Established in 2005, Spear might not be a household name, but you’re not Posh Spice so stop worrying about labels and feel the spec. This is not so much a guitar as a tree with strings...
The Gladius combines a solid mahogany body with spalted maple top, throws in a five-ply maple and mahogany thru neck and stretches our grins even further with twin Monster Pole humbuckers whose coils can be split with a five-way selector.
Anyone with eyes should already be hot for the Gladius SP, whose credible tone-woods and natural beauty convey the vibe of a high-end boutique instrument. But it’s not until you retract your tongue that you realise this model has also been honed to perfection, with the expansive cutaways and speedy unfinished neck making it handle like a go-faster 24-fret Fender Stratocaster.
Handling is one thing and tone another, but here the Gladius scores again. As you’d imagine from the eclectic timbers and thru-neck, there’s huge sustain and tonal character on the table, and these benefits are complemented by the class of the PAFs. The option to split the coils is clever, but we left them in one piece to deliver a tone that is fat and thick.
Pros: One-of-a-kind looks, tone.
Cons: We’re keeping quiet.