Let's be honest: Canada hasn't exactly set the guitar market on fire. All of that might change because of Stevenson Guitars, a relatively new brand that is not-so-quietly making a name for itself with high-end, high-quality models.
The new Pop Classic Custom is a prime example. This zippy update on the "Super Strat" theme features a two-piece alder body in a "pointy S" shape, custom-wound DiMarzio pickups (the single-coils are hum canceling), wired to a conventional five-way selector with shared volume and tone controls, a bolt-on neck with a 25.2-inch scale and 22 Dunlop 6100 frets on a Madagascar rosewood board, Sperzel locking tuners, and two-post Wilkinson/Gotoh VG-300 tremolo bridge with a custom-milled, cold-rolled steel block. Stevenson's proprietary, patent-pending neck joint uses only two bolts, but also comprises two internal tenons that keep the neck attached even when the bolts are removed, and totally eliminate side-to-side motion in the joint.
The Pop Classic Custom is sonically rich and versatile. Its sounds run from fat, throaty border-fried blues tones at the neck pickup to lots of spank and snap at the in-between settings, with easy, singing lead tones from the humbucker. All in all, a nice little package. U.S. retail list price: $2,900.00. Not your first guitar, but if you're a serious player looking for an elegant and slick ride, this is one to jump on.