In devising its limited line of gui-tars, Kendrick, the Texas-based custom amp and guitar builder, has stuck to traditional guns, offering a Strat-inspired axe in its Continental, and Les Paul lines/configuration in the Townhouse.
But Kendrick’s newest model, the Sirius, covers ground less copied; it’s a LP Junior/Special sort of affair with P-90-style pickups. It features a Honduran mahogany neck and body – the neck is hand-carved to any shape the customer desires, including Kendrick’s own funky offset-V style. The Madagascar Rosewood fretboard closely matches Brazilian rosewood. Other features include Dunlop 6105 jumbo frets with pearl dot markers on the neck, fossilized ivory nut, and vintage-style Grover tuners.
The instrument also features a real nitrocellulose finish, and if you’re into trick electronics, the compensating cap on the neck pickup volume control allows for tonal variations from acoustic guitar/piano-string clean tone to overdrive. Fralin P-90 handwound pickups are standard.
The Sirius has a single-cutaway Honduran mahogany body with a carved top and contoured back. The solid body has a flawless creamy cherry finish with nice vintage ivory binding. The neck has a slightly offset V shape (toward the bass side) that may be a little chunky for some, but it’s still comfortable. And it’s topped off with a 243/4″-scale rosewood fingerboard with large polished frets, and binding. Hardware on the Kendrick consisted of a wraparound bridge with intonation adjustment for the AD and GB combos, and open Grover tuners. Controls are in the standard Les Paul locations.
The Fralins, played through the ’70s Marshall half-stack, delivered a tight, chunky sound with great note definition in the bridge position – smooth and loaded with sustain in the neck position, and great bluesy tone with high-end spit in the middle position. The clean sounds through the Peavey Delta Blues were good…but this guitar really wants to rock!
When we received the Sirius, its action was very high, but with a quick turn of the screwdriver, we had it set more to taste – nice and low, with no fretting out or excessive buzzing. As we said, the neck is a bit chunky (though comfortable for chording), but the big frets and flat radius made bending easy.
Overall, the Sirius is a great-sounding, good-playing instrument, with outstanding workmanship. At $2,995 (retail, including Ameritage hard case with cool gator tolex) it gives you a host of custom features, with very professional fit and finish at a price comparable to mid-line offerings from Gibson, PRS, etc.
Type Of Guitar: Electric solidbody
Features: Single-cutaway Honduran mahogany neck and body, Madagascar Rosewood fretboard, nitrocellulose finish, Dunlop 6105 jumbo frets, fossilized ivory nut, vintage-style Grover tuners, 24 3/4″ scale, Fralin P-90 pickups.
Contact: Kendrick, Route 2 Box 871, Kempner, TX 76539, www.kendrick-amplifiers.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.