Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TC Ellis Guitars Mantis Hollowbody Review

Just got this from a happy customer:


I used to play a PRS Custom 24 that cost me £2,400. It actually took me a fair while to find that one, a guitar that really suited me, via trial and error, you know... I was in a shop one day, picked the thing up and it felt really comfortable, nice size etc. I gave it a go and sure it sounded better than anything I had at the time.

Then, years later, I happened upon Tim via the net and his shop was only a few miles down the road so I popped in. The guitar that grabbed me straight away was his Mantis hollow body, the same shape as my PRS so playing it felt natural. It's a good size, nice balance, I know it's a personal preference thing but they sure are easy to play.

Cut a long story short, I bought one for an incredibly reasonable price and took it home to use as a spare. Anyhow, and this is kind of odd if not a major point when it comes to choosing a guitar these days.

It actually took me about six to eight months to realise the obvious truth; My cheap spare was way better than my expensive guitar. And it's funny because it should have been obvious from the get go, it's just that my stupid preset brain kept getting in the way.

Yeah, it's funny how you look at something that cost a lot and tend to see what may or may not even be there. The plain fact of the matter is that for what ever reason, and I know guitar anoraks love to talk about the wood and the build, and this and that, but the plain fact is that this guitar can sing! The tone is so warm and ...err....organic... it's hard to describe.

Okay the two guitars are not like for like, one solid one hollow, but I have played hundreds of guitars and this one is the best yet. It rocks out with that cool Brit overtone but then when you slow it all down it's full of surprises as you play around with the volume and tone. It's fun and inspires you to find new progressions, but then some of the cool licks I have come up with played back on the PRS sound, well.... okay I guess.....

I got the 'Tree of Life' fret inlay and again, I have to say, I never want to go back to dots, or birds whatever. If you write your own stuff it's great because the pattern is like map, it helps you to remember what you played when you're jamming, and yet it's really clever how the pattern also easily highlights what is usually marked so you always know where you are.

And it all leaves me feeling pretty ripped off for paying so much for something that is now going to gather dust.

So, if you are thinking of buying one just plug one in, remove your logical capitalistic brain and listen, really listen......

On the QT, d'yer know what I think? No one really knows how to build a 'good' guitar, they just go at it and sometimes magic happens. Then they try to improve them via loads of money and endless brain farting, but they end up making them sound worse.

If it ain't broke don't fix it, and Tim's guitars sound great, and they are cheap.....what the....

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