Eric Mantel: guitar international interview

Matt Warnock: For many years you played Fender and Gibson guitars, but now you’re playing Cort guitars. What inspired you to make the switch over to Cort?

Eric Mantel: I still own Fender and Gibson guitars, most guitar players do, but I moved over to Cort because I’m trying to work out a Signature model guitar with them. I also discovered after playing through their different models, is that Cort guitars started back in the ‘60s, when they were called Cortez. For some reason, a lot of people associate Cort guitars with being cheap, and at one time they kind of were like that, many decades ago. But, now they’ve come such a long way it’s ridiculous.

The quality of these guitars is amazing. The woods they use are the same as anywhere else, but what I do with my Corts is I upgrade them a bit once I get them. I put Sperzel tuners on them. I put Seymour Duncans in them. I put Tone Pros on them. They’re amazing for what they are. The price range is amazing. You can pick up a Cort guitar for half the price of a competitive brand. There’s a difference between being cheap and being inexpensive, and Cort guitars are not cheap by any means.

They’re also a great company to deal with. With a Fender or a Gibson, you have to be a huge name to be heard, if that, but with Cort I can talk to them, give them input, and feel like they’re really listening to what I have to say. It’s a great relationship.

There have also been a number of big names that have endorsed Cort over the years, guys like Gene Simmons for the basses and Larry Coryell. My goal is to get my own signature model. I’ve got my own custom one-off guitars, but I’d like to develop a model that is produced at higher numbers.

I’m also looking to break into the Asian music scene more in coming years, and Cort is based in Korea, so that was another reason to work with them. Those are some various reasons, but the main reason is that they make high-quality instruments at an affordable price. more