept at bay with reasonable gain settings, and we were still able to achieve perfectly crunchy tones suited to rock or modern blues.
We also confirmed in this configuration just how smooth the P90 pickups switched between one another, and how useable all three pickup positions were. Notes sustained well, even under lower gain settings.
However, it is worth noting that if you are not happy with your Wallace Detroit guitar, they offer an incredible one year, money back guarantee. Virtually unheard of in the guitar community and usually reserved for late night infomercials, this is outstanding, and goes to show just how much they believe in their guitars. To date, no one has returned an instrument under this policy. Further, a standard one year warranty applies as well.
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