Aristocrats DVD, plus Guthrie talks Charvel

The Aristocrats – Bryan Beller, Guthrie Govan and Marco Minnemann – are preparing to release their very first live CD and DVD, BOING, We’ll Do It Live!, just in time to awesomize the holidaysfor musicians everywhere. And get this: the 5.1 surround audio mix was done by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree!

I was lucky enough to catch the Aristocrats’ very first gig back before they even had a name, and I can’t wait to crank the new DVD up to neighbour-enraging levels at home. There’s more info about the DVD below, but before we get to that, Guthrie has shared a few words on the custom Charvel he’s been seen playing recently.

He says:

“Hello! Guthrie here, with a somewhat boring (but apparently necessary!) update… and a pretty picture ;-)

Well… the guitar I’ve been using lately has apparently caused something of a stir in certain sectors of the online community, so I figured it might be helpful if I explained what’s actually going on. Read More …

COOL GEAR ALERT: GJ2 Guitars Arete 3 Star

In response to demand for a stripped down version of a GJ2 Guitars‘ Arete model at a more accessible price point, the company has just announced the Arete 3 Star. It may look stripped back but this guitar still holds true to all of their values and attributes, including being manufactured in Orange County, California; neck through body construction using premium tone woods; GJ2’s own “Habanero” pickups and in-house made components. Each guitar is made in the same way as the premium models under the direct supervision of Grover Jackson himself. Read More …

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar signature model!

Whoa! MusicRadar and Total Guitar have a heck of a scoop: Fender is releasing a Kurt Cobain signature Jaguar to commemorate 20 years since the release of Nevermind. The guitar is just like the 1965 Jag that Kurt used, and is authentically tricked out with DiMarzio PAF and Super Distortion humbuckers, a second volume control, black three-position toggle switch and a chrome Gotoh bridge. It has a Strat-sized headstock and a non-period-correct ‘spaghetti’ logo. It’ll be available in both lefty and righty models.

Check out Music Radar for more info, and look for the full story in issue 220 of Total Guitar magazine, out on October 3. I know, I know, October 3 is still over a month away. Put a reminder in your phone!

FEATURE: 8 Is Enough… for now – Production 8-string guitars

The 8 string electric guitar isn’t a totally new phenomenon – Meshuggah fans have been lusting after their own readily available version for years now – but since Ibanez made the brave move into the mass-produced world of the low F# string, other companies have stepped up with their own monstrous creations. Here are a few readily available production 8 strings. All feature EMG 808 active pickups, and all are tuned F#-B-E-A-D-G-B-E at the factory, but of course you’re free to come up with your own tunings. Personally, I’d probably drop the F# down to E. You’ve already gone down that far, why not get all the way down to bass territory? Then again, following that philosophy, I’d probably want a 9 string so I can go as low as a 5 string bass… Hehehe.

Ibanez RG2228
basswood body, 5-piece maple/wenge neck w/rosewood fretboard,
24 jumbo frets
27” Scale
Gotoh Tuners
Edge III-8 fixed bridge,
2x EMG 808 pickups

CLICK HERE to see the Ibanez RG2228 on eBay.

Basswood Body, Maple Neck w/ Rosewood Fretboard
24 XJ Frets
25.5″ Scale
Grover Tuners
Hipshot Fixed Bridge
EMG 808 pickups

CLICK HERE to see the ESP LTD FM-418 on eBay.

Schecter Hellraiser C-8
Manhgay body, Mahogany Neck w/Rosewood Fretboard
26.5” Scale
Schecter Locking Tuners
Hipshot Fixed Bridge
EMG 808 Pickups

CLICK HERE to see the Schecter Hellraiser C-8 on eBay.

HALLOWEEN BRUTALITY – ESP George Lynch Skulls & Snakes

Here’s another one that goes back to my very first guitar magazine, the March 1991 issue of Guitar World with ZZ Top on the cover. George Lynch appeared in a Seymour Duncan ad for his Screamin’ Demon pickup, posing with this guitar. Naturally it was the coolest f***ing thing in the world to my 13-year-old self, and I’ve never stopped lusting after this guitar.

Features include a blot-on maple neck on an alder body, rosewood fretboard, 45mm neck width, George’s custom neck conour, 22 extra jumbo frets, Gotoh tuners, Floyd Rose bridge, George’s Screamin’ Demon bridge pickup, and an ESP SH-100 Rail pickup in the neck position.

CLICK HERE to buy George Lynch’s 1993 solo album ‘Sacred Groove’

NEWS: Caparison Michael Romeo signature

Caparison’s signature model for Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo, the Dellinger-MJR Pro.White, arrives in stores this month. It’s based on Caparison’s Dellinger model, with a few custom touches. It includes a Dimarzio Tone Zone humbucker in the neck, and a Dimarzio X2N humbucker in the bridge.

The tuners are cosmo black Gotohs, while the bridge is a black Schaller Floyd Rose-type locking unit. The body is made of mahogany, and the maple neck is carved to Romeo’s specs. The guitar’s only available in ‘Pro.White,’ with a black headstock. Caparison says the finish is the company’s original process which helps emphasise mid and low range frequencies. The control layout is pretty simple: A single volume pot, and a 3 way pickup selector switch. 

Romeo used the guitar on Symphony X’s latest album, Paradise Lost. While the build quality, playability and sound are no doubt top level, the mismatched hardware colours and non-matching humbucker bobbins kinda make this one look like a parts guitar to my eyes. It’s kinda surprising that Romeo didn’t take the opportunity to go all out with a more distinctive design. What do I Heart Guitar readers think?

CLICK HERE to buy the latest Symphony X album, Paradise Lost

GEAR: Strociek TurboTrem

Check out this wacky little innovation. Ever busted a string on a guitar with a Floyd Rose trem, and been unable to locate an allen wrench to fix it? A company called Strociek has designed the TurboTrem series of replacement whammy bars based on several popular models, with a hidden feature: a 3mm allen wrench built into the base of the bar. Now if you pop a string, just remove the whammy bar and use the screw/push-in end as an allen wrench. Genius!

Strociek currently offers 3 models of TurboTrem: threaded, collared, and pop-in. The company says the TurboTrem is compatible with any Kahler tremolo system and all original and licensed Floyd Rose single and double locking tremolo systems, such as the Ibanez Edge series, Schaller, Gotoh, ESP, Peavey, Jackson and Charvel and more.