Mayones has been handcrafting guitars in Poland since 1982, but recently they’ve become a hot brand in the prog-metal world. And with headless guitars quickly becoming an instrument of choice in the genre, the Hydra, Mayones’ first headless, is a timely addition.

Like all Mayones axes, the Hydra is exquisitely crafted. Our test model had a luxurious Trans Graphite finish over a poplar top and sapele back. Playability is great— fast runs were easy on the flat 16"-radius ebony fretboard, and the contoured heel allowed easy access to the uppermost region of the 24-fret neck.

The Hydra’s Seymour Duncan Nazgûl (bridge) and Sentient (neck) pickups offer a ton of volume for clean sounds. Both pickups can be coil-split via a push/pull volume pot, and with the neck pickup split, you can hear an almost acoustic-guitar-like clarity while strumming open chords. Cranking amp gain with both coils activated yields a tight low end and great articulation for fast rhythms. With gain up high and coils split, I got cool, unexpected vintage-style sounds. If you want an impeccably crafted alternative to Strandberg and Kiesel headless guitars, Hydra is well worth a play.

Test gear: Mesa/Boogie Mark IV amplifier

Ratings

Pros:
Powerful sounds. Surprising clean tones. Impeccably built. Excellent access to whole fretboard.

Cons:
Pricey.

Street:
$3,000

Mayones Hydra Elite
mayones.com

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