Quick Hit: Mayones Hydra Elite
A headless Hydra? Yep! And with tones that kill.
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