Wylde Audio NOMAD guitar

I saw a used Wylde Audio The 24.625” (625.5mm) scale NOMAD for sale, at a very good price, and had to nab it. I’ve been curious about Zakk’s guitars for some time, and I liked the NOMAD’s body shape. And so, here goes.

Made in South Korea, with the RedRum color combination, the body is made of Mahogany with a quilted maple and Vortex top. The top is flat with a beveled edge, and a set-neck design. The back of the guitar sports a red/black maple flame, together with a headstock stinger. It has satin black hardware, although I changed out the knobs for more of a custom look, with a TonePros LPM04 bridge set and Grover Rotomatic 18:1 tuners. I also added the Virtual Jeff Pro whammy bridge, which I demo in the video and reviewed independently.

The Zakk ‘C’ neck is a maple 3-piece with Mother-of-Pearl Runes for inlays, an ebony fretboard, a 2-way adjustable truss rod, and a GraphTech XL Ivory Tusq nut (width 1.693” or 43mm). Neck thickness is .83” (21.08mm) at the first fret and .96” (24.4mm) at the twelfth fret. Fretboard Radius is 14” (355mm), and with 22 X-Jumbo frets.

Electronics include EMG 81 and 85 pickups, with a Volume control for each pickup, a Tone knob and a 3-way pickup switch selector. No noise when selecting pickups or turning the knobs. The guitar also comes with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky #2221 (.010-.046) strings, and I presume they are on the guitar, and likely not swapped out, due to it being in such good shape and hardly played.

The overall finish and quality of the guitar is excellent, with no rough edges, fret burs, etc. There are no dead spots on the neck and the action is comfortably low. Even with this baseball neck (designed for Zakk’s big hands), it very comfortable and smooth to play. I prefer thinner necks, yet I do not mind the Zakk ‘C’ neck at all. A fast legato player may feel differently. It sounds as it should with traditional EMG active pickups, sounding bold and well-defined, but not excessively hot. Each pickup selection is clear (neither muddy nor shrill), and I like that you can blend the two (since each has a separate volume control).

Are there any negatives to this guitar, minus the thick neck that some may not like? First, it’s not a light guitar, at the 8-pound mark, but certainly not as heavy as some. It has 22-frets, and I realize some like that 2-octave range. The frets are nickel, whereas most guitars in its price range (approx. $1200 USD) have stainless steel frets (although Zakk may have a preference for nickel). Likewise, at this price point, I’m surprised it does not have locking tuners, and that should be addressed.

Overall, this is an excellent guitar build-wise, and it plays well and sounds good. The biggest criticism is how many guitars, at that price point, are as good or may have some extras, like stainless steel frets or locking tuners… or a preferred neck thickness. I also would have preferred a battery compartment for quick and easy change, as opposed to removing seven screws to gain access. Lastly, and as much as I don’t mind the silky feel of the thick neck, Wylde Audio should offer a thinner neck style option for his guitars. Then again, it’s his guitars and how he likes them.
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