Long-scale electric guitars are a logical choice for modern guitarists who crave more depth, resonance and sonic authority yet prefer to avoid the hand-cramping neck width of most seven- and eight-string axes.
Studio engineers’ routinely utilize them to thicken anemic tracks, but onstage applications have understandably been limited by their typically larger bodies and equally unwieldy 28- to 30-inch-scale necks. Jericho Guitars is a relative newcomer that hopes to change this paradigm with its sleek and stylized Avenger.
The Avenger is a 27-inch-scale guitar that looks and feels like any standard-scale guitar and is designed to complement the tonal curve of today’s high-gain super amps.
According to the old joke, guitar players are willing to try anything new, as long as it’s identical to what they’re currently using. Thus, with some careful design and construction choices, Jericho made the Avenger’s length and body size identical to those of any standard-scale guitar and kept its weight in the six-and-a-half-pound range. Specially selected mahogany from a reserve stock in British Columbia ensures that the body delivers the Avenger’s full range of tones, and the short headstock allows for the extra fretboard length without extending the instrument’s dimensions.
In order for the Jericho’s neck to produce clear notes and still withstand the tension exerted by massive strings, Jericho affixes flat-sawn maple to the sides of a rock-solid quarter-sawn maple core and tops the neck with an ebony fretboard. The guitar’s hardware, likewise, is selected for musicality and stability. It includes a Graph Tech TUSQ XL nut, Grover tuners and a TonePros Tune-o-matic bridge. The pickups are Seymour Duncan’s Full Shred humbuckers, which are mated to a three-way switch and master controls for volume and tone. Although not expressly built for a baritone guitar, the pickups’ overwound gain, magnet strength and EQ curve are an ideal match for the Avenger’s weighty voice.
There’s no rule that says you have to string the Avenger with baritone-sized wires. In fact, Jericho encourages players to experiment with string gauge. I ultimately preferred it set up heavy on the lows and light on top. The Avenger is smooth, fast and highly responsive, with the conventional feel of low action paired to a C-shaped neck. When plugged into a high-gain amp channel—preferably one with enough power and damping to deliver the Avenger’s full spectrum of low-end tone—the Avenger delivers extreme levels of low-end thrust, yet it remains musical and expressive. The Full Shred pickups are less focused in the lows, so there’s no need to worry about blowing out your speakers. The highs, however, will scream off the ebony fretboard with tone that is fully developed and three-dimensional, unlike guitars with a higher resonant peak.
LIST PRICE $1,249
MANUFACTURER Jericho Guitars, jerichoguitars.com
Flat-sawn sides and a quarter-sawn core ensure that the maple neck is stable enough to handle the strings’ higher tension, yet has enough bounce to produce organic tones.
Seymour Duncan Full Shred humbuckers deliver their famously hot highs and control the lows without compromising clarity and dynamics.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Jericho’s 27-inch scale Avenger vastly expands the guitar’s range while maintaining the physical dimensions, feel and weight of more commonly scaled guitars, opening a new door into the realm of deep-toned musical expression.