Meet The Fender Ultra Luxe Series

Today, Fender is unveiling the American Ultra Luxe series for players who demand the ultimate in performance and tone with the most advanced series of guitars and basses.

The addition of four new American Ultra Luxe models in 2021 will bring the guitar playing experience up a major notch.  These elevated models in this series feature versatile, state-of-the-art specs that will inspire players to push their skills to new heights. 

The American Ultra Luxe series features a unique Augmented “D” neck profile with Ultra rolled fingerboard edges for endless playing comfort and a tapered neck heel that allows easy access to the highest register. A speedy 10”-14” compound-radius fingerboard with 22 stainless steel medium-jumbo frets means effortless and accurate soloing.

Models include:  

·         American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster® ($4,499 AUD). The American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster features Ultra NoiselessTM Vintage pickups and advanced wiring options providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. Available in 2-Color Sunburst (Rosewood fingerboard) and  2-Color Sunburst and Plasma Red Burst (Maple fingerboard). 

·         American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster® Floyd Rose® HSS ($4,699 AUD). The American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Floyd Rose HSS features Ultra NoiselessTM Hot single-coil pickups and Ultra Double TapTM humbucking pickup, along with advanced wiring options, providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. The Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system allows for precision vibrato effects while staying perfectly in tune. Available in Silverburst (Maple fingerboard) and Mystic Black (Rosewood fingerboard).

·         American Ultra Luxe Telecaster® ($4,499 AUD) This model features Ultra NoiselessTM Vintage pickups and advanced wiring options providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. Available in Transparent Surf Green and 2-Color Sunburst. Available April. 

·         American Ultra Luxe Telecaster® Floyd Rose® HH ($4,699 AUD) Featuring an Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system, stainless-steel frets and eye-catching custom colors with matching painted headcaps, the American Ultra Luxe Telecaster Floyd Rose HH is Ultra – elevated. This model features Custom Double TapTM humbucking pickups and advanced wiring options, providing endless tonal possibilities  – without hum. The Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system allows for precision vibrato effects while staying perfectly in tune. The sculpted rear body contours are as beautiful as they are functional. Available in Mystic Black (Maple Fingerboard).

Meet the new Kiesel Jason Becker guitar

Here’s Kiesel’s latest collaboration with Jason Becker: the Yin Yang Tribute Guitar. Unlike other Kiesel Jason Becker guitars, which are all made based on instruments Jason played, the Yin Yang guitar is a new design, for which Jason took colour inspiration from Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Strat while developing a very modern shred-friendly instrument.

“Although I love the meaning of unity/duality in the yin yang symbol, my desire to design a guitar like this came from my love of Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ guitar,” Jason says. “When I was 9, I saw The Band’s movie, The Last Waltz. Clapton and Robbie Robertson made me want to become a lead guitarist. I eventually got a black and white Strat in junior high and used it on Cacophony’s first album, Speed Metal Symphony.

“This yin yang design of mine was meant to capture the look of Clapton’s Blackie. To me, every line and curve is beautiful. I worked really hard on getting the perfect balance of black and white and artistic movement. My caregivers followed my picky requests. Without copying a Strat, it feels just as cool or cooler. The neck is the same size as my original Bluey, so I know it feels good. I am so grateful to Kiesel Guitars for bringing my design to life.”

From the Kiesel website:

The Jason Becker Yin Yang Tribute guitar has an mahogany body with a black/white Yin Yang finish on the front, and black back and sides with a clear gloss top coat. Mahogany is a medium weight high-quality tone wood used for its fine resonating warm tone. The bolt-on Eastern hard rock maple neck has a tung-oil finish and thinner neck profile ideal for fast playing. All of our necks and fingerboards undergo a long conditioning process in our de-humidification chambers to remove any stress in the wood and prevent future warping or twisting. Additionally, the dual-action, fully adjustable truss rod helps keep the neck straight and true, and allows you to set the action just the way you like it. Dual carbon-fiber rods further strengthen the neck.

The JBYY has a reverse inline angled pointed headstock, with black finish and white Kiesel headstock logo. Jason’s exclusive multilaminate Jason Becker truss rod cover, in white, is installed. A locking nut for the Floyd Rose tremolo is standard.

The standard roasted flamed maple fingerboard features a 24.75″ scale length, with exclusive matching Yin Yang dot inlays. Luminlay SuperBlue glow-in-the-dark side dots are also a standard feature. Stainless steel jumbo frets are standard equipment.

Kiesel Guitars new M12SD humbucker with black polepieces is installed in the bridge position. This pickup is similar in tone to the original M22SD pickup found in Jason’s original guitars from the 1990s. The coils are black and white zebra, to match the aesthetic of the rest of the instrument. Our new Mark’s Single pickup, with white coil, is installed in the neck position. Electronics are passive, with a 5-way pickup selector switch and master volume and tone controls with white knobs.

Charvel releases Henrik Danhage sig

CHARVEL® PROUDLY RELEASES THE HENRIK DANHAGE LIMITED EDITION SIGNATURE PRO-MOD SO-CAL STYLE 1

Scottsdale, Ariz. (October 23, 2020) – Charvel® today announces the release of the Henrik Danhage Limited Edition Signature Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1.

Danhage has provided the battering riffs for Swedish progressive heavy metal band Evergrey for nearly two decades, and Charvel is proud to honor the distinct axeman with his very own signature model.

“It started with Charvel for me back in ’86 or ’87 when I saw a Charvel and Jackson ad in Guitar World,” said Danhage. “I was a little kid then and all of the guys that were in there were some of my favorite players and they looked so cool with the big hair and all the custom guitars. It was the best ad I’ve seen in my whole life as a matter of fact, but I was more attracted to Charvel and those kind of guitars – with a bolt-on neck, 22 frets, Charvel logo, a Floyd.

“I began working with Charvel in 2010. I left the company I was working with at the time to finally getting my Charvel and it’s been really good. Ten years later I am sitting here with my own signature model. That is pretty awesome if you think about it.”

Danhage’s signature model features an ash body and a bolt-on maple neck with graphite-reinforcement rods that provide superior support against bending and extreme environmental fluctuations. A 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard with comfortable rolled edges, 22 jumbo frets and black dot inlays provides the ideal surface for brazen riffing and precise chording, while a heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel allows for quick and easy neck relief tweaks on the fly.

A Seymour Duncan® JB™ TB-4 bridge pickup is a well-versed, high output humbucker ideal for crunchy rock ‘n’ roll or blistering metal attitude, while the DiMarzio® Area 67™ DP419CR single-coil neck pickup shines with bright and shimmering clean tones.

The single white Strat®-style skirt volume knob houses a push/push selector for switching between the bridge and neck pickups, while a top-mount Floyd Rose® 1000 Series double-locking tremolo bridge system keeps this axe in tune throughout daring dive bombs and aggressive styles of playing.

As if it’s actually been through 20 years of touring with the Evergrey guitarist, the Henrik Danhage Limited Edition Signature Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 sports a heavy White Relic finish topped with a 3-ply white pickguard, chrome hardware and relic’d neck, fingerboard and reverse licensed Fender® Strat headstock.

Watch Danhage’s deep-dive video discussion about his love for Charvel, new signature model, influences and upcoming album here.

Jackson upgrades Adrian Smith USA models

JACKSON® ANNOUNCES UPGRADES TO ADRIAN SMITH SIGNATURE USA MODELS

Scottsdale, Ariz. (July 01, 2020) – Jackson® today announces the refresh of Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith’s signature lineup with a key upgrade to both the USA Signature Adrian Smith San Dimas® SD and USA Signature Adrian Smith San Dimas SDM models.

Iron Maiden is one of the most successful and influential metal bands ever, and Adrian Smith’s molten yet melodic guitar work has long been a driving force behind their distinctive and dynamic sound. With timeless songwriting and thrilling live performances, Maiden continues to record, tour internationally and rock stadiums everywhere with electrifying prowess and unwavering heavy metal passion.

Designed for Smith’s demanding studio and live needs, the USA Signature Adrian Smith San Dimas® SD and USA Signature Adrian Smith San Dimas SDM feature a resonant, lightweight alder body and a bolt-on quartersawn maple neck with a hand-rubbed urethane back finish for smooth playability and a pair of graphite-reinforcement rods that refuse to budge, no matter the environmental stress it’s exposed to. Featuring 22 jumbo frets and dot inlays, the 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard is the ideal platform for heavy chording and fast, ripping solos.

Considering Iron Maiden’s relentless touring regiment, Smith wished to update these models with a heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel to make neck relief tweaks much more convenient.

“The nice thing is I pick one of these guitars out of the box and it’s like putting on a comfortable pair of jeans,” said Smith. “Right away, I am totally comfortable with it, but it has the new feature of the adjustable truss rod thumbwheel so instead of having to take the neck off, you can just adjust it, which is a great feature.”

A DiMarzio® Super Distortion® DP100 humbucker in the bridge adds the perfect blend of power and tone, with thick, boosted mids, big lows and fat highs, while Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Single-Coil Strat® middle and neck pickups deliver authentic, noise-free Stratocaster® snap with incredible dynamic and magnetic response. A five-way blade selector switch along with single volume and tone controls open up endless tonal possibilities, while the Floyd Rose® Original double-locking tremolo system keeps the guitar in tune through the roughest playing, set after set.

“I’m really sensitive about tuning,” said Smith. “I drive everyone crazy when we are recording because if it isn’t dead in tune it upsets me but with the locking trems and everything else, it sort of answered my prayers because it meant I could play a whole show with the same guitar and keep perfectly in tune.”

Groomed for high performance, these signature axes are wrapped in a classic Snow White finish with a licensed Fender® Strat headstock and black hardware. The SDM features a maple fingerboard and black pickguard, while the SD features an ebony fingerboard and white pickguard.

Watch Adrian Smith discuss his Jackson guitars here, and for more information or to find an authorized Jackson dealer, visit www.jacksonguitars.com.

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ABOUT JACKSON®: Jackson began back in the late 1970s, when heavy music experienced a flamboyant and virtuosic resurgence in popularity and a small Southern California guitar repair shop became the epicenter of a new level of shred-approved excellence. Ever since then, Jackson guitars have been universally lauded as the metal guitars; the shred machines—highly original high-performance instruments of distinctive style and formidable substance. From metal’s chart-topping peaks to its darkest recesses, for discerning guitarists all over the globe, Jackson is the only way to go.

ABOUT FENDER® MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION: Since 1946, Fender® has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.

PRS Introduces Vernon Reid Signature Model

Vernon Reid is one of my favourite guitarists, and a damn nice guy as well. He’s been playing PRS Guitars for a few years now and has solidified his partnership with the company via a new limited edition signature model, the S2 VR Vela. I love so many things about this guitar, from the Floyd Rose to the pickguard to the choice of colours. And I can’t wait to hear it in action on Living Colour’s new record, Shade, out next month. Here’s the press release. 

(STEVENSVILLE, MD) August 8, 2017 – PRS Guitars is pleased to announce a new limited edition model in the S2 series of US made electric guitars: The S2 VR Vela. Developed with Living Colour founder, Vernon Reid, the VR Vela is a commanding instrument with a cult personality and tons of tonal textures. Read More …