COOL GEAR ALERT: Home Inventory

I’d like to welcome back to the site Binary Formations as a site sponsor. Kevin Hamilton from Binary Formations has created an ingenious program for Mac called Home Inventory, which allows you to keep track of your valuables and/or collections. Around the home it can be useful for keeping records for warranties, repair histories and owner manuals, while we guitar geeks can use it to keep full records of our gear, including serial number, modifications, setup specs, provenance if you wish to sell a collectible instrument later, etc.

You can also use it to create checklists if you’re moving house, and to keep track of your insurance policy data, and even to run reports to determine if your policy is giving you adequate coverage. Very handy for those with large or valuable guitar collections. There’s also an iPhone/iPad app (Photo Remote), which connects to Home Inventory over WiFi and lets you roam around your house and add items and photos remotely. You can also use it to add CDs, DVDs and other items by ‘scanning’ the barcode with the camera. Genius!

CLICK HERE to check it out.

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Steve Vai’s original Ibanez Universe prototype on eBay

WOW! Here’s one for the ages. The very first Ibanez Universe prototype is being sold by Vai’s former engineer Richard Landers to fund medical expenses in the family.

CLICK HERE to see the listing.

According to this Guitar Player interview, “Vai got his first 7-string, a prototype, while he was working with Whitesnake, and played that guitar on most of Whitesnake’s 1989 album Slip of the Tounge. He suggested a few subtle changes – the original neck was a little too chunky, for example – and the prototype was soon honed into the Ibanez Universe 7-string.”

Here’s Steve with the guitar:

Some more info:

“Here is the ORIGINAL Prototype 7 String guitar as designed by the mystical and magical guitar wizard and modern-day Mozart of melody & noise, STEVE VAI. (Credit also to the fine folks at Ibanez for helping Steve realize his vision of what would become a new entity in the evolution of the guitar.)

We are auctioning this guitar on behalf of Steve’s long-time engineer, Richard Landers, whom he gifted it to in 1990. According to Richard, the guitar was received with much appreciation and stored away and has now only seen the light of day some 20+ years later. He never intended on selling it but is now only considering it’s sale in order to raise funds for some medical needs within the family.

The bridge of the guitar is not one piece, but actually TWO bridges which have been cut and put together to form what is probably the first 7-string locking tremolo. The nut has been fashioned in this way also. You can can see the seams in the close-up photos. Also, the 21-24 frets are scalloped which I understand are not standard on any model Universe guitar.”

[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]Want a new Ibanez Universe? The current model is the UV777BK – one of these happens to be my main axe.[/geo-out]

[geo-in country=”Australia” note=””]By the way, Vai is coming to Australia for a master class tour. Read all about it here![/geo-in]

My interview with Matt Heafy from Trivium

CLICK HERE to read my interview with Trivium’s Matt Heafy (Spanish translation here thanks to Trivium Mexico)

Here’s a snippet:

“This whole record is a response to everything we see in music and in metal. It’s always done the same way: a band will release a song, then release the album cover, and they explain what every little thing is supposed to mean. But we didn’t want to do it that way. It’s exactly like you said: we wanted to control the flow of information. I always thought it irritating that people seem to know the album title and cover so early, and people make their entire assumption about the record in just those little ways. So we set up all those teasers, and we didn’t announce the record title until after “In Waves” was out, and people didn’t know yet that In Waves was the record title. So we wanted to make it more of an experience like it used to be. Even when I was a kid, when a band was about to release a record, it was a little more exciting. You didn’t know everything that was going on, all the details of the record. We wanted to make it fun for the listener, and fun for people to wait for the record to come out. And it’s worked out really well. There have been little weird things, like Amazon posted little 30-second samples of every song, and we didn’t know they were going to do that, but we decided to embrace it and use it to our advantage, so I tweeted about it and suddenly thousands of kids were able to listen to the samples. But then some will make their whole assumption of the record based on a 30-second sample of a chorus. That’s what’s gonna happen, but there’s still that mystique with the record, because it hasn’t leaked, knock on wood. I’m sure it will before it comes out but, knock on wood, I hope it doesn’t because since there’s so much emphasis on the music and the visuals on this record; the visuals are something you really can’t duplicate by ripping it online. You have to get the special edition to see the documentary, the live video, the packaging, the vinyl that comes with the special edition, all that good stuff. It’s more about making it an old-school physical experience of an album.”