The ASAS Semi models are made with arched backs and tops hand carved from solid wood in the same way as it's acoustic relatives the ASAS and ASAST jazz guitars. The main difference between the full jazzers is that the semis have a cedar block between the top and back which reduces unwanted feedback but still allows for a 'woody' tone to the guitar when amplified.
This Stealth model has a top and back of poplar (a resonant, lightweight hardwood) with sides of quartersawn maple. The neck is made from hard maple, fitted with a two way trussrod and capped by an ebony fingerboard with 22 Dunlop 6150 frets. Hardware is from Schaller and Gotoh and gold plated. The contrast of the matt black finish, white binding and gold hardware give a dramatic and unusual look. The pickups are Kent Armstrong humbucking with alnico magnets and black covers. The neck pickup is similar to a PAF, very transparent with a wide frequency range, the neck is an overwound version with more drive and thick mids. Selection is by a 5 way rotary switch that give 5 distinct voices to the guitar, all humbucking. Master volume and tone complete the controls.
Despite being slimline and a semi construction the guitar is remarkably loud when unplugged, due I suspect, to the light weight and resonant wood used in it's building. Plug it in and you have a full range of tones from the thick mids at the bridge to the smooth, softness of the neck and all point in between, always with clarity. Crank it up and it shows how punchy it can be with lots of drive and the ability to create resonant feedback at will and surprising sustain. It always maintains it's 'woodiness' compared to a solid body. I know I have said it before but this guitar really can cover any gig. Many players consider a good semi to be the ideal guitar.
A word about the neck. It is slim and the matt black finish is very slippery. Combine this with a low action and it almost seems to play itself - it's very quick.
There you have it - dramatic looking instrument with killer sounds, easy to play. What's not to like?
One more thing. Why Stealth? Because it is finished in matt black, slips under the 'flashy' radar and can deliver a surpring punch from such a compact package. Just like the Stealth bomber!
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