With a level of quality honed through decades of building the world’s finest guitars, the FGN Expert Odyssey EOS-ASH-M is truly an instrument for the connoisseur. If you’re accustomed to playing high end Japanese-made instruments, the likelihood is that you’ve already played an FGN (Fujigen); the company originally built its reputation as an OEM manufacturer for the world’s most respected brands. With their own range of guitars, they exercise creative independence over instrument design, while maintaining their time-won attention to detail.
All FGN guitars are beautifully built, and play as well as you’d hope, considering their provenance. Expert models - such as this Odyssey EOS-ASH-M- take things up a notch, however. The value of a quarter-sawn neck, for example, won’t be lost on the expert guitarist, lending the instrument greater sustain and tuning stability, as well as increasing its overall strength. Very few planks from every log are produced quarter sawn (with the grain running perpendicular to the top of the fretboard), resulting in only the highest end guitars benefitting from this feature.
Another Expert feature is the Compound Radius Fingerboard, which gradually increased fingerboard's radius over its length. This achieves a good balance between chords on the lower frets and bending on the higher ones. The Expert Fret Edge treatment combines finely finished frets with FUJIGEN craftsman's handmade fret edge for much smoother fingering. Common to all FGN guitars is the Circle Fretting System (C.F.S.). Slightly curved frets are mounted so as to ensure that each string and fret intersects at right angles, minimising the contact surface. The result is accurate pitch, cleaner, longer sustain and true harmonics.
Other Expert features include the Z Axis Deep Joint, which sets the neck about 1mm deeper than conventional electric guitars. This reduces the distance between the strings and the body top without forcibly lowering the string height. Two switches - the “Double Tricky Switch” in FGN-speak - combine a Direct Output switch and Coil Tap switch for the bridge humbucker, increasing the player’s tonal control. Finally, the Moonsault Heel Cutaway Joint improves upper fret access thanks to the body being about 5mm thinner at the point where the neck joins the body.