Okay, somehow another 3-pickup NGD this weekend! It wasn't planned that way, I was doing a trade deal with my Core DC 594 Soapbar (because I was getting getting a Private Stock one, see my other NGD thread on that one). I was trading it for another guitar originally, but then I spotted this one and at the last minute I decided to switch to this one. I had been curious about the Cu22 Special Semi-Hollow, particularly after playing Rider1260's at the Feb 15 594Fest event. This guitar really isn't my thing for the core of what I play and love, which is centered around the 594s. But as a specialty sort of thing, it is a "nice to have" option for me I think, for another way beyond the Silver Sky to dive into the Stratty side of things. It won't get played as much as the 594s and the 25" McCarty, but it will be nice to have in the collection. I had been keeping my eye out for one of these that floated my boat, since playing Rider1260's. I was thinking I wanted it to be as much on the Stratty side of things as possible, so my preference was a Maple Neck for sure, a Maple Board too if possible. And I really only love the vintage finishes, so my criteria was also a great top and a vintage finish. Nothing had really popped up that excited me, until I saw this one. It checked all the boxes, Maple Neck and Board, KILLER Artist top, and Faded McCarty Sunburst, one of my favorite finishes! And a Swamp Ash body and cool inlays to boot. Visually, I appreciate the killer top and finish, and the Swamp Ash back and grain, and the more "Orange" finish on the back versus a Natural or Cherry, gives it a cool look with the Sunburst on the Faded McCarty Sunburst finish. The squiggly lines perpendicular to the flame on the board - I always love those, especially in a vintage finish! The flame on the Board is cool, the neck is not at all as Flamey, for the WL price it would have been nice to have more Flame on the neck. (The pic shows flame on the back of the neck, but looking down at the side while playing, it doesn't have as much. And part of me thinks that a McCarty Sunburst Finish on the back of the neck would have also been nice. That said, this neck is unfinished or lightly finished and is thus super smooth, so that is kind of cool. It is more understated this way without a stained finish on the back of the neck. I normally prefer Old Birds over the J-Birds, but with a Maple Board I dig these J-Birds with the Black Outlines. (I like them WAY better than those tiny Outline birds on the Maple-Boarded Silver Sky, I don't really care for the look of those and may pass on one of those as a result.) This one needs my standard upgrade to Ivoroid Tuners, that is coming soon. Detailed tone report to follow soon, as I have already logged a decent amount of time on this since it arrived yesterday morning, and I have compared it to the Silver Sky.