The first time I ever saw a Mayones Duvell was when I stumbled upon a YouTube video that someone had shared on Facebook in the summer of 2015. It was a video Mayones had posted on their YouTube channel in which John Browne of the band MONUMENTS (not me!) demoed a fairly new guitar in the Mayones catalogue – An amazing looking Mayones Duvell Elite with a beautiful Eye Poplar top.

Ever since then, the Duvell Elite has been gaining popularity. We actually posted a review on one of these a while back!

Next to the exotic looking Duvell Elite, the less expensive but equally superb Duvell Standard is often overlooked. A fate that this guitar does not deserve.

The Duvell Standard is built to the same meticulous standards, by the same luthiers, and in the same factory in Gdansk, Poland as the Duvell Elite. The only differences between the two models are the wood species used.

Instead of a wenge/bubinga neck, the Duvell Standard has a maple/mahogany neck, as well as a flamed maple top instead of the Elite’s eye poplar top and a rosewood fretboard instead of an ebony fretboard.

Let’s jump in and take a look at the rest of the specs!

Features :

– Profiled Mahogany Body with a Flamed Maple Top

– Five Piece Maple and Mahogany Neck

– Bolt-On Neck Construction with Six Screws Mounted on Ferrules

– Rosewood Fretboard with 24 Ferd Wagner Stainless Steel Frets

– Luninlay Side Dots

– 25,4” Scale

– 16” Fretboard Radius

– Hipshot Grip Lock Open Gear Tuners

– Hipshot Fixed Bridge

– Seymour Duncan Nazgûl and Sentient Pickups

– Three Way Pickup Selector Switch

– One Volume Pot w/ Push Pull Function for Coil Tapping

– Schaller Security Straplocks

– Graph Tech Nut

– Branded Hiscox Standard Guitar Case

– Available in Transparent Black, Transparent Graphite, Transparent Red, Transparent Blue, Transparent Green and Natural Wood

Upon opening the case, it’s immediately apparent that the Duvell is much more than just another modern take on the superstrat. Its ever so slightly arched top, sharp horns, and minimalist controls really convey the sense that this guitar is a no-nonsense purpose built rock machine. Picking it up, it feels rock solid and precise. It is a bit heavier than I expected a guitar of its thickness to be. It’s by no means too heavy though, but pleasantly reassuring and well-balanced. The rosewood fretboard has a dark shade to it and a very uniform looking grain. The neck is fairly thin, slightly flatter than an Ibanez Nitro Wizard neck but still thick enough for comfortable chording.

Tone :

Unplugged, the Duvell sounds bright and clear. The tone is articulate and surprisingly loud for a solid body electric guitar. The Duvell’s sustain is incredible. Chords and single notes ring out far longer than I had expected, as I usually associate great sustain with heavy set neck or neck through guitars. The Duvell most likely owes this trait to the use of top-tier timbers and its bombproof neck joint.

Plugged into an amp, the Duvell really comes into its own. The sound of the Nazgûl further stresses the impression created by the looks of the guitar. This guitar was built for rock and metal! Personally, I have found the Nazgûl to sound harsh in some guitars, but the Duvell is not one of them. It delivers a really chunky low end while always maintaining the necessary clarity required for modern metal styles. While being far tamer than the Nazgûl, the Sentient in the neck position complements the Nazgûl well and maintains similar clarity for complex chords.

(If you want to read more about the Nazgûl, we have an entire review dedicated to it!)

The coil tap function provides for a variety of tones. Although the Sentient produces very usable clean sounds when the coil tap is enabled, there are probably more suitable guitars for this purpose. I would probably use different pickups in a studio environment for clean tones. Nonetheless, I find the Duvell to be exceptionally versatile for a guitar that is able to produce such brutal sounds.

Build Quality :

I tried really hard to find something that was wrong with the guitar for this review. I really did, but I just couldn’t find anything!

The first thing I noted when playing the guitar for the first time was how low the action was set without there being any fret buzz. For me that is something that speaks volumes when it comes to build quality.

The fret job is absolutely perfect on this guitar, the pickups routes are immaculate, the control cavity is neatly laid out with copper foil, and the solder joints are impeccable. Every cut, every curve and every connection on this guitar has been executed with utmost precision.

Final Verdict :

The Mayones Duvell Standard may not look quite as exotic as the Duvell Elite, but is still looks great. When it comes to playability, build quality and sound, the Standard absolutely holds is own against the Elite.

If you are looking for a high quality, boutique superstat, but are not quite comfortable spending the money for a Duvell Elite, I highly recommend checking out a Duvell Standard. You get exactly the same quality and attention to detail you would with the more expensive guitar.

9-10-10

Don’t forget to check out our guide to all of the Mayones models, as well as any other articles we post! We post reviews, technical articles, interviews, and more on a daily basis!

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This article was written by community contributor John Browne.

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