Ampeg AMG100CH

Based On The Ampeg ADA6 Plexiglas-Bodied Guitar, The AMG100CH sports an ultra-thin cherry-finished mahogany body—a factor that makes it significant lower in weight compared to the rather portly (over 9 lbs) ADA6. Ampeg offers the AMG100 in three flavors: the cherry version we have here (hence the “CH”), a blonde model with an ash body, and a black version with an alder body. All feature a dual-blade humbucking pickup that can be swapped for a single-coil Ampeg pickup (available separately). To change pickups, you simply loosen a small knurled screw on the back, and then slide the pickup out of its rout until it clears the two metal prongs that make electrical contact and hold it in place. The Chinese-made AMG100CH is nicely made and finished, and it features a thin neck with a smooth satin surface, a precisely fit nut, and a rosewood headstock overlay with a pearl logo.
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The AMG100 plays very easily thanks to its low action and extended neck joint. A deeply beveled lower cutaway also makes it easy to reach the highest frets. The swappable pickup configuration gives the AMG100 some added utility, though the single-coil option was not provided. No matter, though, as we’ve still got the 3-position voicing switch to play with, right? Well, not exactly, as the three settings don’t alter the sound to any appreciable degree. Only by lowering the Tone knob can you hear any difference between the middle position (which bypasses the Tone control altogether) and the other settings. And with no coil-split or parallel/series options, this is a rather useless function. Still, the AMG100 delivers good clean and overdriven tones that have the body, output, and balance roughly equivalent to a classic Gibson humbucker guitar. Picture the AMG100CH as kind of a 24-fret/humbucker/bolt-neck alternative to a Les Paul Junior, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of where this guitar is coming from.

Ampeg (425) 487-4333;
PRICE $699 retail/$529 street
NECK Maple, bolt-on
FRETBOARD 24e"-scale rosewood
FRETS 24 jumbo
BODY Mahogany (also available in ash or alder)
PICKUPS Dual-blade “Sustain Treble” humbucker
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, 3-way voicing switch
BRIDGE Adjustable with roller saddles
FACTORYSTRINGS D’Addario, .010-.046
WEIGHT 5.9 lbs
KUDOS Light. Plays well. Good all-around rock guitar.
CONCERNS Not a highly versatile guitar. Single-coil pickup not included.