Caparison Guitars is a company on an uncompromising quest to build super-sleek guitars that encompass unparalleled tone, tremendous playability and cutting-edge design.
It’s an ongoing obsession that has forged strong bonds among acclaimed guitarists like Mattias Eklundh, Motorhead’s Phil Campbell, Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, who have all made Caparison their guitar of choice.
Whether it’s selecting the perfect blend of tonewoods or painstakingly voicing pickups to sound distinctively clear through various amplifiers, Caparison is one of the few companies that sweats the details in creating precision instruments that excel both in sound and performance. Their new guitar, the Horus FX AM is a welcome addition to the shred category, combining simplicity and effortless playability in a beautifully stripped-down hot-rodded instrument.
The Horus FX AM retains the same body shape of its 2015 model, but sandwiches a stunningly light ash top onto a slim maple back body. The result is a refreshingly lightweight guitar, with its upper cutaway and contoured top resting comfortably across your chest. The Horus also has a generously contoured neck heel where its bolt-on maple neck meets the body around the 18th fret.
The neck also features a thin satin finish, 24 3/4–inch scale length, a very flat 13 3/4– to 15 3/4–inch compound fretboard radius, and ebony fingerboard with luminous side markers. Premium components are featured throughout, like its cleanly seated Hipshot fixed bridge with steel rolled saddles, Hipshot Grip-Lock Open Gear locking tuners, and a Graph Tech Black TUSQ nut. At the heart of the guitar are Caparison’s proprietary pickups, with a direct-mount PH-R humbucker in the bridge and forward-angled dual-rail SH-27F pickup in the neck, all controlled by a master volume and three-way Switchcraft toggle switch.
Considering the Horus FX AM is entirely stripped down, without any perfunctory bells or whistles, its upgraded parts work together for explosive power, making it one hell of a muscular guitar geared for speed and high-performance. The guitar is flawlessly setup out of the box, and its comfortably shallow neck profile is so seamlessly uniform and smooth that it allows for unfettered access across its 27 jumbo frets. It also plays like a dream, with slinky elasticity when bending sky-high notes or flying past the 12th fret for lightning fast runs.
But what impressed me most are the custom-designed Caparison pickups that sound completely stunning through high-gain amplifiers. Instead of voicing the pickups for distorted aggression, Caparison has eschewed that for responsiveness and dynamics, giving way to more defined liquid metal tones and a tighter low end. The Horus ticks all the boxes for a lean and mean guitar that feels custom made for executing anything that requires technical proficiency.
Street Price: $1,999
Manufacturer: Caparison Guitars, caparisonguitars.com
• The custom Caparison pickups are perfectly matched for the Horus, offering shimmering cleans, and focused low end with razor sharp definition when confronted with high gain.
• The Hipshot fixed bridge features solid steel saddles with smooth edges, which enhances playing comfort, adds more sustain and string vibration, while also eliminating choked notes.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With 27 frets and near perfect neck profile to accommodate its slinky feel, the Caparison Horus FX AM is tailor made for shredders and players who want a beautifully constructed high-performance guitar with responsive pickups voiced to slice through any mix.