The Checkmate guitar sports a pair of single-coils, a roller-style bridge, and a sproingy feeling vibrato that looks cheesy but actually works pretty well. The guitar’s crisp, twangy voice nicely complemented the husky sounding amp, and despite the 50’s weak sounding reverb and tremolo, this Asian marriage yielded thick, meaty clean tones and some respectable rock grind when the volume was turned up. You can still find one of these handwired tube rigs for under $700, which isn’t bad considering the Checkmate’s relative scarcity and the fact that it would cost a least $2,000 these days for a boutique head with the equivalent circuitry.
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