The story of Dean Guitars has had plenty of ups and downs over the years, starting as a small operation in Chicago in 1976. Currently owned by Armadillo Enterprises in Tampa, Florida, Dean is going pretty strong at the moment with artist signature models for the likes of Leslie West, Dimebag Darrell (see my review of the Dean From Hell here), Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine (and man oh man I want me a Dean Zero or VMNT), Michael Schenker, Michael Angelo Batio and Michael Amott – not to mention iconic shapes like the ML and Cadillac. Continue reading
The Revolver magazine Golden Gods awards are always a huge highlight on the metal calendar. It’s a chance for the heavy music community to get together over a few drinks – okay, a lot of drinks – remember a few fallen comrades (this year’s event took place just hours after the announcement of the death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hannemann) and to just generally celebrate heaviness in the same way that the mainstream music celebrates itself at the Grammys, or the film industry celebrates itself at the Oscars, or the theatre scene does with the Tonys. Of course, with the exception of the Bret Michaels incident a few years ago, the typical Tonys telecast doesn’t involve screaming, or bleeding copiously from the head – which is what happened when Dillinger Escape Plan took the stage at this year’s Golden Gods, with the added bonus of fire. Lots of it. “Aaha. There was certainly a lot of confused faces in the crowd,” laughs guitarist Ben Weinman. “I think that’s why they asked us to do the job.” Continue reading
Ibanez was at the forefront of 7-string guitar development when they launched the Universe more than 20 years ago, and they’ve continued to innovate in extended-range instruments at all price points, from inexpensive GIO 7-strings to J.Custom 8-strings. The Iron Label series of 6, 7 and 8-string guitars includes RG and S models all of which are designed specifically for metal players, yet the styling is clean and neat enough to appeal to, if not every player, then certainly a wide cross-section of the guitar community.
On paper, the RGIR28FE 8-string (I bought mine from Ibanez Guitar Centre) reads pretty similarly to much of the RG line: super-thin neck (in this case a five-piece Maple, Walnut Nitro Wizard-8 profile), Basswood body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard and Jumbo frets. Continue reading
It’s here! My new Ibanez RGIR28FE! I purchased it from Ibanez Guitar Centre after a few months of research into which model was right for me. So why 8-string? Well, I’ve been playing 7-string for about 10 years now and sometimes it just feels like my music wants to go lower than the 7 is capable of. I like to play basslines and melodies at the same time, and it’s a real bummer when you just can’t reach all the notes you hear in your head. The Iron Label series is designed specifically with metal in mind, with aggressive styling and active EMG pickups on most models (some have DiMarzios), but to be honest I’m probably not going to be playing a huge amount of death metal on mine. The eighth string seems to lend itself to lots of stoner rock and goth ideas, and the occasional Geezer Butler-style bassline, so I can imagine playing a lot of really earthy sounding stuff on this as I become more and more familiar with it. Continue reading
Funeral For A Friend’s sixth and latest album is Conduit. It’s one of the heaviest records the band has ever done, yet as always the brutality is tempered by some rather complex, almost jazz-like chords. Okay, maybe ‘jazz’ is stretching it a bit but they’re certainly more intricate than the voicings employed by most heavy bands. “It’s funny how other people interpret it,” guitarist Gav Burrough says. “When you’re writing it, it’s organic and it just comes out. So what we try to do is to not think about it. Continue reading
Dammit Jackson, I’m trying to not buy any new guitars this year.
JACKSON® INTRODUCES NEW SEVEN AND EIGHT-STRING USA SELECT MODELS
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 7, 2013) – Jackson is proud to announce the release of eight new seven and eight-string USA Select models.
The USA Select B7, USA Select B7 Deluxe, USA Select B8 and USA Select B8 Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio® D Activator 7™pickups (D Activator 8™pickups on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.
The USA Select B7MG, USA Select B7MG Deluxe, USA Select B8MG and USA Select B8MG Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount EMG® 707 neck (808 on eight-string models) and 81-7 bridge pickups (808 on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.
For more information, visit www.jacksonguitars.com
Now how did I miss this! Just saw on the GJ2 Guitars Facebook page, then dug through my files from NAMM and found a pic of it (below). Whoops! This is a 7-string Arete with Floyd Rose tremolo, active EMG humbuckers and all-mahogany construction. Nice! If you want it, it’s at Drum City Guitarland right now for $2599.
Remember the Ibanez JCRG813 Limited Edition 8-String announced at NAMM? The model available in Brown Garnet Shadow or Black Opal finish? Well you can already get your hands on one! Here are some shopping links for ya, courtesy of Musician’s Friend. I’ll note that if you buy anything from Musician’s Friend after clicking on one of these links, I Heart Guitar gets a small commission which helps with site costs like web hosting and beer.
I like these guitars a lot, even though I’m not a huge EMG or flamed maple guy. There’s just something about them, that indefinable mojo. So I’m adding them to my wish list of 2013 Ibanezes I’d Buy The Hell Out Of. That list so far includes the RGIR28FE Iron Label 8-string, RGIR27E Iron Label 7-string, the 30-fret RG550XH, the UV70P Premium Universe, the JS2410 Joe Satriani model with new DiMarzio Satch Track neck pickup, the AT10P Premium Andy Timmons model and the ATK805E bass.
Here’s the press release about the JCRG813:
For the most demanding guitar connoisseurs, sometimes, even Ibanez’s top of the line Prestige series isn’t good enough. These players demand custom-shop instruments hand crafted by the top luthiers, and for them, Ibanez proudly offers the limited-availability j. custom instruments. Continue reading
For me, one of the most surprising Ibanez offerings of 2013 is the Iron Label series. These guitars seem to fall somewhere between the RG Tremolo/Fixed series and the Premium series in terms of pricing and attention to detail. And that 8-string is definitely calling my name. I played it for a while at NAMM today and it instantly felt like ‘my’ guitar… which is a problem, since I can’t AFFORD a new guitar at the moment. But I’d love to get one of these, and swap out those EMGs for some new active-sized passive Seymour Duncans. (Speaking of Seymour Duncan, the Custom Shop has built me my own pickup to my specs, called the Magnetar, and you’ll get to hear it soon. An 8-string Magnetar set would be killer in one of these!).
The Iron Label series includes various 6, 7 and 8-string RG and S models, including some with and some without tremolos (the 8-string is fixed-bridge only, which frankly makes sense), and they feel great. The fretwork isn’t as finessed as the Premium line but otherwise they seemed to be very well constructed and well balanced. They feature active EMG humbuckers, basswood bodies and binding in contrasting colours (black binding on white models, white binding on black ones). Very classy and understated, and they feel a lot like the pre-Prestige Fujigen-made Ibanii of yore.
EMG has announced the release of the 57 and 66 humbuckers. You can hear Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner putting them through their paces in the video above. Incidentally, you can read my interview with Richie here.
“A true original, the 57 is a bridge pickup designed for today’s player regardless of style or genre. The unique combination of Alnico V magnets and steel pole pieces evoke an unmistakably PAF-like quality in its tone. The active attributes provide the headroom and punch necessary to deliver unparalleled definition and presence. Designed and voiced specifically for the bridge position, the 57 comes in EMG’s exclusive brushed steel cap giving it a sleek modern look that compliments any instrument.”
“The 66 is a result of pickup design innovation inspired by the specific needs and requests of today’s players. Alnico V magnets provide the warm, smooth mid-range and expansive lows while the ceramic pole pieces bring out the clarity in the upper register. Designed and voiced as a neck pickup, the 66 comes in EMG’s exclusive brushed steel cap giving it a sleek modern look that compliments any instrument.”