The Washburn P4 was one of the coolest guitars of the late 90s. It was vaguely Les Paul-ish in general feel, but with a look all its own and really comfortable balance. Nuno Bettencourt was pictured with them a lot during his Schizophonic era. And now it’s back! It’s being built in Washburn’s USA Custom Shop, and it has some pretty serious hardware: Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers, Grover 18:1 chrome tuners, TonePros tune-o-matic-style bridge with Schaller fine-tune tailpiece… and of course it’s got the Buzz Feiten Tuning System for consistent intonation. And best of all: it looks cool.
Here’s the press release.
Chicago, January, 2013 – Washburn Guitars brings back an old friend with the re-release of the P4, one of Washburn’s popular models from the ’90s.
Built in the USA Custom Shop, the P4 features a solid mahogany body with a carved, bound maple top, and a mahogany neck with a bound ebony fingerboard and pearl teardrop inlays. The top shelf hardware includes a chrome TonePros® tune-o-matic style bridge with Schaller® fine tuning tailpiece. Premium Grover® 18:1 chrome tuners are utilized to ensure micro fine tuning stability. Seymour Duncan ’59 pickups are controlled by 1 volume and 1 tone knob and chosen with a 3-way toggle switch. The Buzz Feiten Tuning System® ensures accurate intonation all the way up the fingerboard.
The Custom Shop has gone to great lengths to make sure the current P4 is a faithful recreation of the original P4; producing thick, meaty tones ideal for classic rock, blues and jazz. The P4 is available in Tiffany Blue and Silver Sparkle.
Wow! Two of my favourite guitarists are touring Australia together in April 2013: Extreme and Richie Kotzen. This is going to be the Aussie guitar event of the year (well, on equal footing with Joe Satriani’s Australian clinic tour). They’ll be playing Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.
Here’s the press release:
Lennard Promotions are thrilled to present 90′s rock giants Extreme along with very special guest guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen live in Australia in 2013.
Extreme won a legion of fans during the 80′s and 90′s selling over 10 million records including their global smash hit More Than Words. Known for their heavy hitting musical ability and featuring the blazing guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt, Extreme exercised restraint rather than indulgence producing amazing music that not only showcased the band’s proficiency but also their collective mastery of hook laden rock. Richie Kotzen is a renowned guitar prodigy in his own right texturing both his own acclaimed releases and those from a string of notable acts including Poison and Mr Big with stunning guitar lines and breathtaking musical dexterity. Teaming up for what is sure to be a highlight on the 2013 touring calendar Extreme and very special guest Richie Kotzen will thrill Australian music lovers and galvanise guitar tragics alike.
It all started when four Boston-bred kids joined forces in the late 80s to form Extreme. With an original new sound and ground-breaking records, the foursome was immediately recognised as innovators in the world of rock & roll. The band has described their music as “Funky Metal” in the early days, but it would evolve much more in the mid-90s by blending classic rock influences with post-grunge and alternative rock. The band’s popularity was fuelled by guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt’s signature style, Gary Cherone’s resonant vocals and socially conscious lyrics, Pat Badger’s rock solid bass, and the hard hitting Kevin Figueiredo on drums.
The band’s self-titled debut was released in 1989 to some acclaim, thought it was their 1990 album Pornograffitti that captured worldwide attention. Peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200, Pornograffitti was certified multi-platinum and featured Bettencourt’s blistering guitar work which brought widespread admiration from rock guitar enthusiasts and continual exposure in leading guitar playing publications. It was however the acoustic ballad More Than Words, that captured imaginations and reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States landing Extreme their first #1 hit song.
Since the worldwide smash that was Pornograffitti Extreme have released three further albums including Saudades de Rock in 2008 and endured various periods of hiatus with members exploring side projects including Gary Cherone’s stint as vocalist in Van Halen before reforming permanently in 2007. Showcasing material from their most recent album and classics from all their previous discs, the members of Extreme are always thrilled to be heading out on the road. “As much as we enjoy recording, for me, I’ve always loved playing live for the fans,” Cherone says. “We can’t wait to get out there and play this music live.”
Fender-wielding Los Angeles-based guitar hero Richie Kotzen is frequently touted in the international guitar press as one of the world’s best guitarists, with a 50-album discography to back it up. Born in 1970 in Reading. Pa., Kotzen Kotzen moved to San Francisco at age 18, recording his first album at age 19 for metal mainstay label Shrapnel Records. Guitar World magazine readers proclaimed him one of the top three best new guitarists of 1989.
Kotzen’s big break came in 1991 when, at age 21, he joined multi-platinum glam rockers Poison, with whom he recorded 1993’s Native Tongue. The platinum album spawned two top-twenty singles written by Kotzen, “Stand” and “Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice).” Post-Poison, Kotzen recorded albums on Geffen, Shrapnel and JVC until 1999, when legendary jazz bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White invited him to form Vertu, which recorded an eponymous album that year and toured Europe extensively. Later in 1999, Kotzen joined hugely popular rock band Mr Big, recording Get Over It (1999) and Actual Size (2001) and penning his first number-one single in Japan, “Shine.”
Kotzen is one of the few artists to have two signature model Fender guitars in Japan; a Telecaster and a Stratocaster bearing his name have each been top sellers in Japan since they were introduced in 1995. Richie Kotzen’s latest release is titled ’24 Hours’
Lennard Promotions Proudly Present:
With Special Guest Richie Kotzen
Australian Tour 2013
11TH APRIL EATON HILLS HOTEL, BRISBANE
www.eatonshillhotel.oztix.com.au /Phone 07 3325 6777
www.oztix.com.au / Phone 1300 762 545
12TH APRIL PANTHERS, NEWCASTLE
www.moshtix.com.au / Phone 1300 438 849
13TH APRIL ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY
www.ticketek.com.au / Phone 132849
16TH APRIL METRO CITY, PERTH
www.oztix.com.au / Phone 1300 762 545
19TH APRIL PALACE THEATRE, MELBOURNE
www.ticketmaster.com.au / Phone 136 100
20TH APRIL THEBARTON THEATRE,. ADELAIDE
www.venuetix.com.au / Phone 08 8225 8888
Guitar companies tread a fine line when designing a single cutaway guitar. One certain company pretty much cornered the market with a design dating back to the early 50s, and anything you try to do will either come off as trying too hard to do something different to that instrument, or will just look like a mere copy. Washburn have attempted to find the middle ground with the WIN STD, part of their Idol series. Its outline is a little more squared off than that other instrument, and there are plenty of other cosmetic touches that make sure you know it’s a Washburn, but there are enough echoes of what came before that the guitar feels like it has a bit of that history flowing through it too.
The Washburn WIN STD features a mahogany body with a maple cap, but by its very nature it’s not a particularly thick slab of maple. In fact, the guitar itself is very thin and light, one huge point of contrast to that old design from the 50s. The set neck is also mahogany, with a rosewood fretboard carrying 22 frets. The scale length is a to-be-expected 24.75″ length, while the strings pass over a Tune-O-Matic bridge on their way to a stop tailpiece. At the other end there’s a NuBone nut and chrome die cast tuners which turn terrifically smoothly and are great at holding their tuning. The fretboard inlays are pearl ‘wings’ and the headstock inlay is borrowed from Washburn’s classic acoustic guitars. The electronics consist of a three way pickup selector switch and a volume and tone control for each pickup. Those pickups, by the way, are a pair of Duncan USM humbuckers – the Duncan being Seymour Duncan, and the USM being US Music Corp, the parent company of Washburn.
I’m so glad this axe exists. The Washburn Nuno Bettencourt signature model deserves a seven-string variant. This guitar just makes so much sense: killer Stephens Extended Cutaway neck joint for those high notes, big reverse headstock for extra resonance and sustain on the low notes, Original Floyd Rose bridge, aged alder body, Buzz Feiten tuning system, and of course that finish (or lack thereof) which really allows the wood to breathe and the high end to sing out. It kills me that I can’t afford this axe right now, because I can already tell that it would make my life infinitely better in every conceivable way.
By the way, dig the fretwork on the pics below.
Nuno Bettencourt’s Signature with a Seventh String Twist
Upon one look at the Nuno Bettencourt Signature Series N7VINTAGE guitar, it is clear that the ingenuity and attention to detail that is synonymous with the Washburn name is still top notch. Offering the same sleek style that lovers of the guitar legend have become accustomed to, and increasing the versatility with the seventh string, this instrument enables players to harness Nuno’s unique tone.
Offering a slim, aged alder body with a Stephens® extended cutaway neck joint, this beauty plays like a breeze. In addition to its supreme comfort, the sound of this axe is a perfect replication of Bettencourt’s signature sound thanks to the Seymour Duncan® Distortion pickup in the bridge position and the Seymour Duncan® ’59 neck pickup. The extremely fast neck offers a 22 fret ebony fingerboard with a maple neck and the standard stunning reverse headstock. With the Buzz Feiten tuning system paired up with Original Floyd Rose® tremolo, this guitar can take the most vigorous of playing and remain perfectly in tune.
As with the N4VINTAGE in the same series, all hardware and parts on this guitar are aged to give the look of a guitar that has been owned for years. The N7VINTAGE can give players the freedom they need to explore, along with the added ability to sound tight and feel right while playing.
Just saw this one on Guitar Noize. It appears the Washburn N7 7-string that Nuno Bettencourt was rocking on Australian Idol with Rihanna is now available from the Washburn Custom Shop!
According to the Funky Munky Music forum, The stock N7 will have a Seymour Duncan Distortion humbucker in the bridge, instead of the Bill Lawrence L500 of the 6-string version. It will have an alder body, maple neck and ebony fretboard. Price will be $US2799.
The Charvel Surfcaster debuted in 1992 and at the time it was a bit of an anachronism. A little too early to cash in on the grunge-inspired attraction to vintage designs, and a little too late for the kind of clean-toned, ‘The Cure’ type tones it excelled at, the Surfcaster’s most notable user was probably Anthrax’s Scott Ian, who used one for the clean tones in the track ‘Black Lodge’ from The Sound Of White Noise and was pictured with one on the cover of a 1993 edition of Guitar World. These semi-hollow, lipstick pickup-toting axes never quite got the respect they deserved, although those who did buy them evidently loved them because it’s quite rare to see them on the used market. When you do find them, expect to pay around USD$1,000. The Surfcaster design lived on until 2005, by which time it had been shifted to sister company Jackson, with production moved from Japan to India. Personally I’d love to see Surfcasters return to regular production under Charvel.
I love these retro designs. The SGV series was probably a bit to wild for most players, with its slight upside-down melted Rickenbacker bass look and unconventional whammy bridge which worked great when you gave it a little TLC but was maybe a little too high maintenance for some. The SGV-800 (and the more upscale SGV-1200) had a pair of P90-style single coils which were fat and growly. The SGV-700 (and lower-priced little buddy the SGV-300) rocked a smaller single coil and a very unique humbucker. The retro/modern look wasn’t lost on Meegs from Coal Chamber, who used a black custom shop SGV with twin humbuckers, a fixed bridge, drop-tuning lever on the low E string, and number-shaped fretboard position markers, Jason Becker-style. You can find SGVs on eBay and in pawnshops pretty regularly and while they were underappreciated in their day, a little set-up know-how makes them a bargain well worth seeking out today.
Washburn Steve Stevens
These models were advertised somewhat heavily in the guitar magazines when Stevens was a member of Motley Crue singer Vince Neil’s solo band circa 1993. I remember seeing the truss rod adjustment at the base of the neck, as well as the 2-humbucker, 1 volume, 1 tone control layout and thinking “Dude’s trying to make a Strat-style guitar out of an Ernie Ball Music Man Edward Van Halen.” Funnily enough, by the time the Vince Neil tour rolled around, Stevens was playing… Ernie Ball Music Man Edward Van Halens. There were three versions of Washburn’s Steve Stevens signature guitar: two Chicago custom shop-built models (the SS80 and SS100) and the Korean-made SS40. The SS100 had a white front with a Frankenstein graphic and black back and sides, while the SS80 was solid black. Pickups were a set of slanted Seymour Duncan JBs, and the body wood was poplar. Check out this old-school Washburn advertisement.
CLICK HERE to see Yamaha SGV guitars on eBay.
Fender Tommy Emmanuel Telecaster
Tommy Emmanuel is well known for his amazing acoustic playing, but those who started following Tommy’s career in recent years might be surprised to know he once had a signature Fender Telecaster. Very similar in design to Fender’s Nashville Telecaster, this Mexico-made axe was made exclusively for the Australian market, and it added a Strat-style middle single coil to the traditional Telecaster layout. It also had a six saddle bridge with old-school saddles (not those big flat ones like you see on Deluxe series Fenders), and a blue finish which recalled, without directly copying, Tommy’s blue Fender Custom Shop Telecaster, which had three black Bartolini single coils and white body binding. Tommy’s main Telecaster squeeze though was a gorgeous 66 Custom, also with Bartolonis. See that one here. (Fender Tommy Emmanuel Telecaster photo from the Fendertalk forums).
Ibanez Steve Lukather (SL1010SL)
Steve Lukather’s current Ernie Ball Music Man signature is so kickass a guitar that it’s easy to forget that in the early-mid 80s he had a signature Ibanez. Part of the Roadstar II series, Luke’s model featured a carved birdseye maple top on a basswood body, a maple neck with ebony fretboard, two Ibanez humbuckers (a Super 58 in the neck and an SL Special – essentially an overwound Super 58 – in the bridge position), 22 frets, subtle cross inlays, coil splitting performed via the volume and tone pots, and the much-maligned Pro Rock’r bridge, which had a locking nut and fine tuners but wasn’t as stable as Ibanez’s later Edge series models.
PRS Guitars is proud to welcome Black Label Society Guitarist Nick “Evil Twin” Catanese as the newest member of the PRS artist family. Years ago Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde dubbed Catanese “Evil Twin” in honor of his epic musical chops that kept the pace with Wylde’s intense live and studio performances. Nick has been with Zakk for the last 13 years and has not only toured the world over numerous times, but has contributed to two live DVD releases, nine studio releases and has hailed the stage for too many Ozzfests to count. Nick has also formed a band with Mike Stone from Queensrÿche (guitar and vocals) Josh Sattler (bass) of DoubleDrive and drummer Mike Froedge of Doubledrive. Their debut album will be released sometime by mid 2009 under the band name Speed X. PRS is thrilled to have Nick join the team and is looking forward to making guitars he can shred to his heart’s content.
CLICK HERE to look for the Washburn Nick Catanese model on eBay, since I guess they’ve gotta stop making it now!
Boogie Street is commissioning several runs of these High Gloss Padauk N4s. Each run will be a numbered run of 7 guitars, and each run will be slightly different in hardware color and/or other subtle differences. They will all feature a high gloss Padauk N4 body and an oil finish padauk neck, plus Nuno’s specs including the Bill Lawrence Bridge humbucker and the Seymour Duncan ‘59 in the neck.
A factory hardshell case is included, as is a Nuno-signed extra blackplate, a Washburn/Boogie Street Guitars/Nuno dealer banner, and a 10 x 16 full colour certificate of authenticity, signed by Washburn USA Custom Shop director Terry Atkins, as well as by Eric McKenna from Boogie Street.
Hit up Boogie Street Guitars for more info.
CLICK HERE to buy Extreme’s new album, Saudades de Rock and CLICK HERE for a recent I Heart Guitar story about the Washburn N3 Nuno Bettencourt limited edition and Nuno’s new signature Randall amp.
Nuno Bettencourt’s signature Randall amplifier will be officially unveiled at Winter NAMM in January 2009, but Nuno fans won’t have to wait until then to snag a unique piece of signature gear.
As posted at the Extreme band forums, Funky Munky Music is awaiting delivery of a very limited run Washburn N3, based on Nuno’s third ever Washburn prototype, which had a maple fretboard and two Bill Lawrence L500 pickups. The standard Nuno model, the N4, has a Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck in addition to a bridge L500.
There was a Korean-produced model called the N3 for a while, but the new limited edition N3s are made in the USA. They have 22 frets, unlike Nuno’s original which had 24, and feature an original Floyd Rose bridge, a birdseye maple neck and fretboard, the original 1 5/8” nut width, and the original N4 neck profile. Interestingly, at the Extreme forum, Funky Munky says Nuno asked Washburn to revert the neck profile of the N4 to the original shape within the last month or so, and change the nut width to 1 5/8” instead of the current 1 11/16” nut width.
The new N3 will be available in relic and non-relic versions, and the holographic N3 sticker will be included as case candy, so buyers have a choice over whether they put the sticker on or not.
As for that Randall amp, in an official press release Nuno says “There is a reason that I have never endorsed any amplifier company exclusively. Because I have always had to jump back and forth from amp to amp. One for rhythm, Another for solos. A different amp on every recording and tour, constantly searching, unsatisfied. Always good, but not great. Never finding that perfect tone. There was always something missing. Basically, I gave in and truly believed that Marshall would be the staple to fall back on… The Constant.”
“I’ve worked on this amp for over three years. We’ve delayed release of the amp until it was perfect. Until now. The words “I’ve got an amp that I will put my name on and have put it up against any other amplifier and blew them away.” I thought those words would not come out of my mouth. But they have. And it’s true. I’ve worked on this amp for over three years. We’ve delayed release of the amp until it was perfect. Mission accomplished. It’s not fancy. It just sounds killer. It’s a workhorse. One clean channel. One dirty channel. And a boost solo channel, with its own volume and drive controls, because when it’s time to let loose, you should be heard loud and clear.
As a bonus, it looks like no other amp and cabinet before it… the look takes the past into the future.”
I found the image of the amp at the What’s That Dude Play? blog.
For more about the very interesting saga of Bill Lawrence pickups, check out the Bill Lawrence Review website.