This is an update on the review I brought you over a year ago as it has now come DOWN in price to just £299!
The Cort M520 is a guitar I have wanted to bring to your attention for literally YEARS.
Well - the M520 is cheaper version of the M600 so maybe it seems a little strange that I would start trying to tempt you with a cheaper option? I should be endorsing the flagship model right? Well the truth is the M520 is such incredible value I don't want players to consider it as a cheaper, inferior option. More so "an" option which happens to save you about £70 on the M600.
I am often asked what are the key differences between the M600 and M520. So, here they are...
The M520 has dot fretboard inlays. The M600 has block fretboard inlays.
The M600 has a bound edged fretboard whereas the M520 has a plain edge to the fretboard.
M520 has "generic" humbucker pickups (IE unbranded) whereas the M600 pickups are "Duncan Designed" by Seymour Duncan.
The M520 has a standard finish top either in Tobacco Gloss or Vintage Black Satin. The M600 comes in 3 Flame top versions.
The M520 and M600 both have a coil tap for a wider range of tonal options.
The M520 and M600 share the same hardware (barring pickups) and have mahogany bodies with a fixed neck design.
So yes there are differences and of course many will possibly "upgrade to the M600" but this doesn't mean the M520 is any LESS value or high quality at its price.
If you look at the pictures I have provided you will see the quality and detail of the M520 models is utterly superb. Over my 16 years in the trade I have witnessed so many brands and I can tell you now that the brands like Vintage guitars who offer "value" fall foul most of the time on their finishing details - this is just not the case with Cort. If you tried one in the flesh you would be astounded at the quality.
The M520 is a solid mahogany guitar with a quality fixed neck design, medium weight and will always give you tones which are on the warmer side - so if you are looking for bright toppy tones this is not really the guitar for you.
If you were considering a Les Paul style guitar I would beg you to try this. You will get all the tones you will find in your Les Paul but the guitar benefits from comfort contouring on the reverse of the body and most importantly has a fantastically balanced weight distribution, much more in line with a PRS. If you will be sitting down at home playing then you will find a Les Paul quite awkward on the lap with all the weight to the rear of the guitar. The M520 will sit nicely and you will be able to play for hours and enjoy it!
The M520 is ideally suited to blues, rock and Jazz. The pickups have a nice classic, slightly restrained humbucker tonality which is perfect for these genres. The coil tap gives you the brighter tones and is a nice addition for a guitar under £350!
The great news is that Cort have just introduced the M520 in a P90 pickup option too!! For me this is wonderful because I just LOVE the P90 sound. A P90 can be considered as a hot wound single coil. It is just that bit thicker than a single coil with a sweeter tone and just a litte more rounded with less bite. For blues players you won't find a sweeter sound. However, with no coil tap option you may find the P90 more restrictive so this one is for players who "know" the sound they want and don't need the wider range you will find in the humbucker model. Its beautiful though! (See pics below).
Currently the M520 sells at a mere £299 online making it one of the highest quality solid body electrics money can buy on an affordable budget.