Aah, the Les Paul. Is there anything cooler than slinging one down around your knees, slumping over like Slash and reeling off sleazy rock riff after sleazy rock riff? Well, yeah. Not having to put down your beloved axe to pick up a wimpy acoustic to play the ballad is cooler. Not being tied to one of those acoustic guitar stands for the songs when you need to play acoustic and electric parts is cooler. Now, Gibson and Epiphone are well aware of how to make a cool thing cooler – just witness the Gibson Tony Iommi SG or the Epiphone Goth 1958 Explorer for proof. So it should be no surprise that they’ve figured out the least obtrusive way yet to cram acoustic sounds (via a Shadow NanoMag pickup) into an otherwise all-electric Les Paul in the form of the Les Paul Standard Ultra-II.
Check out Aaron Lewis’s new Gibson. Whether you’re a Staind fan or don’t even listen to rock, this looks like a pretty damn gorgeous guitar.
The Gibson Acoustic Aaron Lewis Southern Jumbo guitar is an exact replica of Aaron’s most treasured acoustic, his 1951 Gibson Southern Jumbo. As Aaron has said, “Those are the crown jewels. I don’t think I could go out in front of audiences and do the intimate kind of show I do without those guitars. They provide the perfect accompaniment to my voice. The deep resonance from each of those guitars — when you hear them ring out, with their sound bouncing off the walls of the theatres — it’s just staggering. Sometimes I think I don’t even have to sing. Let these guitars do the singing for me!”
Gibson Acoustic will produce 413 of the Aaron Lewis Southern Jumbo Signature Acoustic guitars, which will be available in three different production models. The first 13 guitars produced will be hand aged in the Gibson Montana Art Shop, to look and feel in every way exactly like Aaron’s original 1951 model. They will be personally played by Aaron Lewis himself, in live or studio performances, and the guitar body of these exclusive first 13 numbered instruments will be signed by Aaron Lewis. MSRP is $17,198. The next 37 guitars will also be numbered, and hand-aged in the Gibson Montana Art Shop.MSRP $8,598.
Each of the Aaron Lewis Southern Jumbo Signature guitars will feature a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. They will have replicated internal body bracings, “pearloid” parallelogram inlays, vintage replica, custom aged Kluson style tuning machines, vintage replica sunburst lacquer finish, and a custom engraved truss rod cover with a silhouette of Aaron Lewis and his guitar. They will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by Aaron Lewis. MSRP for guitars 51-413 will be $3,653.
Last week Gibson announced a Sammy Hagar signature Les Paul. The bloggerverse seemed to pretty much universally say ‘Why Sammy? Isn’t he a Yamaha guy? Didn’t I see him with an Ernie Ball Music Man? What about all those Deans he played? And Washburn? And he was all over Kramers during the Van Halen ‘Live Without A Net’ era… oh and waaaaaaaaaaaait a minute, didn’t he play Hamer for a while too?’
All valid points. It’s certainly true that Sammy has never been overly associated with Gibson in the past (although I remember seeing Chickenfoot live shots and thinking “Huh. So after years of using Gibson-like designs, Sammy’s finally rockin’ an actual Gibson”). But I think giving Sammy a signature Les Paul is a great idea. Consider my extremely well-thought out argument:
The man wrote mother&#%ing I Can’t Drive 55.
I rest my case.
“But Peter,” you say. “Sammy also wrote One Way To Rock, and that’s obviously a mistruth, if he has figured out a way to rock on a Yamaha, an Ernie Ball Music Man, a Washburn, a Dean, a Kramer, a Hamer and a Gibson. T’would seem he’s found at least seven ways to rock.” To you I would say … um… Oh god, look behind you, it’s a giant spider!
*scampers for the exit*
Through a career that spans stints with Ronnie Montrose, Van Halen, and his own prominent solo work, Sammy Hagar has been the force behind a total of 60 million record sales and countless righteous riffs, and when the Red Rocker rocks, he chooses to rock Gibson. Now, in celebration of Hagar’s mammoth new band Chickenfoot, and its self-titled debut album, Gibson USA introduces the Sammy Hagar Red Rocker Les Paul, a guitar with legendary appointments and a hot new look designed by the artist himself, all primed to stoke a new era in rock. A super-group comprised of Joe Satriani on lead guitar, Michael Anthony of Van Halen on bass, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on drums, and Hagar on guitar and vocals, Red Rocker is taking the rock world by storm, and the Sammy Hagar Red Rocker Les Paul is the perfect centerpiece for the conquest.
The Sammy Hagar Red Rocker Les Paul carries a pair of pickups selected by Sammy himself to suit his tonal requirements, both with a coverless black-and-cream “zebra coil” look that adds an extra dash of style to this model.
A BurstBucker 3 in the bridge position yields extra sizzle and midrange oomph for solos and crunchy power-chord rhythm work, while a ’57 Classic in the neck provides a rich, throaty voice for singing blues leads and mellow clean playing. These pickups are routed through Gibson’s traditional control layout of a three-way Switchcraft toggle-style selector and an independent Volume and Tone potentiometer for each unit.
Ooh, another Gibson Jimmy Page Les Paul, and I still haven’t fulfilled my promise to myself to become rich enough to buy all the previous ones. I’ll get to the Gibson press release in a second, but first let’s reflect on one of the greatest guitars I’ve never played:
Ok, enough of this japery. Here’s the press release about the new Jimmy Page model. I’ll meet you again after the press release for my commentary.
Every musician knows that late ’50s Sunburst Les Paul Standards are hard enough to come by as it is. Obtaining a pristine and exemplary ‘59 ‘Burst and modifying it for heightened performance and vastly expanded tonal options? Unheard of… unless, of course, you’re Jimmy Page.
That’s exactly what the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist, perhaps the world’s most iconic Les Paul player, did with his own ‘59 Les Paul Standard, and now, thanks to the extreme efforts of Gibson’s Custom Shop and the intimate cooperation of Jimmy Page himself–the artist’s hallowed “Number Two” Les Paul is available to mere mortals, in the form of the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul.
Produced in strictly limited numbers, with two levels of aging, this guitar captures the look, feel, sound, and versatility of one of the greatest artist-owned Les Pauls of all time, and it is likely to disappear from authorized Gibson dealers in record time.
The 1959 Les Paul that has come to be known as “Number Two” was purchased by Page in 1973 after trying for some time to acquire an exceptional second Les Paul.
This was several years after having acquired his other legendary Les Paul–”Number One”, a ‘59 ‘Burst with shaved-down neck profile and no serial number–from Joe Walsh. “Number Two” was essentially all original when he acquired it. Jimmy did have some modifications done to the neck shape so that it would more nearly match the feel of his “Number One”. The neck is certainly slim but not to such extremes as the now-ultra-slim neck on “Number One”. It had a strong, beautiful sunburst finish with a red element that had faded to a dusky amber-brown, along with a clear serial number dating it to 1959. Page played this Les Paul frequently through his days with Led Zeppelin, and in the early ’80s decided to make it an even more versatile instrument.
Page also added that he wanted to “explore the full range of what the two humbuckers have to offer”. He designed a switching system for coil splitting, series/parallel, and phase-reverse options for both pickups, and employed a skilled electronics technician to devise a working schematic and make his sonic vision a reality.
The result comprised a push/pull pot on each of the guitar’s four standard controls, plus two push-button switches hidden beneath the pickguard, all mounted on a ‘59 Les Paul Standard that is otherwise a superb example of the breed, both in tone and playability.
The Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul was recreated with intense, inch-by-inch examination of Page’s original guitar, inside and out. The process of getting it right involved the production of a number of hand-built prototypes, each of which was checked and critiqued in detail by Page himself. Approval of the final iteration was only offered after the legendary artist had intricately examined and extensively played this last prototype in his London home, after which it was given the thumbs-up, worthy of being the template for the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul.
Only 325 examples will be produced in total: The first 25 instruments are to be aged by vintage-reproduction master Tom Murphy then inspected, played and hand signed and numbered by Jimmy Page personally. An additional 100 guitars will be given the extensive aging treatment and 200 will be finished to Gibson’s VOS specs.
Got that? Cool, huh? Now, these guitars certainly aren’t cheap – the aged/signed version is $25,882; the aged version is $15,294 and the VOS version is $11,176. Be that as it may, I think it’s really cool that Gibson and Page are teaming up to do these reproductions of his iconic axes, and that they’re doing it right. Would I pay that much for one? Well, no, because once upon a time I didn’t even MAKE $25,882 in a year. But it would have been all too easy to just throw the Page custom wiring into an existing model and be done with it. At least Gibson’s going to the effort to get this stuff exact – even though I might have to trudge down to my local Cash 4 Kidneys to afford one.
What do you think? Can you put the cost aside and geek out over this new axe, or is that hefty price tag just too much of a hurdle?
This press release just, to quote Spinal Tap‘s David St Hubbins, drifted through my transom. Thought the USA-made John Lennon signature Epiphone Casinos were freaken’ sweet but couldn’t stretch the wallet that far? Well check out these babies which are made in Asia but feature Gibson USA electronics. Neat!
Nashville, Tennessee….December 18th, 2009…Epiphone Guitar announces the anticipated release of the Limited Edition and New “Inspired by” John Lennon Casino offering the professional musician the same key features of Epiphone’s acclaimed John Lennon signature U.S.A. Casinos but at a more affordable price. Also based upon the “1965″ Casino and the “Revolution” Casino, these two “Inspired by” versions combine the cost-effective workmanship of Epiphone’s own factory in Asia with original Gibson U.S.A. electronics including classic P-90 pickups with dog-ear, nickel plated covers and a Switchcraft(tm) made toggle and output jack.
The Inspired by “1965″ Lennon Casino: In 1966, during the recording of “Revolver,” John Lennon and George Harrison each acquired vintage sunburst Epiphone Casino guitars. The 1965 Casino is a reproduction of the original guitar John purchased with its sunburst finish and stock hardware. Attention to detail includes the correct “burst” pattern and front and back, neck joint at the 16th fret (instead of the 17th), vintage style tuners with small metal buttons, black washer around the toggle switch and the historically accurate rectangle “blue label” inside the sound hole.
In 1968, John had his Casino sanded down to the bare wood and covered with a thin, dull finish. During that time, he also replaced the tuners with Gold Grovers and removed the pickguard. He first used this “natural” Casino during “The White Album” sessions in 1968. The “Inspired by” Revolution Casino is a reproduction of this stripped guitar and as it also remains today. Both “Inspired by” Casinos include a hard case while the Revolution version also includes the unattached pickguard and mounting bracket.
As with all Epiphone Lennon guitars, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each goes to the BMI Foundation for the John Lennon Scholarship Fund which supports music education. Backed by Epiphone’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 day Customer Service, these new “Inspired by” Casinos capture the essence of the 1960′s and the Beatles with their authentic looks, specifications and one-of-kind sound and feel that only a Casino has. Pickup one today and start a Revolution!
Zakk Wylde recently burst into town on an international jaunt to show off his three new signature guitars: the Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul BFG Buzzsaw and Bullseye and the Epiphone Graveyard Disciple. Zakk’s departure from Ozzy Osbourne’s band this year has been well documented, so I thought it would be fun to instead focus on Zakk’s new axes. Oh and um, warning: if you’re offended by salty language, you might wanna skip this interview, ok?
I Heart Guitar: Zakk! How ya been?
Zakk: Everything’s going good, man. We did an instore the other day, now I’m just hanging out with the rest of the Sydney chapter of Black Label. Just chillin’ out today, doing a batch of interviews, hanging out with the guys from Guitarist magazine over here. So everything’s cool, man. Heading back to the States tomorrow, have the holidays with the kids, then fire up the Black Label machine in January, start working on the new album. So that’s about it, brother.
Zakk: Oh yeah! We actually had one day that we could actually go sightseeing, so we went up to the Great Wall and then the Forbidden City. But usually there’s never any time to go anywhere because you’re workin’, you know what I mean? Most of the time, especially when I was drinking it was like ‘Let’s go sightseeing,’ but it’s like ‘Dude, if we’ve got a day off you and I are gonna go hit an Irish pub,’ you know what I mean?
IHG: You gave us quite a scare a few months ago!
Zakk: Oh yeah, totally, man. Between the blood clots and all that shit… we were out on the road with Mudvayne and Static-X on the Pedal to the Metal tour and we were having a blast out on that thing. Then next thing you know I’m sitting there hanging out and my leg was friggin’ killing me, my left leg behind my knee. I just figured maybe I’d pulled my calf muscle, I’d pulled something behind my knee. It wasn’t like I fell or anything, like maybe I dislocated my knee or fucked up my ankle up or anything. It wasn’t like I was doing David Lee Roth splits off the drum riser. I’d be icing down my leg and everything like that… just in the middle of the night it was a major production to take a leak. After that, we had like a 24-hour drive and I said ‘Before we do this, I just wanna get an ultrasound…’ the guy goes ‘Dude, you’ve got two huge blood clots behind your knee.’ I was like ‘Dude, you fuckin’ kidding me?’ He says, ‘No, do you do a lot of travel?’ I said ‘Well yeah, of course. I’m either on a tour bus or I’m flying or I’m on a ferry or something. I’m always travelling. I’m a musician, that’s what we do for a living.’ He said usually airline pilots get this shit, or truck drivers, you know what I mean? I said I’m not usually stationary, I can move around on a tour bus – it’s not like I’m driving the damn thing. But he said that’s probably where I got it from. I said ‘Would drinking have anything to do with this?’ He just goes, ‘No dude, if anything drinking was thinning your blood.’ I said ‘Well good, alcohol is a good thing,’ and my wife says ‘You’re fucken’ dreaming, buddy-boy. The bar’s closed for you, jackass.’ So I’m takin’ this Coumadin shit, and I had to get myself shots and everything. I haven’t even been drinking the last three months or whatever. I haven’t even had a beer, because if you drink alcohol on this shit you start pissin’ blood out your ass and your dick.
IHG: You don’t need that!
Zakk: Yeah, I’m like, fuck that, it’s a pain in the ass.
IHG: Well let’s talk about the new guitars. I saw one of the new BFG models the other day at Allans in Melbourne and it seemed like a really cool stripped down axe.
Zakk: About 10 years ago I got a prototype up at the house for the BFG guitars. Mine was more like corrugated cardboard and it wasn’t as chambered out as the ones they have now, but I said it would be killer if it had no binding, no paint, no lacquer, all you’re hearing’s the actual wood of the Les Paul. And it is a different model Les Paul. It’s not just a different top on it. It’s chambered out and it has a different feel than a Standard, and it’s definitely different than a Custom. If anybody said they never played a Les Paul cos it’s too heavy, wait til they play one of these things. It’s more like the weight of an SG. It’s definitely lighter. It’s got more top end and everything. The guitar sounds killer. The wood’s beautiful on it. They did a really killer job with these things.
IHG: And the Graveyard Disciple?
Zakk: I remember talking about the Bo Diddley guitar and the Billy-Bo, Billy Gibbon’s guitar, and I was going, ‘These guitars are so god-awful ugly!’ I just dug ‘em. Then I was looking in Vintage Guitar magazine guitar, the Vox Phantom, the Vox Teardrop, just how butt-ugly these guitars are, when they were doing the surf music and all that type of shit. Then I remember getting a coffin thing… it was a promo item with the Black Label logo on it, and inside was a bunch of lollypops my merch company with all the song titles: Genocide Junkies, Graveyard Disciples, House of Doom, Death March, written on the lollypops. I was just like ‘Dude, you know what’d be cool? To put a guitar neck on it.’ So Epiphone went out and made it for me, and I was like, ‘Dude, this thing’s fucken’ slammin’.’ The body is all mahogany like an SG, and the neck, instead of it being mahogany and rosewood like on an SG it’s maple with Ebony like on my Les Pauls. But the neck is a thinner taper – it’s not as thick as my Les Paul Customs. And the thing plays fucken’ great. When you’re sitting down, when they put the Steinberger kickstand on it, you can sit down and play it, otherwise the thing’ll slide right off your fucken’ leg, you know what I mean? But you can sit down and jam on this fucken’ thing like it’s nobody’s business, so man, the thing plays great. And it’s got the Floyd Rose on it so you can dick around with that thing. They did a good job with the guitar – I really dig it.
IHG: And the cool thing is, it’s Epiphone so it’ll be cheaper and more kids can get their hands on it.
Zakk: You can get it for around 800 bucks US or something like that, because it has the passive EMGs. I always put the active ones in it, because it’s always a money issue with that shit. They’ll put the passive ones in it to keep it under a thousand dollars, and if anyone wants the actives they just buy the active pickups and throw them in. So I understand all that shit – they gotta do it that way because it’s the business side of crap. But the guitar plays fucken’ great. Usually if it’s a cheap model you’ll just got ‘Dude, it’s a cheap piece of shit, I ain’t gonna play the fucken’ thing.’ But the guitar’s slammin’. I jam on it all the fucken’ time now. I play it live.
IHG: The quality of lower-priced guitars has improved so much since I started playing.
Zakk: Yeah, without a doubt. The crazy thing was, in the beginning Epiphone was a bigger company than Gibson back in the day, which a lot of people didn’t know. But the craftsmanship on them is slammin’. Some of my buddies like the Epiphones better than the Gibsons.
IHG: And like you say, you can upgrade them with better pickups later and still use the guitar even when you’ve moved up to more expensive ones.
Zakk: I agree. Like with the Randy Rhoads models, you’ve gotta have the student model, then when the kid’s ready to step up and get the one with the binding on it and the really nice shit, and they’re willing to drop $3,000, $5,000 on a guitar they can get it, you know what I mean?
IHG: I did that with Ibanez – I started out with a cheaper RG and eventually kept getting better ones until I ended up with the Jem.
Zakk: Yeah, and even though you got the cheaper one, it was good and it was still good enough that you can wail on the fucken’ thing, you know what I mean?
IHG: Speaking of wailing, I was watching some videos of you playing the Graveyard Disciple the other day and I find it really interesting to see the way you pick. You seem to get your whole forearm involved. How’d you develop that?
Zakk: I dunno, just years of practice. Some people are all wrist, but I use a bit of everything. The way I pick is pretty aggressive. I know a lot of other people pick really light. Even Randy Rhoads – Rudy Sarzo was telling me Randy Rhoads was the lightest picker he ever saw in his life. A lot of stuff Randy was doing too was real legato. But even when he picked everything, Rudy said Randy’s touch was really like.
IHG: One of my friends gave me something really cool recently – a Guitar World from 1988 where they had an article introducing you as Ozzy’s guitarist. And it said you’d be using Strats on what would become ‘No Rest For The Wicked.’ Did that end up happening?
Zakk: No, I never ended up trying a Strat. I think I might have got one of those Yngwie Strats back in the day. Actually I don’t know what the hell I did with that guitar. I fucken’ couldn’t stand the paint job – it was fucken’ terrible. But the guitar was fucken’ awesome. I wish I still had it around the fucken’ house. I’d take it and just fucken’ strip the fucken’ paint off it. I’ve gotta have it in my lock-up somewhere. I remember that guitar was fucken’ kickass though.
IHG: Do you ever look back on those old magazines for old times’ sake?
Zakk: Oh yeah, without a doubt. I saved all that shit. I’ve got a batch of that shit in the lock-up back in California in the compound. So yeah, with the goofy hair and all that shit.
IHG: Well I’m looking at the magazine right now and 20 years ago you looked pretty much like kids today!
Zakk: Oh yeah man, every 20 years everything old is new again. We were just over in Singapore and a lot of the kids fucken’ love Motley Crue, like when Motley was wearing the big hair like in the beginning. I was like, ‘Dude, that shit is the fucken’ coolest shit.’ Then they were telling me, ‘Dude, we didn’t even know about you until we saw that Rock Star movie.’ I was like, ‘Are you fucken’ kidding me?’ And they’re like, ‘No dude, we know about you through that, and dude, that movie is fucken’ awesome.’ But they fucken’ love that 80s shit, y’know what I mean?
IHG: Speaking of movies, you’re acting in a film called Bones that’s coming out soon? (See the trailer below)
Zakk: I had a great time making it. Whenever I do that kind of stuff I had a great time. It’s about this little kid who’s trying to make it, and I’m like his surrogate dad, and I end up mentoring him and shit like that.
IHG: Well that’s time up. Thanks Zakk!
Zakk: Alright brother, good talkin’ to ya, buddy. You take care brother.
Huge thanks to the mighty fine folks at Gibson for arranging this interview.
Why do you do this to me so close to Christmas, Gibson? Gibson has officially launched the Dusk Tiger, the latest evolution of the technology used in the Robot Guitar and the Dark Fire. The thing that really strikes me about this model is that it reminds me of the Les Paul Studio (the original old-school version preferred by Les himself, not the current stripped-down Les Paul model). The wood finish, the flat top and switchable Hi-Z pickups all bring to mind that classic model.
The Dusk Tiger features both magnetic and piezo pickups with separate outputs for each string; 18 user-programmable alternate tunings with third generation Robot Tuning Technology, Chameleon tone editing software (see pic below – create your custom tone and tuning presets on your computer then transfer them to the guitar via the RIP box, then apply 4-band EQ to the magnetic and piezo pickups individually); myriad coil-splitting options including single coil, humbucker, humbucker out of phase and humbucker parallel; and LP-Z switchable impedance (named in honour of Les Paul himself, a huge advocate of low impedance pickups).
I really dig the metal pickup surrounds parts and the rounded diamond shape of the pickup selector switch plate. I saw Jimmy Vivino playing one in the Tonight Show Band a few weeks ago and it looked great on camera, which is really important, hehe.
The Dusk Tiger is available now, with only 1,000 to be sold worldwide.
LINK: Dusk Tiger on Gibson.com
Did you manage to see Nine Inch Nails on their final victory lap before they were retired as a live band (at least in the current form – I’m pretty sure we’ll see them again some day, eventually, and when that day comes everyone will be all like, ‘pfft, what a rip. I paid to see their last tour because it was their last tour, and now they’re touring again? WTF, NIN, WTF? But I digress). Well NIN may be no more but thanks to Trent Reznor’s decision to bail out of the touring game for the time being, there are a hell of a lot of cool NIN-owned/used guitars being sold on eBay at the moment by the band. Check out this ESP Eclipse with artwork from The Fragile.
The other day I was in Allans on Bourke St (and hello to whoever picked up the I Heart Guitar printed pick by Grover Allman that I ‘accidentally’ dropped, hehe), and I noticed a Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul BFG Buzzsaw (above). ‘Cool,’ I thought. ‘It’s great to see Gibson running with the BFG concept and giving Zakk some more well-deserved signature guitars.’ Well it turns out lucky Sydneysiders will get the chance to meet Zakk in person at Allans while they check out several new Gibson and Epiphone Zakk Wylde models.
GUITAR ICON ZAKK WYLDE RETURNS TO SYDNEY
SPECIAL APPEARANCE ON THURSDAY DEC 3RD AT ALLANS MUSIC
In the two decades since Ozzy Osbourne hired him away from his job at a New Jersey gas station to become his new guitarist, Zakk Wylde has established himself as a guitar icon known and revered the world over.
And so it is with great pleasure that Gibson announce the return to our shores for a special in-store appearance & signing on December 3rd at Allans Music in the Sydney to coincide with the release of not one, but three new models – Les Paul BFG Bullseye and Buzzsaw plus the Graveyard Disciple.
To attend the Zakk Wylde in-store appearance & signing fans are encouraged to pre-register online at http://www.allansmusic.com.au/
Full details are as follows –
Zakk Wylde Instore Event
Allans Music Sydney
228 Pitt Street, Sydney
Date: Thursday December 3
Time: 4.00pm – 6.30pm
Please note: Zakk Wylde will NOT be performing on the day.
Zakk Wylde is coming. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Awesome. Check out this cool new Gibson Buckethead Les Paul. My favourite feature is the arcade game-style killswitch arrangement – one with the regular controls and one where the pickup switch should be (the real pickup switch is down with the volume and tone pots). Also note the coil split for the bridge humbucker, and the oversized body.
I hope this starts a whole trend of video game/guitar control crossovers. I want an N64 analog stick mounted on an Ibanez Jem for controlling quadraphonic panning effects. Or maybe an Atari paddle on a Telecaster for blending pickups. Or how about a Wii Balance Board for Whammy effects?
From his prolific solo work, to his prominent memberships in the supergroup Praxis and rock legends Guns N’ Roses, Buckethead has displayed one of the most fiery creative personas of our times, and has continually affirmed his stance in the upper echelon of contemporary shredders. Equally attention-grabbing as his incendiary chops, Buckethead’s stage show and visual presence remain unique among the rock field, and his Gibson guitars—a white Les Paul in particular—have always been a big part of that. As Gibson continues to roll out the Rocktober action, the Buckethead Signature Les Paul celebrates this unparalleled artist’s achievements. With an oversized, chambered Les Paul body, a marker-less ebony fingerboard, and Buckethead’s choice of Gibson’s contemporary ceramic humbucking pickups—complete with modified electronics and “arcade” style kill switches—this is a Les Paul like none to have come before. It’s primed to get you noticed, and designed for utmost performance for the contemporary rock, metal, and shred performer.
More info at Gibson.com.
This week’s announcement of a 7-string Gibson Explorer (CLICK HERE to buy it from Guitar Center)has got me thinking – wouldn’t it be great if 7-string versions of some of our other favourites were made? Well it turns out that even if there’s no official off-the-shelf version, chances are you can probably find a 7-string version of whatever you’re after. And if you can’t, you can always commission one from a custom builder. But check out these 7s you probably didn’t know existed.
Fender 7-String Stratocaster Maestro Alex Gregory Prototype
This one is lurking at Gbase.com and is for sale. The desciption notes: “This was released as the first 7-string rock-and-roll solidbody electric and was designed to accomodate a high “A” string to facilitate the upper register notes, unlike the previous 7-string guitars which featured an added low “B” for walking bass lines. This is the prototype for the the Maestro Alex Gregory signature model and includes extra tortoise pickguard (signed by the artist), copies of the original blueprints, patents and documentation of the history of the model.”
CLICK HERE to see Fender prototypes on eBay.
In many ways a 7-string Telecaster makes perfect sense. Put aside for a moment the tendency to think of the 7-string as a metal or shred axe, and think about how awesome those low twangy notes would sound on a Telecaster set up for a filthy-but-clean Junior Brown tone. Features of the Agile T-7 include: Swamp Ash Body, 1 Pieces maple bolt on neck with “C” profile, Maple fretboard with 15” radius, 25.5″ scale and black dots and 22 Jumbo frets, Grover chrome tuners with 18-1 ratio, Agile passive single coil pickups, Graphite Nut, and Satin Polyurethane Finish.
CLICK HERE to see Agile guitars on eBay.
Epiphone 7-string Les Paul
I came so close to buying one of these when they first came out. It seemed a local store just couldn’t shift ‘em and had bumped one down by 50% to drive a little interest. Alas, at the time I still couldn’t afford it (curse you, former job that sucked and paid very little!). These Korean-made beauties combine the darkness of the Les Paul tone with the ‘I’m gonna kill you’ vibe of a chuggy low B string for the ultimate in Guitars That Can Stun Large Animals Two Towns Over.
CLICK HERE to see Epiphone 7-string Les Pauls on eBay.
Epiphone 7-string Flying V
Wait, what’s this? A 7-string Flying V? Awesome. This is an Epiphone but hopefully Gibson will make some of these to go with the Explorers some day. If you can find one of these at your local second hand guitar emporium or auction site, grab it, soup it up with some EMGs or DiMarzio D-Activators and you, sir, have yourself an unstoppable metal machine.
CLICK HERE to see Epiphone 7-string Flying Vs on eBay.
CLICK HERE to see Ibanez 7-strings on eBay.
Gibson Guitar, the world’s premier musical instrument company and leader in music technology announced the anticipated release of the 7-String Gibson Explorer as part of their Rocktober Celebration.
The Gibson Explorer was the most radical electric guitar ever unleashed upon the unsuspecting music world of 1958. Way ahead of its time, it failed to gain a foothold among the generally conservative players of the day, but became a major rock icon by the late ’60s, and has been taken up by countless guitar heroes over the course of the intervening decades such as U2′s the Edge, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and the 7-String has become the choice of an increasing number of thrash and nu-metal players, who seek eviscerating tones with the gut-rumbling potential of an added low-B string. Enter Gibson’s 7-String Explorer, a natural marriage of rock’s most radical shape and the specs demanded by the most adventurous 7-string players on the music scene today. This new addition to the line for Gibson’s “Rocktober” celebrations combines the proven tonal advantages of mahogany neck and body with the scorching performance of EMG pickups, all the solid playability of Gibson construction and hardware, and a black gloss Ebony nitrocellulose finish, resulting in an unrivalled package for the heavy rocker.
The body of each 7-String Gibson Explorer is crafted from solid mahogany, a legendary tone wood has yielded some of the most classic tones in the history of rock. The 7-String Gibson Explorer follows the classic lines of the original Explorer, with its radical “lightning bolt” shape and distinctive slanted headstock. In addition to creating a revolutionary look, the Explorer body offers superb upper-fret access due to its high neck/body joint, and contributes to a unique resonance and tonal response.
The neck of the 7-String Gibson Explorer is constructed from solid mahogany, cut using the superior orientation for improved strength and resonance, and glued to the body at a 3.5-degree angle (pitch). Mahogany is the most traditional wood for Gibson electric guitar necks, and offers an outstanding combination of strength and resonance. It makes an excellent sonic and visual partner to the solid mahogany body. Gibson’s traditional truss rod, is highly responsive to the individual adjustments which you can make to personalize and optimize string action and sustain. The 7-String Gibson Explorer carries the classic headstock of the original Explorer, but with seven Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners on its upper side. These tuners are recognized as one of the finest in the industry, and represent a high-performance option on any guitar. The headstock of the 7-String Explorer is adorned with a simple Gibson logo, silkscreened in silver at its furthest extent.
The 7-String Gibson Explorer carries an unbound rosewood fingerboard, the traditional fingerboard of the original Explorer, and countless classic Gibson electric guitars. Rosewood is both hardwearing and sonically superlative, adding sweetness and depth to the guitar’s overall sound. The 12-inch radius of the 7-String Explorer’s fingerboard provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates “dead” or “choked out” notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses. The 7-String Gibson Explorer sports 22 jumbo frets, all immaculately dressed and polished for speed and performance. In order to preserve its dark esthetics, the 7-String Gibson Explorer’s fingerboard carries no inlays, only side-dot position markers are provided.
A pair of EMG active pickups, long popular with thrash, nu-metal, and heavy rock guitarists, equip the 7-String Explorer for serious action on delivery. A high-output EMG 81-7 in the bridge position and a smoother EMG 707 in the neck position ensure an excellent balance between pickups, and deliver a wide range of contemporary tones, from a warm, singing, vocal neck tone to a punchy, snarly and aggressive bridge tone. The 9V battery required to power them yields upwards of 3,000 hours of use, so battery changes are infrequent. These pickups yield outstanding clarity and an unusually broad frequency range, with an extremely dynamic response throughout the spectrum. They excel at high-gain rock styles, but also purr beautifully when applied to smokier clean tones. The 7-String Gibson Explorer uses an individual volume control for each pickup, for a smooth, natural volume roll-off and a single tone control that is shared between pickups.
In 1954, Gibson revolutionized guitar hardware when it debuted the Tune-o-matic bridge, setting a standard for simplicity and functionality that has never been bettered. Included on the 7-String Explorer, where it has been updated for the 7-string requirements, the tune-o-matic provides a firm seating for the strings, allowing the player to adjust and fine-tune the intonation and string height in a matter of minutes. It also yields excellent coupling between strings and body, maximizing resonance, tone, and sustain. Every Tune-o-matic bridge is combined with a separate “stopbar” tailpiece, which is essentially a modified version of the earlier wraparound bridge that’s designed to further enhance the connection between the strings and the body. The 7-String Explorer’s stopbar tailpiece is made from Zamac then plated with chrome, and had been updated to load seven strings. The guitar is fitted with genuine Gibson strings, sizes .010 – .059.