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Whichever way you look at it, the heart of this used PJE96, with a walnut drop top, is that of a Strat – ie a bolt-on maple neck with an ash body  – Granted it is more of a ‘modern Strat’ as against your traditional vintage replica – I think the first time I saw a Strat with 2 humbuckers was Eric Bell with Thin Lizzy, albeit with the single coil middle pick-up still in place – I suppose EVH took us half way there with his Frankenstein model – Whilst Nuno took us towards the ‘natural wood’ finished twin humbucker model with his Washburn N4 – And to a large degree the Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature model bears many resemblances to the PJE96, with similar attributes that will suit players who like to show off a few elaborate licks and tricks

Quick update – A previous owner of this guitar contacted me and sent me a copy of the spec sheet/order – See last pic – A copy of this spec sheet is now included in the case

Patrick James Eggle has spent many years refining his skills, be it with the original Patrick Eggle Guitar Company over 20 years ago, to his current business, PJE Guitars, that represents the pinnacle of his craft – With him leading a small team of dedicated staff, they have quickly earned a glowing reputation building some mighty fine instruments – As I mentioned above, the heart of the PJE96 is that of a Strat and nothing wrong with that – But his vision is to expand the guitars capability thanks to the whole playing experience, fingerboard radius, jumbo frets, upgraded modern trem system + tuners, as well as working closely with Mojo pick-ups to provide you with a pair of custom wound humbuckers – Then show off some of your own identity, with a nice exotic piece of walnut, that sits on a swamp ash body  – Not an exact review of this model, nevertheless click here to read a review of a PJE96, courtesy of Music Radar – Look on the PJE web site and you’ll see a host of options that are available to any player looking to custom order a new model  – As such the review will give you a guide line

Host of details with regard to this used PJE96 with a walnut drop top – In no particular order :-

Feel/Playability :- There is something about many of the ‘modern’ Strat flavoured guitars, be it Suhr, Tyler, Anderson and even many of the current Fender models, that the guitar feels far less ‘stiff’ than a vintage model – As such a slick and easy action, that responds to a slight touch, is the end result – Charvel have certainly made this part of their core feel and slick playability – And today, many of the boutique custom builders, like PJE follow such a course – Sure you can play slow and dig in and attack the strings, as required, for SRV style blues – But for those players who like to sit in the fast lane and show off a host of licks and tricks, then you’ll find the PJE96 offers a very pleasant playing experience – A 12″ fingerboard radius and medium jumbo frets ensures a set of 10’s feels very slinky – The neck has enough meat on it to not feel skinny – Yet neither does it feel chunky – Whilst it is tagged as a soft V, it feels very smooth, curved and rounded at its depth, but narrow shoulders ensures it never feels chunky  – Add a set of locking tuners, along with a modern 2 post fulcrum trem system, for a package that will offer trouble free tuning for many styles – The trem feels very smooth, positive and responsive – It won’t do those EVH dive bombs as you’ll still need a Floyd Rose locking format for this -But for many players such a trem, like a PRS package, will suit many players

Tonal character  :- When you fit a humbucker to a Strat it doesn’t suddenly sound like a Gibson – Thanks to a bolt on maple neck, an ash body, plus a 25.5″ scale length, it retains the spanky lively character of a Strat, with an instant responsive attack – As an overview it delivers a bigger Strat sound, albeit with more muscle, especially in the mid range – With crisp highs and big tight lows – On clean amp settings you’ll find it warm, with no shortage of character, but I dare say many will be playing such a guitar through an overdriven amp/pedal set-up – Be it an amp with subtle gain, or a high gain set-up, you’ll find it sounds a lot more transparent than a Gibson based guitar with twin humbuckers  – But it will sing and sustain as required – The neck pick-up is warm and lush with smooth vocal like qualities – Excellent transparency on those arpeggio style chords and sweep picking – The bridge pick-up is far hotter but is not a party animal – So it will sing, sream and bite but in a very warm melodic way – No shortage of sustain and clarity – Good muscle in the mid range but never mushy/moody – Tight low – Plus so easy to find those pinched harmonics  – Utilise the volume pots to roll off some gain, as required, so that it delivers so much more soul and expression, all at your finger tips  – For additional tonal character, you’ll find a push/pull coil tap option on the tone pot – Far more noticeable on clean and subtle overdriven settings, for those funky ‘Chic’ style rhythm passages

Maybe not a Strat for the vintage purists but that is fine – But for the player who wishes to push the boundaries with their slick playing and/or a player that appreciates the qualities of a custom built guitar that is so easy to play, then the PJE96 is well worth checking out – As with any guitar, it won’t suit everyone, but it offers a lot – It was certainly fun trying to find out what it does offer as I gave it a test drive

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.