Wack Job! Dewey Decibel's Flipout

January 1, 2005

What isn’t hard to grok, however, is the FlipOut’s vintage-style neck, which plays most excellently, thanks to its flat-ish 12" radius and low-action setup. It even sports a separate maple fretboard. The 21 medium frets are lightly polished, and the neck-to-body joint is super tight. The upside-down headstock alters the tension slightly, making the bass strings a little tighter, and the high strings a little looser (Hendrix would have appreciated that), and, for convenience, trussrod adjustments are made from the headstock end. Other details include high-ratio sealed tuners and a vintage-style vibrato that offers smooth action and good tuning stability.

Once your eyes adjust to the FlipOut’s appearance, you begin to appreciate how nicely the black pickup covers and knobs contrast with the white pearloid pickguard and swank looking gold-speckle finish. The Flipout proved comfortable to play sitting, and it also balances quite well hanging on a strap. The controls consist of two Tones, a master Volume, and a 5-way toggle that allows the pickups to be used individually or together in bridge/middle or neck/middle combos. And kudos to Dewey Decibel for his placement of the pickup selector switch and Volume knob, which allows for lightning-quick pickup or volume changes with the edge of your hand or your pinkie.

The FlipOut is indeed one of the oddest guitars I’ve played, but its vintage-style alnico pickups deliver fantastic clean and distorted sounds, and they’re just microphonic enough to keep things interesting. I especially liked playing sustained notes through a non-master Marshall Super Lead 100 turned way up, and hearing them blossom with controllable harmonic feedback. The dual-pickup “cluck” sounds are some of the clearest and most articulate I’ve heard, though, unfortunately, the crisp highs drop off dramatically whenever the Volume knob is decreased below full bore.

As absurd as the FlipOut is, it’s a good quality and very gig-worthy guitar that offers hip tones and excellent playability. And as crazy as it looks in stock trim, if you really want to stupefy people, just attach another “dummy” neck at the cutaway end of the body. The FlipOut is definitely not for everybody, but, hey, that’s the point!

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