The fretboard, pickup rings, and pickguard
are all made of morado (also known as pau
ferro), which resembles rosewood, but feels
more like ebony. The arrow-tip headstock blends
nicely with the Steinberger-style, flame maple
body, and it has “AMG” inlayed in pearl with
a morado outline. The rear tremolo-spring cover
plate is also flamed maple. A perfectly applied
Tung oil finish does little to bring out all the
fabulous flame on this instrument, but, on the
up side, it doesn’t hamper the tone as much
as a thick gloss coat would.
The flat neck radius and high but wellrounded
frets beg for fast playing and blues
bending, and with a Seymour Duncan Alnico
II Pro APH-1 in the neck position, a Duncan
Distortion TB6 in the bridge, and a WD Floyd
Rose-licensed bridge, the S Body is ready to
rock. Whether driving an Orange Tiny Terror,
or a Fender Champion 600 goosed with a First
Act V-Stack Classic pedal, the S Body produced
highly articulated distortion. Its 24 frets nudge
the neck pickup slightly toward the bridge,
which makes for exceptionally lucid chords
when using just that pickup, and the maple
construction overcomes any potential muddiness
from the powerful bridge pickup.
An item that warrants attention is the bathandled
mini-toggle pickup selector that has
sharp corners and gets in the way when strumming.
There’s also some awkwardness when
playing the S Body guitar sitting down (I found
that placing the butt of the guitar against my
leg worked best), as well as a tendency toward
neck-heaviness (a small, slim body pretty much
dictates a headless neck for proper balance, but
using a wide strap does help).
The AMG S Body is a well-constructed and
great-sounding guitar with a lot of unique,
handcrafted appeal. And while I wouldn’t nominate
this particular instrument for a “World’s
Best” award, it’s worth noting that Alex Groeger
is a custom builder who will take orders based
on your specifications. In that light, he might
just build the world’s best guitar for you.
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