Zemaitis Student Reviews
A lightweight reinterpretation of a Les Paul Standard, with the same body shape and neck angle, but thinner, like the 'lawsuit' copies. All mahogany with a veneered top and set neck. Oiled finish with the mauve stain Zemaitis ususally used for the backs of decorated guitars all over. Ebony fretboard, aluminium scratchplate. 2 recycled Gibson humbuckers, unfortunately minus covers. 22 frets, more cambered than a Gibson. After a few experiments, always Ernie Ball stainless 010s now.
Bought from Tony Zemaitis for £310 in 1976 I had just joined my first band and was going to buy a Gibson Les Paul. Our bass player thought I was wasting money when our local luthier had an international reputation, and was cheaper. So, we went to see him and he had this one, maybe a speculative build, maybe a cancelled order, in his workshop ready to play. It sounded and played better than I was used to, and I bought it.
Comfortable and easy to play. Unusual in looks and sound. Responsive sound good for heavy riffs, slide lead, metal lead, and, with a clean tone, country.
Picks up more hum than I like. Doesn't sustain well in the register I like to play bluesy leads. Harshness of tone gets tiring after a while.
Made by a master luthier at the top of his game. Intonation slightly out on one or two frets. Neck bindings shrank slightly after about 30 years, so fret ends protrude about .001' in places. I turned down the offer to upgrade to Schaller tuners to save money, and everything else is not just good but impressive, particularly the superb neck.
A better guitar than I am a guitarist. Plays easily and cuts through bands.Dave Rotherham
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