REVIEW: Mayones Regius 6

Regius 6Poland’s Mayones has been around for quite a while, but they’ve only recently really gained a foothold on the world stage, helped in large part by the high visibility of players such as Periphery’s Misha Mansoor and Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw. There are several base models to choose from in the Mayones range, including six and seven-string variations, your choice of pickups by DiMarzio, Bare Knuckle, EMG and Seymour Duncan, and even the Djentlemen range of 7 and 8-string axes aimed at the the rapidly solidifying dent movement. The Regius is a particularly popular shape for Mayones, a little more offset and rounded compared to the equally droolworthy Setius.

The Regius 6 features an ergonomically contoured body with an 11-ply ‘monolith’ neck with through-body construction. The neck/centerpiece is made of Maple, Mahogany, Amazakoe and Wenge, and the neck shape itself is sized just right: small enough for advanced fretting techniques and round enough for serious bending, but not too flat or too thin like an Ibanez Super Wizard. It measures 21mm thick at the 21st fret and 23mm at the 12th. There are 24 medium jumbo Ferd Wagner frets on the comfortably flattish 16″ (406mm) radius ebony fretboard, and the neck is wrapped in the same 3-ply acrylic binding that circles the body. Tuners are Sperzel Trim-Loks and there’s a Graph Tech nut firmly in place. There are no fretboard inlays, but side dots will help you find your way from a playing position. The back of the neck is natural wood with a gloss finish, which matches the finishing on the back of the guitar.

The body is made of Swamp Ash (in addition to that Maple-Mahogany-Amazakoe-Wenge chunk in the middle) with a Flamed Maple top. The finish seems to be thin enough to allow the grain in the top to create a slight ‘shimmer’ effect but it seems very durable too. Mayones has gone all-out with the hardware: in addition to those Sperzels on the headstock there’s a Switchcraft jack, Schaller Security Straplocks and an ABM fixed bridge. This particular Regius is loaded with Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackouts active humbuckers. Blackouts are voiced with more of an organic feel than EMGs, with a smoother high end and a bit more girth in the mids. They’re paired up with a single volume and a master tone control (each of which is recessed), and are selected via a three-way blade switch.

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Giving the Regius the ‘ol unplugged strum test, I was immediately struck by how resonant and full it sounded. Almost like a semi-hollow guitar minus the F-holes. It definitely leans towards the ‘you’ll piss off your housemates if you play it unplugged on the couch while they’re watching TV’ side of the scale. And of course this quality comes through when you plug it in too: there’s an immediate attack which is matched by full-bodied sustain. The Seymour Duncan Blackouts are definitely aggressive, full-bodied pickups that you’re probably not gonna want to use for country, but they’re great for all sorts of modern styles, from FM radio rock to extreme metal. In a way they almost sound like you’re using a rig that includes a Tube Screamer or similar OD employed as a boost: that smooth, musical-midrange push that helps to breathe life into a solo and to knit the individual notes of chords together in chunky rhythm parts. The bridge pickup is especially great for power chords and for high-speed legato licks, while the neck is killer for speedy alternate-picked lead runs, atmospheric clean chording and the occasional flutey solo section. The in-between setting is perfect for heavily-effected clean sounds swimming in delay, reverb and modulation, because it manages to hold its own without overwhelming – or being overwhelmed by – the effects.

The playability is surprisingly supple given the medium action of the review guitar. Most lead players will probably want to lower the strings a little, but even right out of the box this Regius puts up just enough of a fight to make you work for it a little bit, rather than pushing back against every pick attack or legato flurry. I might also add that the intonation of the review guitar was spot-on and it was pretty much impossible to play a bad note on the thing! The only downside is that the contoured body emphasises a slight neck heaviness which sees the guitar tilt a bit at the headstock end when seated if you’re not using a guitar strap.

Although the styling is relatively restrained, it’s pretty clear that the Blackouts-loaded Regius 6 is not meant to be a guitar for indie or blues players. It’s primarily a screamer at heart, whether it be for rock, shred, metal, djent, prog… anything which requires a degree of dexterity and complexity. Passive pickups would certainly expand its range into classic rock and blues-rock territory, but as reviewed, this is an unstoppable guitar for those who appreciate the heavier things in life.