No matter how much of a pragmatist you are it is undeniable that there are some unexplainable events on this planet—things beyond the 5 senses that defy known reasoning. How do you explain the building of the Egyptian pyramids? What is the purpose of Stone Henge? How can lost dogs find their way home from hundreds of miles away? Where is the Atlantis that Plato spoke of? What is up with Roswell, New Mexico anyway and why does Tom Anderson seem to have infinite knowledge concerning electric guitars?
Perhaps the most interestingly observable planetary phenomenon is what we are noticing with our Cobra guitar models. It began with the introduction of the Cobra Special. It originally appeared on the scene with an all mahogany body and equipped with dual Soapbar-style pickups, our P1 and P3. From that moment on the bar had been raised. What a sound—a giant single coil resonance that Eddie at Music Loft in Raleigh, NC describes as, “A single coil tone on steroids.” And with Cobra’s 24 ¾-inch scale length and “Extended Bandwidth,” it is fat but never muddy.
What could be better for getting this type of expression from a guitar of this format? Nothing—nothing unless you want greater variety. Twin pickup P-90 equipped guitars are superb but you get a maximum of 3 wonderfully usable tones. If you feel comfortable breaking with tradition, the simple addition of a middle pickup and versatile switching to match, increases Cobra Special’s sonic contribution to seven extremely impressive textures that impart their version of almost every inspiring guitar sound known to man. How is this possible? Well, Soapbar-style pickups are the sonic missing link between common single coils and humbuckings. Loaded into an effortlessly playing, full-range Anderson guitar they can masquerade as your favorite “single coil on steroids” or as traditional-output humbuckers. The rapid and versatile switching delivers pickup combinations of Neck, Neck + Middle, Middle, Middle + Bridge, Bridge, Neck + Bridge and Neck + Middle + Bridge. What else could you want?
The attraction of the increased dimension proved to be strong and we began to see Cobra Specials and Cobras, with this magic pickup mixture, popping up everywhere. Here are two stunning examples. The Translucent Black Burst is a Cobra S and the Silver Sparkle is a Cobra Special S. The “Special” sports an all mahogany body while the Cobra S shows off with its beautiful maple topped, mahogany body. All other features are identical but this is enough to give them unique voices. The Special’s bandwidth is concentrated and strong. The Cobra S’s maple top adds a bit of clarity to every note while still retaining that raw Cobra power. It is like a sonic picture that is brought more sharply into focus. Smooth is the word that kept coming to mind while I was playing both of these instruments. They just sounded so sweet! I really did feel as though I had it all at my fingertips. And my favorite one…was the guitar I was playing at the time.
Eddie Burman, at Music Loft in Raleigh, NC is the lucky guy who will see both of these—but not for long. The Silver Sparkle Special is already promised but take heart, the Black Burst, Cobra S will arrive unattached.
MODEL: – Cobra Special S
FINISH: – Sparkle Silver
BODY WOOD: – Mahogany
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
NECK WOOD: – Maple with African Rosewood Fingerboard
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Silver Sparkle
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – Cobra Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16th-inch
SCALE LENGTH: – 24 3/4th-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
PICKGUARD: – n/a
NECK PICKUP: – P1
MIDDLE PICKUP: – P1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – P3
SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Push/Pull
PICKUP COVERS: – Black
PICKUP RINGS: – n/a
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010 to .046