The story of this model goes back to the Music Man EVH Signature, the instrument made for Eddie Van Halen in the ‘90s, which is now known as the Axis. The Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 Electric Guitar lifts elements from this design to offer you a more affordable version and a great guitar in its own right.
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)
With a design that has been lifted from the classic Axis model, the body shape of the Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 Electric Guitar is instantly-recognisable. The single cutaway that features here doesn’t just look great but also makes it easy to get to those upper frets.
Not a wood that is often mentioned, the body is constructed from Jabon; a hardwood that is a little heavier than basswood but feels good for it. As well as feeling more substantial, this wood also resonates better, giving you an improved tone.
The solid body has been decorated with a bound quilt maple image top. A real quilted maple top would have increased the cost of the guitar by too much, but this top looks amazing and ensures that the guitar is still affordable.
Asymmetrical-Design Maple Neck
Lifted from the company’s Silo3 models, the neck of the instrument is joined to the body with a 5-bolt neck joint. Extra attention has been paid to the neck heel here, giving a nice contour that makes playing in the upper register a pleasurable experience.
The neck itself benefits from an asymmetrical design, and is made from maple. This design gives you assured comfort no matter which end of the neck you’re playing at. The headstock end is rounder and chunkier, giving you excellent grip when playing chords, while the bridge end is flatter, making it perfect for fast-paced finger-style playing. The whole length of the neck is coated with a satin finish, ensuring playability is smooth throughout.
With a radial measurement of 12-inches, the fingerboard of the Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 is crafted from maple and offers 22-medium frets and dot position markers. This leads to the guitar’s vintage-style tremolo with easy-to-adjust saddles, while at the headstock end is an easy-access truss rod adjuster.
With its four conductor Zebra pickups wired to a 5-way selector, the Sterling by Music Man SUB AX3 Electric Guitar is supremely versatile. Directly mounted into the body of the guitar, the 2 high output “Zebra” coil humbucking pickups offer coil-tapping via the 5-way pickup selector, meaning you can select not just humbucker sounds but single-coil, also.
All of the tones available are all very usable as well. In single-coil mode you can access crisp, clear tones for rock and blues, throwing the selector switch into middle position for country sounds. Of course, you can switch back to humbucker mode and get the thicker tone and extra emphasis on the mid-range and volume that you would expect.
Manufacturer Sterling Model S.U.B. AX3 Model Number AX3TR 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 Red
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