Review: Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid, Liekki 290-T Classic & 57HM-H Master

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – headstock

This spring is bringing exciting news from Flaxwood Guitars – the Finnish maker has given its model line-up a thorough overhaul.

One important change sees Flaxwood rearranging their models into three distinct series:

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – flying

The (newly-expanded) Hybrid Series encompasses Fender-inspired electric guitars, which combine Flaxwood’s famous injection-moulded WFC-necks (Wood Fibre Composite) with wooden bodies.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – flying

Flaxwood’s bona fide classics – such as the Äijä, Laine or Rautia models – have now been grouped into the aptly-named Classic Series.

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – flying

The brand-new Master Series is offering the guitarist ”factory customised” Flaxwood guitars. These models have received special finishes and/or hardware, in addition to pickup choices that differ from similar Classic Series instruments.

For this review we received one guitar from each series – the MTQ Hybrid (current RRP in Finland: 1.750 €), the Liekki 290-T Classic (current RRP in Finland: 2.054 €) and the 57HM-H Master (current RRP in Finland: 2.707 €).

****

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – beauty shot 1

The Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid is the company’s beautiful take on the Telecaster Custom theme, with its wood-composite Flaxwood-neck and a swamp ash body with a bound flame maple top.

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – back beauty

The MTQ’s gorgeous Honeyburst finish shows off some luscious wood grain.

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – Gotoh HAP tuners

The golden machine heads on the MTQ Hybrid are locking Gotoh H.A.P. units with height-adjustable tuning posts.

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – bridge

The bridge is a traditional Tele-ashtray design, but it comes updated with six bridge saddles for perfect intonation and action adjustment.

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – pickups

The MTQ’s pickups are made by Seymour Duncan:

The neck unit is a (PAF-style) Antiquity Humbucker, while the bridge single coil is a chunky STL-1B.

****

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – beauty shot 1

The Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic (liekki means flame in Finnish) is without doubt one of the best-known guitars from this Finnish maker. This slender and gracious f-holed beauty is offered in several cool finishes.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – back beauty

The Liekki 290-T Classic is an all Flaxwood-WFC instrument. This injection-moulded material – which was developed in co-operation with the University of Eastern Finland – is eco-friendly and fully recyclable.

The Flaxwood body is partially hollow, and capped from the back with a resonating back plate.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – neck joint

Flaxwood Guitars’ proprietary 3D neck joint is very smooth.

As you can see from this picture, newer Flaxwood instruments now sport a matte black neck, instead of the original, structured look of the early Flaxwood necks.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – headstock

The company uses it’s own compensated X-Tune Nut on all Classic and Master Series models. The X-Tune Nut will make open chords ring out much more in tune than most traditional guitars.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – vibrato

The Liekki’s 290-T-version comes equipped with Schaller’s ingenious LP Tremolo vibrato bridge.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – pickups

Two Seymour Duncan P-90-type pickups (SP90-1 Vintage Soapbar) have been installed on the Liekki Classic.

****

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – beauty shot 2

Flaxwood’s brand-new 57HM-H Master is a Metal guitarist’s dream machine.

The 57HM-H comes with a suitably moody matte black finish with golden pinstripes, Schaller Security Locks, and a pair of active EMG pickups.

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – back beauty

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – body cavity

The 57HM-H Master’s battery compartment has been installed into the instrument’s back plate.

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – headstock

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – bridge

The Gotoh hardware – locking tuners and a tune-o-matic bridge plus stopbar – has been finished in black chrome.

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – pickups

EMG’s 57/66-set comprises a pair of alnico-loaded humbuckers, and promises to deliver an intriguing combination of vintage warmth with active punch and clarity.

****

Even though Flaxwood Guitars’ brand philosophy is based on the ultra-modern use of injection-moulded WFC-composite material, there is still a surprising amount of traditional handicraft that goes into the making of each and every Flaxwood model. There isn’t a machine in existence that will churn out finished instruments from raw materials, you do still need lots of guitar-making skills to build a top notch instrument.

You can see and feel the touch of a craftsman when you pick up a Flaxwood guitar. Our review trio displayed excellent workmanship, and all guitars came with a top grade set-up.

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – body beauty 2

Any old Telecaster lover will feel right at home with the Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid, because the most important design elements – like the vintage bridge or the control positioning – have been carried over from the classic to this new model.

The neck profile is slim and slightly oval, with a mere whiff of a V-neck’s spine along its back. The playing feel is fast, effortless and precise.

The tone of the Flaxwood MTQ doesn’t come as a surprise – this model offers an array of very tasty Tele-style sounds!

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – body beauty 1

****

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – body beauty 2

Flaxwood’s Liekki 290-T Classic is a lightweight and compact instrument that balances perfectly on a strap.

In addition to the three-way pickup switch, most Flaxwood models traditionally feature a single master volume control and two tone controls (one per pickup).

I can’t understand why Schaller’s excellent LP Tremolo isn’t used on more guitars as a standard feature. I can only applaud Flaxwood for featuring the LP Tremolo on several of their models!

The Seymour Duncan P-90s give you a wide range of different tones on the Liekki, from jazzy warmth all the way to gritty Rock.

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – body beauty 1

****

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – body beauty 1

The Flaxwood 57HM-H is a fantastic addition to the company’s line-up in my opinion:

The playing feel of the 57HM-H is quite similar to the Liekki model, but the fatter frets and stable, non-trem bridge will be just the ticket for fans of detuned high-gain riffage.

The EMG 57/66-set is a great update on the US-maker’s original active humbucker recipe. There’s more than enough power and punch on tap, but you could never call these active humbuckers cold, clinical or sterile!

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – body beauty 1

****

Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid – beauty shot 2

Flaxwood Liekki 290-T Classic – beauty shot 2

It’s really great to see Flaxwood Guitars expanding their line-up further!

In my view the new three-tiered model range makes a lot of sense, making it easier to find the right Flaxwood for any player.

The Liekki 290-T Classic has become a genuine classic over the years, while the brand-new MTQ Hybrid and 57HM-H models further widen Flaxwood’s appeal to include both traditional and modern guitarists. A test drive is highly recommended!

Flaxwood 57HM-H Master – beauty shot 1

****
Flaxwood Guitars

MTQ Hybrid – 1.750 € (comes with a gig bag)

Liekki 290-T Classic – 2.045 € (comes with a case)

57HM-H Master – 2.707 € (comes with a case)

Pros:

+ made in Finland

+ workmanship

+ quality parts and pickups

+ playability

+ sound

2 Trackbacks to “Review: Flaxwood MTQ Hybrid, Liekki 290-T Classic & 57HM-H Master”

Vastaa

Täytä tietosi alle tai klikkaa kuvaketta kirjautuaksesi sisään:

WordPress.com-logo

Olet kommentoimassa WordPress.com -tilin nimissä. Log Out / Muuta )

Twitter-kuva

Olet kommentoimassa Twitter -tilin nimissä. Log Out / Muuta )

Facebook-kuva

Olet kommentoimassa Facebook -tilin nimissä. Log Out / Muuta )

Google+ photo

Olet kommentoimassa Google+ -tilin nimissä. Log Out / Muuta )

Muodostetaan yhteyttä palveluun %s

%d bloggers like this: