Some first impressions, as I've only had this a few days and only played it through a THR10C at house volume.
I've wanted one of these a long time. An HSS Strat covers the tonal options I need better than any other guitar, but the Gibson scale length is a better fit for my hands.
It's an Olympic White with Tort pickup. Fit and finish are exemplary. It was already set up with a low buzz free action. I took out a little neck relief which lowered the action even more. I still think there's scope to keep tweaking to get it optimal for me, but it's exceptionally good already.
I compromised on fret size. I prefer jumbos, but I haven't seen a used shorty with jumbos for sale in years, so settled for medium (6105) frets. I've had a Gibson 339 with similar frets for a long time and it gets plenty of play, so I might stick with these but wouldn't rule out a re-fret at some point.
Tonally the guitar has its own personality but it’s unmistakably Strattish.
ABd against my Suhr Classic I thought the Suhr sounded more refined and vintage and the Anderson sounded a little throatier and more aggressive.
The split coil sound on the bridge humbucker was a very nice surprise . The volume drop is minimal, and the sound is really sweet and usable even with the tone knob fully turned up. Like the bridge pick-up on a good SSS Strat with the tone knob at 7.
Usually with the Suhr I spend almost all my time on the bridge humbucker or the neck single coil, but obviously I was keen to compare other settings: the Andersons between pick-up sounds were less noticeably out-of-phasey than the Suhr; for some reason the add bridge option, which I never use on the Suhr, sounds much better on the Anderson, really adding richness and definition; the middle pickup on the Anderson has more character and aggression.
Summary: this is close to the optimal guitar for me. Not the most characterful visually, but it's still a very attractive object. Light at 7.4 lbs, and covers all the tonal bases I typically use.
At house volumes at least I still marginally prefer the more old school neck pickup cleans and out of phase sounds on the Suhr, but the Anderson has the edge for humbucker dirt, split coil on the bridge and the add bridge sound - and a wider tonal palette overall.
I'll be surprised if this doesn't establish itself as my no 1 gigging guitar. I really need to think about selling some stuff before I buy more, but I think I can see more TA shorties in my future.
“To a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail.”