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
This was definitely the Year Of The Seven And Eight String at NAMM. It seemed that almost everyone had a seven and/or eight string on display (and of course Ibanez had that nine-string beast, the RG9). Jackson stepped up with quite a few models, including the limited edition Pro DKA Dinky. It’s available in seven-string and eight-string models, and it has an arch-top alder body, bolt-on flat-sawn maple neck with graphite reinforcement, 16”-radius maple fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and offset position markers (12th-fret shark fin inlay on eight-string model), fingerboard and headstock binding, 26.5” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio D Activator pickups with five-way switching, single volume and tone controls, momentary kill switch for stutter effects, recessed Jackson HT-7 seven-string hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 in eight-string model), Planet Waves locking tuners and Dunlop locking strap pins. The Pro DKA7 is available in Satin White and the Pro DKA8 is in Metallic Black. Continue reading
It’s been a year since we checked in with Periphery and in that time the mighty djent machine has grown and evolved at a rapid, startling rate. In the wake of a successful tour with Dream Theater, Periphery’s place as the centrepiece of the djent movement is now firmly established. It’s a genre characterised by heavy syncopated riffs, punchy mid-heavy guitar tones, the use of extended range instruments, clean-to-scream vocals and some of the most outrageous lead guitar work ever committed to hard disc, and Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal builds on the strengths of the band’s self-titled debut in every way. It’s more melodic, yet more extreme. There are more shredding solos but more moments of guitaristic introspection too. More colourful and dramatic. I Heart Guitar caught up with Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen to talk shop.
Last time we talked, you said you were planning two albums, one of which would be a concept album. Is this still the plan?
Misha: I think we had a lot of expectations, and I guess our gut reaction to that is to just say ‘fuck it’ and do whatever we want. What we’d originally hoped would happen was that we’d get a tonne of time off to just write. We’re at a point where there are so many ideas. All was going to plan but then we got a Dream Theater tour offer smack in the middle of that session. It kinda came to a decision. And no matter what, you never turn down a Dream Theater tour! Continue reading
French metal band Gojira have been a ‘next big thing’ for far too long. They’ve maintained the same line-up since forming in Bayonne in 1996, and each successive album has pushed them closer and closer to the spotlight. But L’Enfant Sauvage is going to change all that. This is the album that seems finally destined to bump Gojira all the way into at least Lamb of God/Trivium levels of fame. It combines a Devin Townsend-esque appreciation for atmosphere and melody with post-thrash rhythms, post-death metal drumming and a live, human element that’s missing from so much current studio-tweezed metal. After a triumphant run during Australias’s Soundwave Festival (which saw Devin Townsend and Meshuggah’s Fredrik Thordendal join them on stage for a historic performance of their studio collaboration “Of Blood And Salt”), Gojira are ready.
“The reason why we did that tour was to see a kangaroo,” guitarist and vocalist Joe Duplantier says of the recent Soundwave shows. “That was our main purpose! The reason why we came to Australia! And then we played some shows with Soundwave. But mostly we wanted to see a wild kangaroo. The last day of the tour we still hadn’t seen a kangaroo so we rented a car and went to the desert. Couldn’t find one the whole day. But on our way back to Perth we saw one, man! The night was falling and this huge kangaroo was jumping, and everyone was screaming in the car.” But now that the hunt for bipedal marsupials is over, Gojira is getting down to business. L’Enfant Sauvage is their first album on Roadrunner Records. It’s a diverse collection of tracks, some heavy, some more ambient, with an unusual amount of colour and drama for most bands other than Devin Townsend and Cynic. “I don’t listen to metal a lot,” Duplantier explains. I listen to Massive Attach and Morcheeba and Radiohead, Portishead. My brother [Mario Duplantier, drums] likes Indian music. Christian [Andreu], the other guitar player, doesn’t like music at all! He likes silence! He’s like, “Wow, this is the best.” And the bass player [Jean-Michel Labadie] listens to all kinds of metal. He’s a huge metal fan. So it’s an interesting mix. We have different attitudes, and it creates something more personal. I’d like to think that through the years, as we release albums, it’s getting closer to what we are, closer to the core. It’s a nice feeling. I love this album. We reached something that Im’ really, really happy with.”
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 JS30DK Dinky (above) has a vaguely Strat-shaped alder body, a bolt-on maple neck, and Indian rosewood fretboard with dot position markers. While Jackson is known for its pointy sharkfin inlays, the sharp reverse headstock adds just enough of the jagged metal look for this guitar to be recognised as a Jackson despite the dot markers. There are 22 frets on the sleek, shred-approved neck.
Pickups are a pair of Jackson CVR high output humbuckers. A Floyd Rose licensed Jackson Low Profile JT580 LP double locking 2-point tremolo system is included for dive bomb freakouts.
The JS30KE Kelly (above) is the budget version of the model used by Marty Friedman during his Megadeth days. Its overall shape is reminiscent of a Gibson Explorer, but much sharper and more aggressive. Like the Dinky, this Kelly has an alder body, a bolt-on maple neck, and Indian rosewood fretboard with dot position markers, but it differs in that it has 24 frets instead of 22, and has the same two CVR humbuckers. The strings pass through the body and over a tune-o-matic style bridge. So far, so metal.
Fretwork on both guitars is of a better standard than you’d expect in this price range – good but not great. The Dinky has a slight edge on the Kelly in this regard. The Dinky’s neck also feels slightly rounder than the Kelly’s, making it bit more comfortable to play in general, while the Kelly is more of a shredder.
One would expect the string-through nature and huge body of the Kelly to have better sustain than the Dinky, but the opposite is the case: The Dinky has a gradual attack and note decay, while the Kelly is more immediate. I would use the Dinky for more flowing styles such as legato, or for Brett Garsed-style melodic lines which require more delicate phrasing. The Kelly absolutely kills as a metal axe designed for speed, because the sudden impact of each note makes for better definition for very fast passages. Thrash rhythm work especially benefits from this quality, but if you like to play speed-picked solos up and down the neck, the Kelly is your axe.
The pickups are definitely skewed towards the more aggressive end of the musical spectrum, and while each guitar has the same pickups, they seem to emphasise the differences in the two axes, instead of making them sound the same. Having said that, a guitar like this is ideal for a pickup upgrade. I’d consider an EMG 81+60 pair, a Seymour Duncan JB/59 set, or DiMarzio Breeds.
While sharing many similar accoutrements, the Kelly and Dinky are quite different guitars, and which one you should choose depends on your needs. If you’re into instrumental rock or metal requiring lots of guitar solos with complex note articulation, the Dinky is for you. If you need something to keep up with hyperspeed picking frenzies, be they rhythm or lead, the Kelly has you covered.
BODY: Alder (both)
NECK: Maple (Dinky: 22 frets, Kelly: 24 frets)
PICKUPS: Jackson CVR
ELECTRONICS: 1 volume, 1 tone, 3-way pickup selector (both)
BRIDGE: Licensed Floyd Rose (Dinky), Tune-o-matic (Kelly)
Jackson Unveils Mark Morton Signature D2 Dominion
Jackson’s Mark Morton Dominion™ signature model is now available in an even more affordable version, the D2.
The D2 easily evokes the Jackson vibe of its high-end big brother, and Morton himself calls the new model “a unique instrument” with “a great sound to it.”
“We wanted to offer a Jackson Dominion that was a little bit more affordable,” Morton said. “You still get all the essentials, and it still plays and sounds like a Jackson Dominion. It’s just a little more stripped down.”
Jackson also recently introduced three new Pro Series models:
Jackson is proud to announce the addition of three splendid new Pro Series models to the Bloodline—the SL3MG Soloist™, KV5FR King V™ and KE5FR Kelly™. All are equipped with a Floyd Rose® FRT-O2000 double-locking two-point tremolo.
The SL3MG Soloist is an upgraded version of the venerable SL3, with an alder body in several finishes (flame maple veneer on trans finishes), rock maple through-body neck, 24-fret compound radius rosewood fingerboard, active EMG 81 (bridge) and 85 (neck) humbucking pickups and black hardware.
The KV5FR King V is a menacing new take on Jackson’s classic King V, with an alder body available in Black, Bolted Steel and Snow White with black bevels. It too has a rock maple through-body neck, 24-fret compound radius rosewood fingerboard and black hardware, plus Seymour Duncan® JB™ (bridge) and Jazz™ (neck) humbucking pickups.
The KE5FR Kelly presents the latest version of one of Jackson’s most distinctive body shapes. Like its King V sibling, it boasts an alder body (this time in Black, Black with gold pinstripes and Snow White with black bevels), rock maple neck-through-body, 24-fret compound-radius rosewood fingerboard, black hardware and Seymour Duncan® JB™ (bridge) and Jazz™ (neck) humbucking pickups.
Say, anyone got a spare fifteen grand laying around that they don’t wanna use? Then I encourage them to show their support for I Heart Guitar by buying this guitar and giving it to me. That happens, right?
The other day I bought Lamb of God’s new CD, Wrath, and it’s got some killer old-school thrash moments on it. Lamb of God played at the Soundwave festival the other day but unfortunately they were scheduled to play at the same time as Nine Inch Nails, and a decision had to be made, so NIN won out and I’ll catch Lamb of God next time. Anyway, here’s my review of the Jackson Mark Morton Dominion signature model.
This made-in-Japan metal machine looks a little unassuming at first. The body outline almost resembles an amoeba or a melted Fender Jaguar, but structurally the guitar has more in common with Gibson’s classic designs than Fender’s. (Interestingly, Fender Musical Instrument Corporation owns Jackson, after reportedly trumping an offer to buy Jackson by Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine a few years ago).
The Dominion is available in five transparent colours: Wine Drunk, Primer, Bourbon Burst, River Bed and Old School Burst. It features a chambered mahogany body with a quilt maple top – yep, chambered. It’s almost unheard of for a metal guitar to be chambered or hollow (with the exception of the weight relieving in later Les Pauls), because some feel that such construction techniques would invite uncontrollable feedback to burst through the door and stomp all over your guitar tone, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue with this axe, and I’m sure it plays more than a little role in helping to give this guitar a tone all its own.
Construction is of the neck-through-body variety, with the mahogany neck reinforced with graphite rods for stability. The bridge is a Schaller 456 fully adjustable bridge with anchored tailpiece. The neck has 22 jumbo frets on an ebony fingerboard, a wood prized for its solid, consistent tone, tight grain, and blacker-than-black looks.
Pickups are a pair of Seymour Duncan ’59 models in the bridge and neck. Each pickup has dedicated volume and tone controls, as well as a coil tap switch for single coil sounds.
I tested the Dominion out by using it to record some rhythm tracks for a song I had kicking around. First up was a chunky rhythm part which combined palm-muted pedal tones and ringing chord stabs. I selected the bridge humbucker for the first take, and switched it to single coil mode for the second. This allowed me to blend the two sounds during mix down to get the best of both worlds. The Dominion’s tone is loud and bold, no doubt aided by the chambering inside the body. Every strum or pick sets off a palpable resonance within the body, and single note lines blossom with harmonic complexity. Although Morton uses this axe in a band with two guitars, it sounds fat enough to fill up more than enough space in a single guitar band, and it covers enough ground for rhythm and lead styles.
Playability is not what you would expect from a metal guitar. It’s not a firey-fingered shred monster, and if you’re more at home with Gibson-style designs you’ll feel comfortable with this guitar. It’s not hard to play at all, but it does expect you to do most of the work, unlike most metal axes which seem to play themselves.
While there are signs this is Morton’s signature guitar – his signature on the truss rod cover, the distinctive gothic headstock outline, the shark eye inlays – the Dominion has enough common appeal to transcend the signature axe stigma and be seen as a unique guitar in its own right.