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Thread started 08/21/17 7:43am

emesem

Another Prince Hohner Mat Cat thread 2017 edition PSA

So I did an impulse buy last week and picked up one of those 2008 Hohner "The Artist" HTA-490. Got it over the weekend. At first was thrilled with it as it was in pretty good shape for a 9 year old guitar and had some pretty nice upgrades (better tuners, better pickups and electronics). Paid a little less than what these went for new but lost were the original pickguards but I sourced a set from a guy in the UK who seems to make very nice replicas.

As I'm apt to do for any big purchase, I started to get the pangs of buyers remorse and dug deeper into the guitar and its history. Before purchasing I did stumble up one this great post on the org from back in 09:

http://prince.org/msg/7/300231?pr

Excellent info there but there are few omissions/updates that I'd like to add for the next person that goes down this road as there is one thing I wish I would have known about this guitar before purchasing that likely would have changed my mind on it.

If you have one of these The Artist guitars and you love it, you may not want to continue reading as I may point out something to you that could kill this guitar for you.

This guitar was billed as "exactly like Prince's except for the headstock". The headstock is hideous and a very obvious difference but I didnt care about it. Now I'm thinking it was made so different on purpose in order to mask a major variation from the original design that almost no one pointed out: THE BODY SHAPE IS WRONG!

Here is The Artist:

http://www.edroman.com/gu...tist-F.jpg

hohner-artist-F.jpg

Here what a Telecaster body and what every other Mad Cat Replica looks like:

fender-american-standard-telecaster-natural.jpg

Note the bass side "hump" and how it joins to the fret board. On a Telecaster this curves up again towards the 17th fret. On the Artist for some god-forsaken reason it never curves back but instead dives down to the 19th fret. W T F! Is this a mistake by some rookie designer? Was this to save $1 on the extra time it takes to make that curve? Was it intentional to distinguish it from the 3x more expensive (and correctly shaped) "Artist Elite"? OTHERWISE THIS MAKES NO SENSE AND NEVER WAS DISCUSSED BY HOHNER!

One astute orger mentioned it in a post but I didnt catch it the first time I read it. It was also mentioned in one of the scant online reviews when it compared the "Artist" with the "Artist Elite": http://www.guitarplayer.c...lite/16569

"More significant, perhaps, is the more graceful (and more Tele-like) curve of the upper bout down toward its upward notch at the neck, whereas the HTA490’s plummets all the way to the neck joint."

So mad about this and probably I am killing the resale value of my guitar with this post but I'm doing it for the next person. Its a damn shame, as its a solid, well made guitar that otherwise looks and sounds great.

I think I'm just going to sell all my guitars at some point (have too many of them anyway) and just spring for one of the newer (and very accurate) $3,100 Mad Cats that they are still making in Japan (http://www.madcatguitars.com/). I think there is a long wait list for these but its really the only way to get close to the real thing with out spending $10k.

The other option is to go totally cheap and get the Harley Benton (https://www.thomannmusic....series.htm) and upgrade the components and replace the pickguards. I now wished I gone this route instead. would have just cost around $400 and a few hours.

So there you go.

(PS: also watch out for the "Bill Lawrence" Mad Cat (theres one on Ebay for $1700 from the early 80s or the Moridaira 45th anniversary Mad Cat from 2009 ($2500-$3000). While both of these are very nice legit "Mad Cats" made by the original manfacturer, they each have a significant difference. These each use Telecaster Bridge pickups instead of Strat bridge pickups. Makes a difference in the tone and not easily fixed as the holes are spaced differently and more signfinancely each are placed at a more acute angle, thereby changing the sound further).

[Edited 8/21/17 7:45am]

[Edited 8/21/17 7:46am]

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Reply #1 posted 08/21/17 7:47am

mothyham

emesem said:

So I did an impulse buy last week and picked up one of those 2008 Hohner "The Artist" HTA-490. Got it over the weekend. At first was thrilled with it as it was in pretty good shape for a 9 year old guitar and had some pretty nice upgrades (better tuners, better pickups and electronics). Paid a little less than what these went for new but lost were the original pickguards but I sourced a set from a guy in the UK who seems to make very nice replicas.



As I'm apt to do for any big purchase, I started to get the pangs of buyers remorse and dug deeper into the guitar and its history. Before purchasing I did stumble up one this great post on the org from back in 09:



http://prince.org/msg/7/300231?pr



Excellent info there but there are few omissions/updates that I'd like to add for the next person that goes down this road as there is one thing I wish I would have known about this guitar before purchasing that likely would have changed my mind on it.



If you have one of these The Artist guitars and you love it, you may not want to continue reading as I may point out something to you that could kill this guitar for you.



This guitar was billed as "exactly like Prince's except for the headstock". The headstock is hideous and a very obvious difference but I didnt care about it. Now I'm thinking it was made so different on purpose in order to mask a major variation from the original design that almost no one pointed out: THE BODY SHAPE IS WRONG!



Here is The Artist:


http://www.edroman.com/gu...tist-F.jpg



hohner-artist-F.jpg



Here what a Telecaster body and what every other Mad Cat Replica looks like:



fender-american-standard-telecaster-natural.jpg





Note the bass side "hump" and how it joins to the fret board. On a Telecaster this curves up again towards the 17th fret. On the Artist for some god-forsaken reason it never curves back but instead dives down to the 19th fret. W T F! Is this a mistake by some rookie designer? Was this to save $1 on the extra time it takes to make that curve? Was it intentional to distinguish it from the 3x more expensive (and correctly shaped) "Artist Elite"? OTHERWISE THIS MAKES NO SENSE AND NEVER WAS DISCUSSED BY HOHNER!



One astute orger mentioned it in a post but I didnt catch it the first time I read it. It was also mentioned in one of the scant online reviews when it compared the "Artist" with the "Artist Elite": http://www.guitarplayer.c...lite/16569



"More significant, perhaps, is the more graceful (and more Tele-like) curve of the upper bout down toward its upward notch at the neck, whereas the HTA490’s plummets all the way to the neck joint."



So mad about this and probably I am killing the resale value of my guitar with this post but I'm doing it for the next person. Its a damn shame, as its a solid, well made guitar that otherwise looks and sounds great.



I think I'm just going to sell all my guitars at some point (have too many of them anyway) and just spring for one of the newer (and very accurate) $3,100 Mad Cats that they are still making in Japan (http://www.madcatguitars.com/). I think there is a long wait list for these but its really the only way to get close to the real thing with out spending $10k.



The other option is to go totally cheap and get the Harley Benton (https://www.thomannmusic....series.htm) and upgrade the components and replace the pickguards. I now wished I gone this route instead. would have just cost around $400 and a few hours.



So there you go.



(PS: also watch out for the "Bill Lawrence" Mad Cat (theres one on Ebay for $1700 from the early 80s or the Moridaira 45th anniversary Mad Cat from 2009 ($2500-$3000). While both of these are very nice legit "Mad Cats" made by the original manfacturer, they each have a significant difference. These each use Telecaster Bridge pickups instead of Strat bridge pickups. Makes a difference in the tone and not easily fixed as the holes are spaced differently and more signfinancely each are placed at a more acute angle, thereby changing the sound further).













[Edited 8/21/17 7:45am]


I just got my HS Anderson MadCat reissue from Mesa Boogie. Could not be happier pretty faithful reproduction. Plays like a dream best guitar neck I've ever had Don't Think Twice go get one
[Edited 8/21/17 7:48am]
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Reply #2 posted 08/21/17 7:50am

emesem

$3,000 on yet another guitar would leave me divorced and childless!

I'm jealous brother perhaps in the next life. Although I think I could sell it as an investment. Those bad boys will do nothing but go up in value.

mothyham said:


I just got my MadCat reissue from Mesa Boogie. Could not be happier pretty faithful reproduction. Plays like a dream best guitar neck I've ever had Don't Think Twice go get one

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Reply #3 posted 08/21/17 8:40am

crimesofparis

Oh wow, yeah, that looks weirder the more you look at it. Sorry it's a deal breaker. Did you get the pickgaurd from Original Scratch plates?

I got the Harley Benton a few months ago and put some work into it. Pretty happy with it overall, but it has a few weird things about it that annoy me.
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Reply #4 posted 08/21/17 10:46am

emesem

Yeah. That hump is making me ill.

Yes the guards are coming from Original Scratch and they seem to look good. Did you get yours from there too?

One of the things that turned me off of the HB was the routing of the neck pickup which forces you to get an opaque pickguard rather than the see-thru that I understand are more accurate. Also the back of the guitar doesnt have the maple-top.

This is all leading to spending $3000 at some point. Maybe I'll hit the lottery.

I guess I should be happy as its close enough and the purple plush case is kinda cool and like I said it sounds great (lots of bite and treble) with its single coils (even better than my 1999 American Standard Tele with noiseless pickups) and has a very nice and flat fretboard (supposedly compound).

Hows the neck on the HB?

crimesofparis said:

Oh wow, yeah, that looks weirder the more you look at it. Sorry it's a deal breaker. Did you get the pickgaurd from Original Scratch plates? I got the Harley Benton a few months ago and put some work into it. Pretty happy with it overall, but it has a few weird things about it that annoy me.

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Reply #5 posted 08/21/17 12:12pm

Knightoflight

mothyham said:

emesem said:

I just got my HS Anderson MadCat reissue from Mesa Boogie. Could not be happier pretty faithful reproduction. Plays like a dream best guitar neck I've ever had Don't Think Twice go get one [Edited 8/21/17 7:48am]

any chance for demo of Mad Cat from Mesa Boogie?

I am thinkung about buying mine next year - and want to hear the sounds\playing from real buyer

Demos shows it sounds close to STrat - which is ok for clean - but still far from original

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Reply #6 posted 08/21/17 1:49pm

crimesofparis

emesem said:

Yeah. That hump is making me ill.

Yes the guards are coming from Original Scratch and they seem to look good. Did you get yours from there too?

One of the things that turned me off of the HB was the routing of the neck pickup which forces you to get an opaque pickguard rather than the see-thru that I understand are more accurate. Also the back of the guitar doesnt have the maple-top.

This is all leading to spending $3000 at some point. Maybe I'll hit the lottery.

I guess I should be happy as its close enough and the purple plush case is kinda cool and like I said it sounds great (lots of bite and treble) with its single coils (even better than my 1999 American Standard Tele with noiseless pickups) and has a very nice and flat fretboard (supposedly compound).

Hows the neck on the HB?

Yep, same pickguard folks. They really worked with me to get it perfect, as mine didn't align perfectly with the template. But it looks really good, pics don't quite do it justice, but you can see a few on my instagram (same handle as here).

.

Agreed with the routing -- wish they'd have done it tighter, but it still looks pretty good. I've read a few other posts, and I feel like some people say Prince's pickguard was transparent with black dots, and others are saying it wasn't. Don't remember who was right.

.

The back is a bummer, but I barely look at it. I feel like mine at least has a really nice grain. And some people seem to get screwed with a lame flame, but mine, though not the most beautiful I've seen, is pretty nice.

.

The neck FEELS awesome, but damn it's ugly up close. Painted on dots, and not single-piece construction (but at least it has the skunk stripe). And the neck pocket is bigger and deeper than a standard tele, so you'd have to get a shim at LEAST if you want a better neck. Was going to spend the money to get a really nice neck, but now I'm holding off. It's on my list wink

.

I did redo the headstock and applied the "H. Benton mad cat" waterslide decals that you can find on ebay. Looks pretty fantastic -- way better than the screenprinted whatever it came with. There's a guy who has a whole series on YouTube of his Harley Benton upgrades that are totally worth watching, and I think he's the one who makes and salls them.

.

I didn't upgrade the electronics yet, but still might. One thing at a time... and I think it sounds pretty good right now. I figure I have about $350 into the guitar, maybe less, not counting my time.

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Reply #7 posted 08/21/17 2:46pm

KoolEaze

avatar

crimesofparis said:

Oh wow, yeah, that looks weirder the more you look at it. Sorry it's a deal breaker. Did you get the pickgaurd from Original Scratch plates? I got the Harley Benton a few months ago and put some work into it. Pretty happy with it overall, but it has a few weird things about it that annoy me.

Such as ?

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #8 posted 08/21/17 3:08pm

crimesofparis

KoolEaze said:



crimesofparis said:


Oh wow, yeah, that looks weirder the more you look at it. Sorry it's a deal breaker. Did you get the pickgaurd from Original Scratch plates? I got the Harley Benton a few months ago and put some work into it. Pretty happy with it overall, but it has a few weird things about it that annoy me.

Such as ?


Painted dots on the neck. Not one-piece construction on a maple neck. The fact that the neck pocket won't allow you to easily swap a standard telecaster neck without a shim. That's pretty much the end of the immediate list. Just KILLS me I couldn't drop in a nicer neck.

Still fantastic value for the money.
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Reply #9 posted 08/22/17 4:24am

emesem

Took a look at your axe. Beautiful job. And I'm now inspired to learn the Treat me so bad solo! That middle run.


crimesofparis said:

KoolEaze said:



crimesofparis said:


Oh wow, yeah, that looks weirder the more you look at it. Sorry it's a deal breaker. Did you get the pickgaurd from Original Scratch plates? I got the Harley Benton a few months ago and put some work into it. Pretty happy with it overall, but it has a few weird things about it that annoy me.

Such as ?


Painted dots on the neck. Not one-piece construction on a maple neck. The fact that the neck pocket won't allow you to easily swap a standard telecaster neck without a shim. That's pretty much the end of the immediate list. Just KILLS me I couldn't drop in a nicer neck.

Still fantastic value for the money.
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Reply #10 posted 08/22/17 6:14am

vlammie

Here's a video of an original mad cat from '84 and a prototype of a limited run we' re gonna do with the re-issue:

https://www.facebook.com/...588767907/

The '84 is mine, I also own a re-issue, and a 45th anniversary (with the tele pickups).

Someone mentioned the re-issue sounded close to a strat but not like the old ones, which is really far from the truth.

I think I can make claims like this, owning a '84 and previously a '79 original.

I'm also the guy who's behind the madcatguitars.com website and the facebook page: www.facebook.com/hsandersonguitars

Some good info, catalogs, etc. to be found there...

Dig if you will, the pictures. smile

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Reply #11 posted 08/22/17 8:27am

crimesofparis

emesem said:

Took a look at your axe. Beautiful job. And I'm now inspired to learn the Treat me so bad solo! That middle run.

Aw, thank you very much! It was a little labor of love and I'm pretty much obsessed with it right now, as you could probably tell from the plethora of pics.

.

That solo is hilariously fast. I think my video I'm playing at about 80-85% the recorded speed, maybe 116bpm if I remember correctly. Still totally a work in progress, but this guy has a great tutorial of that and tons of other songs.(and I mapped out the gist of the tab on my instagram, if you saw that/can read my handwriting, though I don't think it's perfect.

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Reply #12 posted 08/22/17 8:28am

crimesofparis

vlammie said:

I'm also the guy who's behind the madcatguitars.com website and the facebook page: www.facebook.com/hsandersonguitars

Wow, love the pics of the guitars in progress!

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Reply #13 posted 08/22/17 9:25am

TheFman

I can't understand why anybody would want to buy those replica 'The Artist' guitars when there the real deal is still available if you look (not even that hard)
I don't think the price would even be that very different.

I have two and willing to split with one for a tempting offer...

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Reply #14 posted 08/22/17 9:39am

crimesofparis

TheFman said:

I can't understand why anybody would want to buy those replica 'The Artist' guitars when there the real deal is still available if you look (not even that hard)
I don't think the price would even be that very different.



I have two and willing to split with one for a tempting offer...


I mean, for me, I agree -- if I'm already paying $1700 for something that close to the real deal I'd probably just save my money and pay the extra $1000. Then again, I bought the $200 version simply because it was SO MUCH less expensive. Nothing else under a grand looked good to me.

But $3000 is a lot of money for a guitar, period. It's hard to justify that unless you make serious money, have been saving for that specific purpose, or play professionally.

Related to that...what would be a tempting offer?
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Reply #15 posted 08/22/17 10:11am

emesem

what you mean by "real deal"? I've read there are less than 500 Hohner branded Mad Cats in the world. Even Prince was only able to have one and had replicas made for him. I've seen supposed authentic HS Anderson 70s versions out there but they are very pricey ($6k-$10k plus) and frankly I not sure I even want one unless I was sure it was authentic and was in great shape.

At $3,000 the new HS Anderson's are tempting as its on par in quality with a Les Paul Standard or a Custom Shop Fender but still too rich for my blood (but in all honesty if I put together how much I paid for my collection of guitars, I would come pretty close. As someone once said, its not whether you should buy a $3,000 guitar or a $500 guitar but whether you have rather have many $500 guitars!).

I only paid $650 for this one and it originally sold for $800. If it only had the right shape it would be just fine. Its a solid build. But yes lessoned learned.

TheFman said:

I can't understand why anybody would want to buy those replica 'The Artist' guitars when there the real deal is still available if you look (not even that hard)
I don't think the price would even be that very different.

I have two and willing to split with one for a tempting offer...

[Edited 8/22/17 10:12am]

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Reply #16 posted 08/22/17 10:31am

TheFman

emesem said:

what you mean by "real deal"? I've read there are less than 500 Hohner branded Mad Cats in the world. Even Prince was only able to have one and had replicas made for him. I've seen supposed authentic HS Anderson 70s versions out there but they are very pricey ($6k-$10k plus) and frankly I not sure I even want one unless I was sure it was authentic and was in great shape.

At $3,000 the new HS Anderson's are tempting as its on par in quality with a Les Paul Standard or a Custom Shop Fender but still too rich for my blood (but in all honesty if I put together how much I paid for my collection of guitars, I would come pretty close. As someone once said, its not whether you should buy a $3,000 guitar or a $500 guitar but whether you have rather have many $500 guitars!).

I only paid $650 for this one and it originally sold for $800. If it only had the right shape it would be just fine. Its a solid build. But yes lessoned learned.

TheFman said:

I can't understand why anybody would want to buy those replica 'The Artist' guitars when there the real deal is still available if you look (not even that hard)
I don't think the price would even be that very different.

I have two and willing to split with one for a tempting offer...

[Edited 8/22/17 10:12am]


Since yours isn't a copy of the Madcat but a copy of the Te Prinz Hohner, i was talking of original Te Prinz Hohners.
That's also the one i'm willing to split with. A tempting offer is one i can't resist lol try me, trying is free wink

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Reply #17 posted 08/22/17 10:32am

TheFman

crimesofparis said:

TheFman said:

I can't understand why anybody would want to buy those replica 'The Artist' guitars when there the real deal is still available if you look (not even that hard)
I don't think the price would even be that very different.

I have two and willing to split with one for a tempting offer...

I mean, for me, I agree -- if I'm already paying $1700 for something that close to the real deal I'd probably just save my money and pay the extra $1000. Then again, I bought the $200 version simply because it was SO MUCH less expensive. Nothing else under a grand looked good to me. But $3000 is a lot of money for a guitar, period. It's hard to justify that unless you make serious money, have been saving for that specific purpose, or play professionally. Related to that...what would be a tempting offer?

see previous reply up here wink

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Reply #18 posted 08/22/17 12:55pm

crimesofparis

TheFman said:

crimesofparis said:

TheFman said: I mean, for me, I agree -- if I'm already paying $1700 for something that close to the real deal I'd probably just save my money and pay the extra $1000. Then again, I bought the $200 version simply because it was SO MUCH less expensive. Nothing else under a grand looked good to me. But $3000 is a lot of money for a guitar, period. It's hard to justify that unless you make serious money, have been saving for that specific purpose, or play professionally. Related to that...what would be a tempting offer?

see previous reply up here wink

I'm probably not immediately in the market, but I'm curious. If you have pics I'd love to see them, though.

.

Ohhh, I saw your other reply, you're not talking about what Vlammie makes, you're talking about the guys from the 80s.

.

Unrelated, the pics of this ebay listing look pretty solid. I know it's not true to the original, but I love the tortoise binding.

[Edited 8/22/17 12:59pm]

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Reply #19 posted 08/22/17 2:29pm

TheFman

crimesofparis said:

TheFman said:

see previous reply up here wink

I'm probably not immediately in the market, but I'm curious. If you have pics I'd love to see them, though.

.

Ohhh, I saw your other reply, you're not talking about what Vlammie makes, you're talking about the guys from the 80s.

.

Unrelated, the pics of this ebay listing look pretty solid. I know it's not true to the original, but I love the tortoise binding.

[Edited 8/22/17 12:59pm]

that ebay one has a good price imo.

My other one is a custom hand-made madcat copy, exactly the same shape and dimension and plays great, and i overpaid it, so i'll never sell it again wink

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Reply #20 posted 08/22/17 9:30pm

TXfan

emesem said:[quote]


Yeah. That hump is making me ill.



Yes the guards are coming from Original Scratch and they seem to look good. Did you get yours from there too?



One of the things that turned me off of the HB was the routing of the neck pickup which forces you to get an opaque pickguard rather than the see-thru that I understand are more accurate. Also the back of the guitar doesnt have the maple-top.




I ordered the regular clear w/spots scratchguard for my HB TE80 and then used a thin maple veneer that I stained to match the guitar body underneath. Came out great but it's still a HB. I have a real Madcat on order that's going to be in by November. Can't wait to put my hands on it.
[Edited 8/22/17 21:35pm]
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Reply #21 posted 08/23/17 8:22am

crimesofparis

TXfan said:

I ordered the regular clear w/spots scratchguard for my HB TE80 and then used a thin maple veneer that I stained to match the guitar body underneath. Came out great but it's still a HB. I have a real Madcat on order that's going to be in by November. Can't wait to put my hands on it.

Nice! Any pics? Thoughts on the HB as a whole?

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Reply #22 posted 08/23/17 6:59pm

TXfan

Not sure how to post pics, it's been a while,
But the HB is a love and hate for me. I've had it over a year already and I pretty much put it up in he closet right after I got it. I didn't like the cheap scratch plate at all. The guitar looks beautiful but it does have its reasons for being a $200 guitar. The painted on binding and dots are a let down but look real a foot away and more from the guitar. The hardware is ok I guess, I'm still surprised that the factory tuners are just as good as name brand tuners. The pickups sound pretty good to me but the bridge has cheap saddle screws so be careful. I did have it worked on at the shop and it cost me $140 to level the frets and do a proper setup. I ordered a real MadCat earlier this year and that made me take out the HB again. I immediately ordered a scratchplate that looks really close to the real thing when I used maple veneer stained to match underneath to hide the wiring cavity. I thought the opaque version looked too pink. There's days I hate the HB because of how cheap a guitar it is and how much money I have in it and then there's days I love some of the sounds I can get out of it ( mostly by accident) lol.
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Reply #23 posted 08/23/17 8:00pm

crimesofparis

TXfan said:

Not sure how to post pics, it's been a while, But the HB is a love and hate for me. I've had it over a year already and I pretty much put it up in he closet right after I got it. I didn't like the cheap scratch plate at all. The guitar looks beautiful but it does have its reasons for being a $200 guitar. The painted on binding and dots are a let down but look real a foot away and more from the guitar. The hardware is ok I guess, I'm still surprised that the factory tuners are just as good as name brand tuners. The pickups sound pretty good to me but the bridge has cheap saddle screws so be careful. I did have it worked on at the shop and it cost me $140 to level the frets and do a proper setup. I ordered a real MadCat earlier this year and that made me take out the HB again. I immediately ordered a scratchplate that looks really close to the real thing when I used maple veneer stained to match underneath to hide the wiring cavity. I thought the opaque version looked too pink. There's days I hate the HB because of how cheap a guitar it is and how much money I have in it and then there's days I love some of the sounds I can get out of it ( mostly by accident) lol.

I get that. I disagree with folks who say it's on par with a $600 guitar -- I have a few other "lessers" like this one and they're all fun, but aren't exactly something I'd play out with.

.

The dots are awful, but the binding looks alright on mine. Glad I didn't need any fretwork and have gotten by without a professional setup.

.

I'm surprised by the tuners too, they rock. And the neck, to me, feels pretty much perfect, it's just ugly and that you can't just drop in a Fender neck sucks.

.

And yeah, the stock scratchplates are a special kind of ugly. I've never hated the look of a pickguard more. Possibly worst tortoise I've ever seen.

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Reply #24 posted 08/23/17 8:31pm

TXfan

I need to find out what's being used to post pics. I'm really proud of the way my scratch guard came out and want to show you guys. I also want to post pics of my new MadCat when it comes in November.
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Reply #25 posted 08/24/17 5:45pm

coldasice

emesem said:

So I did an impulse buy last week and picked up one of those 2008 Hohner "The Artist" HTA-490. Got it over the weekend. At first was thrilled with it as it was in pretty good shape for a 9 year old guitar and had some pretty nice upgrades (better tuners, better pickups and electronics). Paid a little less than what these went for new but lost were the original pickguards but I sourced a set from a guy in the UK who seems to make very nice replicas.



As I'm apt to do for any big purchase, I started to get the pangs of buyers remorse and dug deeper into the guitar and its history. Before purchasing I did stumble up one this great post on the org from back in 09:



http://prince.org/msg/7/300231?pr



Excellent info there but there are few omissions/updates that I'd like to add for the next person that goes down this road as there is one thing I wish I would have known about this guitar before purchasing that likely would have changed my mind on it.



If you have one of these The Artist guitars and you love it, you may not want to continue reading as I may point out something to you that could kill this guitar for you.



This guitar was billed as "exactly like Prince's except for the headstock". The headstock is hideous and a very obvious difference but I didnt care about it. Now I'm thinking it was made so different on purpose in order to mask a major variation from the original design that almost no one pointed out: THE BODY SHAPE IS WRONG!



Here is The Artist:


http://www.edroman.com/gu...tist-F.jpg



hohner-artist-F.jpg



Here what a Telecaster body and what every other Mad Cat Replica looks like:



fender-american-standard-telecaster-natural.jpg





Note the bass side "hump" and how it joins to the fret board. On a Telecaster this curves up again towards the 17th fret. On the Artist for some god-forsaken reason it never curves back but instead dives down to the 19th fret. W T F! Is this a mistake by some rookie designer? Was this to save $1 on the extra time it takes to make that curve? Was it intentional to distinguish it from the 3x more expensive (and correctly shaped) "Artist Elite"? OTHERWISE THIS MAKES NO SENSE AND NEVER WAS DISCUSSED BY HOHNER!



One astute orger mentioned it in a post but I didnt catch it the first time I read it. It was also mentioned in one of the scant online reviews when it compared the "Artist" with the "Artist Elite": http://www.guitarplayer.c...lite/16569



"More significant, perhaps, is the more graceful (and more Tele-like) curve of the upper bout down toward its upward notch at the neck, whereas the HTA490’s plummets all the way to the neck joint."



So mad about this and probably I am killing the resale value of my guitar with this post but I'm doing it for the next person. Its a damn shame, as its a solid, well made guitar that otherwise looks and sounds great.



I think I'm just going to sell all my guitars at some point (have too many of them anyway) and just spring for one of the newer (and very accurate) $3,100 Mad Cats that they are still making in Japan (http://www.madcatguitars.com/). I think there is a long wait list for these but its really the only way to get close to the real thing with out spending $10k.



The other option is to go totally cheap and get the Harley Benton (https://www.thomannmusic....series.htm) and upgrade the components and replace the pickguards. I now wished I gone this route instead. would have just cost around $400 and a few hours.



So there you go.



(PS: also watch out for the "Bill Lawrence" Mad Cat (theres one on Ebay for $1700 from the early 80s or the Moridaira 45th anniversary Mad Cat from 2009 ($2500-$3000). While both of these are very nice legit "Mad Cats" made by the original manfacturer, they each have a significant difference. These each use Telecaster Bridge pickups instead of Strat bridge pickups. Makes a difference in the tone and not easily fixed as the holes are spaced differently and more signfinancely each are placed at a more acute angle, thereby changing the sound further).














[Edited 8/21/17 7:45am]

[Edited 8/21/17 7:46am]


They were sued into using that god awful headstock. O.k. Guitar, you could do a lot better for the price.
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Reply #26 posted 08/25/17 10:01am

mothyham

I tihnk you should sell all the junk guitars you invested in and get an Anderson.

it is a real player's guitar and sounds as close as you can get to Prince's.

It just plays nice.

Totally worth as you will see when you pull the trigger....cause I KNOW you will.

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Reply #27 posted 08/25/17 10:44am

crimesofparis

mothyham said:

I tihnk you should sell all the junk guitars you invested in and get an Anderson.


it is a real player's guitar and sounds as close as you can get to Prince's.



It just plays nice.


Totally worth as you will see when you pull the trigger....cause I KNOW you will.


Hah my junk guitars wouldn't make much of a dent, but that's the long-term plan ;)

Gotta look into if they do payment plans...
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Reply #28 posted 08/26/17 5:46am

TXfan

I agree, I too bought both cloud and Madcat replicas. It's not the same thing and the shortcomings will always pop up and disappoint.You can dump more and more money and they will never really get you there. I Purchased a Shechter cloud from PP earlier this year and like it much better than my cheaper replica cloud. Can't wait to get my MadCat And see how it compares to the HB. I'm sure it's gonna blow it away.
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Reply #29 posted 08/27/17 3:19pm

vlammie

I never played a hb, or the Korean hohners from the 80s, but I have witnessed the mad cat humiliating some really good custom shop strats and teles in comparisons more than once.
They are not only for Prince fans, but just really good guitars in general.

I want to make sure more stores have those in stock for people to try...
But the lead time is again almost 1 year, and the factory increased their production capacity with 30%.
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Another Prince Hohner Mat Cat thread 2017 edition PSA