This week on the I Heart Guitar podcast, Stryper’s Michael Sweet calls in to talk about his forthcoming Australian acoustic tour! Full tour details and ticket info here.
Hey! I’ll be at the Melbourne Guitar Show this weekend hosting the Meet The Players (Saturday) and Up Close And Personal (Sunday) sessions on the Cafe Corner stage.
On Saturday August 3 the guests will be Jeremy Barnes and James Norbert Ivanyi (11:30am), Michael Dolce (1:30pm) and a fingerstyle guitar summit hosted by Drew Roller with Van Larkins, Phisha and Ella Belfanti.
On Sunday August 4 catch Dave Leslie of Baby Animals at midday, and Phil Manning at 1:30pm.
I’ll have my Kiesel Vader 7-string headless guitar with me at the show, so if you see me around and you’d like to check it out, just ask!
This year’s show is going to be massive, with guests including Keith Merrow, Jake Bowen, Sarah McLeod, Adam Miller, and Simon Hosford’s Fair Warning performing Van Halen’s debut album in full. Get the full info here!
The Melbourne Guitar Show is held at Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield, and you can get tickets here.
Oh this one’s gonna make a lot of players happy. The Kemper Profiler Stage, a floorboard version of Kemper’s acclaimed amp modelling, starts shipping this week. It’s constructed to be super-roadworthy and with great onstage visibility in all conditions.
The PROFILER Floorboard is here
Kemper GmbH/ Ruhr Area/ Germany, July 22nd, 2019 (ictw) – Today Kemper unveils the KEMPER PROFILER Stage™, the acclaimed KEMPER PROFILER digital guitar amplifier combined with the PROFILER Remote™ — the quintessential foot controller for the PROFILER.
The KEMPER PROFILER Stage™ starts shipping in two days, on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 9 pm PST. It is available for Euro 1600,- and USD 1700,- as well as GBP* 1450,- from the Kemper Online Store at shop.kempermusic.com and dealers worldwide. *(GBP price might vary depending on current exchange rates)
The PROFILER Stage is no mere accessory — it is a complete PROFILER. It offers the same features and the legendary sound as the well-known Profiler Head and Rack, and even a bit more.
KEMPER PROFILER Stage™ is a multi-effects powerhouse and state-of-the-art guitar amplifier, featuring KEMPER’s unique PROFILING™ technology for capturing the sonic DNA of any guitar amp. It also comes preloaded with a PROFILE™ pool of hundreds of the best guitar amps in the world, created under perfect conditions in professional studios worldwide.
This combination of PROFILER and Remote allows to control, administer and program Performances, as well as manage Rig switches and complex parameter morphs, all in an unparalleled intuitive manner.
The illuminated sunlight-proof display, which increases display contrast even with the sunlight’s intensity, is designed to be viewed from any distance, under any lighting conditions, and the housing is built like a tank. Just what the doctor ordered for touring musicians on dark stages or sunlit outdoor festivals!
Five buttons allow direct access to five different Rigs per Performance — tap once to select the Rig, and tap again to trigger a morphing. Entire Performances can be switched using a bank system.
Four Effect Buttons can be assigned individually per Rig. Use these to toggle pre- and post amp FX, either singly or in groups, as well as Action & Freeze functions such as Delay Infinity. Setting them up is easier than putting a new contact into your cell phone: click Effect Button, choose FX, assign, done.
Dedicated buttons control Tuner Mode and Looper, as well as trigger Tap Tempo or other assignable functions.
Up to four expression pedals can be connected to control continuous parameters of the sound. Alternatively, external switches can be connected for even more toggling functions.
The PROFILER Stage™ features dedicated Stereo Monitor Outputs for driving two either full range or standard guitar cabinets simultaneously and independently from the direct stereo feed. Two stereo effect loops with stereo returns for each allow for connecting both pedals and outboard studio effects.
For further and detailed information visit: www.kemper-amps.com/stage
Check this out!!!
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (July 18, 2019) – In celebration of the 40th anniversary of five-time platinum-selling 1979 album Van Halen II, EVH® is privileged to unveil the ’79 Bumblebee tribute guitar. Eddie Van Halen debuted this wildly iconic black-with-yellow-stripes guitar on the cover of the seminal album, and played it extensively throughout the band’s 1979 world tour.
“The ’79 Bumblebees that we’re making sound very much like how I always wanted the original to sound,” said Van Halen. “So it may have taken 40 years, but I now have everything I wanted back then — a bitchin’-looking guitar that plays and sounds great.”
Limited to 50 instruments worldwide, the meticulously recreated ’79 Bumblebee tribute model features all of the original specs, including an ash Strat® body, bolt-on birdseye maple neck with oiled back finish, straight 12” radius birdseye maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets, katalox dots and black side dots, and skirted Strat-style “Tone” volume knob.
True to Van Halen’s pickup recipe, the instrument has been outfitted with an EVH ’79 Bumblebee humbucking bridge pickup. EVH also matched the Bumblebee’s six screw holes, (hidden under the original prototype non-fine tuner locking tremolo bridge that EVH recreated just for this project), along with the original prototype locking nut. All hardware has been reliced, including the custom brass string retainer, screw-eye strap hooks, side output jack and original period-correct Schaller® tuning machines.
Its black-with-yellow-stripes paint job has also been reliced to match the wear and tear from his heavy year of touring in 1979, and the guitar is stylishly finished off with chrome hardware.
Notably, the back of the headstock of each guitar bears Eddie Van Halen’s signature, adding to the value and the once-in-a lifetime collector’s nature of this instrument.
Arriving in a custom-made Anvil® hardshell case, the package also includes ’70s-era Fender® Super Bullets strings, Van Halen ’70s tortoiseshell picks, an exclusive Bumblebee collector’s booklet, Young Guitar book Van Halen Live Tour in Japan 1978 & 1979, and several autographed items—a certificate of authenticity, 8”x10” 1979 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen and vinyl copy of Van Halen II.
During the recording process for Van Halen II, Eddie Van Halen sought something fresh to play other than his original “Frankenstrat,” which at the time was being heavily copied by many major guitar companies.
Van Halen had the idea to build a new guitar with an ash body and black-and-yellow-stripe paint job, with rear-loaded electronics so there would be no pickguard. While he tasked Wayne Charvel to cut the body, the maple neck was made by Lynn Ellsworth at Boogie Bodies with dot inlays on a maple fingerboard. Other features on the first-incarnation guitar (as pictured on Van Halen II) were a standard nut, single Mighty Mite humbucking pickup with transparent bobbins, single chrome volume knob, original Charvel six-screw brass tremolo bridge, and Schaller® tuning keys.
While pleased with the looks of the guitar, Van Halen was less impressed with its tone and quickly began tinkering with it, as he was prone to do. He installed a new Boogie Bodies maple neck with a natural headstock, unfinished back (which he has always preferred) and 12”-radius dot-inlay maple fingerboard. Next to go was the Mighty Mite pickup. After selecting a DiMarzio® Super Distortion humbucking pickup, he swapped out its ceramic magnet for an alnico 2 magnet from a Gibson® PAF. He rewound the pickup by hand, dipped it in paraffin wax and put copper tape around the windings.
Van Halen also stripped out the original Charvel bridge, leaving its six screw holes behind. He instead outfitted the instrument with a prototype two-point Floyd Rose® bridge and locking nut with retainer bar, becoming the first professional rock guitarist to use a locking-nut tremolo system. He also swapped out the chrome volume knob with a Strat-style skirted “Tone” knob. After all these modifications, only the original body, striped paint job, screw-eye strap hooks and Schaller® tuners remained from the first version of the guitar.
“Bumblebee,” as it would quickly come to be known by fans, became insanely popular and remains a longtime favorite for Van Halen listeners everywhere.
In an eternal sign of deep respect, Eddie’s original Bumblebee guitar was buried alongside Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who died tragically in 2004. Eddie Van Halen was Abbott’s main influence, and Bumblebee was Abbott’s all-time favorite guitar.
For more information, please visit www.evhgear.com.
Van Halen’s popularity went through the roof in the 80s with the addition of Sammy Hagar and look, let’s not get into a whole thing about Sammy vs Dave, but the fact is that the Van Halen Live Without A Net video was a landmark event in the lives of a great many guitarists of the era. At that time Eddie was playing Kramer guitars, and the 5150 Series – while clearly not a Kramer design – really represents Eddie’s reinterpretation of that era of his career. The 5150 was launched with a Striped Series model, but now it’s splitting off into its own supercharged shred-fiend line, complete with twin Wolfgang humbuckers and your option of the 5150 Series Standard in solid colours (Matte Army Drab, Rocket Red or Satin Primer Gray) or the 5150 Series Deluxe with Quilt Maple tops in Tobacco Burst or Transparent Blue Burst finish.
These guitars have so many features that we associate with the Wolfgang, including the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel, EVH frictionless volume pot and D-Tuna. The bodies are Basswood and the graphite-reinforced bolt-on quartersawn maple necks feature comfortable modified “C” profiles, hand-rubbed urethane back finishes and 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboards with 22 jumbo frets.
Wanna hear these guitars in action?
Meet the new Charvel Limited Edition Series Super Stock SC1! So, my dream guitar would be a black relic’d Strat with chrome Floyd Rose and a humbucker in the bridge, right? Well if I’m totally honest it’d have a pearloid guard… but Charvel has gotten damn close with this new Summer NAMM release. I also love the pickup selection: an EVH Wolfgang Alnico 2 in the bridge and a single-sized Seymour Duncan Lil’ Screamin’ Demon in the neck position. The Demon is usually thought of as a bridge pickup but it’s killer in the neck slot. And I think it’s pretty cool that this guitar brings together pickups designed by Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch.
Here’s the info from the Charvel site, but go here for more.
The Super Stock SC1 comes loaded with plenty of classic Charvel attitude. Its So Cal-style alder body sports a heavy Black Relic finish that looks like it’s been to hell and back. The bolt-on maple neck and pau ferro fingerboard have been distressed for that well-worn baseball glove feel. Graphite-reinforcement rods provide optimal stability for various climate changes, while the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel makes for convenient neck relief tweaks. Built for speed, the 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard features comfortable rolled edges, 22 jumbo frets and cream dot inlays.
Tone bases are thoroughly covered with an HS pickup configuration consisting of an EVH® Wolfgang® humbucking bridge pickup and Seymour Duncan® SLSD-1N Li’l Screamin’ Demon™ Strat® single coil-sized humbucking neck pickup. Topped with parchment covers, the EVH Wolfgang humbucker delivers sublime balance, while the Seymour Duncan SLSD-1N Li’l Screamin’ Demon Strat adds plenty of open tone with a subtle hint of glass.
Sporting vintage style with modern tone, this limited edition axe also features a three-way toggle pickup switch, heavy knurled flat-top knob for the volume control, Floyd Rose® 1000 Series double-locking tremolo bridge system, die-cast tuners, top mount output jack, Charvel neckplate, three-ply white pickguard, chrome hardware and more.
If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time you probably know I’m a massive Steve Vai nerd. I’ve interviewed Steve many times over the years and I just got the chance to chat with him again, this time to promote the new Generation Axe album.
Listen to the episode here: