. . . the combination of the
neck, pickups, and body construction compelled me to
search for riff after corpulent
riff to hang on to and hold.
smaller fretwire doesn’t make things feel any
faster—even though the fretboard is fairly flat.
But the combination of the neck, pickups, and
body construction compelled me to search for
riff after corpulent riff to hang on to and hold.
And plugging the guitar into a 1981 50-watt
Marshall JCM800 half-stack turned out to be
a perfect match for the Stadler. Every note was
defined, huge, and mean, although big, open
chords still sounded detailed and absolutely
dripped with harmonics.
The pickups in our test Goldtop were
stock Gibsons (though, for an additional
$100, Stadler will wind custom pickups with
Forbon bobbins and alnico pole pieces).
The neck pickup in particular offered a
shining example of great P- 90 sound, inspir-
ing ill-fated attempts to cop classic Leslie
West riffs. Rolling back the guitar’s tone
knob shaved off the highs, but also seemed
to make the midrange hairier and slightly
meaner. The in-between position on the
pickup selector put a heaping selection of
tones at my fingertips, too. Although it’s
not a pickup configuration I use often, the
middle position turned out to be the posi-
tion I used most, thanks to its excellent out-
of-phase tones and biting rhythm sounds.
However, whether I used the pickups in tan-
dem or on their own, they always provided
an extraordinary playing experience.