REVIEW: ESP Gus G EC Eclipse

Man, I’m jealous of Gus G. Not only are Firewind awesome, but the dude has also been immortalised in the Eternal Descent graphic novel series. Oh and he replaced Zakk Wylde as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist. He appears on Ozzy’s latest album, Scream, which is easily the Prince Of Darkness’s best since No More Tears – and his high-tech shreddering combines the great 80s Euro metal tradition and a more modern sensibility. Gus has several ESP and LTD signature models to his name, including an aggressive Explorer/V hybrid that looks positively evil. The Gus G EC, by contrast, is a slightly – only slightly, mind you – more traditional axe.

This Japanese-made guitar (also available in an LTD model as the GUS-600EC with some slightly different specs[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””] – You can buy that model here at Musician’s Friend[/geo-out]) is built with set-thru construction, which means the neck is glued in but then shaped to feel like a neck-thru for extra playing comfort. The body is mahogany with a hard rock maple top and white/black ply binding. The neck is three-piece maple (although you can’t see it since it’s finished in black gloss), with a rosewood fretboard and white binding. The carbon nut is 42mm standard, and the back of the neck is a thin U contour that seems to fit right into the webbing between thumb and index finger very comfortably. There are 22 extra jumbo frets, and the fretboard inlays are Firewind flames, which are well applied with only a minimum of epoxy filler around the tricky angles. The decal, which is applied only to the top is a cut a little roughly around the edges, but you wouldn’t notice from even a couple of feet away.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Ernie Ball Music Man JPXI

John Petrucci has always played bitchen’ guitars. His old Ibanez signature models were pretty cool, but his new Ernie Ball Music Man JPXI has gotta take the cake. I spoke to John a few days ago (look for the interview closer to the release date for Dream Theater’s new album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events), and he told me he used JPXI six and seven-strings exclusively on the new album.

So what’s different about the JPXI? It features a combination of top appointments from JPX and BFR Petrucci signature instruments. The neck has been streamlined to a symmetric, extra slim profile with a flatter 20″ radius, medium jumbo stainless steel frets, a finished mahogany neck and an ebony fingerboard. The solid (i.e: non-chambered) alder body has a mahogany tone block and a maple top. The controls are similar to the JP BFR line, with two three-way toggles, Dimarzio LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers (see my review of them here) and a Piezo bridge pickup.

[geo-in country=”Australia” note=””]Ernie Ball Music Man is distributed by CMC Music.[/geo-in]

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Musician’s Friend links:
Music Man John Petrucci JPXI-6 (6-string)

Music Man John Petrucci JPXI-7 (7-String)
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