COOL GEAR ALERT: New Dunlop Slash pedals

Whoa! Okay, two of my favourite effects are my octave pedal and an MXR Jimi Hendrix System Octave Fuzz. Looks like MXR and Slash have gone and combined their essences into one imposing chimera of tonal goodness in the form of the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz. This little box features fuzz tone with a separate Sub Octave voice and an Octave Up Fuzz, and in true Dunlop/MXR style it features even more tweakability than it initially appears: in addition to Volume, Tone, Fuzz, Sub Octave and Octave Up controls, there are also two internal trimpots to adjust the gain and tone of the Octave Up effect. Want! And there’s also a new Slash Cry Baby with a deeper voicing, which you know has gotta be cool – after all, Slash knows his way around a wah!

You can buy the Octave Fuzz here and the Slash Cry Baby Classic here.

Dunlop Proudly Presents The MXR Slash Octave Fuzz & Slash Cry Baby Classic


Dunlop and Slash have teamed up to create a triad of products due out just ahead of the guitar legend’s latest album release, Apocalyptic Love.

With Slash’s own experimentation and input, we created two pedals to complement his raw, expressive sound: the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz and the Slash Cry Baby Classic. The Slash Octave Fuzz features a searing fuzz tone that can be combined with a separate sub octave voice and an octave up fuzz to thicken up your tone with a sinister growl. The Slash Cry Baby Classic is tuned to a lower frequency and features a custom-wound resonance inductor, giving this wah-wah a huge dynamic range and a wide sweep.

Read More …

PICK PICS: My Slash pick

Here’s a rad pick I managed to snag back when Slash performed for the launch of MTV Classic in Australia a few years ago. I was super fortunate to attend a rehearsal the day before the show, and not only was I treated to what basically amounted to a private Slash gig, I also picked this pick up off the floor after Slash chucked it into the non-existant crowd at the end of the set.

NAMM 2011: Marshall Slash AFD100

Marshall Slash Signature, Limited Edition AFD100 Valve Head

December, 2010 – Marshall is proud to present the AFD100 Slash Signature amplifier: a dual mode, all-valve 100. head that captures the tone and spirit of one of rock’s most celebrated and sought after sounds – Slash’s guitar tone on Guns ‘N’ Roses legendary, “Appetite for Destruction” (AFD). Released in 1987, this highly influential has sold in excess of 18 million copies worldwide and is the best selling debut album of all time.


Using the original AFD master recordings, Slash and Marshall painstakingly worked together to replicate his AFD sound. “This is an idea I’ve had for quite some time,” the guitarist reveals. “So many fans have been trying to duplicate that sound. I thought, ‘who better than to really perfect it other than Marshall?’ We spent a lot of time together developing this amp. We stripped a couple of guitar tracks off the original AFD masters and basically got in there with a fine tooth comb so we could suss out exactly what made that sound the way that it was.”After countless hours and several prototypes, the AFD100 was born with two distinct, footswitchable modes labeled #34 and AFD – both offering 100% pureSlash sounds. The first is based on the modified JCM800 2203 he’s used since the late ‘80s and had “34” stenciled on the side, hence the “#34” name. The second is, of course, pure, unadulterated AFD. “We used ‘Night Train’ as one of the man reference tracks and the amp sounds just like it.” Slash concludes. “I think we’ve been totally successful!”

The amp boasts a mixture of both traditional and modern Marshall aesthetics – a unique blend of Plexi, JCM800 and Silver Jubilee cosmetics. In addition to its dual, footswitchable modes, the AFD100 also has the following features:

1. Two inputs – high and low sensitivity

2. Built in Electronic Power Attenuation. Controlled by a front-panel knob, this allows you to adjust the amp’s output from 100% to 0.01%, and anywhere in- between, without sacrificing the tone and feel of those all-important power valves.

3. Footswitchable* Series FX loop with Return Level control.

1. Valve Fault Indicator: meaning that if one of the output valves develops a fault, a visual indicator on the rear of the amplifier shows which one is working incorrectly. This “roadie friendly feature” will save valuable time getting the amplifier back up and running again, should a valve issue occur.

2. Auto-Bias & Bias Current Trimmer to ensure correct power valve biasing and optimal valve life and function

*NOTE: A two-way, LED Footcontroller (PEDL-00054) comes supplied with the AFD100, facilitating switching between the #34 & AFD modes, plus FX Loop on/off.

To commemorate the 23 years that have passed since the recording of “Appetite for Destruction”, the AFD100 is Limited to 2300 units worldwide, 500 in the US. Retail price is $2899.

INTERVIEW: Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge

AB III is a landmark album in the still quite young career of Alter Bridge. Far more than just ‘Creed with a different singer,’ the band has always had its own thing going on, but AB III kicks it up a notch. It’s loud, angry, hurt, dark, mysterious and heavy, yet at times it’s also bright, optimistic, reassuring, even straight-up happy. I spoke to guitarist Mark Tremonti, who was in the midst of a European tour.

You know how good the album is, right?

(Laughs) Thank you very much! Appreciate it!

How do you feel about it?

We feel great! It was a good time that we put into writing and recording it, and it turned out the way we wanted it to. The response from fans has all been overwhelmingly positive so far.

You’re releasing the album yourself in the US on November 9, but it’s in the very capable hands of Roadrunner for the rest of the world and has already been released in other territories. Why?

We had to look at all our options, and our managers deal with that side of things, and they felt that was our best option for the States. At first we tried to be on Roadrunner both in the States and internationally, but I don’t think they thought we had a radio single for the States, that it was more of a European-sounding record, so we went a different route.

It is a very European-sounding, dark album.

I think it’s just a combination of where me and Myles were at. I grew up listening to heavy, dark music and I’ve always been a fan of darker music. Not that we’re dark people, but we like to evoke emotion, and either write a song that makes you feel really good or write a song that makes you really think and feel really moody. It’s just a combination of me pushing dark-sounding atmospheric music and Myles writing the darkest lyrics he’s ever come up with, and it’s just a perfect storm.

Well everyone needs their Empire Strikes Back, y’know?

Yeah! Hahah!

Just don’t go filling the next album with Ewoks.

Haha, exactly. Yeah.

There are lots of cool middle eastern-sounding scales on the record.

I think both me and Myles just played to fit the song. We weren’t really thinking of any scales in particular. I know that on my end, for the guitar solos and whatnot I was just trying to fit the chord changes. I just played for the song.

Do you have a favourite guitar part or solo?

I think the solo for All Hope Is Gone is my favourite solo. Favourite guitar part in general would probably be the intro to Life Must Go On. It’s a part that’s been floating around for quite a while.

What gear did you use on the record?

I used pretty much the same gear as the last album, except this time I used a Fender Tonemaster layered on top of the Bogner Uberschall and Mesa Rectifier.

What’s your approach to tone? I notice you’re using amps that have a shitload of gain on tap, but you’re holding back.

Yeah, it’s something I learned from Elvis on the last record: to record with a small amount of gain to really get stuff to cut through, so you can hear every bit of whatever riff that’s happening or whatever part that’s happening. If there’s too much gain you lose that clarity. It makes a big difference.

What about guitars?

I just used my signature model Paul Reed Smith. I think the only other guitar I used – other than acoustic Taylors – was on some clean tracks. PRS made me a guitar, like a Strat-style, three single coil, maple neck guitar that sounds really good on clean stuff. Sometimes I’d layer with that. That was about it.

Have you tried the baritone 8-string Taylor?

No I had not. Didn’t know it existed. Wow, I’ll be calling them when I get off the phone! I need to get that for sure!

You have a lot of guitar technique – how did you develop that? Were you always technically minded or did you hit a point where you decided to really work on that stuff?

I just always try to learn something new every day. I’m a big fan of the guitar so everywhere I go I have tonnes of guitar instructional DVDs. I still look for new ones that come out. No matter what style it is, I’ll buy it. If it’s something I don’t have, I’ll get it. If I’m getting on a plane I’ll watch country chicken pickin’ DVDs or whatever it is, because you can learn something from everybody. I’ll also get on sites like or or YouTube or I’ll search everywhere I can looking for inspiration. Sometimes you’ll find it in the least likely spots, from some guy you’ve never heard of.

What are your favourites at the moment?

Right now I’m putting a lot of time into Robben Ford. Years ago I would have thought you couldn’t use a lot of his approach in hard rock, but I think you can if you learn the right tunes. He does a lot of blues-based stuff that you can use right away. I’m into him lately, I’m into a guy named Matt Schofield that not a lot of people that I’ve talked to have heard of, but he’s great. Audley Freed is a big one for me over the last few years. Warren Haynes. I went through all my shred years and just kinda switched gears a couple of years ago, going for the more old-school approach to bluesy phrasing and chord tone soloing. Lately I’ve been trying to step into the jazz world, not to play jazz but to try to understand more of the theory side of things and to have it readily available whenever I’m playing. I’ve looked at some piano lessons and there’s a guy named Charlie Banakos that taught a lot of jazz guys, so I’m trying to dig out some old exercises that he’s taught.

Any plans for a solo album?

I’ve started to put together some songs. With the last couple of years with everything that’s happened – Myles going out with Slash, the Creed reunion and everything else – there’s going to be some downtime when we’re waiting for Myles to get done so we can get back out on tour, so in those times I’ll be putting together a solo record. At this point I think I only have about five songs I’ve demoed, and every time I have a couple of months I’ll put together a handful of songs and see what happens with it.

What kind of direction?

It’s going to be mostly just melody, song-based stuff. It’s not going to be like a progressive instrumental record. It’s going to be more of a melody-driven, song record. I do want to do it at some point, I’ve just got to find the time.

What are your favourite instrumental albums?

Alien Love Secrets was a big one for me. I spent a lot of time with Tender Surrender. I spent four months learning that song, and now I’ve forgotten it! I like a lot of the Larry Carlton stuff, the Robben Ford stuff… for me it’s like, songs instead of records. I’ll just dwell on one song for a long time. There’s just so much of it I don’t know where to really hone in on! Paul Gilbert had a lot of influence on my learning to pick and shred. Intense Rock was probably my favourite DVD for a long time.

Any plans to come to Australia any time soon?

We actually just talked about that with our agent the other day. They were talking about maybe targeting October of next year. We’ve just gotta see what happens next year. We have to plan so far ahead with the Slash tour and our tour, so we have to just let our agents point their finger in the right direction for us.

Yeah, I guess you couldn’t force Myles to do double duty and wear the poor guy out.

We’ve talked about it – have Alter Bridge open for Slash.


Slash’s live juggernaut is soon to hit Australia for Soundwave Touring (as well as New Zealand’s G-TARanaki festival), and the legendary top-hatted one is riding high on the success of his self-titled solo album. It’s not Slash’s first solo project, of course – there was of course Slash’s Snakepit – but it’s his first under his own name, and this particular set of songs, performances and guest vocalists has captured old and new fans in a way not seen since Santana’s Supernatural-led revival. I caught up with Slash to discuss his forthcoming Aussie shows. Incidentally, if you missed out on tickets, Slash has been confirmed for the 2011 Soundwave festival!

I caught the MTV Classic show here in Melbourne recently. That was really cool!
Yeah! That was actually this band’s second live performance. We’d done one a couple weeks prior to that at the Roxy in Los Angeles, and the band had been together for two weeks. It was ‘here’s the songs, learn them and we’ll just go.’ I think that’s the way I like to do things. But it was a cool show!

It really felt like a band already.
I know! I was very fortunate. When I made the record I knew that at some point I was going to be touring on it, and I didn’t know exactly how I was going to put that together. It was going on in the back of my mind as I was putting together the album. At the tail end of the record I met Myles Kennedy, and he did a couple songs on the record, and I was just completely blown away at his vocal abilities, and also as a person. I asked him to do the tour and he signed on. So I knew in myself I had a really capable frontman, and so the most important element in any rock band, aside from the vocals, is the drums. I started looking for drummers, and I got all these references for this guy named Brent Fitz. I took a few drummers into the studio to see which one I wanted to use, and I also met Brent Fitz and had him come down, and he just turned out to be a great drummer. And it was just ironic, getting these references for him from unrelated sources, different people from all over that suddenly knew I was looking for a drummer and recommended this guy. Then I had a bass player in mind, and he came down and did about four rehearsals and I realised he wasn’t the guy, and it was only going to be about a week before our first gig at the Roxy. I was sort of in a pinch, and Brent recommended this guy that he knew from Las Vegas, and Todd Kearns showed up the next day, and he was perfect. And he could sing. And they’re all really, really good blokes. They’re like, f**kin’, great work ethics and obviously great players. We had a chemistry instantly, and that’s really what gave me the confidence to go and do that sort of impromptu Roxy gig then to come to Australia and do the MTV launch. And now we’re 11 gigs into the tour and the band is just pristine. And that to me just seems like a blessing, because you never know what’s going to happen.

That was pretty ballsy, to take your second gig and broadcast it all over the world!
(Laughs) See, a lot of people misconstrue and confuse ballsiness with ignorance! (Laughs) No, I’ve always been like that. You just go for it and see what happens. And maybe it might be ballsy, and a lot of it has to do with just the eagerness to get out there. If you think you have it together to do whatever it is you want to do, just go for it.

The response to your solo CD seems huge.
Yeah, it’s one of those things where I didn’t have any major expectations, I didn’t try to figure out any kind of numbers or anything like that. I just was happy with the record and put it out. But I have to say, in the first week, to get that kind of response on a global level is really way better than having the opposite!

And you’ve got a lot of metalheads listening to Fergie, and she kicks ass on that track!
I know she does, I knew she would! I got familiar with her voice a few years back and I knew she was going to be awesome for this. And she brings a certain amount of sex appeal to a sort of rock n’ roll song, not only because she’s a girl, but because as a person she’s innately got that sort of … I don’t want to put the wrong light on her, but she’s got a certain amount of street smarts and she’s got a certain amount of sex appeal. And her mentality is a little more dark than maybe you might think of her in the Black Eyed Peas, so when she does rock n’roll it sort of drips of lusty sex as opposed to more romantic sex. And that’s her personality for real. I knew it was going to work, and when she delivered the lyrics I was like, ‘wow, that’s perfect.’

Let’s talk about guitar stuff! Could you tell us about your new Seymour Duncan signature pickups?
Yeah! Seymour Duncan is one of those discoveries, that, f**k, it was in 1986 that I first discovered the Seymour Duncan Alnico II, right? And I was familiar with the DiMarzios and Bill Lawrence pickups, and also Seymour Duncan’s, but I hadn’t really picked a favourite at that point. When I got the Chris Derrig Les Paul it had the Seymour Duncan Alnico IIs in it, and that was just one of those sounds, the combination of the guitar and the amp or whatever, that I was really, really pleased with. After the record was done, that guitar became my guitar. It was great sounding, and that was the only guitar I had! And later on, whenever I put a guitar together, like I ended up getting these two Les Paul Standards in 1988, and I put those same Seymour Duncan Alnico IIs in it, and it’s been my main pickup ever since. But I’ve never had a Slash model pickup because I really couldn’t conceive of anything to do to the Seymour Duncan Alnico II design to expand on that. So I never did a Slash model until just recently, when we were doing the Gibson model of the Derrig guitar. I had the idea of going in and re-inventing the original Alnico II from 1986, because everything evolves over time, and now theyr’e using a couple of different components and what-not. So we put together these old-school Alnico IIs, and that became the Slash model, which are really, really great. So when you buy a Gibson ‘Appetite’ guitar, that’s what’s in them: the USA and the Custom Shop, and they’ll be in the Epiphones when they come out too. But you can buy them separately now too.

I saw you using a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose live.
Oh the Axcess! Yeah! The tremolo bar is something I don’t use all the time, but there’s always one song per record where I’m like, ‘I need a tremolo bar!’ And I’d been using a BC Rich Mockingbird for years for that particular purpose, and the only thing about the Mockingbird is it’s not as thick or aggressive volume-wise as the Les Pauls, so I’ve always felt from on stage that there was a dip in the overall attack of my guitar sound as soon as I put on the BC Rich, and I always sort of grinned and bore it, for years, just because of the tremolo bar. Anyway, Gibson came out with the Axcess Les Paul, and I always felt it was kinda sacrilege to rout out a Les Paul for a Floyd Rose, but since they had done it themselves, y’know, I thought I’d give it a shot!

What can you tell us about your ‘Brauerburst,’ the modified Les Paul you bought from Andy Brauer?
He sold me one of his reissues, which was a specific year for a certain kind of reissue which was very spot-on with the original guitar. It’s a really nice Les Paul Standard ’59 reissue. It was set up great, and it’s actually one of the only times I haven’t replaced the pickups with Seymour Duncans [ed. note: the guitar has Sheptone AB Custom humbuckers). And it has a really nice, old school kind of feel to it. And that’s the main guitar from him that I have. I had him set up a couple of guitars when I was in the studio. He’s really good.

How’s the new Marshall AFD100 coming along?
It’s great! It’s basically done but I had a couple tweaks I wanted done to it. It’s ready for me to hear now but I’m in the middle of this crazy festival tour so I haven’t had a moment to sit with it. So I’m going to hear it at some point between now and the middle of July. [NOTE: A week after the interview was conducted, Slash got to try the latest version of the head, and liked it so much he used it on stage that night]. It sounds f**king amazing. Santiago over at Marshall really outdid itself. The whole reason for the AFD amp and the Appetite guitar, it was a novelty for all these super fans who a really gear-heads who are trying to emulate the sound from the Appetite for Destruction record. We did it for the guitar but the key component to that sound was the amp. And back in the day it was just an amp that sounded good. Amps really are inconsistent when it comes to time. It might sound good at one point, and sound completely different, not having changed a thing about it, five or ten years later or even in a different venue. So I never really treated amps the way I’d treat a particular guitar. So I knew that all these people were trying to recreate the sound from the Appetite record, and the thing about that record is it was a particular amp with a particular studio with a particular studio and particular guys at a particular time, and it is what it is. But there is a recognisable tone that comes directly off of the amp that I decided, let’s have Marshall go to the source and try and recreate what that identifiable tone is. So I stripped some tracks off of the actual Appetite masters. I used ‘Night Train’ and ‘Welcome To The Jungle,’ and I used those as a reference and gave it to Santiago, and he delivered an amp that has this particular harmonic structure, and a gain structure that has a particular harmonic value to it, and a certain kind of a midrangey thing, and also a certain kind of a gain that gives it a sort of …it’s hard to verbally describe but it’s a very attacky, but very midrangey and soft-sounding, honky-sounding tone which really sounds great. He managed to reinvent that, and he’s really succeeded. The final tweak was I wanted more bottom end. It’s already got a really tight bottom end and I wanted to get a little thicker-sounding without getting muddy. And then it’ll come out. It’ll come out some time before the end of the year. It’s going to be a limited edition, I’m not sure to what extent but it’s not going to be as limited as the Custom Shop Les Pauls are, but the last time I did a run of limited Marshalls they did a sizeable run.

And finally, could you tell us a bit about your signature Crybaby?
The key thing about the Slash model Crybaby is it’s got this boost in it, a gain button which is really an ‘out of control’ button. You really have to be set up right to be able to use it without taking everybody’s heads off. But it’s wonderful in the studio. I did a recording with Alice Cooper recently and I did a song called ‘Vengeance Is Mine,’ and the guitar tone is just my Crybaby into a Marshall, and it’s really f**king intense sounding, and it’s just that boost button, which is adjustable – you take the plate off the pedal and adjust those frequencies and that kind of stuff. But without the boost it’s really more of an adjustable Crybaby. Pretty cool tone though!

Well that’s our time up. This has been really cool, thanks so much!
I know, it’s good talking to you, it’s been really cool to do a guitar interview in the midst of all these other f**king publications! I enjoyed it, thanks.


NAMM 2010: New pickups from Seymour Duncan

There was lots of great stuff on show at the Seymour Duncan booth at NAMM this year, and I was pretty excited to meet Evan Skopp and Rick Turner. Unfortuntately my booth visit didn’t coincide with Yngwie’s, but hey, there’s a great interview with Yngwie by Evan a little bit down the page here, so I’ll just enjoy that instead.

Here are Seymour Duncan’s NAMM press releases, interspersed with videos where available:

YJM Fury

Santa Barbara, California Relentless pursuit of the perfect tone. We’ve all experienced it. It never subsides. When Yngwie said he wanted to take his tone to the next level, we listened. No other guitarist unleashes the fury like Yngwie J. Malmsteen. His influence is undeniable. His technique is unparalleled. His pickups? Seymour Duncan. Yngwie needs a pickup that responds to his unique playing style. After hundreds of hours of intense tone pursuit, their labor or love yielded the STK-S10 YJM Fury.

Beginning with Seymour’s original Stack® pickup design, these hum-canceling single-coil-sized pickups were designed to meet Yngwie’s personal tonal desires. The YJM series includes a dedicated bridge pickup and separate neck/middle pickup. It’s recommended for neo-classical, shred, hard rock, power metal, and heavy metal. Dedicated bridge and neck/middle pickups represent two highly customized voices. In the bridge position, Yngwie wanted more aggression, more power. The neck pickup needed to balance Yngwie’s fluid left hand technique with his broad mix of right hand pick attack. The result is a pickup that’s sweet and fluid, but with more articulation and responsiveness to dynamics.

The YJM Fury is available with white, off-white, or black covers and can directly retrofit most single-coil equipped guitars. It also comes pre-installed in the signature series Fender® YJM Strat® guitar but works well with any guitar that utilizes traditional single-coil-size Strat pickups.

All Seymour Duncan and Basslines pickups, are hand built in the USA and include all necessary mounting hardware.

Fender and Strat are registered trademarks of FMIC with which Seymour Duncan is not affiliated.

Alnico II Pro Slash

Santa Barbara, California He is, by many accounts, history’s all-time greatest guitar hero. With the ubiquitous top hat and shades, mop of black curls obscuring his face, and a blazing electric guitar tone blasting through a wall of amps, Slash epitomizes the very reasons we first air-strummed a low-slung tennis racquet in the privacy of our bedroom. He is the seminal rock guitar god. And for over three decades he has relied on Seymour Duncan pickups for his guitar tone. Now Seymour Duncan honors their guitar hero with his first signature pickup, the Alnico II Pro Slash.

The tone of this pickup will be familiar to all who have heard Slash’s recorded tone. Though he has dozens of amazing guitars, since 1986 Slash has used pretty much one very special Les Paul® for all recording. The Alnico II Pro Slash was designed to give Slash’s other Les Paul guitars-what he calls his “live guitars”-the exact tone of this legendary instrument.

Like the standard APH-1 Alnico II Pro, which he has used for years, the Slash model uses an Alnico 2 magnet. However, the Alnico II Pro Slash is wound with just enough boosted output to push a stock Les Paul toward the sweet sustain and rude crunch that characterizes Slash’s sound as heard on hundreds of recordings. In addition, it comes with some of the same appointments found on the Duncan pickups in Slash’s ’86 recording axe, including single-conductor cable, long-legged bottom plate, and wooden spacer. For the true fan, or the player who wants to capture Slash’s recorded tone, this pickup is a critical part of the tone chain.

While designed for use in a Les Paul, this pickup works well in any well-balanced humbucker-equipped guitar including hollow and semi-hollow body guitars. The Slash aficionado will use a pair of these pickups to capture that unmistakable tone. This pickup matches well with Seymour Duncan’s SFX-04 Twin Tube Blue all-tube overdrive-distortion stompbox for singing leads and authoritative chording.

The Alnico II Pro Slash is hand built in Seymour Duncan’s Santa Barbara, California workshop and including all mounting hardware.

Les Paul is a registered trademark of Gibson USA with which Seymour Duncan is not affiliated.

P-Rails Hot

Now, Seymour Duncan introduces the SHPR-2b P-Rails® Hot, delivering the same tonal flexibility as its predecessor, but specifically designed to provide a punchier, more aggressive tone in the bridge position. The P-Rails Hot features a beefed up coil wind and 2 powerful Alnico 8 magnets, which rival ceramic magnets in power but maintain the sweet sustain Alnico is known for. The P-90 coil in the P-Rails Hot is wound with a special wire type, selected for output and clarity. This P-90 is loud! The rail mode is hotter thanks to the power of the Alnico 8, and the series humbucker mode is huge!

P-Rails Hot are a direct humbucker retrofit and can be used in any guitar set up for a traditional humbucker or Trembucker spacing. To maximize P-Rails Hot’s unique splitting capabilities and get the most tonal versatility, it is recommended for use in tandem with a standard P-Rails in the neck position with a two-way switch (push-pull or mini-toggle) to get both humbucker and P-90 tones. Use a three way switch (DPDT on-off-on) to bring in the single coil Rail tones. Or for the ultimate in versatility, use Seymour Duncan’s Triple Shot switching mounting ring.

P-Rails Hot is recommended for all styles of music. They are built in the USA at the Seymour Duncan factory, come with black, white or cream covers

Vintage and Custom Staggered 7-String

Santa Barbara, California The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop has been custom-building 7-string electric pickups upon request for years. Now, to keep up with the demand for 7-string pickups, the company is introducing production versions of some of their most popular models, including the SSL-1 Vintage Staggered 7-string and the SSL-5 Custom Staggered 7-string, specifically designed with a modern stagger for the needs of the 7-string player.

The Vintage Staggered 7-string delivers a deep punchy tone with bright sparkle for single-coil strat.® guitars, recommended for country, pop, surf, rockabilly, blues, ska, classic rock and any player that wants to marry a vintage sound with the new era of 7-stringed guitars. Complete with hand-ground Alnico 5 magnets, it compliments a humbucker like the SH-4 JB 7-string in the bridge position, along with a neck pickup like the SH-1n ’59 7-string. Add an all-tube overdrive like the Seymour Duncan SFX-11 Twin Tube Blue for the ultimate tone.

The Custom Staggered 7-string pickup provides a distinct vintage tone with greater sustain and full sounding harmonics that cuts through the mix, but cleans up nicely when you back off the volume. It’s 6-string counterpart has been championed by countless artists over its long history for its strong, overwound Strat tone, most recently making an appearance on Fender’s David Gilmour Signature Series Strat®. Pair this pickup with a high output bridge pickup like the SH-10 Full Shred 7-string, and a moderate output neck pickup like the SH-2n Jazz 7-string, for great tone when playing Texas blues rock, classic rock and heavy rock.

Both pickups come with a black cover, are produced at the Seymour Duncan factory in Santa Barbara California, and will make their debut in January at the 2010 NAMM show.

Fender and Strat are registered trademarks of FMIC with which Seymour Duncan is not affiliated.

Custom 5 and Full Shred 7-String

Santa Barbara, California Seymour Duncan is announcing the release of several of their most popular pick-ups, specifically re-designed to capture the deeper tones and wider range of sound found in the new generation of seven-stringed instruments, including the SH-10 Full Shred 7-string and the SH-14 Custom 5 7-String humbucker.

The 6-string Custom 5 was developed in part by contributors on the Seymour Duncan web user group forum who replaced the magnets in their Custom or Custom Custom with Alnico 5 magnets. The versatile Custom 5 7-string is a moderate to high output humbucker, perfect for pop, country, blues, classic rock and heavy rock with its deeper bottom end and expanded output. Recommended for the bridge position, add an SH-1n 7-string in the neck position for real deal P.A.F. tones.

Shredders and metal-heads will elate in the high output that the Full Shred 7-string offers. For years, the Seymour Duncan Full Shred has been revered for its top end clarity, crisp, well defined low end, and aggressive midrange, great for capturing clear, tight tone during heavy rhythms and speed riffs. Two symmetrical coils and short Allen head pole pieces produce a more intense, focused magnetic field while the Alnico 5 magnet maintains an organic attack and feel. The Full Shred is perfect for rock, heavy metal, speed metal, and any music featuring fast, aggressive, solo playing. It comes with a four-conductor hookup cable for various switching options, in both bridge and neck versions, and matches well with the SFX-04 Twin Tube Mayhem for ultimate heaviness.

Both pickups will debut in January at the 2010 NAMM show in Anaheim along with several other pick-ups redesigned by the Seymour Duncan company, to meet the growing fan base of seven-stringed guitar players.

Mick Thomson Signature Blackouts EMTY

Santa Barbara, CA -Seymour Duncan announces the release of the latest addition to our popular Blackouts Humbucker series the Blackouts AHB-3 Thomson EMTY. Like its predecessors (The AHB-1 and AHB-2), the Blackouts AHB-3 EMTY provides distinctive, screaming metal tones, packing a serious mid-range punch, thicker, darker chords than other humbuckers and hard-hitting driving leads. The 9-volt active Blackouts are designed specifically for more aggressive playing styles including players using extreme low tunings. The EMTY takes it a step further, created to meet Mick Thomson’s personal specs and metal desires. Mick asked for tighter bottom, and more searing top end cut, and Seymour Duncan delivered.

The AHB series conveys a less compressed tone, with a more extended frequency response helping to cancel hum by using balanced inputs. Blackouts are up to 14dB quieter than any other active pickups, while producing more lows, more highs, and more output. Simply put, Blackouts have more tone than other active pickup. And players have noticed the benefits of the reduced hum, especially during recording. Thomson was already an avid fan of the Blackouts when he met Seymour Duncan Head of Artist Relations, Evan Skopp during a discreet backstage meeting at the 2008 Loud Park festival in Japan. Mick stayed involved every step of the way from the precise wiring configuration to the logo and printing on the pickup including his renowned “seven” imprinted right on the side of the cover. Now he depends on EMTY to execute his completely psychosocial tone that defines the Slipknot sound; because to play extreme metal, you need extreme metal tone.

AHB-3 Blackouts EMTY are available as Mick’s two-humbucker set, or in individual neck and bridge models to mix and match with other Blackouts and Livewires Classic II active pickups. All versions come with all necessary mounting hardware, including pots, jack, and a battery clip. For players with active pickups already installed, the EMTY can plug right into the quick connection harness, making it a snap to unplug the old pickup and plug in the new EMTY.

To celebrate this new release, Seymour Duncan is giving fans the chance to win Mick Thomson’s signature Ibanez© MTM1 with Mick’s new signature Seymour Duncan Blackouts EMTY installed. Ten second place winners will receive signed sets of EMTY pickups and a host of third place winners get Slipknot or Seymour Duncan swag. To win, contestants need to go to: and enter into the drawing. The contest runs to midnight January 31, 2010.

Seymour Duncan 8-string Blackouts

Santa Barbara, California – When six strings seem too conventional and seven strings still just aren’t enough, Seymour Duncan announces the release of the latest version of our hugely successful Blackouts series, the 8-string Blackouts for 8-string guitars. For the new generation of 8-stringed guitars, 8-string Blackouts provide more headroom while still generating thick and full lows without sounding muddy or dull. Designed from the ground up specifically for the need of 8-string players, these metal beasts contain ceramic magnets for both the neck and bridge versions, specifically voiced for heavy rock with greater dynamic range, less scooped mids, and less compression than other active pickups.

For anyone who has tried to record using an 8 stringed guitar, the biggest complaint has been that most pickups deliver a thudy sound, chopping off the dynamic range. The results can be clearly seen, like a “flatline” effect in the recording wave. 8-string Blackouts allows each register to have its own character, like you expect from any six string sound, but now with deeper bass lines and no flat-lining. It simply allows the player be more expressive.

The industry agrees that 8-string Blackouts are clearly an improvement, evident by the fact that many guitar makers like Schecter© Guitars, who are delving into the 8-string guitar world, are offering the 8-string Blackouts. Their latest, offering the Schecter BlackJack ATC-8 limited edition guitar comes with 8-string Blackouts installed.

Like the full line of Blackouts, the 8-strings provide a tone that sounds less compressed with a more extended frequency response. Blackouts active humbuckers are up to 14dB quieter than the competition, but they also have more lows, more highs, and more output.

Blackouts 8-string are designed to direct retrofit any 8-string electric guitars and are available in individual neck and bridge models, or as a two-pickup set. All versions come with all necessary mounting hardware, including pots, jack, and a battery clip.

Seymour Duncan Serves Up A Triple Shot!

Santa Barbara, California – Guitarists are always striving to conjure as many sounds as possible out of their instrument. One of the ways to do so is by altering the wiring of the pickups to split coils (also known as a “coil cut”) or change from series to parallel. Typically, when guitars are modified to add different pickup routing and tonal options, it’s necessary to add extra toggle switches and/or push/pull pots. These extra controls can be confusing, unattractive, and in the way. In some cases, permanent modifications may also decrease the resale or collector’s value of an instrument. What do you do if you need these options but don’t want to modify your guitar’s construction or appearance?

Seymour Duncan has developed a unique stealth switching system to do the job–the incredible Triple Shot which cleverly conceals the switching system inside a humbucker-size mounting ring. Now there’s no need for drilling holes for extra switches, pots or visible modifications to achieve your custom wiring wishes. Two small switches built into the mounting ring are all that’s needed to do the job.

The Triple Shot is easy to install and works with any four-conductor Seymour Duncan humbuckers, and just about any other manufacturer’s four conductor pickups. Simply connect the pickup’s leads to a small color-coded circuit board which adheres to the guitar’s inside cavity, then connect the ground and hot wires to the circuit board and you’re ready to rock. No fuss, no muss, no permanent modifications. Triple Shot is available in black and cream.