PROS: Great pickups, nice Bigsby.
CONS: Control knobs are a little hard to work with.
Bigsby-equipped guitars usually only come on older, retro-fitted instruments, and don’t offer anything other than an old school whammy bar. Cort’s Sunset is a modern take on an old idea. Construction-wise, it features a chambered mahogany body with a maple top. The set neck is mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard that has some very nice pearl inlays. With some large-ish frets, it has a beefy feel. The overall fit and finish is OK. There were a few paint runs on the top of the headstock on our test model and the finish around the sound hole was a little rough. But nothing too major.
The pickups are by TV Jones, a Classic in the neck, and their Classic Plus in the bridge. A simple 3-way toggle single chicken-head volume and tone knobs control everything.
The sounds it can produce fit well in the rock genre, and anything in the “less gain=more tone” styles. Country twang and rockabilly tones come through nicely, as well, and in a gritty rock band format, the TV Jones pickups stick out, even when the other guitar player is wailing full on with humbuckers. They sit somewhere between a Tele and a classic Gibson humbucker, without any noise issues.
Playability is excellent; using a Bigsby is a lesson in subtlety. It won’t do Van Halen dive bombs, but sweet, subtle tremolo effects are not a problem. With its roller bridge, there are no issues with tuning. On the down side, while the chicken head knobs add to the vintage feel, the spacing of them is a bit tight; you might get your fingers stuck between the pointed ends. A regular set of knobs would have been a better choice (and are a super cheap option to add at any point).
Overall, the TV Jones pickups deliver, and the Bigsby is very nice. For players looking for a uniquely styled guitar with a vintage vibrato that can deliver great twangy tones, this sticks out amongst the other single cut models on the market.
Neck: Mahogany, Set-in
Body: Maple Top on Chambered Mahogany Body
Fretboard: Rosewood, 12″ Radius
Frets: 22 Large
Scale: 24 3/4″
Inlays: Rectangular White Pearl
Vibrato: Bigsby B50 Tailpiece
Pickups: TV Jones Classic (N) & Classic Plus (B) (H-H)
Controls: 1vol, 1 tone, 3-way toggle