I’m not a massive Muse fan, but I do love Cort guitars and the Matt Bellamy Cort Manson MBC-1 is truly a thing of beauty – and it doesn’t even cost that much either…
The Matt Bellamy Guitar – AKA The Cort Manson MBC-1
How much? For the entry-level model you’re looking at less than $600. And for that money, you’re getting a hell of a lot of guitar. The Cort Manson MBC-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature is, perhaps, one of the best signature guitars you can buy right now.
I say perhaps because you have a bunch of great options currently available or coming down the line (models like Slash’s incoming Epiphone series). But what makes the Cort Manson MBC-1 so special is its price – for less than $600 you’re getting a truly outstanding guitar.
I mean, just take a gander at these specs:
Cort Manson MBC-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature Specifications
- CONSTRUCTION – Bolt-On
- BODY – Basswood
- NUT WIDTH – 42mm (1.65″)
- NECK – Hard Maple / C Shape
- FRETBOARD – Rosewood or Jatoba
- TUNERS – Staggered Height Locking Tuners
- BRIDGE – T.O.M Bridge w/ Stop tailpiece
- PICKUPS (Neck) – Manson Single coil Pickup(Alnico V)
- Bridge – Manson Humbucker Pickup (Alnico V)
- ELECTRONICS – 1x Volume, 1x Tone, 3-Way Pickup Selector
- HARDWARE – Chrome
- SPECIAL – Kill Button
Is the Cort Manson MBC-1 the EXACT guitar that Bellamy uses? No, it’s a reproduction and it does lack some of the bells and whistles featured on Bellamy’s actual guitar – but it is damn close where it counts.
And if you haven’t heard of Cort before – check out our guide to Cort’s latest new guitars.
It doesn’t have a Kaos Pad, for one, and it lacks, some of the more fancy electrical voodoo that Bellamy has on his exact model. But this shouldn’t be a cause for concern. With all that jazz slapped on the guitar, you’d be paying triple the price for this axe.
You have the same build materials, great pickups (Fernandes Sustainer FSK-101 and a Manson MBK 2), and the same tonal controls. And, again, for the price of this thing, you’re essentially getting a top-top-tier guitar for way less than usual.
Usually, you’d pay $1000+ for this kind of setup. But here you’re getting it for almost 50% less. And that, my fellow shredders, is very significant – especially if you’re on a tight budget but you want something reliable and built with quality materials.
And it even has a kill button, its located where the switch is usually found on a Les Paul, so you can create those Tom Morello-style judder riffs. I mean, I wouldn’t. But if you want you can. And if, like me, you don’t want to to, the button itself is fairly innocuous.
How’s It Play?
Thanks to the pickups, you have plenty of clout in the low end, so if you want to use drop tunings and smash out some slow, groovy riffs that’ll shake your house’s foundations, the Cort Manson MBC-1 is very good at that.
But it is also a monster in the mid-range too, which is great for adding in extra finish and detail to your playing. Overall, this kind of guitar, with its borrowed elements from both Gibson and Fender, will lend itself to pretty much any style of playing – from funk to doom and thrash.
The Cort Manson MBC-1 uses some fairly potent humbuckers though and you really don’t need to push them too hard to get some pretty serious feedback. For this reason, like some P90-equipped guitars I can think of, the Cort Manson MBC-1 will be a great tool for making a pretty big racket.
And at this price – less than $600 – it is a perfect guitar for an intermediate player that wants to take the next step up on the price ladder. Is it as good as a proper Tele or a Les Paul? No, it lacks the polish and finesse of those guitars. But you’ll pay twice the money for them.
With the Cort Manson MBC-1, you’re getting a brilliant guitar with great-sounding tone and killer specs for a very respectable price. And if you’ve been playing for a few years with a fairly cheap guitar, stepping up to the Cort Manson MBC-1 will feel like a big step forwards with respect to tone and playability.
Can you tell I REALLY like this guitar!?