Plini’s new signature Strandberg Sälen is here and it pairs “super-twangy single-coil neck sounds” with high-gain muscle at the bridge

Strandberg Sälen NX 6 Tremolo Plini Edition
(Image credit: Strandberg)

Strandberg Guitars and Plini have unveiled their latest collaboration and it is a typically modernistic electric guitar that augments the Swedish brand’s Sälen Jazz with a host of signature features.

The Sälen NX 6 Tremolo Plini Edition has the distinctive Sälen body shape, carved from chambered mahogany, with the arm and torso carve to give it the ergonomics you would expect from an Ola Strandberg instrument, and topped with maple. 

The neck is mahogany, reinforced with carbon fibre, and carved into the brand’s patented EndurNeck profile. Forget Ds, Cs, Us and Vs, this is a guitar neck that leaves the alphabet behind.

You could think of the Sälen as a T-style, but if it is at all descendent from the design paradigm of the Fender Telecaster then it’s one of intergalactic provenance. 

There is the neck single-coil, the curve on the upper bout, and yet, as per the Strandberg style, this is altogether 21st-century luthiery; there is no headstock; the body shape is not one on you will find on any design manual or six-string periodic table.

And this all makes it that bit more thrilling, because the thing is, there are elements of classic guitar design, strands of DNA that point to its forebears, and yet it is something completely different.

Plini, who already has a double-cut Boden signature guitar with Strandberg, says it was the Sälen body shape that first drew him in, and he had all these ideas that he wanted to share with Ola Strandberg.

The tone control had to go – “Because they get in the way and I want all the tone all of the time,” says Plini. And he wanted a whammy bar too.

Plini’s Sälen was duly kitted out with an EGS Pro Rev 7 tremolo system and string locks, with a black anodized finish to match the Midnight Black Satin finish. The build is super lightweight, weighing 5 lbs (give or take 10 per cent either way).

The fingerboard is is Richlite and has a 20” radius, 24 Jescar stainless steel frets, and Plini’s signature moon inlay at the 12th fret.

Strandberg Sälen NX 6 Tremolo Plini Edition

(Image credit: Strandberg)

Strandberg is offering the guitar with a Suhr Classic T Telecaster-style single-coil at the neck position, and the choice of s Suhr SSH+ or Strandberg signature Plini humbucker at the bridge. Either way, that is a lot of tonal versatility.

“What I love about this guitar is that I can get super-twangy single-coil neck sounds but then I go to a high-gain bridge sound all on the one guitar, which has been super-fun to have, especially on tour,” says Plini. 

The Strandberg ‘bucker was wound by the late Michael Frank, who designed pickups for the likes of Eric Johnson and Guthrie Govan, and has a warmer, balanced modern tone. The Suhr humbucker is more traditional; think more gain, more oomph in the upper mids.

There is no price differential between pickup options. Either way, this will set you back £2,080 or $2,695. For more details, head over to Strandberg.

Jonathan Horsley

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.