Two of the most revered guitar players in the blues/rock universe are Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Both men helped define the sounds of their respective eras and are icons of the instrument and are most likely responsible for launching more guitar-playing careers (both real and air) than any post-Beatle guitarist outside of Eddie Van Halen. Today, however, your humble man of letters here at Gear-Vault has been given the difficult task of pitting Jimi and SRV in a head-to-head battle for musical supremacy, which is truly no easy task. In the flyover, both man share many similar qualities, from their explosions into public consciousness to their preference for Fender Stratocasters to their untimely deaths. When examined more closely, however, there are some major differences between the two that just might give one the edge over the other. Want to watch the fur fly? Keep reading. Read more
Carvin SH550 Electric Guitar Review — Carvin had a long tradition of producing semi-hollow-body guitars dating back in the 1950‘s. The companies newest edition was introduced in 2008, named the SH550 (SH stands for semi hollow), this model has a carved top and it is a true precision semi-hollow custom shop masterpiece.
Semi-hollow body guitars are suitable for legendary artists such as B. B. King, Ted Nugent, Steve Howe (Yes) and Alex Lifeson (Rush). These legends have relied on hollow guitars as mainstays of their respective guitar arsenals.
The Carvin SH550 AAAA flamed maple is the standard top, yes, we said “AAAA“ maple top, and unlike most “archtop” style guitars, the SH550 features an actual carved top. In addition, you can also choose an optional AAAA quilted maple top or a flamed koa top.
The top starts out as a 2″ thick slab of solid curly flamed maple wood. After the top is bookmatched, it is top sculpted, and the underside of the top is also carved to follow the contour of the top, while increasing the overall size of the sound chamber to improve the tonal characteristics of the instrument. Read more
As you probably already know, I’m a poor broke bastard and can’t afford a $1400 guitar, let alone a $48,000 acoustic guitar. But hey, they are fun to look at, right?
Martin says the D-45 Authentic is made exactly like the original 91 pre-war D-45 Dreadnoughts. I think what Martin is hoping for is that the D-45 Authentic becomes the next “Holy Grail” of acoustic guitars, which I guess could happen someday in the far future. Hell, it is speculated that Hard Rock Cafe in Boston dropped a 1,000,000,000 big ones on Keith Richards 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Perhaps it is possible that someday our great, great, great grandkids will get to see a rare D-45 at some Hardrock Cafe in a glass case somewhere. It does sound amazing, you can hear it in the video below. Read more
Fender first revealed the Road Worn Series guitars and basses at the Winter NAMM 2009 show four years ago, and seemed to have been a hit. These axes are for players who desire that banged up, beaten, used and abused vintage relic’d appearance but don’t have the spare $2,000 – $3,000 for a Fender Custom Shop Time Machine relic, let alone the cash to purchase an authentic vintage Fender. Read more
Schecter Guitar Research have officially joined forces with Disturbed guitarist, Dan Donegan. Dan first debuted his signature guitar at the 2009 winter NAMM show. While I’m not a huge fan of Schecter, I was excited to see how this ax turned out. Fast forward 4 years… Read more
When you decide that you’re serious about learning how to play music on guitar, then my advice would be to learn as many of your favorite songs as you can. You should target easy songs and progress your way up to more difficult music. Make sure you have a CD or mp3 of the song available so you can play along with it; this will help you build structure and timing.
There are cool programs and tools available at your local music store which allows you to slow down the music, which slowly helps you build your speed and timing up. Do a search here on Gear-Vault.com for training gear to learn with, we have gobs of reviews.
As mentioned, I can’t stress enough that learning easy songs to begin with will help you advance your skills. There are many great jams to choose from, your options are virtually endless, and, perhaps, subjective to some. Read more
In 1958, Gibson brought the ES-335 into the world in response to Jazz Players whose hollow-bodied git-boxes howled with feedback. Looking very much like a traditional thinline hollow body, the 335 had a center block of maple that cut feedback while it spawned a far-flung family of subtle, genetic variation, such as Gibson’s Vintage ES-345, ES-347, ES-350 and ES-355 models, Epiphone’s Sheraton, Casino and Riviera guitars and a slew of close relatives and out-and-out clones by virtually every guitar maker in existence. Read more
Jackson guitars have always offered aggressive looks and sound coupled with high-quality workmanship. Their KE Pro series brings all the upscale Jackson elements to a very attractive price point. Based on the Kelly, the KE3 has a sharply chiseled Explorer-like body shape, with Jackson’s signature pointy headstock. The nearly -$1,400 difference between Marty Friedman’s favorite axe and the KE3 is really not so huge: the tremolo is a JT580LP Floyd Rose License, not original; the pickups are Seymour Duncan’s Jazz and JB and the neck is bolted on, all of which add up to a great deal.
The Jackson KE3 has an alder body and a maple neck of wide, oval proportions. The headstock is attached with a scarf joint behind the fist two frets, adding strength at the nut—an important detail when dealing with the extra routing necessary to accommodate a locking nut. The rosewood fretboard is fitted with 24 wide, near-jumbo frets, which are superbly crowned and polished. Jackson’s trademark “shark fin” inlays, done in a rich pearloid plastic, are inlaid to the neck with admirable neatness. Our review model arrived dressed in Black (Transparent Red, Blue and Black are also available as well as Cobalt Blue, Swirl and Skulls), all black hardware, including black tuners, and black locking nut and tremolo and a single black volume knob.
Plugged in, the KE3 really came to life. The Seymour Duncan Jazz SH2N and JB TB4 pickups, in neck and bridge position respectively, are bold and brawny, high-output humbuckers with a hard-assed bite that can be felt even through clean amp settings. But don’t peg them as one-trick ponies: each pickup alone offers some enticing colors, particularly with the volume rolled back a couple of notches, and the combinations of the two makes for a fine clean rhythm or lead tone.
But let’s face it, the axe was made to cut eardrums, and so most of my playing time was spent with the KE3 pumped through a Marshall JCM800 and a ProCo Rat distortion pedal. The resulting sound was capable of rearranging furniture and small pets in the house across the street. The bottom end on this guitar is something the U.N. should sanction. Muted rhythms take on a tribal percussiveness, and leads sound like they’re doubled with tap-dancing gorillas. The treble had to be rolled back a bit from my usual “everything on seven” setting, however, since a hint of microphonic squeal could be coaxed from the pickups with a tap of the pick. Still, the KE3 delivers some awesome muscularity along with radical good looks and solid craftsmanship.
For those who wish to single eyebrows and swill Jaegermeister on a Budweiser budget, Jackson’s KE3 Pro is your weapon of choice.
Jackson KE3 Guitar In Action!
Although its body is reminiscent of a chubby Fender Jaguar; the Fernandes Native Elite is a decidedly modern guitar with a little hi-tech voodoo-namely Fernandes’ proprietary Sustainer technology, which offers virtually limitless sustain and rich, controlled freedback. Based on the company’s highly popular alder-bodied Native Standard, the Fernandes Native Elite features a basswood body with a faux flame top in a black burst finish and a 25-1/2” scale maple bolt-on neck. The comfortably full, rosewood-capped neck is smoothly fretted and sports the locking nut portion of the Gotoh made, Floyd-licensed trem system. The generous pearloid pickguard houses the electronics, which include two humbuckers governed by a three-way switch, master tone and volume controls and the Sustainer system. Read more
Even if you’ve got all of the other required accouterments, you’ll be hard-pressed to make it big with that psychotically low, funky, hard-music grind that’s all the rage these days if you’re not packing a seven string. In the past, chugging on the low E string used to be enough to make you a contender. But now, with bands like Limp Bizkit mining sinister new veins of metal and settings a new standard for heaviness, you’re likely to be written off as a lightweight if you can’t summon up that deep, spongy rumble. Until recently Ibanez has been the only mass manufacturer of seven-string solidbodies, but the Schecter Diamond and Hellraiser Series offers a new, affordable contender for players who want to hit below the belt. Read more