Diamond has a number of different styles of guitar in their line-up, some decidedly aggressive and some a little more classic - and some that are downright classy - but the Maverick masterfully balances between these worlds. It’s clearly Telecaster-inspired, but that’s not where it begins or ends.
The body is made of alder and it’s expertly carved with a few really unique bevels and a more aggressive treble side cutaway than you typically see on a Tele-inspired instrument. The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets, and the inlays are big chunky blocks. The headstock is reversed, which gives you a snappier feel on the low strings and a slinkier feel on the high ones. The neck joint is nice and comfortable for upper-fret excursions too. Tuners are Grovers.
Electronics include a pair of Diamond pickups (a mid-output bridge humbucker and a neck single coil that’s hot enough to keep up with the ‘bucker), master volume, master tone and a three-way pickup selector switch. There’s no coil split for the humbucker.
The bridge pickup has a sort of ‘dry’ feel, almost like a slightly lower-output Duncan Custom: a muscular, PAF-like punch with nice upper-mids and tight bass. It’s a great all-round rock pickup, sounding just as good with chunky power chords as it does with screaming solos. But the neck pickup seems to be the real star here. It has a Stratty grittiness that balances with the bridge pickup in terms of output yet contrasts nicely in tone. It’s more strident and yet more full, with lots of detail and body. It combines nicely with the humbucker when you use them together too, but I found that I spent most of my playing time on the neck pickup alone just because it sounded so good. ‘Punch’ is a word that keeps coming back in terms of this guitar’s various tones.
If there’s a criticism to be levelled at the Maverick, it’s that it doesn’t feel like it has much physical character. Although the looks and tone are distinctive, if you were to close your eyes it feels like any number of other guitars. I put this down to the neck shape, which feels like a pretty standard mid-price guitar. It’s certainly not bad, but it doesn’t give you that deeper connection that comes with a distinctive, tactile neck carve.
A NOBLE STEED
This is a great workhorse guitar for all sorts of genres, though it looks a little edgier than something you might use for, say, country or traditional blues. It could use a little more character in the feel of the neck and in the voicing of the bridge pickup but neither is a dealbreaker.
Hits and Misses
Great neck pickup.
Snappy low-string tones.
Neck feels a little generic.