When compared with some of the guitars out there, the Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 Electric Guitar is quite young, but it is becoming something of a modern classic. It already has a fair bit of history behind it, as has been created as a more affordable version of the Music Man Axis, a model that used to be called the EVH Signature in its previous life as Eddie Van Halen’s signature model.
The AX3 is a joy to play, and we'd heartily recommend it for a beginner who wants to hone their chops on an quality value axe with an 80s vibe.- Andrew Gregory (musicradar.com)
Awesome Body Design
As mentioned, the Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 takes its leave from the Axis, incorporating the same body design found in the more expensive instrument. Although a stunner to look at, this design is also practical, giving you unrestrictive access to the upper register.
This classic form is crafted from a fairly uncommon wood-type, jabon. The slightly heavier cousin of the more common, basswood, jabon feels sturdier and offers with it an increase in resonance, translating into improved tonality.
To look at it, you probably wouldn’t realise, but the Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 is a solid body guitar. The top, as it were, is a bound quilt maple image top, meaning that rather than add the costly maple wood, Sterling have added the aesthetic of a fully-fledged quilt maple, but without the additional cost.
Asymmetrical Maple Neck with Maple Fingerboard
Giving you a versatile playing surface to fit your playing style, the guitar’s maple neck has been carved to an asymmetrical shape. This shaping gives you a thicker, rounder surface at the headstock end for chord work, while the closer to the bridge you get, the flatter the neck becomes, giving an excellent surface for finger-style. The whole length is satin-finished, for tactile control across the whole neck.
The neck is connected to the body of the guitar with a 5-bolt neck joint, which ensures nothing is lost between neck and body. Also, the neck heel has been carved to provide absolute comfort when playing the higher frets.
Atop the maple neck is a fingerboard of the same material, measuring 12-inches in radius, and outfitted with dot positon markers and 22-medium frets. At the headstock you will find an easy-access truss rod adjuster, while at the other end is a vintage-style tremolo with easy-to-adjust saddles.
Humbuckers with a Secret
The Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. AX3 Electric Guitar is armed up with a pair of high output “Zebra” coil humbucking pickups, giving you thick, mid-boosted tone with plenty of volume. It gets even more interesting from here, however, as the humbuckers are wired into a 5-way pickup selector, which allows you to switch to single-coil tones.
The single-coil sounds available are no afterthought though, giving you clear, crisp tones that are perfect for classic rock and blues. Throw the selector switch to the middle position and you have the perfect twang for country.
Manufacturer Sterling Model S.U.B. AX3 Model Number AX3-TBK Top Material Photo Quilt Maple Body Material Jabon Neck Material Maple Neck Profile Asymmetrical Fingerboard Material Maple No. of Frets 22 Fret Size Medium Position Inlays Black Dot Fingerboard Radius 12” Scale Length 25.5” Pickups High output “Zebra” coil humbucker (Bridge)
High output “Zebra” coil humbucker (Neck)
Pickup Config. HH Active/Passive Passive Controls 5-Way Pickup Selector
Bridge Vintage Tremolo Hardware Finish Chrome Tuners Sealed Finish Translucent Black
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- A good alrounder which looks like the real deal
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