Yngwie Malmsteen is the undisputed master of neoclassical guitar. Other players like Richie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth had explored elements of the style but none pushed it to quite the extremes that Yngwie did. A million guitarists arose in his wake to try to copy what he was doing but none have managed to capture Yngwie’s pure power and dazzling technique. As Yngwie himself puts it when discussing the various Yngwie clones who sprung up over the years, “And that’s why I call myself Yngwie J Malmsteen, not to be confused with all the other Yngwie Malmsteens.” And Yngwie is about to hit Australia for his first concert tour since 2006 (tickets here). Continue reading
Uh oh. Don’t tell my wallet but Gibson just released my dream guitar: a 7-string Les Paul with Seymour Duncan JB and ’59 humbuckers (the ’59 is my favourite neck pickup) and a 15dB onboard boost! The Les Paul Classic 7-string has all the stuff you’d expect from a Les Paul – mahogany body and neck, maple top, rosewood fretboard, Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop tailpiece, 24.75” scale length – but it’s also got, y’know, an extra string.
This sexy beast is my Telecaster with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound for Tele pickups. Oh the things this guitar has seen. For example…
My dad and I put it together out of bits and pieces when I was 14.
Got the pickups for my 15th birthday.
For my final year at university this was the only guitar I brought with me, and I gave myself a rule that for a year I would basically play just this guitar with heavy strings, high action and no pick (unless I was working on stuff like “Eugene’s Trick Bag” for hours on end). I would take it to blues jams and just let what would happen happen. That year was huge for my musical development. One of the guitar players in the house band would call out the names of various guitarists and I’d have to imitate them for a few bars, until he called another name. I’d have to go from S.R.V to Jeff Beck to Frank Zappa to EVH to Satriani.
I’ve used it in a funk band, I’ve tuned it to Open C to play Ocean Machine songs, I’ve played it in front of 6,000 people alongside a DJ, and in smoky pubs where I’ve played slide on it using a beer bottle.
And we have lots of years of adventures left in us.
I am utterly unashamed of my sparkly guitar obsession. I need this in my life.
PRESS RELEASE: Charvel is proud to announce the release of the new Pro Mod Series Super Stock SD1 FR Special Edition. Built for center stage, the spotlight and your favorite solo, Charvel’s limited-run Super Stock So-Cal Silver Sparkle is a dazzling high-performance instrument. Its sleek So-Cal body is clad in a scintillating silver-sparkle finish that looks stunning beneath the stage lights, elegantly complemented by a matching headstock and black pickguard. Continue reading
Dude, yes. Just… just yes.
PRESS RELEASE: Jackson is pleased to announce the latest addition to its popular Pro Series, the Pro DK2M Dinky Limited Run guitar featured in Black & White Crackle. The DK2M Pro Series Dinkyfeatures an alder body, flat-sawn graphite-reinforced bolt-on maple neck with wrap-around heel, 24-fret compound radius (12″-16″) maple fingerboard with offset black dot inlays, black neck and headstock binding, direct mount Seymour Duncan JB Zebra (bridge) and ’59 Zebra (neck) humbucking pickups with five-way blade switching, Floyd Rose bridge, black hardware and Dunlop strap locks. For more information and to find a dealer near you, go to www.jacksonguitars.com.
One of my favourite Gibsons of all time is a quite recent one: the Slash Rosso Corsa model. Something about that deep red with the zebra Seymour Duncan pickups just really gets to me. I know I’m not alone: I’m told by various folks that the Gibson models sold quite quickly indeed. Now Slash has teamed up with Epiphone to offer a more affordable version of the guitar: the Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Slash “Rosso Corsa” Les Paul. It’s at the high end of Epiphone gear in terms of price and appointments, which I think is cool because if they’d instead gone with a Les Paul Special or something you wouldn’t get the full pop of a carved top or that classic balance between trapezoid inlays and Tune-O-Matic/tailpiece (ever notice how they both lead your eye towards the neck pickup and pickup switch? I love design touches like that). There’s a video below, followed by the press release. Continue reading
Here’s a track I recorded using just the Seymour Duncan SSL-5 single coil for 7-string in my Ibanez UV777BK Universe. The SSL-5 is a high output true single-coil for warm instruments, with Alnico 5 rods and a DC Resistance of 12.9k. Though it looks like the SSL-1 and has that distinct vintage tone, the SSL-5’s over-wound coil yields higher output, more sustain and great harmonics. The result is a pickup that rocks hard and cuts through the mix, but cleans up nicely when you back off the volume. The other pickups in this guitar are my Custom Shop Magnetar and a Production Floor Custom Sentient with white logo and glossy bobbins, but I don’t use those at all in this track: everything you hear is SSL-5.
Aah yes, I’ve been waiting for this one. Today Schecter has announced the release of the KM-6, the six-string version of Keith Merrow’s awesome signature model. The seven-string version was one of the big hits at NAMM and this new one is great news for those who prefer sixers. Interestingly it features different pickups to the KM-7: instead of a Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient, it has a ‘Blackened Black Winter’ set, made exclusively for Schecter. And it’s available in two finishes – Trans White Satin and Trans Black Burst Satin. Hey Keith, buddy, how about a limited-run green version, eh?
Here’s the press release, and the new Conquering Rifftopia video. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE: Jackson is pleased to announce the latest addition to its popular Pro Series, the Pro DK2M Dinky Limited Run guitar featured in Slime Green Swirl. The DK2M Pro Series Dinkyfeatures an alder body, flat-sawn graphite-reinforced bolt-on maple neck with wrap-around heel, 24-fret compound radius (12″-16″) maple fingerboard with offset black dot inlays, black neck and headstock binding, direct mount Seymour Duncan JB Zebra (bridge) and ’59 Zebra (neck) humbucking pickups with five-way blade switching, Floyd Rose bridge, black hardware and Dunlop strap locks. For more information and to find a dealer near you, go to www.jacksonguitars.com.
PRESS RELEASE: Utilizing an exoskeleton design made of a semi-monocoque construction, the latest guitar from Aristides Instruments expands on the companies innovations regarding body design, components and mechanics. The new 060 provides plenty of horsepower and performance to deliver whatever a guitarist might want play. Prototypes have made an appearance at the Aristides Instrument Open House event earlier this year and Ola Englund has posted a video demo. Now available to the masses, customers can place orders through authorized dealers or direct from the factory. Continue reading
The Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster is one of those pedals that really shook things up, introducing a lot of players for the first time to the idea of boosting their signal before it hits their amp, thereby making the preamp tubes work harder and creating all sorts of great sonic textures from vibrant cleans to screaming overdrives. It was discontinued a little while ago but now it’s back, with a new look at some subtle improvements. All the regular features are still there, including the Pickup Resonance Switch, which lets you select different resonant frequencies for different sonic results; the idea is that its two modes will make a single coil sound like a vintage or modern humbucker, but you can use it with humbuckers for cool sounds too. And there’s now a discrete push-pull output stage and the capability for 0dB unity gain, so you can use it simply as a buffer or for the tone-sculpting abilities of the Pickup Resonance Switch without changing your level of gain. Continue reading