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Cort rolls out a suite of high-performance electrics, including X300 models with flip-flop finishes and EMG RetroActive pickups

Cort X300 Flip
(Image credit: Cort)

Cort’s 2022 has got off to a flying start, with the South Korean gear giant unveiling a host of updates to its high-performance electric guitar lines, including bold flip-flop polychromatic finishes for the X300, a spectacular sequel to the X700 Duality, and a newly revised MusicRadar favourite, the G290 FAT II. 

This all makes it difficult to know where to start, but perhaps we go with the brightest, shiniest new thing, and that means checking in on the new X300 models. 

For the jobbing shredder looking for a top-quality instrument on a budget, these have always been a good option, and 2022 sees a pair dressed in those au courant polychromatic finishes that we have most recently seen on limited runs of PRS’s John Mayer Signature Silver Sky and on selected models from ESP Guitars

Choose from Flip Blue or Flip Purple, and if you are not sure if you have made the right choice, well, don’t sweat it; the colour changes as the angle of the light changes so it's never one colour for long.

The Cort G290: Affordable boutique?

Cort G290 FAT

(Image credit: Future)

Review: Cort G290 FAT

Look beyond the pearlescent colourway and you will find an ergonomically flattering S-style, with the X Series’ judicious contouring across the forearm and cutaways, and a neatly sculpted heel to free up access to the entire fingerboard. 

New for 2022, those fingerboards are now rosewood, with 24 jumbo frets, and top slimline hard maple necks that are bolted to an American basswood body. And the most generous updates come by way of a pair of EMG RetroActive Hot 70 humbuckers in the neck and bridge positions, and a Floyd Rose Special double-locking vibrato.

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Cort X300 Flip

(Image credit: Cort)
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Cort X300 Flip

(Image credit: Cort)

The pickups are controlled via a single volume and tone control, and a three-way blade-style pickup selector switch. They sport an open-coil design, with the bridge ‘bucker featuring a ceramic magnet, with the neck pickup comprising an Alnico magnet for a more a sound we’d describe as a little more old-school, classic hard rock. 

These souped-up S-styles have a 25.5” scale, keep the fret markers to a minimum, and feature a flat and totally 2022 fingerboard radius of 15.75”. 

As for the G290 FAT II, well, these classy doublecuts just got classier, with roasted maple necks and matching fingerboards, a fresh colour option, a Graph Tech TUSQ nut and Luminlay side dot markers. 

Now available in Antique Violin Burst, Trans Black Burst and Bright Blue Burst, the G290 FATII retains much of what made it so popular in the first place. 

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Cort G290 FATII

Cort G290 FATII Antique Violin Burst (Image credit: Cort)
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Cort G290 FATII

Cort G290 FATII Trans Black Burst (Image credit: Cort)
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Cort G290 FATII

Cort G290 FATII Bright Blue Burst (Image credit: Cort)

Like the X300, it is built for performance, but perhaps places itself as the working player’s Suhr – a more sophisticated take on the neo-S-style electric guitar.

The Voiced Tone VTH77 humbucker pairing offers a wide range of tones via the five-way pickup selector, so there are plenty of in-between sounds to complement the full-fat humbucker voicings. 

With the compound 12”-15.75” fingerboard radius, the feel is contemporary, but the Ergo-V profile is a nod to old-school neck and balances the need for speed with the need for comfort. Like we said, it’s a little more sophisticated than having a strip of maple to perform stunt guitar on.

The build sees figured maple on top of solid alder, and Cort don’t scrimp on the hardware, with staggered locking tuners keeping things solid, so you can ride that CFA-III tremolo unit hard.

Other player-friendly details include a spoke nut Hotrod truss rod, making for easy adjustments to neck relief. You can hear it in action in the demo video below.

Last but not least, we’ve got the next-gen X700 Duality II. Designed with help from Guatemalan neo-prog guitar wizard Hedras Ramos, this takes the X Series chassis and augments the format out of sight, with high-contrast flame maple drawing attention to those ergonomic bevels. 

In terms of tonewood, we have the aforementioned flame maple on top of a solid mahogany body, a bolt-on maple and panga panga neck, and an ebony fingerboard that is of course carved into a shreddable 15.75” radius as per its X Series siblings.

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Cort X700 Duality II

(Image credit: Cort)
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Cort X700 Duality II

(Image credit: Cort)

The spec here, however, is top tier, with 24 stainless steel frets, staggered locking tuners and CFA-III tremolo, and a pair of Fishman Fluence Open Core Classic humbuckers.

The Fishman’s now include a single-coil mode for three switchable voicings, and are controlled via a five-way blade selector switch, and the obligatory volume and tone controls.

The little details make the Duality II stand out, such as the abalone dot inlays, the Luminlay side dot markers. Some might question why there’s no Floyd on an avowedly modernistic build such as this, but then with locking tuners a more conventional six-saddle vibrato can be less faff, allowing you to switch up tunings without set-up issues. 

The prices for these are TBC, but expect to see them with dealers soon. To sign up for product updates and for more information, head over to Cort’s New For 2022 landing page, where there will be more added daily, including all-new acoustic guitars, and bass guitars for that matter.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.