Lodestone: Electric Pro

Probably No Guitar Has Endured, And Survived, More Attempts To improve it than the Fender Stratocaster. One of the latest companies to join in the pursuit of creating the definitive über Strat is England’s Lodestone—an offshoot of Ashdown Amplifiers, which is headed by a forward thinking designer named Mark Gooday. The company’s recent debut of solidbody guitars includes the Electric Pro on review here, which offers a novel “laid back” headstock designed to improve playability and create an ideal string path by angling the tuners outward—a detail that also places them in an ideal position for your fingers. Another significant element in the Pro’s recipe is its use of ceramic bridge saddles to enhance clarity, dynamics, harmonics, and sustain. Add a sculpted double cutaway body and a sing/sing/hum pickup configuration, and you’ve got an ax that goes where no S-style hot-rod has quite gone before.

The Electric Pro’s satin-finished “C” shaped neck features lightly polished frets with carefully trimmed ends. This guitar is a smooth player despite not having a super low action, and its intonation is reasonably solid. Set flush to the body, the vibrato feels a little stiff, but it stays in tune quite well. We didn’t try setting it to float, although this could be easily done, if that’s your preference. Compared to a stock Fender Strat with three singlecoils, the Electric Pro is louder and beefier sounding, with a snappier dynamic response and appreciably more sustain. It sounds fat and meaty though an overdriven amp, but it also nails most of the sonic signatures of a Strat, including the requisite cluckiness in the dual-pickup settings. The Electric Pro’s Ferrari-like body sculpting and tilted headstock might prove difficult for Strat lovers to warm to, but this guitar definitely covers all the familiar sonic bases, and then some.

Lodestone Guitars (011) 44 1245 441 1155; lodestoneguitars.com
MODEL Electric Pro
PRICE $1,956 street
NECK Maple, bolt-on
FRETBOARD 25w"-scale rosewood
FRETS 22 jumbo
BODY Solid alder
PICKUPS Seymour Duncan SSL-6 (neck and middle), SH-4 JB (bridge)
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, 5-way pickup selector
BRIDGE Vibrato with adjustable ceramic saddles
TUNERS Gotoh die-cast
FACTORYSTRINGS D’Addario, .010-.046
WEIGHT 5.9 lbs
KUDOS Cool alternative to a Stratocaster. Sustains well.
CONCERNS Sculpted styling may be an acquired taste for some.