The Sterling Ax3 by Music Man is a stout and well-tempered Indonesian made guitar which retails for about $400. This is well priced for an instrument with exceptional build quality. The 25.5” scale maple neck and fret board looks solid and is complimented by robust machine heads and has an organic yet smooth action when played. The vintage style two point fulcrum tremolo bridge is well made and feels as though it will stand up to years of punishment. The basic design of single tone and volume knobs translate well into this workhorse-like guitar. The five-way selector switch clicks along nicely providing a very eclectic range of tones from a deep jazzy sound on the neck humbucker to a gnarly yet coherent bridge humbucker.
This versatile and well-priced guitar could satisfy beginners and experienced guitarists alike. Its easy access truss and rod adjuster will likely make servicing cost effective and a rare requirement. While the body of the guitar has a maple finish it is not real maple but a bound image of a maple top body, however the realistic guitarist would not expect a true maple body for this price. Never the less the maple image and quality fretboard combined with simple well-toned pickups make this guitar a solid option when looking for a quality instrument on a budget.