John Suhr has quite a profile and resume in the guitar business. From his earliest guitar tinkering and repair work through to time at the famous ‘Rudy’s Must Stop’ in New York to amp collaborations with guru Bob Bradshaw and into the renowned Fender Custom Shop. Now commandeering his own namesake brand John has pushed the Suhr name into the hands of players the world over. Guitars, basses, pedals and amps are the main features in a variety of specs. A new model for 2015, the Modern Satin, is a fresh take on one of their most successful models.
An African mahogany body and neck is the basis of the Modern Satin with an Indian rosewood fingerboard, Gotoh Bridge, Suhr locking machine heads and a H S H pickup setup on this particular model. Suhr’s ‘Modern’ shape is a double cut with a sharper rounded top bout that looks sharp and clean but a little more rock than your typical s shaped guitar. Body contours on the top and cutaways add some extra smoothness and increased access with the instrument finished in a thin satin layer. Designed for tonal and aesthetic purposes this lets the body resonate freely and highlights the guitar’s natural grain. As well as the Natural Satin of this particular instrument it’s also available in black and cherry along with a straight double humbucker setup if that’s more your thing.
Shred plus more
Marketed as a ‘stealth shred machine’ the Modern Satin definitely has some shred aspects to it with the Elliptical neck profile and 14” flat fingerboard radius allowing for some quick fingers on the fretboard and the 24 frets giving you increased range if you really need to hit high D, D# and E notes. Thanks to its feel and range of tones however the Modern Satin really offers more than just shred. Pop, rock, blues, funk, country and plenty of other styles are possible too thanks to the pickup configuration blasting out fat humbucker rock tones but also doing the in between thing if you wanna crack out some funk rhythms or muted quacky tones. Clean tones are pristine and chimey and add some distortion to the mix and you get thick rock sounds with nice clarity and separation. The Gotoh Floyd Rose feels secure and solid yet allows plenty of room for both subtle and extreme whammy bar work. Of course there is also a non-locking option too if you’d prefer the Gotoh 510 bridge.
I could see the Modern Satin being a hit amongst the rock, shred, metal, prog crowd thanks to its great playability and tones. Coming in at a good deal lower (price wise) than most other Moderns in the Suhr range opens it up to a whole new list of possible buyers too. Cherry, black or natural – take your pick. A great axe.
Hits and Misses
Great player, quick and easy
Quality parts and workmanship
Jumbo frets may not suit everyone