Sweaty Spice, the other Spice Girl

Back in 2006 or so, I had gotten a pretty decent bonus at work, and I sweet talked the wife to let me spend part of it on a new guitar. Living in Tucson Arizona, there was a local shop, Guitars Etc. and they are/were a Tom Anderson authorized dealer.

As an authorized dealer, they had several Anderson guitars hanging on the wall, and I was infatuated. The bulk of them were about $3,000 -$3,200 on the hanger tag, and that was a wee bit more than I wanted to spend. I mean, it is a solid body with a bolt on neck. How special could they be?

But, they had a lightly used one on the wall, and I think it was $1,900 +/- and while that was pretty steep, it was in the range I was allowed to spend. Not my favorite color, but it was a transparent red, with a flamed maple "drop top" and binding.

I pulled the trigger and bought it.


It is amazingly crisp and clear in sound, the pickups are bright, and versatile. It has a 2 point tremolo (that I keep locked to the body, not really a tremolo user). The neck is mahogany with a rosewood fret board. Tall, narrow frets, and a pretty large radius fret board, it is a dream to play, both for chords, and for single note runs. Large bends are a breeze and easy to cleanly execute.

What I didn't know at the time, it is a Cobra S (S means "Strat style body) with the shorter scale length - 24.75", which makes it super comfortable to play. Supposedly, shorter scale length mean punchier midrange. Not sure how true that it, but I like it. A lot.

I have played it pretty consistently over the last 15 or so years, not thinking it was very special.

How wrong I was.

With Covid, I have been playing more and more, and have invested in a better, more suitable amp for my room, and in building a signal chain to make the sound "mine". I have thought about adding a second guitar to my collection (I am down from a high of 6 to 3, one electric, one steel string acoustic, and one nylon string classical) something nice in a real Fender Strat to get that single coil growl.

Not really thinking to sell the Tom Anderson, but curious, I just glanced at the prices.

HOLY FUCK, are they expensive. Like stupid expensive. Like this similar unit, used, for $3,750. New, well over $4K and closer to $5K. I could easily sell mine for $3K+.

The $1,500 for an American Professional II Strat in Miami Blue no longer feels like a lot of money. (I played one, and while it is really nice, the Tom Anderson is in a different league.)

I think I will stick with what I got. Maybe look at a USA made Charvel (I still crave that neck of my old Model 4 that I had) when I got a couple of grand to spend.

Alas, Guitars Etc. went belly up in the global financial crisis. A shame, as it was a great local music shop. Friendly people, killer guitar tech, and great inventory.

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