Check out this bad boy from the Jackson Custom Shop: the SL2H Dakota Red. I don’t know if it’s purposely designed to recall that cool Soloist Steve Vai used in the film Crossroads – there are a few differences here, particularly the bridge colour and the electronics layout – but they’re similar enough to make me want to pick one up and wail on Eugene’s Trick Bag. As of this writing there’s one on Amazon.com here, and there’s a list of dealers here. I’m not sure where the rest are hiding or if they’re already snapped up yet. I hope whoever buys them plays the hell out of them. Continue reading
Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates has done a lot to promote the gloriously fun art of lead guitar. He’s also helped to further the cause of post-Metallica heavy metal riffage, amply demonstrated on A7X’s most recent album, Nightmare. Syn requires a guitar that allows him to flawlessly execute complex lead work as well as ballsy rhythm chunk, and for years now he’s been working with Schecter to achieve this. The Synyster Gates Custom is one of five models for the guitarist, and this particular variant is perhaps the best summary of the line. Continue reading
Although Schecter was initially known for slightly more traditional guitars, they’ve really hit their stride in the past decade-plus as purveyors of fine high-performance axes aimed at the metal market. They still cater to the traditionalists – especially with the new USA Production Series unveiled at NAMM in January), but the SLS Blackjack C-1 FR-S is a great example of how Schecter unifies a whole stack of shred-friendly features that are unashamedly pitched at those who dwell on the dark side.
The SLS has a mahogany body with your choice of Crimson Red Burst or Satin Black finish. The latter is the model on review here: the finish seems particularly well applie, and nicely offset by multi-ply binding. The neck is made of three-piece maple for enhanced stability, and there are 24 Jumbo frets on the ebony fretboard. The headstock is a bound three-tuner-per-side variant featuring Grover Rotomatic tuners with an 18:1 gear ratio for smoother tuning and a higher degree of backlash elimination. The only inlay on the fretboard face of the Satin Black version is a ‘Hell’s Gate Skull’ which looks pretty bitchen’, and definitely positions this as a metal guitar. Personally I think it’d do fine without it, as on the Crimson Red Burst model which has offset dots instead, but it’s not a deal breaker. The set neck is carved into Schecter’s Ultra Access shape, which mimics a neck-thru instrument, and the profile is the Ultra Thin spec, which is 19mm at the first fret and 20mm at the 12th.
The Kramer Nightswan is one of those ‘holy grail’ guitars for many players. It was very innovative for its time, and it lives on as the Buddy Blaze Shredder. (Buddy is, of course, one of the finest guitar builders in the world and the man responsible for my killer seven-string). Now Buddy, Floyd Rose and Seymour Duncan have teamed up to give away one of only 25 Vivian Campbell 25th Anniversary Shredder VC-II / LS guitars.
Here’s the press release:
Win A Buddy Blaze Vivian Campbell ’Lightning Storm’ Shredder
Buddy Blaze Guitars has joined forces with Seymour Duncan and Floyd Rose to give away a very special guitar: The Buddy Blaze – Vivian Campbell 25th Anniversary Shredder VC-II / LS modeled after the historic guitar used by Campbell in his Whitesnake days.
In 1987, Buddy Blaze and Vivian Campbell designed the Buddy Blaze Shredder, the guitar that would ultimately become known as the Kramer Nightswan. With a scale length of 24 5/8″, floating Floyd Rose tremolo and a ‘bridge/middle’ pickup configuration (a Seymour Duncan Full Shred and a JB, respectively), the Shredder was a unique take on the ‘superstrat’ concept. When Blaze was drafted by Kramer, Campbell soon followed him. The ‘Lightning Storm’ Nightswan prototype was born, featuring the first appearance of the Full Shred as well as a similar finish to Dimebag Darrell’s Dean From Hell, another famous guitar Buddy is intrinsically linked to.
“I was quite drawn to the idea of working one-on-one with a guy who simply wanted to build guitars, as opposed to a bigger company that was more concerned with marketing,” Campbell says. “I liked the idea of a short scale guitar. I had been playing Charvel/Jackson for a year or two before that, and whilst I certainly appreciated those instruments, there were certain features that were unnatural to me – one of which was the wide, flat and unfinished fretboard. Another was their 25 1/2 inch scale; although I have big hands, I liked the idea of a smaller instrument with a smaller neck as I tend to use my left hand thumb over the top of the neck when playing bar chords and that was difficult to do with larger, wider necks.”
To celebrate 25 years since the ‘Lightning Storm’ prototype was created, Buddy and Vivian have teamed up to offer the Buddy Blaze Vivian Campbell 25th Anniversary Shredder VC-II / LS. Only 25 will be made, each with a unique lightning storm graphic hand-painted by Buddy. They’ll have an Original Floyd Rose tremolo with R1 nut (Titanium Floyd optional), the same Full Shred/JB pickup combination (with each Full Shred signed by Seymour W. Duncan), a Honduras Mahogany body, figured maple neck with 16″ radius ebony fretboard, 24 5/8″ scale length, Buddy Blaze-designed CTS pot, and a certificate of authenticity signed by Buddy and Vivian.
And you could win one. Simply enter on Facebook, and you could own one of these 25 historic guitars! Entries close on March 27th and giveaway is open worldwide.
Click here to enter: http://on.fb.me/Yy93Uq
Here it is: the official launch of the EVH Striped Series and 5150 III Combo. These puppies drummedup some serious interest at NAMM, and they’re bound to be an even bigger hit when they start appearing at your local music store in northern Spring 2013.
EVH is proud to release the EVH Striped Series guitars, which feature basswood Stratocaster®-style bodies decked out in Eddie Van Halen’s famed striped graphics. The three versions are red/white/black, black with yellow stripes and white with black stripes. This series also has a quartersawn maple neck with a hand-rubbed oil finish and thumbwheel truss rod adjustment, compound-radius maple fingerboard (12”-16”) with 22 jumbo frets and black dot inlays, plus a single ferocious direct-mount Wolfgang® humbucking pickup. Other premium features include a single volume control knob (labeled “tone”), single-ply black pickguard (on the white and black striped model only), bar string retainer and Floyd Rose® locking nut, EVH-branded Floyd Rose® locking tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®, EVH die-cast tuners, chrome hardware, vintage-style strap buttons and EVH neck plate. Available Spring 2013 Continue reading
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.
The guitar has an alder body, a maple neck with ebony fretboard and reverse headstock, double custom DMT Blazebuckers with unique layout, Floyd Rose tremolo, matte black finish with custom red S design, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. Suzanne says it plays like hot loud butter.
By the way, Glyscian’s song ‘Awakening’ will be featured in the upcoming movie Patriot Act.
Buddy Blaze is a legend in the guitar world. Y’know Dimebag Darrell’s ‘Dean From Hell’ guitar? It was Buddy who acquired that guitar in its original state, then modded the iconic axe with its Floyd Rose and distinctive look before giving it back to Dime. The Kramer Nightswan signature model for Vivian Campbell? That started life as a Buddy Blaze Shredder. Throw in tech work for the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Great White among many, many more, and Buddy has earned a rightful place in metal and hard rock guitar history. Buddy has been making killer rock and metal guitars for years now (the Shredder, the Makani, the Evanator, the K2), and a seven-string version has been high on fans’ wish lists. Buddy displayed two seven-string prototypes at the the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California this January.
The seven-string’s outline is similar to Blaze’s K2 model, although if I had to liken it to any other guitar it would be a Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt signature. Both seem to have slightly undersized outlines, along with H-H pickup configurations and a single volume knob paired with a three-way pickup selector. But the Blaze is still a world away from the Washburn in all but the most general of ways.