Small boys of the ‘60s either wanted to be Jimi Hendrix or Stirling Moss. Now we can be both (sort of) thanks to the Maranello Speedster1, which indulges dual schoolboy fantasies with its racing stripe and go-faster fret inlays, combined with a spec that’s been cut back to meet weight regulations. Nice concept.
Like a Mercedes that’s been parked in Moss Side, the Italia Speedster1 has been stripped of parts. But you won’t mind when you’re ripping out solos.
The snub-nosed doublecut is as functional as it is attractive, the maple neck is a good all-rounder, while the Wilkinson bridge humbucker combines with hefty helpings of korina (a sibling of mahogany) for a punchy, characterful tone that has a bit more mid-range brightness than your average Gibson derivative.
Good thing we like it, because the lack of tonal options is frustrating for £449. It will take a good amp with a proper EQ to get you a lush rhythm tone.
The Speedster1 is not perfect. It’s quite expensive for its class and doesn’t offer as many features as its rivals. You might even say it looks a bit daft. But still, there’s something about this guitar’s cracking korina-fuelled humbucker roar that marks it out among a sea of faceless mid-price sloggers. When you play this guitar, you’ll remember it. And when you gig it, people will remember you.
Pros: Memorable korina-powered tone.
Cons: Price, lack of sonic options.
Buy: Italia Maranello Speedster 1 is currently available from PMT Online.