Tosin Abasi had a very productive 2022, with the introduction of several new guitar models from his own Abasi Concepts brand, a Los Angeles-based company helmed by himself and COO Ivan Chopik. Abasi Concepts revealed a new double-cutaway model called the ēmi, and at NAMM 2022 they showed 6- and 7-string prototypes and announced an 8-string version as well.
The ēmi 7 Master Series is the first model to reach the market, and it’s been an overwhelming success, with the guitars selling out almost immediately upon release from production. We were fortunate to receive a very cool test sample featuring a Capri Orange finish.
The ēmi’s design is sort of a hybrid between the sleek, classic curves of a SuperStrat and the more radical contours of a modern ergonomic axe. The body is made of okoume and features deeply beveled edges along the bass bout as well as a generously deep belly contour on the back, resulting in a light, comfortable overall weight.
Although the body has a uniform color, the top’s flat section has a matte finish while the beveled section is glossy, and the sections are divided by a sweeping, curving white pinstripe.
The roasted figured maple neck is glued to the body, and the joint is seamlessly and smoothly contoured like a neck-thru-body design to provide unrestricted access to the entire fretboard. Our example had an ebony fretboard, but a roasted maple option is also available.
Neck specs include a 25.5-inch standard scale, 24 medium jumbo Jescar stainless steel frets, a flat 20-inch radius and a teardrop-shaped “oviform + -” neck profile that’s slightly asymmetrical with the top of the neck (behind the bass side strings) thinner than the bottom side of the neck (behind the treble strings), resulting in a neck shape that easily fits into your hand without feeling like a skinny neck.
The ēmi 7 model features a non-locking, floating vibrato; and in this case, it comes courtesy of a Gotoh 510 unit with steel saddles and block.
Other hardware includes Hipshot Grip-Lock tuners with round, knurled Industrial Metal buttons, Tele-style knurled metal dome-top black chrome knobs and an easy-access truss rod adjustment wheel located above the 24th fret.
Electronics consist of a pair of Fishman Fluence Tosin Abasi signature white soapbar pickups with ceramic 8 (bridge) or alnico 4/5 (neck) magnets, a five-way blade pickup selector and master volume and master tone controls.
The ēmi 7 is unapologetically built for both comfort and speed. The guitar is light but exceptionally well-balanced, staying steadily in perfect playing position whether seated or standing up. The 7-string neck is outrageously playable and very easy for 6-string players to navigate without having to stretch awkwardly.
The Gotoh vibrato delivers rich, full-bodied tone and stays perfectly in tune. My only critique is that while the bar can be raised generously, it only allows the high E string to dive a full step before the block’s movement is impeded by the body cavity.
The Fluence pickups provide three distinct voices: aggressive humbucker with fat mids, passive brilliant and scooped, hi-fi single-coil. Voices 1 and 2 are switchable via the push-pull master tone knob and are engaged in the blade switch’s 1 (bridge humbucker), 3 (bridge and neck humbucker) and 5 (neck humbucker) settings, while voice 3 is engaged in positions 2 (bridge and neck inner coils) and 4 (neck outer coil).
The tones range from big beefy mids with tight bass and sweet highs to sparkling, snappy single-coil tones reminiscent of hi-fi Strats and Teles. The voices are all highly attractive across the full range of clean to high-gain amp settings, delivering outstanding clarity and expressive dynamics.
The ēmi 7 Master Series has its own distinctive voice that is very musical and attractive, and it’s highly recommended if you’re looking for a new sound that stands out from the crowd.
- PRICE: $3,799
- TYPE: 7-string electric guitar
- BODY: Okoume
- NECK: Roasted figured maple, set
- SCALE LENGTH: 25.5"
- FINGERBOARD: Ebony, 20" radius
- FRETS: 24, Jescar stainless steel
- PICKUPS: 2x Fishman Fluence Tosin Abasi humbuckers
- CONTROLS: 5-way pickup selector switch, volume, tone
- HARDWARE: Gotoh 510 vibrato, Hipshot locking tuners
- FINISH: Capri Orange
- CONTACT: Abasi Concepts