What is special? What makes something so and what is the very depth of specialness itself? Deep questions, even for a special person such as yourself.
Well, for one thing, Sam is special. Why you wonder? Simply put, not only is Sam a very nice guy but this is his Cobra S Special—a very special guitar indeed.
The real truth is that everyone is special and life is much better, for ourselves and others, if we keep that fact in our awareness.
But now, down to the heart of the matter: Why is a Cobra S Special more special than another model without the word Special in its name, say a regular Cobra S for instance? Aren’t all Cobra Ss created equal on Level 9 of the Anderson Institution?
Yes, of course they are but Level 9 is a whole other story. Let’s look into the specialness of Specials, shall we?
We all know what constitutes something that is special but in the world of guitars, Special has another meaning entirely. For a guitar to be Special it must be the offspring of a model (Cobra or Cobra S in this case) that normally has a maple-topped body and a 24 3/4-inch scale length (string length from nut to bridge). When this model is offered sans a maple top it is called Special. So, in other words, a short-scale, maple-topped instrument without a maple top is Special.
Is it better without a maple top?
Well, better is just a subjective term. As you know all Andersons of any description play and perform equally and astoundingly well. Equivalent is a more accurate appraisal, so instead, let’s examine distinguishing characteristics.
Without a maple top a “Special” is different—in its look and sound—ultra cool to be sure—a traditional kind of thing. Usually seen as an all-mahogany instrument (but not always, more on this in future Guitar of the Weeks) the look of mahogany has its own woody and gorgeous appearance and is outstanding finished in a wide array of transparent colors.
Not sharing the spotlight with a maple top, mahogany rises to the occasion with sound akin to controlled “thunder”—huge and rich with strong, round midrange. The absence of the maple top rounds off the upper-mids just a bit more for those who seek fat everything in their tone.
Sam’s selection of twin P-Series pickups, P1 neck and P3 bridge, for this particular Desert Sunset, Cobra S Special, do a nice job of underscoring a look of tradition while capturing Cobra S Special’s tone with all the aggressive characteristic warmth and musical nature this style of fat single coil could possibly offer. It’s very good!
So, are Sam and his new Cobra S Special really that special? The answer is an especially and unequivocal, yes.
• MODEL: – Cobra S Special
• FINISH: – Desert Sunset
• BODY WOOD: – Mahogany
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
• NECK WOOD: – Mahogany with African Rosewood Fingerboard
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – Cobra Standard
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16-inch
• SCALE LENGTH: – 24 3/4-inch
• FRETS: – Heavy—Exclusive Anderson Stainless Steel
• BRIDGE: – Fixed Bridge
• TUNING GEAR: – Split Shaft
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – N/A
• NECK PICKUP: – P1
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – N/A
• BRIDGE PICKUP: – P3
• SWITCHING: – 3-Way—Large Chrome Toggle
• PICKUP COVERS: – Black
• PICKUP RINGS: – N/A
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .011-.049 Elixir® with NANOWEB® Coating
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Mass Street Music/Lawrence, Kansas