Comparing 2017 and 2018 Cutlass

Comparing 2017 and 2018 Cutlass

As outlined here, I recently bought and returned a 2018 EBMM Cutlass HSS RS because of an issue with the neck pocket. I really liked the guitar, but wasn’t in love with the neck profile. It was nice, but I found it a little thin and small in the open positions.

As I thought about what to do, I went to try out a 2017 Cutlass SSS and 2018 Cutlass RS SSS that were in stock at a store in my area. What I found was that I really liked the neck profile on the 2017 — and it felt very different from the 2018. The 2017 felt like the neck was thicker at the top of the fretboard and it had more rounded fretboard edges. The 2018 felt much thinner in the open chord positions and the fretboard edges were quite sharp.

When I called EBMM, they said the necks on 2017 and 2018 Cutlass guitars should be identical. Apparently the only difference is the roasted maple vs. satin finish neck. The profile should be the same.

Since I want the Charcoal Frost finish, I have to order online, which means I can’t try the guitar first. If all things were equal, i.e., the new guitar felt like the 2017 model I played, I’d buy the 2018 in a heartbeat — the roasted maple is incredible.

So, soliciting advice on:

1. In others’ experience, are the neck profiles for the 2017 and 2018 Cutlass models identical? Or have you seen differences?

2. What would you do? Buy the 2017 under the argument that the neck profile in that model year should be identical? Or take the word of EBMM and buy the 2018 model in the hopes it feels like the one I played in the store?

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