Caparison TAT Special 7

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by gearwh0re, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. gearwh0re

    gearwh0re Mr Gone

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    After years of playing Jackson USA and ESP I grew tired of the availability of 7's that weren't signatures or just plain out ugly. I decided a few years back to try the Dellinger 7, then the dellinger 7 m3's and found that I really enjoy what Caparison had to offer. I thought I had hit my end game guitar, then 2015 NAMM happened.
    I had a bit of preemptive knowledge of this model thanks to my good friend Fred Brum... I however didn't expect it to turn my entire world on it's ear. Here's what blew my mind...

    Immediately upon picking up the TAT SP 7 I fell in love. I've owned probably 20+ Caparisons over the years and I felt like this was cumulatively everything I loved about all of them in a single guitar. I've since unsubscribed from the gear exchange, my ebay/shopping/gearwhoring habits have basically went away (beyond amps!). Yes, it is that good... Complete end-game guitar!

    The first thing I noticed is the familiar neck profile. It feels strikingly similar to my Dellinger 7's m3's and FXWM 7's but that is where the similarities end. The compound radius felt like more like what I grew up on (Jackson USA). This is one of many reasons I couldn't ever find myself satisfied with ESP's offerings.

    the 27 fret neck is simply absurd and as I said before it's like a love-child of everything I've loved about all of the Caparison guitars I've owned. Since I tune down an entire step, I lose nothing having the extra frets.

    The body contours and overall shape of the instrument is what really gets me. It is comfortable playing in any position and feels more inviting than the dellinger 7's. It feels less like a super strat with rigid edges and is simply the most comfortable guitar I've owned. Overall it's hard to explain this and it's completely subjective, but if you had one in your arsenal to compare I'd be willing to bet you would prefer the TAT to the Dellinger. I will however say that the 2015 Dellinger models have also been refined quite a bit - I just happen to prefer thru necks. They also made these far more comfortable than the previous 7 m3 model.

    The electronics in it are surprisingly good. I wasn't the biggest fan of the ph-7b/n set in the Dellingers. They sounded and felt like they were missing something to me. This also is very subjective, but I truly have no desire to change a single thing about this guitar. The pickups have it in all the right places and I fear I'd be disappointed with anything else in there. I actually felt this way about my snowstorm 7 m3 when I changed it to black winters. Different isn't always better.

    The range of the tonal options completely blew me away, though I had thought I'd never use the phase adjustment switch. I was wrong, so wrong it's nearly bothersome. I constantly find myself on my clean channel playing riffs in split phase positions. The available tones are simply beautiful. I cannot say enough good things.

    I've never been one to want crazy figured woods or any of that nonsense. I find the finish on these to be classy and tasteful. There's a certain amount of prestige involved with simplistic beauty and they've obviously nailed it with these. I have the first one in Trans Spectrum Black. The Blue one that was at NAMM and Fred Brums red one had a very regal appearance. An ever-so-slight blue haze on the red ones and a bit of purple haze on the blue model when tilted in the light. The black models have a slight hint of blue and green in the clearcoat.... They might be too simple for some, but I personally would take something like this over something over the top.

    All in all I can't say enough good things about the TAT SP 7 or it's 2015 counterparts. The quality of the fretwork and overall construction is unmatched. I couldn't find a single flaw and wouldn't expect to. Caparison makes some of the finest guitars on the planet and they keep getting better every year.

    On a side note, I was incredibly impressed with the business end of Caparison. Whole-heartedly I feel I can say that they are not out to make themselves into a giant business. Of course any business must be profitable, but they're more focused on getting the guitars into the right hands and making refinements that the end users are after. When you buy a Caparison, they want you to be completely satisfied with it. They care about where they end up rather than the initial transaction. No hype, No nonsense, just satisfaction that you've purchased one of the best guitars money can buy. All in all I was incredibly impressed with the business model they execute... (I was interested in opening a small shop in the Milwaukee area - after a lengthy conversation with the director, I left the table more impressed with Caparison than any other company I had spoken with at NAMM.)

    I've never found myself this impressed by an entire line of instruments... Let alone the company standing behind them!
     

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