With the number of guitar spares and accessories on the market, you'd be forgiven for believing the industry was being run by Airfix. Constructing a guitar from individually bought parts ensures that your instrument is unique — but how do you know you're going to like it?
Mighty Mite had some examples made up by luthier Peter Cook to prove the possibilities, and this solid rosewood six string is one of the options.
It would be immensely heavy if built strictly to familiar designs, so the body has been thinned down and given two maple strips for decoration. The neck is also solid rosewood — a rare and expensive material these days — and again has a maple inlay. It's comfortable with thick, flat Gibsonish frets.
The machines are gold-plated Schallers on an elegant headstock spoiled by a tacky Mighty Mite transfer. Otherwise the guitar has a neat functional look, simple, but strong, and the rich rosey colour is well contrasted by the maple binding.
Down at the bottom, brass swarms. The strings feed through from the back of the body past a solid brass insert, then up over the one-piece bridge and stop bar. Allen keyed saddles are also in the metal, as are the knurled knobs for the Allen Bradley pots, and even the bolt plate for the neck and the back panel cover for the electronics.
The collaboration of rosewood and a motherlode of brass forces out the upper harmonics making it a stunningly bright guitar. The treble strings leap out before the instrument is even plugged in. With an amplifier in tow, the forceful single coil pickup promotes that edge further still.
No single coil can ever accurately duplicate the rich warmth of a humbucker, simply because it cannot collect the vibrations of the string over such a wide area. But this Mighty Mite had no shortage of bass, and once the tone was cut down even further it became a thick, solid guitar in sound, but with a natural brightness and presence that still gave the upper strings plenty of distinction.
Also in its favour was a fantastic sustain, again helped by the dense body and ringing brass. Solos and chords worked well, and the brilliance gave the M.M. enough penetration to get through effects and echo units without bad treble loss.
For a guitar made of parts and aping another familiar make, it had a remarkable individuality and style of its own. But £600 is a lot of money, even for an enthusiast.
Review by Paul Colbert
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