REVIEW: Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX

epiphone-1984-explorer-ex

The Gibson Explorer was ahead of its time when it was released in the 50s, and still seemed like a bit a quirky anachronism in the 70s. But in the 80s it found itself at the centre of a revolution in guitar: thrash. This highly technical, highly aggressive new form of music required a guitar that could have plenty of punch, was playable, and looked badass. Certain players took the Explorer and popped a set of EMG pickups in it, and went on to create history. The 1984 Explorer EX pays tribute to the meeting of Explorer and EMG that helped to define the future of heavy music.

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Click here to buy an Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX in Ebony or here to get one in Alpine White.

Or click here to see Gibson Explorers on eBay.[/geo-out]

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Jackson Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro

Jackson Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro

PRESS RELEASE:  Jackson is pleased to announce the latest addition to its popular Pro Series, the Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro guitar. Jackson’s Demmelition Pro model puts Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel’s devastating style and double-cut King V™specs right in your hands. Features include a three-piece through-body maple neck with graphite reinforcement, compound-radius (12”-16”) bound ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and pearloid piranha inlay at 12th fret, EMG® 60 (neck) and 81 (bridge) humbucking pickups with three-way toggle switching, Floyd Rose® locking nut and recessed double-locking tremolo, and black hardware. Now available in Black Tide Fade and Red Tide Fade finishes.

For more information and to find a dealer near you, go to www.jacksonguitars.com.

REVIEW: Gibson Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul

Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher’s first signature instrument was the Gibson Golden Axe Explorer, a visually stunning instrument that combined classic explorer looks with an eye-catching golden brown sunburst finish and Kelliher’s signature Lace Sensor Dissonant Aggressor passive humbucker pickups. The Golden Axe is already becoming quite hard to find because these limited edition beasts are very much coveted, not just by Mastodon fans – they achieve the rare feat of crossing over to guitar fans in general – and anyone who gets one tends to hang onto it. The new Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul follows a similar track, kitting out a classic Les Paul design with a few of Kelliher’s own personal touches and in the process creating a guitar that will please all sorts of players, whether they’ve heard of Mastodon or not.

[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]Click Here to buy the Gibson Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul[/geo-out]

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Ibanez Premium Universe & Jem Reissues!

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Whoa! Christmas came early to subscribers to Steve Vai’s newsletter! In 2015 Ibanez will be releasing reissues of the blue floral Jem and the white Universe. The blue Jem – eh, I can take or leave that one – but the white Universe? Vai recorded “For The Love Of God” on a white Universe! And Korn fans are going to flip out over these too. Vai also announced that the super-affordable Jem Jr (previously only available in certain markets to combat counterfeits) will now be available worldwide! Read More …

INTERVIEW: Unearth’s Buz McGrath

Unearth

Unearth have been slogging it out on the metal scene for 15 years now and have proven themselves to be real stayers, helping to remind folks that seven-string guitars can be used for more than just open-string chugging and showing that you can combine the punishing groove of Pantera with the melodic sense of Sweden’s Gothenberg sound and the power of traditional metal, all filtered through an aggressive metalcore lens. New album Watchers of Rule (3Wise) is a consistently brutal chunk of metal by anyone’s standards. But this far into Unearth’s career, it’s almost exhilarating to hear them continuing to release vital albums full of songs that are destined to live on in the setlist. I caught up with guitarist Buz McGrath right after the album’s release.

Want to win a copy of the album? Email iheartguitarblog@gmail.com with ‘Unearth’ in the subject line and I’ll draw five winners! Australia only.

Let’s start with the guitar stuff. What did you use on this album?

We used a Rhodes amp. I don’t know what it is. And I think we used one of Ken’s old custom Ibanez RGs that won the shoot-out. Usually what happens is we go through a stack of about 15 guitars and we record the same piece of music, the same riff, with each guitar, and you go through and listen to which guitar is sounding the best with what you’ve got, and that one won. It was between that one and, Ken had a custom three-pickup Ibanez Iceman with EMGs in it. That thing weighed a fucking tonne but it sounded sick. But the other one just beat it out by a little bit. We recorded with a Kemper via DI, and then [producer] Mark Lewis took it back to his studio and re-amped it through various amps, which I wasn’t a part of the process for. He would send me mixes with different amps and I’d say ‘this one sounds good.’ So I never even saw the amp. It’s a real weird way of doing it but it worked out good. Read More …

GUEST POST: The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them

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The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them

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The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them

Whether you’ve realized it or not, you’ve sat through two different types of music in all sorts of media. From music videos to commercials to business presentations to Hollywood films, all of them use either one type or the other.

Think you know what I’m talking about already? I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with instruments or genre. It’s not royalty-free and licensed music either. No, these two types are much more comprehensive than that. And you’re going to want to know what they are so you can use music as effectively as possible in your videos. Read More …

Help Fund A Film About Grover Jackson

Grover Jackson altered the course of guitar design forever. His pioneering work in what we know of as the ‘superstrat’ would be enough to put him in the history books – and that’s before you even consider the long shadow cast by the guitars he designed with Randy Rhoads. Or his work with various companies in the period between leaving Jackson and starting his own company, GJ2 Guitars. Now there are plans for a film about Grover, his history and his contributions to the guitar. An Indiegogo campaign is underway to help fund the film, and there are all sorts of great perks from posters, DVDs and shirts to a shop tour, a Glendora guitar or custom axe. From the Indiegogo listing:

Hello Friends,
My name is Jon Gold , I am formerly the VP of Fender Guitars and now co-owner of GJ2 Guitars with Grover Jackson. We are making a history piece on the legendary guitar builder Grover Jackson. His humble beginnings and how he turned the guitar industry on his head in the 80’s with his crew of mostly 21 year old kids taking over the troubled Charvel repair shop. Read More …