Unearth’s Buz McGrath always had some of the freaking coolest custom Ibanez models. So many of us screamed bloody heresy when he switched to ESP. It’s not that ESP guitars are bad or anything – c’mon, they’re amazing – it’s just that Buz’s ideas always worked so well with Ibanii. Would his ideas translate over to the ESP aesthetic? Well get a load of this:
Ooooh yeah. That’s the LTD Buz-7 right there, my friend. I especially like the subtly angled trem cavity (it’s really like that, yeah? It’s not an optical illusion?), the black bound maple fretboard, the Snow White Sunburst finish and the reverse headstock. Other features: neck-through-body construction, maple neck, alder body, 25.5″ scale, Xtra Thin Flat neck contour, 24 extra jumbo frets, EMG 707 active pickups, Grover tuners, Floyd Rose 1000 series bridge. More info here.
One of the highlights of NAMM every year is seeing the weird shit ESP unleashes seemingly just to show off what they can do. For example:
I’m pretty sure the reason they ask you not to touch it is because you will anger it and make it leap off the stand and come screaming for your jugular.
Want to get caught up on my recent articles for Gibson.com? You can check my latest stuff at this link at any time but here are some recent features you might dig.
Black Veil Brides guitarists Jake Pittz and Jinxx both have new BC Rich guitars and they’re both pretty freaking cool! I checked them out at NAMM 2012 and was most impressed. These two axes tap into the essential sig guitar criteria of being attractive to people who aren’t fans of the band as much as to those who are (BVB inlays notwithstanding, but even then they look kind of cool).
The VHT Special 6 is a very fine little amp indeed, which I’ve reviewed before and developed quite an attachment to. Any time I see one I remember those glorious few weeks I that the Ultra 6 was kicking around the house, and I get all wistful and nostalgic. It’s a 6 watt, boutique-style hand wired amp rocking a single 12AX7 preamp tube and a 6V6 in the output stage. The control options are pretty limited: just a single tone pot, a volume control with a gain boost, and a low/high power switch. One of VHT’s goals with that amp is to make something simple to serve as a platform for modders to work their magic on its minimal circuit. And it worked. If you go online you’ll find all sorts of mods for the Special 6. Different speakers, upgraded caps, bright switches, gain mods… it’s a tinkerer’s dream.
But y’know who else wanted to tinker with the Special 6?
Think of the VHT Special 6 Ultra as a factory-modded Special 6. Continue reading
Zakk Wylde has been a great ambassador for the Rotovibe for many, many years now – it steals the show at several points on the one and only Pride & Glory album – and he has now been honoured with his own signature Rotovibe courtesy of Jim Dunlop. The ZW357 is a limited run which features the same intensity and speed controls and rotating speaker sound as the classic Rotovibe but in Zakk-approved livery. And frankly it looks freaking cool. “I’ve had a Dunlop Rotovibe on my pedalboard since 1988,” Zakk says. “Whether it’s to spice up a solo, add an overdubbed colour, or just as a sound to inspire songwriting.” And I’ve gotta agree – it’s one of those effects where once you turn it on it’s hard to force yourself to turn it off again.
GuitarTV has an awesome video of Jeff “Skunk” Baxter showing off the Roland/Fender G5 VG Stratocaster. Check it out here, and read more info about the G5 here. I particularly like the bit where Baxter demonstrates the Strat’s actual and modelled Strat tones.
One thing that’s super-cool about this video for me is that the first time I ever saw a Roland guitar product demoed, it was Baxter with the old VG8 way back in the day. It was the first modelling system to use a hex pickup, at least that I’m aware of, and it’s great to see Baxter showing the latest evolution of the concept about 15 years later.
Check out Guitar TV’s cool new redesign too!
The other day I dropped by the Taylor factory at El Cajon, California to again take the factory tour (which I highly recommend) and pick up the Taylor SolidBody that I designed using the SolidBody Configurator. It’s a beautiful guitar and I can’t wait to get it back to oz and try it out with my amp, make a bunch of videos, use it on recordings, etc. Full pics and review (and new factory tour article) coming soon, but first here are some pics of that exciting day:
Here’s me mere seconds after opening the case and getting my paws on this beauty:
EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT TO RELEASE STYX: THE GRAND ILLUSION/PIECES OF EIGHT LIVE ~SIMULTANEOUS DVD, BLU-RAY AND DVD/2CD OUT JANUARY 31~ Two of the most beloved albums in the Styx catalog are 1977’s The Grand Illusion and 1978’s Pieces Of Eight. Now, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Styx: The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live on DVD, Blu-Ray, and DVD/2CD on January 31. This show was recorded November 9, 2010 at the historic Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee, on the tour that saw them perform both these albums in their entirety for the first time. This 20-song two-hour and 11-minute presentation features stunning high-definition visuals accenting the complex musical arrangements recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1, and LPCM Stereo. The staging of these two multi-platinum albums and the fevered response makes this concert a must for all Styx fans. The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight Live also includes the bonus feature “Putting On The Show,” an inside look at the people and equipment needed to stage such a massive spectacle. Continue reading
A lot of people want to know what the deal is with the new Marshall Joe Satriani signature amp. It wasn’t unveiled at NAMM like many had hoped, and there’s no release date yet, at least not that I’ve seen anywhere. Well let the Tone King give you the answer!
Finally, the Parker 7-string that I always thought should exist, does exist. Parker unveiled this beauty at NAMM, and in person it looked like a pretty well-hewn axe. The particular natural tone and attack of the Parker Fly is something I’ve always thought would translate particularly well to seven strings. Of course, at RRP $5,999 USD it won’t be cheap…
It has a mahogany body reinforced with carbon fiber glass epoxy with a Parker 7 string bridge, a Seymour-Duncan Distortion SH6N pickup in the neck position and a Seymour-Duncan Distortion TB6 in the bridge position. Oh and there are Ghost piezo saddles with a MIDI preamp. Available in dusty black, galaxy grey, and metallic red, all in gloss finish.