Olp Signature John Petrucci
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Olp Signature John Petrucci

Signature John Petrucci, Altra Chitarra Elettrica Solid Body from Olp.

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content in English
Audiofanzine FR 05/12/2008

Olp Signature John Petrucci : Recensione di Audiofanzine FR (content in English)

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(Originally written by Aichaku/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
- Made in China

- 24 jumbo frets, two DiMarzio-type humbuckers.

- Custom Petrucci-like tremolo.

- 3-way toggle switch, one volume and one tone knob.

- Musicmam-type neck

Very nice finish!

The guitar looks good in dark environments (the red/black sunburst looks awesome!). In full light the red spangles don't really match the black sunburst... It doesn't look good. And that also applies to the head.

I also noticed that the pickup pole pieces are not perfectly lined up under the strings (but that's not that important, though).

The inlays are made of what else but plastic.

This OLP doesn't look like my old Petrucci Signature model. It's a version for poor musicians, however the Chinese made a very nice copy. The main thing is that you get the feeling of the original. ;)

UTILIZATION

And now it starts to get interesting!

The neck is very comfortable... It's THE main asset of this guitar.

I've already played Ibanez, ESP, Fender, Jackson, Charvel, Gibson, Bc-Rich...

I find this neck is a bit rounder than an Ibanez RG neck. It's one of the most comfortable necks I've ever played and it's very surprising considering the price of the guitar. FYI it's a bolt-on neck.

After adjusting the tremolo and a very low action the neck is a delight! : )

The original set string is an Ernie Ball 09-42... which I don't really like. I needed several months to find the right strings for me (D'Addario 11-49). But I will try out a set of Ernie Ball 11-52 in the coming weeks. In the meantime I'll keep on discovering this guitar.

Its weight surprised me! I expected something lighter. But don't worry, it's not as heavy as a Gibson Les Paul.

When you play standing up the guitar is well-balanced. The shape of the body makes it very comfortable for the right leg when you're sitting and reminds me of the Petrucci model.

The tremolo is the same as in the old PRS of the 80's. It was a good tremolo system but it was quickly surpassed by the Floyd Rose.

It gives average results: it's a tremolo for surf music fans... you can make small dive-bombs and other light effects, and the guitar stays in tune, but don't get too wild. It's an average tremolo system.

The auto-locking machine heads are good. You can always upgrade to a better model if you have the money.

SOUNDS

I play this guitar with an Ibanez TBX65R amp, which I find excellent.

And the sound is sweet! Even though the quality of the OLP pickups is not famous the sound is quite alright.

The clean sound is very pleasant even if it doesn't have much character. The bridge pickup is useless... but the neck pickup provides a very nice warm and round clean sound.

In distortion mode the sound is well-defined and punchy. The guitar has a good and versatile sound. However I plan to replace both pickups with a pair of DiMarzio.

The main turnoff of the original pickups is that they generate feedback when you are not playing the guitar... I don't know what the problem is but it's very annoying.

Once again, the neck pickup is surprising! It provides a very warm and pleasant sound for solos.

OVERALL OPINION

I've owned this guitar for nine months. I couldn't find the right string set for it so I kept it under my bed for seven months. After adjusting and cleaning it, I've been rediscovering this guitar since a a few days ago.

Don't buy this guitar expecting a Musicman (of course).

Considering its price, it's quite normal that it has a lower quality. Beginners will have fun with this guitar thanks to its look, sound and amazing neck. I think beginners don't really need to upgrade anything about this guitar. It's already very good as it is.

Experienced guitarists will probably like to customize it! After customization it can become amazing. The most demanding (and richest) of us will change the nut because the original plastic one only deteriorates the sound quality of the OLP.

You can also change the saddles if the strings get broken too often. But I've never had this problem.

The quality of the machine heads seems to depend on the model. I guess I was lucky with my guitar. And don't be surprised if the guitar doesn't stay in tune after two dive-bombing hours... The instrument is not conceived for that.

Regarding the pickups, heavy metal freaks will probably like to upgrade to D-Activator or EMG (but I'm not sure if they really match this guitar). Petrucci fans and shredders will rather go for Steve's Special or Air Norton. You can also add a pickup split function! ; )

Once it has been fully customized this guitar can compete with much more expensive models. It's like winning the jackpot for Petrucci fans!

If you ever get the chance to test it or if you find it secondhand, don't hesitate it! You won't regret it (and this guitar has become now a collector's item).