You might expect an electric guitar from the heart of the Silicon Valley to be replete with gadgetry. But Sweetwood and their Custom Comet embrace the more organic foundations of what makes a great guitar. That isn’t to say Sweetwood’s guitars are primitive—far from it. Both the Comet and the vaguely Mosrite-styled Rock Rite, which fills out the Sweetwood line are built with a sense of guitar history, quality, and the ways in which classic guitar design and modern guitar technology can work together best. And with it’s Maple-cap-on-mahogany body, Wolftone Sweetwood pickups, and contemporary curves and contours, it’s a guitar that plays like a professional and evolutionary piece of gear.
Like a Flash in the Sky
The Custom Comet we received for review has a tobacco-esque finish that Sweetwood calls Dark Honey Burst. And on the Custom Comet's flame maple cap it looks beautiful without being ostentatious. Overall the instrument's fit and finish is exceptional. If Sweetwood is going out of the way to stand out on the walls of a guitar shop, they succeed on the basis of their design and finish as opposed to any gloss or glitz.
With its double cutaways and a tummy contour, the Custom Comet is very comfortable and feels lighter than it looks. The multi-laminate set neck—composed of maple and mahogany, an ebony fretboard, 24 5/8” and a 12" radius—feels very fast. The Mother of Pearl diamond-shaped inlays add to the classy look of this California electric.
The Custom Comet’s neck is also notable for its unique asymmetrical design. The symmetry changes across the neck, being rounder by the nut and gradually becoming more asymmetric by the heel. It’s a subtle change and at first, I had no idea the neck was asymmetrical. It just felt good at all positions. Sweetwood got it right in making a neck that is both fast and extremely comfortable at all positions and fingerings.
Our review Custom came with Hipshot open tuners and Hipshot's tremolo bridge. The Hipshot tremolo is very smooth thanks to its use of ball bearings on its pivot points. And the tremolo was accurate with range on par with what you would find on a really good Fender or PRS tremolo.
The control layout might benefit from some minor re-configuration. Moving the volume knob and 3 way pickup selector switch slightly towards the neck would allow players better access for volume swells and switching without rubbing against the tremolo arm…and this is a guitar that really beckons you to use all the pickup options at your disposal. Sweetwood states these aspects of the design have been improved on the 2011 Comet lineup.