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NAMM 2018: Balaguer's new Astra singlecut on show

NAMM 2018: Balaguer guitars has announced The Astra, an all-new singlecut line available as deluxe, standard or highly user-specced semi-custom models.

The Astra is Balaguer's own updated take on a classic singlecut design, with modern construction and appointments. The body is slightly offset for playing comfort, and there's a custom carved top that was designed specifically for this shape, as well as an extended joint cutaway on the back of the guitar to ease higher register access.

The Standard model, priced $899, is the entry-level guitar. It's a, no-nonsense, stripped-down affair, but features stainless steel frets, locking tuners, a graphite nut, and set-neck construction like the more expensive Deluxe. 

At $1349, the Deluxe adds Fishman Classic Humbuckers. The two-voice setup, including a strong, “calibrated PAF” tone, alongside a 'hot rodded' tone that redefined lead guitar come from the same pickup via a push/pull toggle. There's an additional push/pull for an HF tilt, giving the pickups a darker sound that is created when passive pickups are loaded by long instrument cables. 

Finally, the Astra Semi-Custom, which starts at $999, but quickly goes north of that once you start picking your way through the myriad available options, allows you to customise pretty much every functional and finish feature. 

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