Check Out Kirk Hammett’s New Signature Overdrive

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This is gonna be fun: Kirk Hammett and David Karon (Washburn) have collaborated on a new overdrive pedal which seems to take its cues from the Ibanez Tube Screamer but with plenty of twists and turns. Interesting to see that it has compression controls too. More info on the Ghoul Screamer here, but here’s the press release:

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SPONSORED POST: YourInstrument.com

As you guys know, I’m a huge guitar geek and my tastes range from pointy, neon-coloured shred axes with Floyd Roses to classic semi-hollowbodies with Bigbsy vibratos. So when the fine folks at YourInstrument.com asked me to write a sponsored post, I thought the perfect thing to do would be to have a look around at the wide variety of instruments for sale. Because a) it’d be a great way to show the diversity of instruments that folks like you and I are using the site to buy/sell, and b) because nothing is more fun than looking at electric guitars for sale, except for playing them. So let’s see what’s there this week. And you can always keep up with what’s online at this very moment by checking out the site.

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PRS SE Mikael Akerfeldt
This is the signature model for the Opeth frontman. It’s one of the first SE models to include old-school bird inlays, and it rocks 24 jumbo frets, PRS designed tremolo bridge, SE HFS and SE Vintage Bass pickups, volume and tone control with a 3-way toggle switch. You can see Mikael playing these on the road. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Mike Fortin of Randall Amplifiers

Randall Amplifiers has been home to many talented engineers over the years, starting with Gary Sunde and even including Bruce Egnater who invented the MTS modular series. In particular the company has long been an innovator in the world of high-gain amps. So who do you turn to when you want to kick it up to a new level? Randall Brand Director Joe Delaney enlisted the services of world-renowned heavy metal amp engineer Mike Fortin to reinvent Randall for the 21st Century. Coming from the likes of Korg/Marshall USA and Yamaha (and of course his own Fortin brand amps), Mike understands distortion. Randall purchased two of these designs – the NATAS and MEATHEAD – and these are now known as the THRASHER and 667. But that’s not all; Fortin has used those amps as springboards for new designs too, including the SATAN signature model for Six Feet Under/Feared guitarist Ola Englund, the NULLIFIER for Anthrax’s Scott Ian, and the forthcoming CAGE 103 for Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and a new line for Meshuggah’s Fredrik Thordendal. I caught up with Fortin to chat about what makes his amps tick. Read More …

ESP Previews New Models, New USA Factory!

espthumbIt’s no secret that ESP has been planning to hugely revamp their line in 2014, with the roll-out of the new E-II brand, new signature models and other fun stuff. They’ve just dropped a whole bunch of new models onto their website for us to drool over ahead of NAMM, and many of them sport some pretty damn tasty Seymour Duncan pickups, like the Mystique FR with a Custom 5 in the bridge position and ’59 at the neck. But some of the biggest news is that ESP is opening its own USA factory this year! It’s in North Hollywood, and here’s what ESP President Matt Masciandaro has to say about it: “This is a significant milestone for ESP. For years there has been a demand for a domestic factory, allowing us to create guitars that are 100% made in the USA. Weʼre very excited about the new opportunities for ESP dealers, and new choices for our customers.” Read More …

Randall hires amp wizard Mike Fortin, discontinues MTS series

Wow, the end of an era and the start of a new one. Randall is discontinuing the MTS modular line (which includes preamp modules for signature artists Kirk Hammett, Scott Ian and George Lynch). The company recently announced the hiring of Mike Fortin, founder of Fortin Amplification,to craft a new series of high-end, high gain all-tube amps including the new 150 watt Kirk Hammett signature model head. The photo above appears to be one of Fortin’s six-channel Meathead amps but with a Randall logo, which is serving as the jumping-off point for the Hammett amp.

Here’s the press release:

Randall Amplification Announces Mike Fortin as Exclusive Design Engineer

Chicago, April, 2012 – Randall Amplification would like to formally introduce Mr. Mike Fortin as an exclusive design engineer for Randall Amplification. Mike, as the founder of Fortin Amplification has forged a worldwide reputation for creating cutting edge high gain amplifier designs. We are excited to have Mike be a part of our team!

Mike’s first priorities will be a new multi-channel, 150 watt Kirk Hammett Signature Model Head and a whole range of high end, high gain all tube amplifiers to be manufactured in North America. The new Fortin designed series of Randall amplifiers will replace the discontinued MTS Series.

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Musikmesse 2012: Gibson Custom Kirk Hammett Flying V

Everyone knows Kirk Hammett used a Gibson Flying V extensively with Metallica before he started using ESPs – and he still works with ESP, releasing several cool new signature models this year – but Hammett has also returned to his roots in the form of this new Gibson Custom V, a replica of his old axe. Read More …

NAMM 2012: new ESP models

Lots of cool stuff coming from ESP in 2012, including an entirely new Kirk Hammett signature model shape, ditto for Slayer’s Jeff Hannemann, a Michael Wilton (Queensryche) acoustic, killer sigs for Suicide Silence, Whitechapel and Unearth, and some wild new finishes.

Here are some highlights from ESPguitars.com:

Whitechapel sigs

Nearly everyone in the entire band Whitechapel got new LTD Signature Series models for 2012. The LTD AW-7 (Alex Wade) is a 7-string model based on the M Series, with a neck-thru-body design, alder body with flamed maple top with a Blood Red Sunburst finish. The guitar also features DiMarzio pickups and a fixed bridge with string-thru-body and locking tuners. The LTD BS-7 (Ben Savage) is a 7-string custom version of the MH Series guitar, with a neck-thru-body design, a See Thru Black finish on an alder body with flamed maple top, a teardrop-shaped headstock, maple fingerboard, EMG active pickups, Floyd Rose bridge, and locking tuners. Zach Householderʼs new signature model, the LTD ZH-7, is also a 7-string guitar based on the MH Series. It features a mahogany body with quilted maple top with a See Thru Black Satin finish, large block inlays, EMG active pickups, a Tonepros bridge, and locking tuners. Bassist Gabe Crisp also gets a signature model with the LTD GC-4, a customized Viper bass with neck-thru body design, a mahogany brown finish, ebony fingerboard and an EMG pickup set.

New Kirk Hammett models

Celebrating his 25th year as an ESP player, Metallicaʼs Kirk Hammett has three new models for you. The ESP KH-DC and LTD KH-DC are a brand new double-cutaway body style based on the Eclipse/EC, with a set neck design at 24.75” scale, and an attractive STBC (See Thru Black Cherry) finish on its flamed maple top. Like other EC models, the guitar offers a mahogany body and mahogany neck, with a rosewood fingerboard. The KH-DC features gold hardware, including gold-covered EMG 81 (bridge) and EMG 60 (neck) active pickups, and a Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece. The ESP version of the new Kirk Hammett model includes Sperzel locking tuners, while the LTD version offers ESP locking tuners.

The limited-edition LTD KH-25 has black distressed finish and graphics designed to emulate Kirkʼs famous KH-2 Vintage model. The KH-25 has bolt-on construction at 25.5″ scale, with a basswood body, maple neck, and a Floyd Rose Special bridge. The guitar also features ESPʼs new ALH-200 active pickups.

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