Customer Review Bluesville “Leros” BV301
Review by Neil Riordan
Let me start by saying that I bought this guitar after a good deal of research both online and in local shops (I live in London, loads of guitar shops) and I kept coming back to the Cassidy website as they seemed to me to be a little bit more realistic than the others brands. Some charged too much and some skimped on quality and finish. But Cassidy seemed to have a reasonable balance, and I couldn’t stop staring at the “Leros”.
When the “Leros” arrived the very first thing that struck me was the quality of the finish. It is flawless. Cover the head stock and ask people what they think and the answer comes back in the £600-800 bracket, possibly more.
The woods are clearly the best available and the gloss finish combined with the classic honey / butterscotch stain is gorgeous. It reminds me of the guitars I would stare at in the window of Cronin’s in Cork, when I was a lad ( ‘80’s when Ireland was in a recession and every one was selling their treasured Strats). It is a classic ’50s look and one that fender themselves keep returning to, I think, for good reason.
It balances nicely on the strap, isn’t heavy by any means. The fret work is superb. They are medium jumbos I think, perfectly crowned and every note on every string rings true. I also suspect that there is slightly more steel than nickel in the frets. Only a very small change in the ratio can greatly affect both tone and fret life. Cassidy have gone for the high steel content. The next step up would be pure steel. What this means is they will last a long time before needing to be re-crowned and I like that idea very much. My acoustic is 12 this year and needs this done and the idea terrifies me in case some thing goes wrong and my beloved Kingman is damaged some how. When you really care about your instrument all these little thing’s come into play and I can see players really caring about their Cassidy guitars. Especially if they are all as attractive to play as the “Leros”.
The neck play’s so nicely it encourages you to play better and more. It is a thin C shape and is fast and precise all the way – I love it – and it stays in tune so much better than so many other Strat style guitars I’ve played.
Best of all is the tone. Cassidy make their own pickups. This deals with brand name snobbery and subjective bias. Too many brands to think about with bought in pick ups.
I put the “Leros” through a (borrowed) Vox AC30, no pedals and then for contrast through one of those nasty 3w buskers amps that kill every guitars tone stone cold dead. Through the Vox it was Heavenly. Every classic single coil tone you could wish for. From warm to glassy (now I finally get that description), licks or chords, each and every note comes through beautifully. And it’s all down to the pickup’s. And they soak up gain and overdrive without any loss of note definition. Again Cassidy found the quality. As for the 3w busker’s, the amp could not kill the tone though it tried – it still sounded great.
Other things to note are the quality of the tremolo and the other bits and pieces. Once again Cassidy have not done what so many others do to keep the price down and go cheap on tuners and trems, or even screws. Every thing is high quality and do what they are supposed to. Nothing is made of Unicorn bone but it’s all more than good enough. Cassidy have saved you money without any sacrifice in the essential areas, but have also avoided disappointing you in the smaller items.
No one who buys this guitar is going to worry about changing anything any time soon – or may be ever.
This guitar is described as “an intermediate guitar for the improving guitarist” – I wouldn’t know about that. I am 90% an acoustic player, and have owned only a few electrics in my time. But I’ve played a load of them. In my 20’s I used to hang out in Manny’s Music in New York, as well as a few of the other shops nearby and if you bought even one guitar from them they were happy to let you play around with anything in the shop. I bought 3 acoustics from them but I played almost every electric they had (badly). It was great fun and helped me to understand when you have a good guitar in your hands. I’m no great player, but I love the instrument and love playing. I honestly think that if you handed a known Strat lover like Mark Knopfler or Rory Gallagher (RIP) you would struggle to get it back off them.
This is a strikingly good guitar. Cassidy have got so many things right they need to be top of your list. Forget big Brands. Buy British. Buy a Cassidy.
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