Italia Marenallo Speedster II

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Joined: 03/02/09
Posts: 1,562
Full Access
Joined: 03/02/09
Posts: 1,562
12/02/2009 1:20 pm
Buying a guitar off ebay is a dicey gamble, but once again the music gods smiled upon me.

I saw this Italia Speedster. I'd never even heard of the brand, but it's looks caught me, and a little research determined it was by Trev Wilkinson. I couldn't find a bad review anywhere and, after watching it a few days, I got a little obsessed and then I had to have it. They normally retail for $500 - $600, but I won this for $250. Mint, flawless, never played, it still had the $500 sticker on it.

I'm trying to dig up some more info, but I think I might have a "transitional" model between the Speedster I (single vol, no tone, no pickguard) and the current Speedster II (2 vol, 1 tone, fugly pickguard thing). The dealer indicated this was a limited production, so maybe that's the case, I don't know yet.

Couple of pics:

Here's the specs:
Body Korina
Neck Hard Maple
Joint Set-in
Finger Board Rosewood
Radius 304/12"
Neck profile Italia "C"
Scale 634mm(25")
Frets 22 medium jumbo
Inlays Split pearloid mini-block
Nut Graphite
Nut Width 42mm(1.6535")
Head Machine Italia Die-Cast
Bridge Wilkinson wrapover stop bar type
Pickups Wilkinson WHHB vintage-voiced humbucker
Controls Volume, Master Tone
Switch 3 way toggle
Jack 1/4" Mono Jack
Hardware Chrome

I can't say enough good things about this guitar. It's got a great vintage sound clean or distorted. It feels absolutely wonderful to play. Pretty thin neck, like my Gibson L6, but with that C shape. Feels really good to me. Action was all set up, very low, very smooth.

I was a little concerned about the fixed bridge as I'd never had one that I could not intonate myself before, but the intonation was perfect.

Pick ups sound darkish. Not so trebly on the bridge as some, which suits me, too. Good sustain, compares favourably to the L6 in all ways actually.

Finish, as mentioned was just flawless. I fully expected all sorts of bad things, but I have 0 complaints. I would definitely buy this guitar all over again and may look into some other Italias in the future. They are priced much lower than they sound or play.

Now, if the racing stripes can just make me play faster.... ;) ever since then, I always hang on to the buckle.
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