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Phil Collen’s Jackson X-STROYER

Phil Collen with new signature model Jackson PC XSTROYER (2)Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen’s Ibanez Destroyer from the “Photograph” video is iconic, and but these days Phil is a Jackson dude, so what does one do when one wants to tap into the spirit of that guitar but with much more customised features? Well, one turns to the folks at Jackson to build a custom Kelly with appointments inspired by that Destroyer! Phil is using this new axe on the band’s current co-headlining tour with KISS. Of course, if you want a real Ibanez Destroyer, you’ve gotta check out THIS bad boy (one of my dream guitars) or these guys.

Below the press release with more info about the X-STROYER (plus a cropped version of the above pic so you can see more detail). Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser

andreas kisserSepultura are stayers. They’ve weathered all sorts of line-up changes and shifts in musical style – not to mention shifts in overriding heavy music trends occurring around them – and yet they’ve never given up and never made the same album twice. Their latest, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart, finds the band (guitarist Andreas Kisser, vocalist Derrick Green, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande) working with producer Ross Robinson for the first time since 1996’s Roots with incredible results. Inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis, the album is dark, foreboding, mysterious, aggressive and energetic, bursting with intense guitar work and Green’s trademark guttural vocals. It’s been far too long since Sepultura visited Australia, but they’ll be back in October with dates in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. I caught up with guitarist Andreas Kisser.  Continue reading

REVIEW: Mayones Regius PRO 7

Mayones Guitars have been around for decades but in recent years they’ve really risen to prominence, partly through better distribution, partly through home high-profile players such as Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, and partly because the world is finally catching up to their extremely high quality. You can ogle photos of a Mayones online all you want but that doesn’t tell you the whole story: they feel as great as they look, and you get a definite sense of ‘Daaaaaamn that’s a high-quality guitar’ when you pick one up. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Guthrie Govan

guthrie govanGuthrie Govan is The Dude from The Big Lebowski. No, not in terms of looks or personality or loyalty to a particular rug, but in the sense that sometimes there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s Guthrie Govan. His style brings together incredible technique and tone but most importantly it’s packed with personality and vision. To hear Guthrie play is to hear someone who’s playing with music, rather than playing at music, whether in his trio The Aristocrats with Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann, or in Steven Wilson’s solo band, or playing his own material. With Guthrie heading to Australia soon for a series of masterclasses for Thump Music as well as an appearance at the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, it seemed like high time to talk shop with the dude.  Continue reading

Guitars I Really Want But Will Never Own, Dammit: The Washburn N4

n4I’m sure we all have those guitars that we’d love to own, but unless we suddenly become ridiculously rich we sadly must resign ourselves to the bleak, grim fact that we’re probably never going to own all of them. So rather than mope about this inside my own head, I figured I might as well write about them here, and maybe hear from those of you who own these guitars, so I may live vicariously through you. So here’s the first, the Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt signature model. Nuno Bettencourt was one of my early guitar heroes – not as early as Mark Knopfler and George Harrison, and slightly after Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai, but certainly before dudes like John Petrucci and Reeves Gabrels. I liked how Nuno’s style was (and is) simultaneously flashy and stripped back: he’s always been able to wring all sorts of nuances and details out of his guitars using pretty much just his bare hands. And that’s also what I like about Nuno’s signature Washburn line. Continue reading

COOL GEAR ALERT: Washburn N4CV Nuno Bettencourt

N4CV

PRESS RELEASE: The Nuno Bettencourt N4 has long been a popular model in the Washburn line. The combination of the Stephens Extended Cutaway with a Floyd Rose has proved irresistible to shredders the world over. Now Washburn ups the ante with the addition of a carbon fiber fretboard and stainless steel frets. The N4CV’s 22 stainless steel frets are silky smooth and will last the life of the owner without needing replacement. The carbon fiber fretboard is extremely fast and slippery so bends and dives never bind your fingers. Continue reading

Schecter Blackjack Collection Shipping Now

blackjackOne of the coolest product lines of 2014 has gotta be the Schecter Blackjack Collection, which is shipping now. Schecter has taken almost a custom shop approach to these instruments: on the surface they appear to be pretty stripped-back, but when you look closer all of the guitars have Crimson Red binding and inlays, combined with Glow-In-Dark Side markers and passive Seymour Duncan pickups. The Avenger and C models each have five variations 6-string with HipShot USA fixed bridge, Floyd Rose or Floyd Rose with Sustainiac, plus fixed-bridge 7 and 8-string models. And there’s also a 6-string Tempest, a very cool Schecter design that I’m glad to see back in the line.

Continue reading

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 1969 Relic Strat

closeupOkay, putting aside for a moment the question of ‘relicing’ (but personally I think it’s great if done well, like how Fender do it, not cheaply like some guitars I’ve played, looking at you, Vintage), this new guitar from the Fender Custom Shop is so very, very close to being one of my dream axes. Literally the only thing I would change about it if I had unchallenged dominion over land, air and sea would be to do away with the ‘black over sunburst’ finish and just go for black to begin with. I’d keep everything else the same: Seymour Duncan TB-11 Custom Custom humbucker, Floyd Rose, relicing, big headstock… here’s more info from Fender about it:  Continue reading

Schecter Drum City-Guitar Land Exclusive Avenger

SchecterThe fine folks at Drum City-Guitar Land are currently offering an exclusive run of Schecter Avengers that you really have to check out: all the specs of Schecter’s popular SLS with addition of a a Floyd Rose and Sustainiac System, in TransPurple Burst. Only 24 are being made, and when they’re gone they’re gone. Specs include Mahogany body, Maple set neck, Ebony fretboard, 24 Jumbo frets, Grover tuners, Seymour Duncan SH-10 Full Shred bridge humbucker, Sustainiac neck pickup, and a Floyd Rose 1000 Series bridge. Hardware is Black Chrome, and the 1C molded case is an extra $119. You can pick one up from Drum City-Guitar Land here, but you’d better be quick. I’d rather like one myself. Continue reading

Gibson Revives The M-III

miiiFor years now I’ve been daydreaming about Gibson bringing back the M-III. This 24-fret, 25.5″ scale Floyd Rose-loaded superaxe was a big departure for Gibson when it was released in 1991 (see some original ads here), and its timing was probably not the best, since it was only a very short time later that grunge pretty much wiped the shred axe off the face of the planet for a short while. Now the M-III is back, and it brings with it much of what made the original cool: 24-fret maple fingerboard, Floyd Rose, 25.” scale length, versatile switching (although in a different way to the original model). It doesn’t feature the cool pick guard shape though, which kinda bums me out a bit, but hey, if people take to these then who knows – perhaps we’ll see further M-III models added to the line some day. I’d like to think so. I’d love to see a seven-string version too. The new M-III will be available on November 5, 2013. Here’s some more info from Gibson.com: Continue reading

REVIEW: Dean Custom 550 Floyd

DeanThe 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

GUEST POST: Floyd Rose Freak-Out!

floydOk Kids, this one is a cinch, but because I’m a detail freak I’m going to explain why it is so easy. For those with ADHD scroll straight to The Solution.

The Problem

You are a tech/muso/bandmate etc and are dealing with setting the intonation on floyd rose for the first time. Here’s the deal: the mighty Rose is a great tool that isn’t as hard to set up as rumoured. There are some things that actually make it easier to be consistent than other types of tremolo systems. Continue reading

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Guthrie Govan

Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

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