January 29, 2018
"Every Fano guitar is hand-built by one builder, one at a time to the highest standards for the discriminating player"
That’s what is says when you land on fanoguitars.com. Let me tell you, I played them, I’m discriminating (maybe too much so) and that quote simply fits like a glove. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the nicest people of the weekend at the Fano booth, Chad Hines (Business Development Manager) and builder Wes Brown who both gave me a full history of the company and a lesson on how they approach building high quality, affordable instruments. Wes really loves building, it’s so apparent. I could sense how much he lives and breaths everything guitar as we spoke about his builds and what we both like and dislike in instruments of this caliber. He’s quite astute and his take on the perfect guitar was on display this weekend at Namm.
The minute you pick up one of their models, you immediately feel the quality and craftsmanship they put into each guitar. That comes from a one builder attitude that you just can’t seem to find much anymore. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t exist, but these guys just take it to a whole new level. Each instrument is hand-built from one builder start to finish. That truly gives each guitar that attention to the most minute details and it is super apparent.
I was initially attracted to the TC6 Standard. It has a unique twist on a traditional single cut T body style and I love the incorporation of the pickguard style from a 60’s retro type vibe. It just meshed really well together. A modern build guitar that still has a vintage vibe.
Upon picking it up I noticed all the typical things, weigh, finish, neck shape. Finish was nitro, the neck shape I would call a soft C (kind of reminded me of my 63 Strat) so comfortable. Fret finishing was outstanding. And the edges of the fingerboard felt smooth, an extra attention to details as it gives a nice worn in feel to the instrument - and a compound radius board to make bend beyond the 12th fret effortless.
It was tough to get a sense of the guitar acoustically as NAMM is not the place to get intimately aquatinted with an instrument - But I could tell from the feeling as I strummed it, that I wanted to plug it in - something I rarely do when I am sifting through the maze of dealers.
That’s when the real magic happened, when I plugged it in, and I am glad I did. This guitar felt so responsive - you could feel the body just singing and notes just jumping off the neck. I was really taken back. This one I believe had Lollar Imperial Humbuckers (as opposed to the “FanoTron” pickups I believe are the standard for this model. The lows were punchy, clear and not muddy or farty. The highs were nice and rich, with a bit of that expected sparkle you would expect. I was really struck by how balanced and defined from string to string, up and down the neck this guitar was. Couple everything I just wrote with a great selection of finishes and you have yourself a winner.
I have to tell you, I feel like they knocked it out of the park with this guitar. They made me a believer. I want to try every model now!