mini humbucker equipped

A graceful and thoughtfully executed mashup of Fender, Gibson, and Eko elements adds up to a lean, clean, and mean performance 6-string.

It’s nice to see a young guitar company come a long way in a short time—particularly one that serves the more accessible end of the price spectrum. We’ve reviewed two other PureSalem guitars since the company got going back in 2012, starting with the truly odd Electric End in 2013 and the less eccentric but still unusual Gordo. Each guitar marked an evolution in quality and vision. And though the Mendiola reviewed here may be the most, well, normal PureSalem we’ve ever reviewed, its superb build quality, tones that invite mellow-to-mad interaction with the instrument, and positively inviting playability signal yet another step forward for a company that keeps delivering inspired twists on familiar and idiosyncratic classic designs.

Alfa Romeo Meets Bucket T
Casual guitar spotters will no doubt take one look at the Mendiola’s surfy lines and assume a Jazzmaster influence. In truth, the more direct influence is the sparkly and fantastic Eko Ekomaster 400—as lovely an Italian solidbody mutation as there ever was (which is saying a lot, coming from this fan of ’60s Italian guitar curiosities and monstrosities). To be fair to Fender, the Ekomaster was shamelessly Jazzmaster influenced. But Eko must be given credit for its graceful slimming and trimming of the Jazzmaster’s lines, which PureSalem has aped here.

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