Cort X500

New Gear/New Toys Review: Cort X500 Electric Guitar

South Korean guitar company Cort has their X Series of electric guitars with the new X500 model at the top of the line. This is a neck-thru-body guitar built for modern and aggressive metal music but still versatile enough for any music style.

I was struck by the distinct grain patterns on the swamp ash body and the two natural finishes offered: Open Pore Trans Grey (pictured) and Open Pore Jean Burst. The maple and Panga Panga (also a large pore hardwood) neck provides stability and a smooth surface for high-speed riffing and soloing with total access to the highest frets via distinct U-shaped neck and compound radius fret board.

The X500's two EMG® pickups with ceramic magnets combine for a powerful tone and "years-long" sustain (if you want) for a focused mid-range sound and punch. At the neck, the EMG 60 provides full-treble response and ample output while at the bridge is the 81 with aperture coils to deliver a tone that was designed with detailed intensity and incredible high-end cut and fluid sustain.

There is something tranquil seeing a single volume control and one tone pot with just a three-way pickup selector switch--this keeps it simple and, focused on the music. You also get a Floyd Rose® Special Tremolo that eliminates tuning worries and yet allows for dive-bombing, extreme harmonic squeal pull-ups or providing subtle chord coloration.

Besides the two colors, there is white binding on the fingerboard, black hardware and die-cast tuners. The X500 sells for $1099.99 MSRP.

Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine.