SX CALLISTO JR BY WILL RAY
Okay, I confess: I do a daily search for SX guitars on
eBay. Why? Because I’ve owned
SX axes before and know they’re
built solid and they’re cheap. I
was first turned on to SX guitars
by my neighbor Martin, who
started buying them four years
ago. Whenever I played one of
his SX electrics, I was always sur-
prised at their quality relative to
their price. So I bought my first
SX a few years ago just to test
the waters and was quietly blown
away. I currently own four SX
guitars . . . and counting.
Whenever you upgrade pickups on a cheap
guitar, you never get your money back when
you sell it later.
finish. An outfit in California
called Rondo Music sold these
guitars brand-spanking-new for
$135, plus $20 shipping. Say
what How can anyone make a
profit on that? Sorry, man—not
my problem. I’m a bottom feeder.
So I pulled the trigger on one.
1. This SX LP Special TV is clearly a budget repro of Gibson’s iconic Les Paul Special in TV yellow. When Gibson
first introduced this color in the 1950s, the goal was to create a finish that would look good viewed on a black-and-white television. A white finish was too bright for the cameras of the day to accurately capture, whereas yellow translated well on the tube. 2. Many budget guitars sport a bolt-on neck, but this SX has a set neck—which is
essential if you want to emulate the sound of a Les Paul Special. 3. Some guitarists routinely upgrade the pickups
on a budget instrument, but the P-90-style pickups on this SX have enough midrange honk to keep me happy.
WILL RAY is a founding
member of the Hellecasters
guitar-twang trio. He also
does guitar clinics promoting his namesake G&L
signature model 6-string,
and produces artists and
bands at his studio in Asheville, North
Carolina. You can contact Will on Facebook
and at willray.biz.