We’ve already reviewed the Ormsby Hypemachine and SX models in both their custom and production GTR forms. This month we’re taking a peek at another Ormsby design, the TX. Imagine a Telecaster or an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis fed through a warp in spacetime and you’ll get the basic idea. It’s a single-cutaway offset design with great ergonomics and that’s before you even take into account the fretting-hand-friendly multiscale design, which presents a 27.8” scale length on the lowest string and a 25.5” scale on the highest (a 6-string version is also available with a 25.5”-27.5” scale). The benefits of this are many; in terms of how it angles your fretting hand, how it presents a more even tension from string to string and how it intonates better. But we’ve covered that before, so let’s get to the guts of what makes this particular guitar what it is.
DON’T MESS WITH TX
The TX has a 42mm-thick alder body and, in this Eaton Special configuration, a flame maple top. The bolt-on neck is made of three-piece maple with an ebony fingerboard and mother of pearl inlays, and the back of the neck is carved to a D shape with round shoulders, otherwise known as a ‘Thin U’ shape. It’s not ultra-chunky but it’s not super-thin either. In fact it’s probably the perfect depth to be instantly accessible to as many players as possible, and it naturally guides your hand to a comfortable position for best orienting yourself to the multiscale fret layout (which takes all of two minutes before it feels as natural as any regular guitar).
The hardware includes Hipshot USA locking tuners and a custom Hipshot multiscale bridge, and the controls include volume and tone pots, a push-pull on the tone for coil splitting, and a three-way pickup selector switch. The pickups are a PVH A5 humbucker and an Old School single coil wound to Ormsby’s specs.
The first thing I noticed about this guitar was just how punchy and three-dimensional it sounded. Unlike the set-neck Hype GTR we reviewed a while back, which had a pleasantly musical natural compression, the TX’s bolt-on neck seems to really emphasise the punch and three dimensionality of each note and chord. The pickups aid this sensation with their clear, focused vibe. They’re capable of fatter tones too with a bit of amp or pedal tweakage, but they’re especially great for really percussive, chunky riffage and aggressive soloing. They’re not super hot in output, but this allows them to speak nice and clearly. The humbucker splits into a nice twangy single coil voice, and the neck pickup has great ‘noodlablity’ – if you’re into your Yngwie licks, you’ll love what this guitar can do. And the clean and semi-dirty tones are fantastic, especially in the middle selector position with the coil tap engaged.
THE ULTIMATE MULTISCALE
This isn’t just a guitar for metal – although metal players seem to be happily embracing the multiscale concept in general and Ormsby’s take on it in particular. It’s a guitar that can handle all sorts of genres, especially ones that encourage a lot of clarity and note separation. Blues, rock, country, metal, funk. And it’s also capable of a great alternative jangle. If you’ve been intrigued by the ideal of a multiscale but the Hype looks a little too metal for you, this is the perfect introduction to – and example of the concept.
For more details, head to ormsbyguitars.com.
Hits and Misses
None once you’re used to the neck