Rusty Cooley Joins Ormsby Guitars

So, my day job these days is Artist Relations and Social Media guy for the wonderful Ormsby Guitars, and I’ve just got back from NAMM where we had the huge honour of working with Rusty Cooley and Dino Cazares to unveil their new signature models.

Below is the press release I wrote to get the word out ahead of the show (and a whole bunch of pics by the wonderful Beto Branger), but now that I’ve had time to play Rusty’s guitar and get to know it, I thought I’d share my first-hand experience with this incredible instrument. So far this is Custom Shop guitar is the only instrument we’ve made for Rusty, but it’ll be available later this year from both the Custom Shop and the production GTR Series.

It was very important to Rusty that his guitar have unrestricted upper-fret access so not only does the RC-ONE have completely free access up to the 24th fret, but it goes three better: you can get your pinkie finger all the way up to the 27th fret with your thumb still parallel behind your fretting fingers. The neck joint is super-sculpted for easy access, and the upper frets are partially scalloped to give you extra grip on the high notes. And the neck is super thin. Like, ridiculously thin, but very stable.

This particular multiscale design uses the bridge as the neutral point of the fret fan, meaning you can use a Floyd Rose or any other standard tremolo or hardtail bridge while still getting the benefits of multiscale on the low strings. You can shred like crazy on the high strings while the low strings are tight and punchy. It’s really fun playing riffs on this thing.

A few people have asked about the pickup placement and whether the neck pickup really sounds like a neck pickup, being so far back from the traditional neck position. I can confirm that it does indeed sound ‘necky’ but the location gives it a little more definition and more harmonic overtones than a typical neck pickup. I really dig it.

I love the Ormsby guitars I’m currently playing but man, once these come out I’ve gotta get one. Those who are familiar with my playing know that I’m a big Floyd-Rose-and-seven-string guy, and this really is the ultimate guitar for players like me.

ORMSBY GUITARS WELCOMES GUITAR VIRTUOSO RUSTY COOLEY

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (January 23, 2019)Ormsby Guitars, a pioneer in multiscale electric guitars, welcomes guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley to its family of artists.

Cooley is always pushing the boundaries of what the guitar can do, and he needs an instrument that can keep up with his creativity and technique. “A good friend of mine turned me on to Ormsby guitars and I was immediately intrigued,” Cooley says. “The guitar played great and had a very cutting-edge and innovative look. After speaking with Perry I knew this was the right move for me. Finally a guitar builder with the vision to go where no-one else has ever been, and the balls to do it!”

“Rusty and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to pushing the boundaries of guitar design,” luthier Perry Ormsby says. “When we began designing Rusty’s new guitar, we spent hours on Skype discussing everything from upper fret access to headstock shape to the perfect control location, to shared inspirations like Randy Rhoads. This is an instrument that really captures the excitement and passion of both playing and making guitars.”

“I’ve always likened my guitars to high-performance cars like a Lamborghini, but what we’re working with now is clearly alien technology,” Cooley says. 

A Rusty Cooley signature model electric guitar is in the works which not only meets Rusty’s demand for the ultimate in upper fret access; it exceeds it by providing completely unrestricted access all the way up to the 27th fret. This 7-string instrument features 26.5” to 27.5” multiscale, Floyd Rose Pro 7 vibrato, partially-scalloped frets, glow-in-the-dark fretboard inlays and a unique Ormsby-designed, angled locking nut. You can play Rusty’s prototype at the Ormsby NAMM booth, #2841.

NAMM: Jackson Enters The Multiscale Arena

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Jackson has picked up the challenge thrown down by the likes of Ormsby, Strandberg, Carvin, Ibanez and others by releasing their first production muliscale guitar. The X Series Soloist Archtop SLAT7 FF is a 7-string with 25.7-27″ scale lengths (the press release is worded weirdly on that front but I’m sure if you’re reading this you know what that means) with EMG 808 humbucking pickups and individual staggered bridge saddles. There’s also an 8-string version, the SLAT8 FF, with 25.5”/28”” scale length. There are other new models too: here’s the press release.  Read More …

David Bowie’s Custom Steinberger

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I just spotted this on the Juliens Auctions website last night while cruising for cool old auctions to geek out about: David Bowie’s custom Steinberger, serial number 7712, which sold at auction for $12,500 in 2009. Bowie seemed to like his headless guitars – you can see him playing a red Hohner in the video for “Valentine’s Day” from The Next Day just a few years ago – and this one has a particularly interesting story which, like a lot of great Bowie-related guitar stuff, has a lot to do with Reeves Gabrels. Read More …

Aristides Instruments 080 8-String

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PRESS RELEASE: After many requests, Aristides Instruments releases the eight string 080 guitar. The new 080 continues Aristides’ tradition of using a one piece body and neck construction, integrally layered with Arium. This model is also the first Aristides Instrument to be constructed of 100% man-made materials and features no wood – not even the freatboard. The new model made its first appearance at Musikmesse in Frankfurt Germany this month. Customers can place orders now through authorized dealers or direct from the factory.

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Zakk Wylde Introduces Wylde Audio

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Zakk Wylde has long been one of Gibson and Marshall’s most popular artists. The very idea of Zakk leaving either for another company at this stage seems utterly unbelievable. But that’s what’s happened: it’s just that Zakk hasn’t taken his considerable endorsement weight to other guitar and amp brands. He’s created his own instead. Wylde Audio will make guitars, amps, effects and all sorts of accessories. I caught up with Zakk to find out what’s what. Read More …

REVIEW: Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX

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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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