Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - 132

VG APPROVED GEAR

DEBUT DRIVE
Slamo Guitars'
Turquoise Cabronita

S

lamo Guitars may not have yet achieved
the name recognition of certain others,
but Frank Silano has been building guitars
under the radar for about 10 years.
Silano got his start at a music store in
New York, where he began assembling
bodies and necks made by others before
moving on to dissect Gibson and Fender
instruments. He worked his way through
other brands until he was confident enough
to build from scratch. The semi-hollow
Turquoise Cabronita is one of his first
production models.
The Cabronita's lightweight swamp ash
body is a familiar shape with a nicely cut
sound hole. The neck is roasted maple
with turquoise stone markers that pop on
the dark fretboard, comfortably shaped to
what Silano calls the "Clapton V," with a
10"-16" compound radius, 22 Jescar 55090
stainless-steel frets, and a nut carved from
deer antler. The locking gear tuners and
bridge are Hipshot and the psychedelic,
custom pickguard is a extremely cool.
The Turquoise Cabronita's simple control
layout has a Volume knob (also carved from
antler) and three-way toggle. The pickups
are TV Jones Super'Trons, infamously
underpowered but faithful replicas of those
Gretsch pickups of yesteryear. Indeed,
TV Jones Super'Trons usually fall in the
4.0-4.8k resistance range, but that's not
necessarily a bad thing, unless you want
over-the-top output; that's not this guitar's
strong suit.
The tasteful, lightly checked body is finished in aged nitrocellulose lacquer. Silano
favors guitars with a mild relic treatment
- the small blemish here and there are in
good taste, like a "closet classic" that has
been well-played but also given proper care.
The neck sports a hand-rubbed oil and
wax finish with no stickiness. This is an
extremely comfortable neck in every way.
The headstock has one string tree and a
decal featuring a coiled snake as part of
the Slamo logo. The psychedelic-inspired,
custom-cut pickguard is another extremely
cool feature. A black Tolex hardshell case
completes the package.
Strapped on, the Turquoise Cabronita

Price: $1,800
Info: slamocustomguitars.com

is light and well-balanced. Plugged
into an 18-watt Class A amp, it
offered characteristic twang sans
the dreaded "ice pick" effect. The
Super'Trons, w ith steel blades
replacing pole screws, were bright
and clear, and string response was
extremely balanced. The bridge

VINTAGE GUITAR

132

June 2018

was characteristically hot with
maximum cut, while the neck
was naturally warmer, perhaps
with a bit less output. Together, the
pickups delivered an even response
that would work well in many styles of
music. While the neck pickup doesn't
exactly go into jazz territory, with
appropriate EQ, it could pass muster.
In terms of playability, the Turquoise Cabronita feels great. Chord
shapes are easy, intonation is spot
on, and string-bending is a breeze.
And it stays in tune - an important
attribute for any working guitarist.
Slamo's Turquoise Cabronita is a
commendable debut for a new guitar
builder, and one that could easily
find favor with guitarists looking
for something eminently playable
and tasteful with its unique appointments. - Bob Cianci


http://www.slamocustomguitars.com http://www.vintageguitar.Com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - 4
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