Electric Sound Products (ESP) Company was created in the year 1975 by Hisatake Shibuya, a resident as well as a businessman from Tokyo, Japan. Shibuya started as a manufacturer and a producer for the replacement parts of guitars. This firm was very well known for the high-quality parts. After a year of gaining such reputation, ESP started to engage with the designing and creation of guitars. ESP entered the Japanese market, later expanded and took their chances into the global market of guitar industry. Entering the US market in the year 1983, ESP Company started designing for local artists in New York from 1984 to 1985 where they had already introduced about 400 Series as their primary introduction of products in the US market.
Among the local artists were Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, Page Hamilton of Helmet, Bruce Kulick of KISS, Vernon Reid of Living Colour and Vinnie Vincent. Creating and producing guitars for these artists was there effective way of becoming more popular with bands from other countries. At the same time, ESP Company also started to make the necks and bodies of Kramer. During a tour in Tokyo in the year 1986, George Lynch found out about ESP guitars when he walked into one of the shops, looked around for a replacement part and later, he found out that ESP Company is able to customize guitars. Read more
There is a lot of fuss made in the guitar community about so-called ‘vintage’ guitars, ‘vintage’ being another word for ‘old’. There is a certain part of our world that longs to play a 30-, 40-, or even 50-year-old guitar or bass for a variety of reasons. To be honest, there is something to this argument when it is applied to instruments that truly are products of what many to be the ‘golden era’ of guitar production in the USA which, if we combine acoustic and electric guitars, would be roughly from the 1920’s to about 1970.
When you take the amp that has been the source of pure rock and roll crunch for decades and mix it with one of the most powerful metal guitarists ever to unleash havoc on this planet, what do you get?
Give up? How about Marshall’s 2203KK. What’s the ‘KK’ for? Why, the loveable Mr. Kerry King from Slayer, of course! Did I say ‘loveable’? OK, perhaps not so much, but this amp sure is!
Many guitar players tend to make a certain face when they hear the word “Squier”. It’s the same face you make when someone says “telemarketing job” or “infomercials”. Forever destined to be the Yugo of the music world, the good folks overseas who make Squier guitars for Fender have pushed out a new model that is already changing the minds of those who put their hands on it: The new Squier Bullet Strat HH. Read more
Most of us readers at Gear Vault remember what age we started playing guitar and what kind of guitar we played. But many parents are stumped on which kids guitar to get their youngster. Rather then buy your child the ever so popular ‘Guitar Hero’ TV game system, why not persuade them to play the most popular American instrument, the guitar. Hopefully this article will shred light on a difficult decision on which kids guitar to purchase. Read more
You are true blue musician, a lover of all things sound related, and a consummate professional. Naturally, you’re going to want to destroy your guitar or instrument as part of your live show. Read more
When considering which overdrive pedals belong on the Mount Rushmore of guitar gear, we here at Gear-Vault took one major consideration into account, which is tone. Let’s face it – overdrive is overdrive, and has been since studio musician Grady Martin continued playing despite a faulty pre-amp circuit in the console of a Nashville recording studio in 1961. The nuances of distortion, and opinions about its place in music, have been fine-tuned ever since. This list leans toward pedals that the average musician can afford – the exotic special effects pedals that so few serious artists ever really use anyway are excluded. This list is intended to let you know which pedals might be best for your sound, with the number of pedals sold not having too much influence on their ranking. One caveat for all: None of the following pedals come with earplugs, the use of which is strongly encouraged for the proper use of these smoking guns. In reverse order: Read more
The Victoria Amplifier Company is know far and wide for crafting some of the finest tube amps available today. Company founder/tone guru Mark Baier has a sterling reputation for his 50’s Fender Tweed recreations as well as his original amp designs and has seen his amps used by players like Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Steve Cropper, Charlie Hunter, and Greg Koch.
One of Victoria’s most popular models is the 518, which is Vic’s version of a 50’s Fender Tweed Champ. It delivers five blistering watts into a single eight-inch speaker via a 5F1-type circuit. Tubes employed on the Victoria 518 are one 5Y3WGTA, one 6V6GT, and one 12AX7. The speaker is either a Jensen P8R or C8R. The 518 is as pure and simple as an amp gets, with only one knob on its control panel that turns it on and controls its volume. There are no EQ knobs of any kind. The tone coming out is determined by what kind of guitar is plugged into it. Read more