finish in the light. You should not see little
waves, cloudiness, or unevenness in certain
spots. If you do, the manufacturer may have
rushed the finishing process, or used cheap
lacquer. The finish should look like a thin
layer of clear glass. The metallic red sparkle
on this Hottie is beautiful. It’ll make anyone
do a double take when lit under stage lights.
This guitar will get you noticed!
the Final Mojo
As I said at the beginning, there are no short
cuts on this guitar—even the case it came in
was quality and looked like a piece of furniture. The guitar is priced like a classic car—
and I know not everyone can justify that kind
of outlay—but those who demand style and
quality will feel that this guitar is a bargain. I
can tell you from my own experience that it’s
not too often you play a guitar that you can’t
really find anything wrong with. The only thing
I can pick on Hottie for is that a guitar in this
price range should come with strap locks. We
get so used to buying guitars that are close to
our expectations and then spending additional
time and money upgrading them to our exact
standards and preferences. You won’t need to
do this with the Hottie 454. It’s as close to a
mint-condition 1972 Corvette as you can get,
and it will turn as many heads and get you the
attention you deserve. And isn’t that why we
play guitars like this and drive 1972 Corvettes
in the first place? It sure is!
would have preferred bigger frets, because
the .010 gauge strings felt like .009s on
the 24.625" scale and 12" fretboard radius.
String bending was a breeze, with lots of
volume and sustain. The Bigsby tremolo system was a nice addition to the flexibility and
swagger of this guitar. The vintage tuners
held their tune perfectly and the bone nut
was cut to perfection.
tone, and the pinch harmonics rang out with
ease and delight. The pickup also cleaned
up great when backing off the volume a bit.
The 500k pots are a nice audio taper that
gives you more control. It’s not one of those
“it’s on or off” types of volume pots, and the
sweep is very dynamic and usable. The Tone
knob is a push/pull that allows you to split
the humbucker from series to parallel. This
feature shows off the quality of the materials, because most humbuckers don’t sound
this good split. When you’re in split mode,
you get very good Esquire-type tone, and
the Tone knob also shares the same dynamic
range that the Volume does.
quality materials, tone, playability
and a classic, retro look are most
important to you.
you’re on a budget and need
strap locks included.
Don’t be fooled by the simple sleek look
of the 454; it has tone for days and is quite
flexible for being a single humbucker guitar.
The Hottie bridge pickup is another quality
addition, and is made from the best materials
available. This pickup gives you the impression that it’s the offspring of the classic PAF
design, but it has way more personality and
attitude. This little Hottie pickup comes stock
with fancy flames on the nickel cover and is
housed in a custom-made pickup ring. This
custom-wound, U.S.-made 8.5k bridge pick-up compresses really nicely and has a little
more “Pow!” in the lower register. I had no
problem dialing in a very nice Gibbons-style
These guitars are designed and built by Jean-Claude Escudie (Hottie owner) and master
luthier Saul Koll (Koll Guitars). Their love of
classic hot rods and their knowledge of guitar
construction and design makes a noticeable
difference. The nitrocellulose lacquer finish
was flawless; it’s this step in the guitar building process that takes lots of time and skill.
You can always tell if the lacquer was applied
and finished properly by looking across the
Click here to hear sound
clips of the guitar in action at