Italia’s new Modulo Tipo 3 is fun to play and will certainly get you noticed…
This one is classic Italia: metallic sparkle top, black mock-snakeskin tolex back, gold piping round the body – and who’d have thought a triangular pearloid scratchplate would work? – but this is a very tuneful, easy-playing, great sounding instrument.
The neck profile has a hint of Burns Bison, the set-up is excellent and the acoustic sound is resonant and percussive. You might expect all that finish to dull down the response, but this guitar chimes, so clearly the VS50K-2 vibrato is making an excellent connection to the body.
The pickup arrangement – two narrow single coils and a P90 in the bridge position – takes a lead from one of Wilkinson’s other brands, Fret-King, and especially models like the Corona. It’s all about offering player choice in the tone department. A master volume, two independent tone pots and a five-way selector complete the picture.
It’s useful for soloing, neither humbucker-boxy nor single-coil shrill, and strummed or picked chords sound clear, bright and three-dimensional. The first out-of phase voice is in your face and ultra-quacky, while the middle position, second out-of-phase position and neck pickup have a more familiar character.
However, the pickups are well-voiced and perform well with most playing styles and genres. Crank the amp or add overdrive and the bridge pickup is a monster for rock chords and blues excursions, while the middle position is our favourite for wailing solos.
The out-of-phase settings are great for art school madness, country strutting and Mark Knopfler impersonations too.
The Modulo is a really good workhorse, capable of delivering lots of useful sounds, and the P90 adds spice to your sound palette. Above all, this guitar is loads of fun to play and it stays in tune brilliantly. Not everyone will love the style – but it’ll look great under the stage lights.