Suhr Pro Series S4 review - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Now that the honeymoon period has passed, i wanted to give a fairly thorough review of this guitar.



This is a Pro Series S4 in bahama blue finish, with maple neck and fretboard. Complete specs can be found at Suhr's website.
We'll start at one end of the guitar, and work our way towards the other.
I have no problem with the headstock, in fact i think it's classy, but it's really not that important to me. Some people make a big deal out of headstock shapes, but i could really care less. The tuners are Sperzel locking, which work fine, but given a choice i would pick Schaller locking tuners, as i prefer the fact that they have a thicker "wheel" on the back, and it feels more comfortable to me. But that's a minor quibble, as I don't think there is a difference in quality or sound.
The nut is tusq, and this is probably the one thing i would definitely change if i could. Nothing more annoying than that metallic "ting" sound when you use the trem. Not a problem with dirty sounds, but playing clean is a nightmare if you want to use the trem. Putting some pencil lead in the nut slots helps a bit, but not enough IMO. The best nut for non-locking trems IMO is the LSR roller nut, and i really feel strongly that Suhr should offer this as an option. At some point down the road , i may take it in to my tech, and have him put in the roller nut.
The neck is maple, even C slim, 10-14 radius, 1.65 nut width with a (i think) satin finish, and feels great. Totally comfy, and not sticky at all. The fretwork and setup is as close to perfect as i've ever played, with only Vigier equalling it.
The body is super comfy, and the finish is flawless. The cutaway and neck heel are comfortable, but i don't play too much past the 17th fret anyway, so it's not a big concern for me. There is no problem getting to the higher frets if i want though. My only quibble with the body is that i wish Suhr would use similar sized screws for his strap buttons that the straplock makers use, so those of us who want to use straplocks wouldn't have such a pain in the ass trying to fit them. Personally, i don't understand how companies making 2K and up guitars don't just put straplocks on them as standard issue, but at the very least, Suhr should offer them as an option.
Trem is Gotoh 510, and works and sounds great. Would be even better with a roller nut, as i already mentioned. Nothing stays in tune like a locking trem, but this stays in tune "well-enough" to get the job done, and not cringe from horribly out of tune strings. I do really like the design of the bar with the sleeve AND the screw on fit. Nice and snug, although if a guy prefers to have the bar swinging loosely, he might be out of luck with this bridge.
Electronics are high quality, but i hate the selector switch, as it moves between positions way too easily. I prefer a switch that's more solid in position, as with this one you have to be REALLY careful when strumming, not to hit it, or it will definitely move. Again at some point, i may have my tech change it out for a stiffer one. Output jack is great- it grabs the cord nice and tight, and i have no worries at all about the cord accidently coming out.
Sounds are truly musical. The guitar is very resonant, and "sings" like a fine instrument should. I am a believer in the Buzz Feiten system, although i think a well-built guitar without it still sounds fine. However i do think that chords are sweeter with the system.

Pickups are a SSH+ humbucker and 2 FL singles. I find it hard to describe pickups with words, but i will say that the FL's are very "in your face". I wouldn't call them overly warm sounding, they have an attack to them that really helps them cut through. Very resonant and musical. Some have asked for a comparison to the V60LP's, but i cannot realistically compare as:
1- it's been 2 years since i had a Suhr with the V60LP's
2- that guitar was alder with a rosewood board and 1088 trem- this guitar is basswood/maple top with a maple board and 510 trem

I will let soundclips do most of the talking for the pickups.
Here is a rundown of the sound clips:
Both clips were recorded with a POD XT Live and a Yamaha AW2400 DAW. No eq or effects were added after the fact- what you hear is what was recorded.

Clip One

The first clip features the FL pickups and was recorded stereo with the POD connected to 2 Tech 21 Power Engine 60's, which were fed into the AW2400 with XLR cables.
The clip is 6 and a half minutes long, here is breakdown for the curious, or those who want to skip ahead:
First section is played mostly with a pick, with a bit of pick and fingers in the first couple of minutes.
0:00-1:18 FL middle pickup
1:18-2:17 FL middle & neck pickups
2:17-3:10 FL neck pickup
10 second break
The next section features a different patch on the POD and is played using only fingerpicking. There is a panning effect on this patch that i forgot to turn off before recording...
3:19-4:30 FL middle & neck pickups
10 second break
The next section is yet another patch, this one featuring a small amount of overdrive. This is all played using the pick.
4:37-5:37 FL middle pickup
5:37- end FL neck pickup

Clip Two

The second clip features the SSH+ humbucker pickup exclusively, and was recorded mono into one Power Engine mic'd with a SM57 into the AW2400. All played with a pick.
It was recorded with my main lead sound until about 2:15 when i switch patches on the POD to a different patch to give an idea of what the pickup sounds like for distorted rhythm.

Lastly, here's a track recorded entirely with the Suhr. Backing is the POD stereo into a EH 2880 Looper into the PE60's XLR'd into the AW2400. Solo is also stereo direct.

Demo Tune

Conclusion.
This guitar is expertly thought out and crafted, and it is one of the rare guitars i've played or owned that i would describe as having "mojo". I have already formed a serious bond with it. All in all, a fine instrument that i see myself using for a good stretch into the future.
Thanks for reading/listening.
freedom's door is offline  
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 05:41 AM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Cool review and nice demo tracks.

I'd probably agree with you on the tusq nut, it works ok on my Suhr as long as I use some pencil lead and don't go mad on the trem.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 08:24 AM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

that is funny... i have a S5 and i really think thats the first guitar i bought wich was not worth the money. Not that it is a bad guitar, its just so mediocre . The Suhr Pubs i don't care for at all. And that i have to take the neck off to remove the pickguard is not what i call thought out.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragsternj View Post
And that i have to take the neck off to remove the pickguard is not what i call thought out.
Very good point- i agree with you, but forgot to mention that in my review.

Your S5 has 2 humbuckers, correct? You could always swap them out for the pu's of your choice, and you should be able to sell the Suhr pu's and get a decent amount for them.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

LOL i tried to sell the whole Suhr with very little success
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg5150 View Post
Cool review and nice demo tracks.

I'd probably agree with you on the tusq nut, it works ok on my Suhr as long as I use some pencil lead and don't go mad on the trem.
Thanks for checking out the clips.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Hi Michael,

I guess you got married since you mentioned the honeymoon period - congratulations with that! And congratulations with the guitar too.
It's late where I am and I'm heading to bed, so I didn't read the whole review throughoutly, but I listened to the recordings which you made. Very crisp tone you got there, and decent playing too! I agree with the others that it's a little cold, but it is definetly singing like it should be. I never heard a Suhr before, but I have a friend who wants one really badly - I can understand why

Thanks for the review, keep enjoying your new mojo and misses,

Jacob.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob K View Post
Hi Michael,

I guess you got married since you mentioned the honeymoon period - congratulations with that! And congratulations with the guitar too.
It's late where I am and I'm heading to bed, so I didn't read the whole review throughoutly, but I listened to the recordings which you made. Very crisp tone you got there, and decent playing too! I agree with the others that it's a little cold, but it is definetly singing like it should be. I never heard a Suhr before, but I have a friend who wants one really badly - I can understand why

Thanks for the review, keep enjoying your new mojo and misses,

Jacob.
Lol, i meant the honeymoon period with the guitar!!! One marriage was enough for me, i was lucky to get out alive...
But back OT, thanks for checking out the clips and commenting. Not sure if you meant my playing was a little cold or the sound was lol, but as i said in the review, the FL pickups are definitely not the warmest SC pickups i've ever played.
Thanks again
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Oh like that! Lol, ok

When I said "cold", it was about the tone, not your playing

Cheers
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

Hi there,

Is the Suhr still up for sale? I would be interested in buying it if it is! Thanks,
Ian
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 04:23 PM
 
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Re: Suhr Pro Series S4 review

It´s been more than 4 years mate. You have a better chance of winning the lottery.

But welcome to Jemsite! :-D
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