There are some guitars that you know are going to be great before you even pick them up.
The six-string model from their brand new Elite series that Jericho sent us to review is a perfect example. The guitar—with its flame maple top finished in a deep, transparent “blueflame” burst, body and neck silhouetted by vivid white binding and seductive body contour curves—is one of the most attractive new models I’ve seen in a while, but the big surprise is that the guitar sounds and plays even better than it looks.
From the contrasting black and gold motif of the hardware to the pairing of almost minimalist features with top-quality tone woods, the Jericho Elite promises a perfect marriage of sound, playability, good looks and value.
The Elite is crafted from Jericho’s secret stash of tone woods, most of which were harvested in Canada. The body is feather-light ash topped with a layer of attractively figured flame maple; the neck has rock-solid three-piece hard maple construction; and the fretboard is a jet black blank slab of ebony that is completely free of inlays.
The neck and body are joined with a seamless, heel-free set-thru construction that combines the smooth contoured feel of a neck-thru-body design with the tonal character of glued-in set-neck construction, and the neck features 24 medium-jumbo frets, a 25.75-inch scale length, and slim, rounded C-shaped profile.
The Elite’s hardware and electronics are all first class. The hardware consists of a gold-plated Hipshot bridge with contrasting black saddles, gold Hipshot locking tuners with black thumbscrews, a gold three-way pickup selector toggle with black switch tip, and a solitary gold knurled master volume control knob that also functions as a coil tap when pulled up. Pickups are a black DiMarzio Titan bridge humbucker with gold polepieces and a gold DiMarzio Titan neck humbucker with black polepieces.
The fit and finish of the Elite is immaculate, with perfectly smooth contours in all the right places. The guitar remains perfectly balanced when strapped on, and there are absolutely no rough edges, which provides the maximum amount of playing comfort—the kind of attention to detail typical in luxury products like a Rolex watch or Bentley. But the tone is the ultimate detail—crisp and full-bodied with a hi-fi like range and clarity. The neck pickup is outrageously punchy and ballsy, and the bridge pickup delivers midrange that jumps out and grabs the ear.
LIST PRICE: $1,599
MANUFACTURER: Jericho Guitars, jerichoguitars.com
• The set-thru neck design combines the seamless feel of neck-thru-body construction with the tonal character of a glued-in set neck.
• The DiMarzio Titan pickups deliver huge, hi-fi-like tones with expanded frequency range and immaculate clarity.
THE BOTTOM LINE
From the incredible attention to detail in construction and its sexy contours to the vibrant sound quality and the guitar’s effortless playability, Jericho’s new Elite series is truly deserving of its name.