MUSIKMESSE 2009: New LTD models

Here are some more sweet ESP/LTD models unveiled at MusikMesse. While ESP does a great line of vintage-inspired designs, there’s nothing particularly old school about these new models.

First up are LTD Okkultist and LTD Shadow models for the Guitarists of Dimmu Borgir.

ESP says: Taking the darkness of black metal to profound new depths, the guitarists of Dimmu Borgir join the legendary ranks of ESP artists with their new ESP Signature Series models: Silenoz’s Okkultist and Galder’s Shadow. These guitars scream with metal attitude, equally good at shining in the spotlight or dwelling in the deepest of shadows.

Next is the LTD FL-600 Bass from Frédéric LeClercq of DragonForce.

ESP says: As the thunder that holds down the bottom end of DragonForce, Fred LeClercq is a force to be reckoned with on his own. His innovative bass playing spans the realm from ultra smooth to chainsaw harsh, and his new ESP Signature Series LTD FL-600 bass allows him to combine melody, power, and speed into an unmistakable sound.

Then there’s the monstrous LTD Hex-7 from Nergal of Behemoth, which I wrote about here.

ESP says: If you like your blackened death metal extra dark, there’s no better place to turn than Behemoth. Their founder and frontman Nergal has designed his ESP Signature Series LTD Hex-7 to be about as extreme as a guitar can be.

Finally there are three new Graphic Series Models.

Renowned UK-based artist Mister Sam has once again created the ultimate hybrid of man and machine with his custom artwork on the new limited edition Clockwork Zombie Graphic Series guitars for LTD. The EC-CZII, EX-CZII, and Viper-CZII combine skeletal remains with metal cogs, flywheels, and gears on these sinister and unique instruments.

Kudos to Jon from Guitar Noize for bringing this to my attention via this article.

CLICK HERE to see ESP guitars on eBay.

MUSIKMESSE 2009: Trivium’s Matt Heafy back with Gibson

After a highly publicised relationship with Dean fizzled out a few months ago, Trivium’s Matt Heafy has officially returned to Gibson.

Matt’s been playing his Gibsons live since the split with Dean, but nothing official had been said until a Gibson signing session was announced for Musikmesse.

Here’s a little video of Matt presenting guitars to winners of a Gibson contest at Musikmesse.

Trivium Australian tour dates:

13 May 2009 Into The Mouth Of Hell We Tour Brisbane, The Tivoli
14 May 2009 Into The Mouth Of Hell We Tour Sydney, UNSW Roundhouse
15 May 2009 Into The Mouth Of Hell We Tour Melbourne, Palace Theatre
17 May 2009 Into The Mouth Of Hell We Tour Adelaide, HQ
19 May 2009 Into The Mouth Of Hell We Tour Perth, Capitol

MUSIKMESSE 2009: Satch talks Vox pedals, Chickenfoot (video)

Music Radar had a little chat with Joe Satriani at Musikmesse about his Vox signature pedal line, in which Joe talked about the design philosophy of the series and dropped some tiny hints of what may be next.

Satch also talks about using his Vox Big Bad Wah and Peavey JSX50 on the forthcoming Chickenfoot album.

MUSIKMESSE 2009: Vox Tonelab ST

Awww look at this cute little valve-loaded mini Vox Tonelab released at MusikMesse. Unlike the huge and very impressive Tonelab LE (click here to buy one from Guitar Center), this one looks like you could pop it in the front pocket of your gigbag.

Vox Adds Compact Tonelab™ ST To Valvetronix™ Pedal Line

VOX Amplification introduces the latest addition to their popular ToneLab™ line of Valvetronix™ multi-effects modeling pedals: the ToneLab ST. This compact tone machine features an assignable expression pedal and two footswitches for live performance control. Guitarists can create 50 of their own programs or use any of 50 new preset programs, including 20 “song specific” presets for recreating the sound of classic rock songs.

Unlike other modeling units, the Valvetronix Series features a real 12AX7 vacuum tube (valve) to accurately capture the tone quality of a tube-driven amp. In addition to 33 amplifier recreations, the ToneLab ST also provides accurate simulations of 11 distinctive speaker cabinets. The cabinet and amp models can be mixed and matched to suit the user’s preference. Twenty-five popular effects are included, ranging from classic “stomp-box” pedals to studio-quality rack-style effects.

The ToneLab ST also serves as a full function ASIO-compatible USB Audio interface, providing a direct connection to computer-based recording software. ToneLab ST Program Librarian software (Mac or PC) is available as a free download at Other connections include a line output that can be set for recording use or for feeding into an external amplifier, as well as a line input for jamming along to CDs, MP3 files, etc.

A chromatic tuner is built in, and it can be accessed silently during performance. The road-ready casing is made of metal, and the large LED display offers high visibility.

The VOX Valvetronix ToneLab ST will be available in late April with U.S. MSRP pricing of $275.00.

For more information, visit their web site at

MUSIKMESSE 2009: Gibson Raw Power series

Just spotted this one at the Modern Guitars website. Gibson has just unveiled the new Raw Power series at MusikMesse. The Modern Guitars article states: 

The worldwide debut at Musikmesse features both Les Paul and SG style instruments that, according to Gibson, will hit the street at an as yet undisclosed “affordable price.” The Raw Power Series offers Satin finishes in contemporary colors with maple body and fretboard. The Les Paul model has ’57 Classic pickups and a mahogany neck, while the SG Raw Power sports an Ultra fast neck and dimensions tailored after the original Gibson SG ’61 model.

Interesting. I wonder exactly how Gibson is going to achieve the cost-cutting, aside from the maple body and satin finishes. There’s no mention of the guitars being made offshore or anything like that. From looking at the specs, the Raw Power series kinda reminds me of the no-frills Les Paul Junior models that can be had for lower prices.

MUSIKMESSE 2009: Marshall Haze series

The Dave Mustaine 1960DM isn’t the only new piece of Marshall kit unveiled at MusikMesse in Frankfurt this year. Check out the new Haze series, designed to pack blues-approved tones into a small package.

Marshall Introduces Blues-Inspired “Haze” Amplifier Line

Marshall Amplification introduces the new Haze line of compact and portable valve-driven performance amplifiers: the 40-Watt Haze combo (MHZ40C) and the 15-Watt Haze head (MHZ15). The Haze line was designed for the musician who demands an honest clean sound, a driving blues tone and some biting rock — all from a single, gig-ready amp. The Haze 40 combo is equipped with a single Celestion G12-66 Marquee 12″ speaker. The Haze 15 head can be paired with matching single 12″ Celestion G12-66 Marquee loaded cabinets (MHZ112A – angled; MHZ112B – base) as well.

The preamp section is powered by three ECC83 valves (tubes). Both Haze models feature two channels (normal and overdrive) that share a three-band EQ; a Bright switch adds extra emphasis to the highs. A selection of retro-style effects offers authentically-voiced Echo, Vibrato, and Chorus. An emulated spring-reverb is also included. Effect settings are retained by each channel for immediate recall during performance. All effects remain truly bypassed when completely off, providing a more direct signal path.

The Haze 40 combo features unique cabinet construction elements. The closed-back cabinet has been modified with four circular holes to preserve the best aspects of both an open-back and a closed-back design. The speaker is asymmetrically mounted, allowing for extended lows. This combo also features an additional presence control in the EQ, as well as a boost switch to add more depth to the low-mids. A bypass-able effects loop is also included. For recording or directly patching into a PA system, an emulated speaker line output recreates the speaker response. Power is provided by two EL34 valves.

The Haze 15 head is powered by a pair of 6V6 valves. Two 8-Ohm and one 16-Ohm speaker jacks are provided. The matching MHZ112 cabinets feature finger-jointed construction and a closed back design for robust tone and efficient power handling. The MHZ112B is a straight style (base) design; the MHZ112A is the traditional Marshall angled (top) style. Together with the Haze 15 head, they form a striking mid-size stack that is easily transportable.

An included two-way footswitch allows for channel switching and turning effects on and off.

The Marshall Haze 40-watt combo (MHZ40C) and the 15-watt head (MHZ15) will be available July 2009 with respective MSRPs of $1000 and $840.

For more information, visit their web site at

MUSIKMESSE 2009: Ibanez to reissue Paul Gilbert PGM300

Ibanez will reissue Paul Gilbert’s PGM300 model, after the results of the public vote were announced at MusikMesse.

The PGM300 is similar to the PGM301 which was just taken out of production, but it includes a floating bridge instead of the fixed bridge of the PGM301. I’m pretty surprised by this choice. I was sure the winner would be either the PGM200 (which came in third place) or PGM800 (second place). CLICK HERE to see the other guitars in the series.

Of the PGM300, Gilbert says:

The PGM300 is probably the PGM guitar that I played the most out of any of them. It was really the workhorse, the most punished guitar, the one that took the most abuse and kept on going. I used it during the peak of Mr. Big’s success in Japan, when we were headlining three nights at the Buddokhan. It always sounded great. To me, one of the unique things about that guitar, for whatever reason, was that it cleaned up really nice. Whenever I would use the 5-way switch and click it over one click to use the single coil and the split-coil humbucker together and turn the volume on the guitar down, I’d get this really nice glassy sound. I remember playing that guitar on the Tonight Show, doing a song called “Just Take My Heart” that had a really clean sound. It just sounded beautiful on that. There was no channel switching necessary. I just plugged it into a cranked up Marshall, turned the volume down, and got this beautiful, clear, shimmering sound. Of course when you crank it up, it was total metal. So that was the guitar that my hands have spent the most time on out of any of the PGMs. I think my chest cavity has modified to its shape. It’s a very very dear guitar to me. I’ve spent so much time with it. I love it. You will, too. The PGM300.

Specs are:

neck : 1pc Maple
body : Basswood
frets : Jumbo
finger board : Maple
bridge : Lo-Pro Edge
pickups : 
DiMarzio® Paf Pro® (H) neck pu
DiMarzio® FS-1™ (S) mid pu
DiMarzio® Paf Pro® (H) bridge pu
Hardware color : Cosmo Black
color : WH(White)

CLICK HERE to see Ibanez Paul Gilbert models, parts and accessories on eBay.