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The Italia guitars are the brainchild of Trev Wilkinson, British guitar design guru and inventor of the Wilkinson vibrato. Although Italia guitars are not reissues of vintage guitars they are heavily influenced by the weird and wacky pawnshop prizes of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
The Mondial is a clever amalgam of kitsch design ideas that have been updated with modern playability and a pair of beefy sounding pickups. It also features an onboard piezo pickup. Yep, this guitar can produce both electric and acoustic sounds.
The first thing you notice about the Mondial is that the top is made of plastic or ‘Acousti-Glass’. And that white scratchplate is actually part of the body moulding. This guitar is well put together, something you would expect when Mr Wilkinson is involved. Through an amp we found a range of good useable tones, including that bridge-mounted acoustic pickup.
Italia makes vintage-style guitars for people who can’t stand the faults of the real deal, and the Mondial sounds good and plays well. The only thing it lacks is a ‘vibe’. It might be named after a Ferrari sports car (or Italian motorcycle legend, either’s fine by us), but the Mondial didn’t quite thrill us in the same way.
But hey, we still think you should give this cool-looking guitar a whirl.
Pros: Good sound, quality construction.
Cons: No thrills.