USA 509: Anyone own one who can give a quick review of it?

Cocorosa

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Very tempted, tried it, plays nicely. But it is a lot of money so would appreciate any thoughts from someone who has one? 5 single coils seems like a distinct mix?
 

shinksma

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There are a few folks here who have either the 509 or its predecessor, the 513. A couple whom I would consider our in-house experts:

Paging @Dancing Frog and @Maertl513 to the podium.
 

Glide-bpm

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Love the living crap out of mine!!!!!!!!!!! Swiss Army Knife Guitar for REAL!!!!!
Love having that middle pickup, too!!! Had a 513, but like the switching and pickup voicing on the 509 much better!
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Cocorosa

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Glide, that is a lovely guitar :) Can you hear 9 distinct tones out of it when switching?
 

Glide-bpm

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Glide, that is a lovely guitar :) Can you hear 9 distinct tones out of it when switching?

Very much so. The middle pickup and coil tap switches really get you 9 very useable tones. Some are more distinct than others.
Of course, the difference between single coil and humbucker modes on the bridge alone and neck alone are probably more subtle than
other combinations. However, it's not far from the difference between a single coil pickup and a humbucker.

I'd use the guitar for the whole show every night, but I like playing my 594 and other guitars, too. However, there have been nights
that I play NOTHING else but that 509... I've really been smitten by it's GRoOVeY WiLeS.... :p
 

Jazzedout

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I have a 2005 Brazilian 513. I love every pickup combination and the fact that you can set your amp and never touch it, changing all your tone and gain from the guitar. I would love to try a 509 to see how it compares...
 

Glide-bpm

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I have a 2005 Brazilian 513. I love every pickup combination and the fact that you can set your amp and never touch it, changing all your tone and gain from the guitar. I would love to try a 509 to see how it compares...

I'd try to find one in stock somewhere and play it. If you like the 513, I think you'll love the 509. Love the switching on it. Thinking about modding most of my 3 way
guitars with a push pull to two micro coil tap switches and a 5 way to give me more tonal options (even without the middle single coil pickup).
 

garrett

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I'd try to find one in stock somewhere and play it. If you like the 513, I think you'll love the 509. Love the switching on it. Thinking about modding most of my 3 way
guitars with a push pull to two micro coil tap switches and a 5 way to give me more tonal options (even without the middle single coil pickup).

With the addition of a push/pull, you can bump the 509 up to 13 or 17 combos.

The demos I've seen aren't Stratty enough for me in the split positions. I'd love to hear one with an ash body and maple neck, though.
 

Rider1260

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I have a 513 and love it also have a 408 and love that one two , the 408 style switching is really nice IMHO ( I have 4 guitars with that switching )
The 25 1/4 scale is really nice.
From my understanding the 509 has a more "F" type sound you retain the Classic Humbucker sound but loose the heavy Humbucker sound of the 513
I have played a maple neck ( and I think ash bodied ) 513 definitely more fenderish than my Hog/maple 513

IMG_3103 by

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by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/[/url]
 

P90s

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I have one of the early 513's with a BRW neck. I tried for years to love it, to find some context where it would work, and finally gave up. The single-coil neck pick-up is heaven in the midrange, but the tone is weak in upper registers. A sound guy came up to me one night when we were putting away our gear and said, "I've never said this to a lead guitarist...when you go high up on the neck, I can barely hear you. Usually, that's when a lead guitar cuts through everything." The HB tones are fat without definition. I've tried every combination of settings and EQ and it sounded good in mid-range, but not in upper registers....or vice-versa. I considered sending it it to refit it with the 509 pickups that have been really well reviewed, but, on the chance that it's the BRW neck and not the pick-ups, decided not to take the chance. I love to play it unamplified, but I've never figured out a way to make it sound good through an amp. Is the issue the neck wood? Early pick-ups? The combination? Who knows why, but, I never found it useful.
 

shinksma

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I have one of the early 513's with a BRW neck. I tried for years to love it, to find some context where it would work, and finally gave up. The single-coil neck pick-up is heaven in the midrange, but the tone is weak in upper registers. A sound guy came up to me one night when we were putting away our gear and said, "I've never said this to a lead guitarist...when you go high up on the neck, I can barely hear you. Usually, that's when a lead guitar cuts through everything." The HB tones are fat without definition. I've tried every combination of settings and EQ and it sounded good in mid-range, but not in upper registers....or vice-versa. I considered sending it it to refit it with the 509 pickups that have been really well reviewed, but, on the chance that it's the BRW neck and not the pick-ups, decided not to take the chance. I love to play it unamplified, but I've never figured out a way to make it sound good through an amp. Is the issue the neck wood? Early pick-ups? The combination? Who knows why, but, I never found it useful.
Well, RW necks are known to have a different tone that mahogany. "Scooped midrange" is I believe the term. So if your amp was looking for midrange tones to give you that punch, that might be the reason.

I'm not aware of how the old 513 pickups might differ materially from the 509s. I suppose that could also contribute.
 

bodia

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I have one of the early 513's with a BRW neck. I tried for years to love it, to find some context where it would work, and finally gave up. The single-coil neck pick-up is heaven in the midrange, but the tone is weak in upper registers. A sound guy came up to me one night when we were putting away our gear and said, "I've never said this to a lead guitarist...when you go high up on the neck, I can barely hear you. Usually, that's when a lead guitar cuts through everything." The HB tones are fat without definition. I've tried every combination of settings and EQ and it sounded good in mid-range, but not in upper registers....or vice-versa. I considered sending it it to refit it with the 509 pickups that have been really well reviewed, but, on the chance that it's the BRW neck and not the pick-ups, decided not to take the chance. I love to play it unamplified, but I've never figured out a way to make it sound good through an amp. Is the issue the neck wood? Early pick-ups? The combination? Who knows why, but, I never found it useful.

Might be that neck. Also, if it's an early one, wasn't there an upgrade removing the PC board? I'm sure there was, but I'm not sure what that did.
 

Dusty Chalk

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Might be that neck. Also, if it's an early one, wasn't there an upgrade removing the PC board? I'm sure there was, but I'm not sure what that did.
Actually, that would be a late model 513, I believe. It just made it less sensitive to abuse. When I got my 513, one of the pickups had disconnected from the PC board. Since I was taking it to the shop anyway, I had them do the push pull mod, too. I really should play it more often, but it's more guitar than I -- as a beginner -- can really grasp.
 

Dancing Frog

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I have one of the original Guitar of the Month versions and a production version. They both have the same telecaster flavored bridge pick up and strat flavored neck pick up. The Guitar of the Month version is brighter because of the maple neck. Both are very clear and articulate guitars. They don't mush up, and they handle gain like a telecaster. I have been watching a couple over at Moore Music that have maple necks with ebony fret boards and korina bodies. I think that if you are aiming for something more aggressive sounding than the production, I'd seriously look at one of those. But, stay away from the charcoal cherry burst, that one's mine. ;)
IMG_1983.JPG
 
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Cocorosa

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I have one of the original Guitar of the Month versions and a production version. They both have the same telecaster flavored bridge pick up and strat flavored neck pick up. The Guitar of the Month version is brighter because of the maple neck. Both are very clear and articulate guitars. They don't mush up, and they handle gain like a telecaster. I have been watching a couple over at Moore Music that have maple necks with ebony fret boards and korina bodies. I think that if you are aiming for something more aggressive sounding than the production, I'd seriously look at one of those. But, stay away from the charcoal cherry burst, that one's mine. ;)
IMG_1983.JPG

They look gorgeous :) And thank you, that was really helpful information for me.
 
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