Price: $ 1,499.
When designing a new guitar, builders often face a quandary. Some go to extremes to be original, while others tend to “re-create” the same ol’ thing. The Overture Guitars JS-Session is a departure; not a simple reissue or copy, instead, its body contours and edges give it a comfortable modern appeal while touches like an offset-double-cut style and lacquer finish offer a vintage feel.
The JS-S (named for guitarist Jeff Sheetz) can be purchased with one of two seven-piece necks – one mahogany, the other maple – laminated with accent woods. Overture offers several fretboard variations, as well; our tester had a 24-fret/251/2″-scale maple ’board with mother-of-pearl dot inlays and a Overture Cross inlay at the 12th fret.
Electronics on the JS-S make this guitar well-suited to session work or any player who needs a guitar that covers all the bases. Venturing from the norm, Overture uses a Lindy Fralin Blues Special single-coil in the neck position, a DiMarzio PAF humbucker in the middle, and a PAF Pro humbucker in the bridge. They’re controlled with a standard five-way switch with two Volumes and a master Tone.
Hardware on our tester included locking tuners and a Wilkinson VS-100 vibrato bridge; Overture offers options including a Ghost piezo. Among Overture’s many other options on the JS-S is a selection of body woods. Our tester’s maple body was a bit heavy, but as is usually the case, that weight equates to tone; the maple neck and fingerboard gave each note a healthy amount of snap and articulation. The D-shaped neck was easy to adapt to and overall playability up and down the fretboard was very good.
Plugging in, the DiMarzios added the right amount of drive and attitude whilst throwing in a dash of vintage flair. Dialing the Fralin pickup into the mix added clarity for rhythm and clean parts. Blending it and the middle P.A.F. gave way to blues tones, and stomping on a boutique overdrive with the PAF Pro Di-Marzio took the JS-S from smooth and rootsy to sonic domination.
A number of manufacturers have tried to marry modern and new. Overture’s is a valiant, effective effort.
This article originally appeared in VG January 2012 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.