GOMC Custom Road Cases – Ed Udhus Interview

custom road case gomc
 

When it comes to protective cases for transporting musical instruments from gig to gig, some musicians don’t have a lot of hang ups when it comes to how they transport their instruments, while others most certainly do. 

In fact, the more times you and your band take to the road, road cases for all your instruments become pretty much a necessity, helping to avoid almost certain damage if you’re just flinging your guitar in the back of the van in a soft un-protective case. 

A smashed up guitar, or any other instrument being half-destroyed, is not a way you want to start your next gig.  There are a thousand and one other ways to lose money while on tour…does wrecking your instruments while transporting them in between gigs have to be one of them?

damaged electric guitar

While some musicians are just not that careful with their gear, other musicians are well aware of the need to keep their valuables safe, and that’s where a good solid road case for pretty much all your gear comes in handy.

Today we’re talking to Ed Udhus of GOMC INC. Custom Road Cases, out of Fullerton, California, to get some info on the impressive road cases he and his company are able to produce, and get the lowdown on why a musician might like to have one.

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Enjoy the interview!  (Note – All images from the GOMC INC website)


GOMC INC Interview with Ed Udhus

What is your business and when did it start?

GOMC INC – We started in 2003.

What is the geographical range of your business, i.e. where do you ship to?

We ship cases all over USA and Canada.

gomc custom cases 1

What motivated you to start a business on custom road cases for musical instruments?

We started making cases for ourselves in our various touring bands that we were playing in and it kind of just kept going from there…( reel big fish, zebrahead, lit, death by stereo )

What did you see lacking in the music industry, especially in live gigging, that either bothered you or made you think you could do better than what was available?

It wasn’t that we thought we could do better. We just figured we could do it and save a couple of dollars in the process… and, as a bonus they would be really fun to make.

gomc dot tv road case

When it comes to guitar road cases, what makes a good guitar road case?

For a guitar case to be a good guitar case it needs to have a  few things from the ground up… needs to be durable, needs to be light weight and needs to be designed in such a way that it will protect the guitar when it is being beat up by a luggage handler… needs to be light enough to be checked onto an airplane without fees but strong enough to fall off the luggage cart and then get run over by the same luggage truck…we have seen that happen quite a few times..

So, you guys build guitar cases according to someone’s custom requests?

Yes we do make custom guitar cases to specific requests…We start with a couple of basics. Flight panel material, heavy duty aluminum extrusions and heavy duty parts… Customer can pick the color, they can also decide if they want a certain color fabric to cover the foam in the interior… As far as custom guitar cases go… We do the single cases. We do a double case with removable inserts.  We will take an existing I series SKB case and mod it out to fit 2 guitars with our inserts… we make 2,3,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, and 12 space vaults…. When it comes to guitar cases we will make anything the customer can dream of…

What’s the most expensive guitar case you’ve ever designed and who was it for? 

We have done quite a few display / transit vaults. These things can be used as museum displays with plexi lids and or trade the lids out for standard lids and ship them to the next show. Some of them can get pretty elaborate with all kinds of extras. Power LED lights on a remote with different colored custom fabrics etc. The sky is the limit. Being a guitar collector myself, I know guitar lovers LOVE their guitars and will do whatever it takes to make sure they are safe…

custom guitar case

What are the most common customizations you get from customers?

Most common lately is 2 space fly vault… Customer can have a 2 space made that will house 2 guitars. Many different styles will fit and they can fly with them. Switch out guitars when they want to and it is a very convenient case for the price. We used to do a ton of the 3 space versions but, as airlines make it tougher the check large things on a lot of customers have switched to the 2 space versions.

What’s the first thing that breaks down or becomes ineffective with a typical guitar case and how do you deal with that problem?

On the 2 and 3 space fly vaults we have had issues in the past with wheels breaking or breaking off. Over the years we have had to come up with better versions of that that are more rugged and we have done a pretty good job with that to date…

What are the least practical, and perhaps therefore most “rock star” thing anyone’s ever requested you make for them?

We do not judge… We have made cases for everything you can think of. If someone wants it then it is a valid request. We have made cases for bars, for alcohol bottles, for vanity mirrors, hidden compartments for who know what (not our business) nitrous bottles, whip cream bottles, weapons of every single kind. You name it and we have made a case for it…

guitar case for gigging

What’s your biggest guitar case you’ve developed, and can you tell me more about it?

The largest case we do is for a 12 space vault- Acts as a guitar boat on stage and transports 12 guitars anywhere in the world in an airline container in the cargo hold of an aircraft. We have quite a few customers who freight their guitar vaults to the farthest corners of the globe. This case might come off as expensive but, when compared to 12 individual cases it is quite a bit less expensive. In terms of value and use it is a great product.

How protective are your cases, and how much does durability and protection figure into things?

Durability, protection, ease of use, and aesthetic are the 4 most important factors in designing a guitar case…if it does its job easily, takes the riggers of the road, and looks good doing it then you have made something great that the customer will be pleased with.. That is really the most important thing we do here.

Anything planned for the near future that readers should know about?

Anything planned for the near future that readers should know about?

We are really getting into pedal boards and pedal board cases. A lot of guys want something slightly different than all of the standard sizes available. We want to give them an easy to use affordable tool to make that happen…On our site they can input the size and color of the board they want, add tiers and basically make the board they want with a couple of clicks and make it happen… Try it out at www.gomc.tv

Thanks!

Thank you very much!

custom road case for electric guitar

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If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below!  Also – check out GOMC Road Cases on Facebook here.

What Guitars Does Synyster Gates Use? Schecter Synyster Gates Custom-S Review

Shredding is, in itself, kind of a separate form of art within the world of guitar playing. As the decades went by, the trend of virtuosic guitarists saw a significant rise, with lightning speed solos blowing everyone’s face off.

At the same time, we also saw the rise of different genres like nu-metal or metalcore, with fewer solos and more of those unconventional rhythm guitar parts.

But a band like Avenged Sevenfold seems to have taken the best of two worlds. Although starting as somewhat of a metalcore band, they later went on into more solo guitar-oriented material, lead by the playing of Brian Haner Jr., also known as Synyster Gates.

As his fame grew, he got his own signature guitar models, which are all based on Schecter’s Avenger model.

Synyster Custom-S review

One of the best and most respected of his guitars is the Synyster Custom-S which we will be analyzing in this review. So let’s dive into this guitar and its qualities.


Features

Almost all of the guitar’s features are completely the same as on the models used by Synyster gates. First off, the body is made of mahogany and features a glossy finish and the guitarist’s signature color scheme ñ black background with golden stripes. Aside from the body, the headstock also features these stripes.

As far as the neck goes, it is a three-piece mahogany, enforced with carbon fiber rods, while the fretboard is made of ebony. We have a 25.5 inch scale length, which can come in handy for those lower tunings.

The shape of the neck is the so-called “thin C,” which is a thinner version of the standard “C” shape. The guitar features 24 frets with a radius of 16 inches, making this one pretty flat neck. The Custom-S features the Floyd Rose 1500 Series bridge with the locking mechanisms on the nut.

The pickups are rather interesting and here is the only difference between this model and the actual guitar used by Syn Gates.

The Syn’s version features a Seymore Duncan pickup on the bridge, most likely Invader, while this version has Schecter’s Syn Gates signature humbucker. As for the neck, both have the Sustainiac ñ one rather interesting humbucker which is also used by Joe Satriani.

As for the controls, we have the standard 3-way selector switch, volume and tone knobs with sturdy metal caps, and two switches for the Sustainiac pickup.

One of those switches is a simple on and off toggle, while the other one is a 3-way that controls the Sustainiac mods ñ the so-called “fundamental”, “mix”, and “harmonic”.

This innovative pickup, which can give you infinite sustain, features active electronics so there’s a compartment for the standard 9-volt battery. Well, it’s infinite until the battery dies out, but you get the point.


Design

Even the first time that you lay your eyes upon this instrument, you can see that a lot of thought was put into the design.

As mentioned, the shape is based on Schecter’s Avenger model, and it features the easily recognizable Syn Gates’ color pattern and a peculiar devilish looking headstock.

The basic color is always black, but there different stripe colors that you can choose from, whereas the golden stripes are the best-known ones. It all goes together with the same color of the hardware and the bridge position pickup.

But probably the most attractive thing about this guitar are the inlays on the neck. On the 12th fret, and spanning two frets on both sides, we have the Avenged Sevenfold’s famous logo, the so-called “Deathbat.”

On 9th, 7th, and 5th fret there are letters “S”, “Y”, and “N”, making this one a very recognizable and easily memorable instrument.

In addition, the side dot markers on the neck glow in the dark, which can be somewhat useful in darker settings. You definitely won’t find any other guitar out there that looks like Custom-S.


Performance

The guitar’s thin neck makes it very playable, designed especially for all the lovers of fast metal playing. The Floyd Rose tremolo works well and you won’t have any issues with going out of tune, even after heavy use.

Although it might feel weird at first having this kind of a shape of the guitar’s body, it’s safe to say that this is a fairly ergonomic instrument. Slightly larger scale length allows you to use it for lower tunings, like standard D. But at the same time, it’s also safe to use it for standard E as well.

The pickups are pretty solid and the controls work pretty well. But the most exciting feature of the Schecter Custom-S is, by far, the Sustainiac pickup on the neck position.

While it does take a little bit of time to get accustomed to it and realize its true potential, you can basically use it to get gigantic sustain with three different harmonic mods.


Conclusion

After playing the Custom-S, it’s obvious that the guitar is designed for pro players, although it can also come really well for intermediate level guitarists. It’s not overly expensive and it’s pretty much worth the price.

The features detailed above all make this one very enjoyable instrument to play, and it can do far more than just Avenged Sevenfold and Synyster Gates-styled metal.

On the other hand, the design might be a deal breaker for some, as seeing someone with this guitar literally screams that they’re an Avenged Sevenfold fan.

While it does look great and exciting, you might not want to have all the inlays, logos on both the bridge pickup and headstock, and imagery on the neck if you’re not really into it. In that case, you might want to check out some other of Schecter’s models.

Overall, a really great instrument that’s certainly worthwhile checking out, while it’s obvious, due to its design, that the guitar is mostly for those die-hard Avenged Sevenfold and Synyster Gates fans.


Video Review

EVH Wolfgang USA Signature Review

During his time fronting The White Stripes, Jack White made a bigger impact on the guitar world than anyone could have ever expected.

Although not that stereotypical virtuoso shredder, which is the type of player everyone seemed to be so obsessed with, Jack’s amazing songwriting skills, groove, and sound are what made him stand out from the crowd.

We often saw him using hollow-body guitars, just like on the legendary hit song “Seven Nation Army” from the early 2000s. But just about a year ago, in 2018, all the guitar lovers began scratching their heads when Jack was seen using the EVH Wolfgang USA Signature model.

While pretty much an instrument expected to be seen in the hands of hard rock or heavy metal type lightning speed shredders, Jack White proved that it can be an effective weapon in his hands as well.

Yeah, it does seem kind of weird, but while we’re at it, we figured we could go more into the details of this great instrument and see what secrets it holds.


Features

First of all, this particular guitar model was conceived and developed by Eddie Van Halen himself and is a continuation of the models he did with Ernie Ball and Peavy. The Wolfgang Signature, in particular, is a special version of the model, with a lot of improved features.

Starting with the essentials, the body of this guitar, made in EVH’s signature Wolfgang shape, is made of basswood and features big leaf maple top. The finish is the satin urethane and the body can come in two different colors – Ivory or Stealth Black.

The guitar seen in Jack White’s hands has the Stealth Black finish. It should also be noted that the body features 5-ply binding.

As for the neck, the one on Wolfgang Signature is a bolt-on made from quartersawn maple and has the so-called “Wolfgang Backshape,” with the thickness of .805 inches at the third fret and .890 inches over at the twelfth fret.

Aside from the scale length of 25.5 inches, often typical of Fender Stratocasters, the radius of the neck is a pretty interesting one.

It is what guitar players call “compound radius” neck, and that means that the radius changes as you go up towards higher frets.

So, on the nut, the radius is at 12 inches, and as you go up it gets flatter, up to 16 inches. The total number of frets is 22.

Going over to the hardware, Wolfgang Signature features the special EVH-branded Floyd Rose bridge with the company’s “D-Tuna” for the 6th string.

This patented device allows you to drop the string two semitones and bring it up in an instant. In case you have any drop D tuning songs in your setlist, you don’t have to worry about down tuning in the middle of the show as you can just use the mechanism.

The guitar, of course, also features a locking nut and special EVH tuning machines. All of the hardware has a chrome finish.

Just when you thought things could not get more exciting, the guitar features two great Wolfgang humbuckers and pretty interesting controls to go along with them.

Aside from the reverse 3-position selector switch, there is a high friction tone pot and a low friction volume pot, designed specially to give players more precise control over their sound. Along with these, you get a big red killswitch that kills all signal when you press it.


Design

And its design is another thing that will draw your attention here. Wolfgang is, by far, one of the best looking guitars you’ll manage to find out there.

The only problem here is that it’s really hard to decide which looks better – the Ivory or the Stealth Black finish. The body design is rounded up with a wonderful 5-ply binding.

The thing we found to be somewhat weird is the implementations eye hooks instead of those regular strap buttons. This is, of course, the old feature dating back from Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstrat.

One might think that the headstock looks weird, but taking a glance at the body, it fits the overall design pretty well. This being a “3 + 3” type of headstock, it’s pretty amazing how they managed to keep the strings going in almost a straight line.


Performance

We can’t really hide our admiration here. Very playable, ergonomic, stunning, and just awesome sounding guitar. And it all fits so well, making this one very versatile instrument that you can find in the hands of players of countless genres.

Just like Jack White noted some time ago, it’s one of the easiest and most comfortable guitars to play. That’s mostly due to the compound-radius neck.

Although the bass side cut is not as deep as on the treble side, there’s an indentation on the back of the guitar which makes it easier for you to reach higher frets.

Maybe it sounds like an exaggeration, but performance-wise, we can easily say that this is pretty much the perfect guitar you have always dreamed of.


Conclusion

But the dream guitar comes with an astronomic price tag. Which is, of course, justified, but you just need to bear in mind that it’s not exactly something you would recommend to a beginner or an intermediate player.

It’s a professional instrument worthy of our praise, and we would argue that the Wolfgang Signature is a tool for highly advanced guitarists. It is, however, kind of strange to see it in the hands of a player like Jack White.

Not because he’s not good enough for it, but it’s just not the type of the instrument that you would expect a player such as him to use. Well, he certainly has all the freedom to use any guitar that he wants to.


Video Review

David Gilmour Signature Fender Stratocaster Guitar Review

Rarely do you stumble upon one particular instrument that has made a huge impact on rock music. One of those instruments is David Gilmour’s old black Fender Stratocaster, known simply as The Black Strat.

Made back in 1969, the Pink Ployd legend first appeared live with it at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music in 1970. Ever since then, Gilmour has used this instrument on numerous occasions over the last few decades, both in the studio and on tours.

So it was only a matter of time until Mr. Gilmour would get together with Fender Custom Shop to make his own signature model, which would be somewhat of the replica of the original and that would feature some of the characteristics preferred by the man himself.

Although it took them some time and this collaboration was established in 2006, the guitar lovers worldwide were thrilled to finally have a guitar that would pay honor to one of the biggest individual instruments of the 20th century.

Here we will be getting more into the specs of this luxurious Stratocaster which is one of Fender’s most prestigious products.


Features

This particular Strat model is intended to replicate the looks, the feel, and the sound of the old Black Strat. Most of the features are copied, from the type of paint all the way to custom pickups.

So this Stratocaster has the classic well-known classic shape with the body made of premium select alder. The finish, just like on the original, is done with nitrocellulose lacquer.

The neck features the classic maple option most of the Fender Stratocaster guitars are known for. The scale length is 25.5 inches and the neck profile is the legendary thin-shouldered “C” type, which is copied from Gilmour’s 1983 US Vintage ’57 reissue Strat.

Of course, the neck is a bolt-on one, just like with any other classic Stratocaster guitars. The fingerboard radius is also a throwback to those old models since it’s only 7.25 inches, which is pretty round compared to the modern guitars.

The fretboard, of course, features classic 21 frets. As for the neck finish, nitrocellulose lacquer was also used for this purpose.

Now, the pickups are quite interesting, as they are some of the best single-coils you’ll find on any Strat on the market. On the bridge position, we have Seymour Duncan’s SSL-5.

Located in the middle, there’s a custom-wound special single-soil, while at the neck position, we have the custom shop Fat ’50s single-coil. The switch features classic five positions, and as far as the pots go, we have one volume and two tone controls.

More of this guitar’s quality is seen in its nickel and chrome finish hardware. It features the so-called American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo with a noticeably shortened tremolo arm.

The tuning mechanisms on the David Gilmour Strat are just like on the old Fenders, which are now known as the “vintage style” tuning machines. They require somewhat of a different re-stringing process compared to the standard tuners.


Design

It’s pretty fair to say that this guitar looks stunning.

The black glossy finish with the black pickguard, white pickups, white pot caps, and white switch and tremolo arm cover make the guitar’s appearance kind of classy, which is pretty expected of a guitar bearing David Gilmour’s name.

It’s obvious that this is a replica of those older vintage Strats, but at the same time, it has a complete feeling of a newer and more modern instrument.

One thing about its appearance that’s noticeable right away is the short tremolo arm. It may be weird to some, but this is one of the guitar’s most unique features.


Performance

It would be an understatement to say that this guitar would totally blow you away. First, the neck is very playable, and you have easy and comfortable access to all the parts of the fretboard.

This being a David Gilmour signature model, the bending is done with ease and you won’t have to worry about it going out of tune, even after some crazy four or five semi-tone stretches.

The pickups were, for us, this instrument’s most exciting feature, giving you some of the clearest and most expressive tones. It works well in clean situations, it works well with overdrive, and it shows amazing results even for high gain setups.

Get yourself a pedal like Electro-Harmonix Bigg Muff or any kind of the Uni-Vibe replica, and you’re in for some seriously surprising Gilmour-ish tones.

The shorter tremolo arm would need you to get used to it though if you’re generally accustomed to regular Strats. However, this is not in any way a downside and with time it will certainly get more comfortable.


Conclusion

What more could you ask than a guitar that plays well, sounds this good, and looks this attractive? As we already mentioned, it’s very playable, and with these kinds of pickups you can get some really great dynamic expression, especially if you plug it into a tube amp.

We should, however, point out that this might not be a weapon of choice for everyone. Looking at the price tag, it’s clear that it’s intended for either professional players or extremely enthusiastic guitar collectors.

At the same time, we would say that the guitar is mostly for softer playing – anything from the Pink Floyd and David Gilmour type of music, jazz, blues, pop rock, and some slightly heavier rock music.

Even though it does give great tones on high gain lead channels or fuzz type of pedals, it’s still something that you would implement in prog rock or jazz type of stuff.

Aside from that, it’s worth every single damn penny. And we hope you found this review to be useful.


Video Review

PRS Silver Sky Guitar Review

prs silver sky guitar john mayer review

The good old classic Fender Stratocaster – it’s been a go-to guitar for many of our favorite musicians. The famous Strat shape has also been used by various other manufacturers, most notably for some Super Strat styled instruments that began emerging in the 80s and the 90s.

But none of these caused such uproar and even division among guitar players worldwide like the new Paul Reed Smith’s Silver Sky guitar. Being known for his use of Fender Stratocasters, John Mayer raised some eyebrows in 2018 when he appeared with this guitar made by PRS.

However, despite all the confusing reactions, the Silver Sky is not to be overlooked or dismissed and it certainly deserves attention and huge respect from all the guitar lovers out there.

Background

Before we get into all the specs, let us first explain the reason behind all the fuss and how this instrument came to be in the first place.

In early 2018, right after Paul Reed Smith began producing these guitars, John Mayer revealed why he decided to turn over to one of Fender’s competitors.

According to him, this was not a classic endorsement deal, it was just due to the fact that Fender was not able (or willing) to put his idea into work – an idea that he had for about 10 years to make an upgraded version of the classic guitar, mostly inspired by his favorite Strat models, the ones made back in 1963 and 1964.

So he turned over to PRS and the guys were happy to make this work.

Design

Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room ñ how can a Strat have that headstock? Instead of the standard 6-in-line one, we have a classic 3 + 3 headstock you can find on most of the PRS guitars. But although it does seem weird, the more you look at it, the more if makes sense.

This was not intended as a full-on Strat copy but a whole new guitar on its own.

Another thing that you’ll notice is that the classic Strat shape is just a little modified. Just enough that you can notice them easily, but it’s not just about the looks and it makes a significant difference playing-wise. We’ll get into that in the next section.

PRS sells them in four different colors – Hoizon, Frost, Tungsten, and Onyx.

Here’s a demo of this guitar played by John Mayer himself.

Features

One would expect Silver Sky to be just like another modern Fender Stratocaster copy, only with a different headstock and some other new design features. But there’s way more to this instrument.

The pickup configuration is, of course, the classic three single coils one. There is also the standard 5-way selector switch with one volume and two tone pots.

But what makes this special is that all of these three pickups are PRS 635JM. The idea here was to keep the brightness and clarity of the well-known Fender sound, but just make it slightly warmer and more “round”.

Just like with all the classic Strat guitars, the neck is a bolt on one. But its shape, which also bears the name “635JM”, is essentially a replica of the necks on ’63 and ’64 Fenders that John Mayer is so very fond of.

The fretboard radius is also a throwback to these old 1960s models ñ 7.25″ which is actually really round. As for the scale length, it bears the classic 25.5″ typical of all the Strats.

One feature that not only makes the design more interesting and more modern but also makes the playing more comfortable, is the scoop on the lower horn.

Being cut at the best possible angle (some would even say perfect), it gives players easier access to those higher frets. So with this instrument, you get the true old school vintage sound with the playability of modern guitars.

Performance

Imagine having the good old vintage sound of old Fender guitars with a bit more of a modern look, great ergonomy, and some more versatility in tone.

Of course, those who are familiar with the vintage instruments will notice that the neck feels just like those old Fenders. But the aforementioned lower horn scoop will make it an even more playable instrument up on those higher frets.

This is definitely something that will make all the lead players thrilled. Primarily for blues rock lead players, since the sound kind of works best for these kinds of genres, but it can also come in handy for some other stuff as well.

The three single coil pickups, which are all the 635JM, don’t push those ear-piercing high-end frequencies you’d expect from a vintage-styled Strat. John Mayer himself described these as intentional replicas of those decades-old pickups that have kind of worn off.

The result – crystal clear yet a very round tone with rich bottom ends. It lays somewhere in between the P90s and stock Fender pickups.

The bridge, which is a standard tremolo bridge, only goes down in pitch. It is also in the direct contact with the body of the guitar which not only makes it acoustically louder but also improves the signal to noise ratio for the constantly buzzing single coils.

Conclusion

If blues, jazz, blues rock, and even some harder rock are your genres, this guitar will certainly come in handy. But you’ve got to know, although it’s worth every penny, it’s not exactly cheap. Which is this guitar’s only downside. But you can’t really expect to have a great instrument without such a price tag.

Taking it in your hands, you can immediately feel that it’s a vintage type of an instrument. Especially with such a small fretboard radius. Those who are used to some modern guitars designed for metal might find Silver Sky to be a bit odd.

Mayer’s own recommendation is to play it with vintage Fender tube amps or any other amps that replicate that same sound and vibe. Of course, every player is free to experiment and find their own best combo. You just need to be aware that the original intention was the vintage sound.

John Mayer – Behind the PRS Silver Sky Guitar

Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Monarchy Majesty Electric Guitar Review

jp15 ernie ball music man

By the time the 1970s came, the music started to change drastically. The emergence of heavy metal and the transformation of rock music into progressive rock were, without any doubts, some of the most exciting revolutions music fans ever got to hear.

By the time the 1980s arrived, we’ve seen the rise of the guitar shredding trend that eventually merged with progressive rock, combining lightning speed solos, odd time signatures, mind-bending songwriting techniques, and other surprising elements.

One of the main leaders in this new progressive metal genre was Dream Theater, which originally formed as Majesty back in 1985. Among the guitar enthusiasts, almost everyone is familiar with John Petrucci, the band’s guitar player and one of the main songwriters.

Here, we will be focusing on one of his newest collaborations with the famous Ernie Ball ñ the Music Man Majesty guitar which he uses these days.

ernie ball music manLet’s get into this one, shall we?


Design

Because this is such a special instrument, we’ll start off with the design. What’s really amazing about Majesty is that John Petrucci himself actively participated in the development of this guitar.

Being one of the most technically proficient players of all time, ergonomy was one of his top priorities. It’s more than just a double-cutaway Super Strat type of guitar as both cutaways go way up to the highest frets, making them very easy to reach. In addition to this, the body shape design provides comfort for the picking hand.

We could also describe this guitar as a piece of art, showing us how it is possible for one instrument to have both looks and great playability. The aforementioned body design is as beautiful as it is comfortable.

The central part, right where the pickups are, features a carbon fiber type of look. The shape is very slick and smooth, with the upper horn significantly longer than the lower one. It features a matte finish on both neck and the body and can come in three different color schemes: Glacial Frost, Polar Noir, and Arctic Dream.

john petrucci majesty electric guitar

All this is rounded up with the beautiful Majesty logo on the first fret. That’s the same logo Dream Theater used from their earliest days.


Features

There are so many great features that we don’t know where to begin. First of all, this is a neck-through solid body guitar. The neck is made from Honduran Mahogany while the body is a basswood one and has a maple top.

Of course, there are 6-string and 7-string versions, but what is interesting here is that both of these have the same scale length of 25 1/2″. The two versions also feature 24 medium jumbo stainless steel frets.

The neck radius is pretty flat, 17″ or around 430 mm, which shows this guitar is intended for modern lead playing.

Now, the headstock is also pretty interesting with the 4 + 2 configuration, allowing strings to go in a completely straight line all the way from the bridge to the tuners. While we’re at tuners, they’re Schaller M6-IND locking machines with black buttons.

As for the electronics and all the other stuff, it features an active Custom Music Man preamp. Majesty has two humbucker pickups, DiMarzio Illuminators, and one piezo pickup on the bridge.

And the bridge is another really interesting feature. It’s a custom John Petrucci Music Man, essentially a floating tremolo bridge that’s made from hardened steel and has stainless steel string saddles. And, just like the guitar finish, it’s also matte. Real quality work this one.


Controls

This is where things get really exciting. Aside from the 3-way pickup selector, that’s placed closer to the picking hand, somewhere below the bridge humbucker, the tone knob is a push-pull that gives an additional pickup configuration, isolating only the inner coils.

Of course, there are three knobs in total, one controlling the volume of the pickups, and that also has a push gain boost option, one tone knob, and one that controls the piezo volume.

There’s also another 3-way switch at the bass side of the body where players can pick between these three options: only the humbuckers, the combination of the humbuckers and the piezo, and only piezo.


Performance

As you can see in the controls section, Majesty is one very versatile instrument. It’s just pretty wild what you can achieve with it. No matter the genre and no matter the style of your playing, there are so many options for you to choose from, everything between tender single coil funky tones, over crunchy prog rock sounds, all the way to heavy metal soaring leads.

One of the features that might not seem that exciting, but can really come in handy, is the gain boost. It can be quite useful for the lead players that need no pedal dancing or distracting picking hand actions to get that push for their solo parts. Just one press of a button and you’re all set.

Since we mentioned that the strings are going in a completely straight line, this and a few other features allow you to play freely without any fear of going out of tune. Which definitely saves a lot of time and a lot of nerves. Combine all this with the ergonomy and a very comfortable and playable neck, and you’ve got yourself a perfect electric guitar for all genres.


Conclusion

There’s not much that we can say other than that it’s a very versatile, well-built, and all round amazing guitar. However, it’s not exactly what you would recommend to a beginner. And it’s not for everyone. It’s a pricy instrument that’s unlike the traditional Gibson/Fender kind of thing that most of the guitar players are used to.

Due to its versatility in sound, it can be used in pretty much any genre, but it’s probably the best idea to get one only if you’re going to be a professional musician. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with one very expensive toy. Both versions, the 6-string and the 7-string, are amazing if you do decide to get a Majesty yourself.

Ibanez K7 Korn Signature Series Guitar Review

ibanez k7 korn signature

Right as the 1990s came, we were witnesses to one of the most drastic changes in music, especially when it comes to rock and metal.

The flashy lightning speed era of guitar playing was kind of coming to an end, and more of the riff-based music started emerging. While the 80s saw some artists going down to E flat or even D standard tunings, it just wasn’t enough for this particular generation of metal lovers.

The revolution brought in even lower tunings and, most importantly, extended range guitars. This new movement got labeled as “alternative metal” and “nu-metal” and Korn was one of the most important bands of this fresh subgenre.

Korn

Of course, a huge part of the band’s sound and style was the guitar duo of Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer and their use of the deeper ends of the sonic spectrum.

To be more precise, 7 string guitars that were tuned way down to A standard. Here we will be getting into some details of Munky’s well-known 7-string Ibanez K7, used by both of the Korn’s axemen. So let’s dig in and find out more about this game-changing instrument.

Ibanez K7

Ibanez K7 Review

K7 guitars were introduced in 2001 and were manufactured all the way to 2006. After Brian Welch’s departure from the band, Ibanez brought int the new APEX series as the successor of this model.

The K7 is essentially a modified version of the very successful RG series, with some features that were instructed by Munky and Head. Here, we will be reviewing the K7 and some of its main characteristics.

Features

Let us start right off with the main specs and features of this instrument. The body of K7 is made of mahogany, while the neck has two versions – either a 5-piece maple with Bubinga or a 5-piece maple with wenge.

The neck is a bolt-on with the rosewood, featuring 24 jumbo frets. The scale length is 25 1/2″ (648 millimeters), which falls into the standard for 7-strings. The type of the neck is named after the model, K7 or K7 Prestige, with a pretty flat radius of 430 mm, which is around 17″.

When it comes to the pickups, it’s armed with two humbuckers, DiMarzio PAF 7, on both neck and bridge positions. These are controlled with a standard 3-way selector switch and just one volume knob. What needs to be noted here is that the K7 does not have a tone control knob on any of the versions.

The thing that’s kind of interesting is the implementation of the U-Bar on some of the versions, specifically the modification of the Lo-Pro Edge 7. This is actually an alternative to the standard tremolo arm, giving players the option to loosen the strings using their palm, allowing them to palm mute and dive deep down low at the same time.

The U-Bar was used by Korn’s Munky, but the most common version you’d see out there was with the traditional tremolo arm. No matter the tremolo bridge versions, all K7 guitars feature fine tuners and a locking nut.

Design

k7

The guitar came in two different finishes. One was Blade Gray, the model used by Brian “Head” Welch, and the other one Firespeak Blue, used by James “Munky” Shaffer.

Not only is it well built, but it has some nice touches when it comes to the design, including the binding on the neck. Right on the 12th fret, you can also find the “K-7” logo, extending partially on to the neighboring frets.

While not that flashy, it’s still a pretty looking guitar, relying more on simplicity and elegance rather than on some unusual designs and colors. There are no worries about this – you will still look pretty damn metal holding one in your hands up on the stage.

Performance

Although this is a pretty simple and straightforward instrument when it comes to the controls, this is an extended range guitar that can work well even outside the down-tuned heavy chug riffing.

With its 7 strings, 24 jumbo frets, comfortably neck, easily accessible higher frets, and an extremely flat fretboard radius, it can come in handy for lead players as well. Although you need to bear in mind that the lack of a tone control does kind of make it a less versatile instrument and this might be a let-down for some picky players.

The signature DiMarzio PAF 7 is simply a 7-string version of the standard low output (220 mV to be more precise) PAF humbucker introduced way back in the old days.

The main goal here was to keep the same consistent tone while still picking up the low 7th string frequencies and keeping them in balance with the rest of the spectrum.

These signature humbuckers work well everywhere from clean to heavily distorted, sounding really tight and giving players good control over dynamics.

What some might consider as kind of strange is the scale length of 25 1/2″, with the main argument that it’s not wide enough for a 7-string.

Especially if it’s tuned down to A standard, one step lower than usual and a common tuning for the guys from Korn. However, it does work pretty well and strings don’t feel like rubber at all.

Knowing that there are even some extended range guitar going as low as 25″, this should not be an issue.

Conclusion

To put it simply, Ibanez K7 is not a flashy guitar when it comes to controls and features, yet it’s still pretty effective. Aside from the great sound, the quality of K7 is rounded up with the very comfortable K7 Prestige neck and ergonomic design of the body.

It checks all the boxes and can be a quite useful instrument in both lead and rhythm situations for any of the countless metal subgenres.

As mentioned above, the lack of tone control might be a downside, but knowing that this guitar is intended for heavier stuff, there’s barely any potential user who will miss this knob.

After all, if Korn’s Munky was fine it, then there’s no reason for anyone else not to be.

Unique Guitar Picks Created by Some Dude’s Pesopicks Stuart Brady

Before I get to my talk with Some Dude’s Pesopicks creator, Stuart Brady, I want to say a few words about the humble guitar pick.

If you play guitar, you probably know there are picks of all shapes, sizes, colors, thicknesses, designs, etc. 

You might even keep several guitar picks handy, and stop by the local guitar shop regularly to re-stock.  Picks are usually kept at the front of store and sold for under a dollar, near the other relatively inexpensive musical accessories like guitar strings, capos, etc. 

For such a small object, guitar picks are certainly an important part of guitar player’s setup.  They help define the sound, even though they don’t generally get a lot of credit.  

Guitar players can get rather particular about their picks, the more they develop a certain sound.  It is at this point that guitar players start to notice the different characteristics in the picks they like or dislike, and their preferences get more particular.

Some players want picks that have a grip, others like ’em smooth.  Some want them thicker, others want them paper thin.  Some like gimmicky picks that are covered in logos and designs, others like them with no symbols on them in just one color only. 

The type of pick you use depends on your own playing style more than anything, and that can take time to develop.

It’s worth mentioning, for the sake of beginner guitar players out there, that the type of pick does contribute something significant to the sound that’s being produced by the guitar. 

That said, guitar picks, for the most part, are made of plastic and many players don’t think about them much.  You just buy 10 for a dollar as you’re making other purchases, and if you drop them on the ground and lose them, many would say “Who cares?”

But some picks you might not want to lose.  

Pesopicks

The thing is, not all picks cost $0.25 and look cheap and shoddy.  Some guitar picks are worth showing off.

Enter: the Pesopick.

These unique picks are made from actual Mexican pesos by a dude by the name of Stuart Brady, AKA Some Dude.  In fact, his business name is Some Dude’s Pesopicks.

Here is the Pesopickdude himself standing with the late great Bill Paxton.

Stuart makes a living producing these Pesopicks by hand in his home state of Texas, home of some of the greatest guitar players of all time. 

He started making Pesopicks decades ago, in an effort to create a more durable, unique type of guitar pick that creates a deeper, richer sound.  They have other benefits as well, such as outlasting the person using them.

We were lucky enough to talk with Stuart about his prized creations.  We just had to get the lowdown on them straight from the source. 

Enjoy our Q&A with the the Pesopickdude!


What are Pesopicks?

Pesopicks are authentic Mexican pesos handcrafted into guitar picks.

How durable are these things?

They will last forever…the first one I made is owned by my best friend and is over 40 yrs old.  He still uses it everyday…they are heirlooms.

What do you like about the metal on metal sound?

They make your stringed instrument a little brighter and louder, creating awesome pinch harmonics…they are super fast due to less friction than other picks.

How much does a Pesopick cost?

They start at $50.00 and go up in price depending on type of peso and the work done to it.

What’s the difference between a Pesopick and your typical $.050 plastic guitar pick?

They don’t wear out and they wont harm strings…kinda of a nickel on nickel thing.

Is it true that Billy Gibbons has a soft spot for these picks?  Also, why does he like them so much?

Yes, Billy Gibbons loves them and I am currently making him a large order of them now. I believe he likes them because of the tones they create plus the mystique of the peso as a pick.

Who’s the intended audience of these types of picks?

The intended audience is anyone that wants to improve their technique and tone.

How long does it take to make one of these babies?

It normally takes me about an hour to complete one single pesopick…but I do about 30 to 50 in stages.

Do you ever run out of stock?

Sometimes I do run out of stock…but not for long…I have a lot of contacts.

How unique is each pick, would you say?

Each pesopick is unique, but they are consistent with the shape and size of a regular fender 357 style pick…they are never the same because of dings, dents and scratches on the face of the coin.

Do you use any other coins these days besides the peso?

Sometimes I’ll make a pesopick with a lire or shilling, or any cool high quality metal coin large enough.

Are they only good for rock music?

They work excellent on any electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or bass guitar without harming the strings.

Where can people get them?

They can be had by contacting me on Facebook at this time…however, a website is in the works and should be up and running soon.

Check out the Pesopick Facebook page!

The Different Types of Electric Guitar

When they first appeared, electric guitars were thought to be just a gimmick. However, it didn’t take long for them to completely take over the mainstream. With that said, not every guitar is the same. Knowing the difference between various electric guitars can be pretty important especially if you are looking to start playing this instrument. Since there is so much information out there which can be quite confusing, we have decided to create a short guide for your convenience. By the time you are done reading this article, you should have a firm grasp on the most important types of electric guitars and how they affect one’s tone.

Solid Body VS Semi Hollow/Hollow Body

Even though semi hollow and hollow body guitars are extremely rare these days, that wasn’t the case back in the early age of electric guitars. A hollow or semi hollow guitar is one whose body isn’t made of solid wood. Instead, you have chambers similar to that of an acoustic guitar, but much smaller. The difference between the semi hollow and hollow guitars is in the size of those chambers.

Aside from being much harder to manufacture or build by hand, these type of guitars also require a higher maintenance. In most cases they come with complicated bridges and tailpieces, all of which need to be fine tuned to perfection.

Semi hollow and hollow guitars are used mostly in Jazz these days. The reason for this is their quite unique sound which incorporates the added gain of an electric instrument with the rather delicate sound profile of an acoustic instrument. With that said, these traits are both a benefit and a flaw depending on which genre of music you are interested in playing.

Here’s a sample of the sound of a hollow body guitar, with a version of Autumn Leaves by Ryan Stewart.  Nice!

Up next – solid body guitars.  Solid body guitars represent the next level of guitar’s evolution and are the most popular choice today. The very first commercially successful solid body design is said to be Fender’s Telecaster. However that is if we disregard Rickenbacker’s Frying Pan lap steel model from 1930s.

Single Coil Or Humbucker Electronics

Now that we have that classification out of the way, lets talk about something that will actually be of consequence to you specifically. When first entering the world of electric guitars, most newcomers are blissfully unaware that there is a difference between single coil pickups and humbuckers. As a matter of fact, chances are that they don’t even know what these terms mean. Don’t worry, we are going to get that sorted out in a moment.

Single Coil Pickups

Single coils are the oldest type of magnetic pickup used on guitars. The name ‘single coil’ is pretty self explanatory. If you were to take one of these pickups apart, you would find a single coil of wire wrapped around several (depending on the number of strings) permanent magnets. When you strum a cord, or pick a string, that vibration is passes through the magnetic field of the pickup and is ‘picked up’.

There is more to this but since this is not a physics class, lets move on. The main benefit of single coil pickups is their clarity and precision. This is why you mostly see them being used for Blues, Jazz and Rock.

However, keep in mind that single coils aren’t without flaws. For starters, they aren’t too great if you are a fan of heavy distortion. That is not the worst of it either. Single coil pickups suffer from what is called ‘single coil hum’. In essence, a single coil pickup is an antenna that is prone to picking up signals it should but also shouldn’t pick up. This is especially present in affordable single coil pickups and can be extremely annoying.

Humbuckers

A humbucker was partially designed to kill the noise and be much less prone to interference than a single coil. What a humbucker does great is meaty tone, especially if you are a fan of heavy distortion.

The fact that even the cheapest humbucker will be quit compared to a mid level single coil tells a lot about why these are so popular. If you are just starting out, we definitely suggest that you look into guitars that have humbuckers on. You will have a much easier time dialing in a good sound and you won’t have to deal with too much noise.

Here’s a great video by Darrell Braun that talks about the difference between single coil vs. humbucker.  Check it out.

Active VS Passive

Last but not least, we need to mention active and passive electronics. The difference between these two comes down to whether or not a pickup is using an auxiliary source of power. Most guitars these days are still passive for a variety of reasons. Something like a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul still come out of the factory with passive pickups installed.

So why do active pickups exist?

Somewhere down the road we have figured out that if you infuse the signal with gain on the guitar’s end, before it reaches the amp, that you can get pretty interesting results.

In most cases, the benefits include a clearer, sharper and much more powerful tone that is simply more consistent. This is why guitarists who play metal really like to their active humbuckers. The amount of distortion and gain these can take is impressive.

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that passive pickups are bad or inferior in any way. Passive pickups are much more expressive and delicate, thus allowing you to be more creative. On top of that, passive pickups are much cheaper, which is definitely a factor when you are just starting out. In the end, these are just different tools for different jobs.

Here’s a great video by Charlie Parra talking about the difference between active and passive pickups.  Check it out.

Final Thoughts

The categories we have listed above are the most important ones you you will run into when choosing an electric guitar. Arguably, there are many more categories and sub categories out there, but those require a much deeper discussion. Either way, with this info you should be able to figure out what to get and what not to get depending on your taste in music and your abilities.

Gibson SG Standard T Electric Guitar Review

Being one of the oldest guitar brands in the world, Gibson has established quite a few iconic models. Naturally, the best known line of Gibson guitars is the Les Paul. However, it is closely followed by Gibson SG series. Made popular by Angus Young of AC/DC, Gibson SG has always been considered to be Les Paul’s more aggressive brother. Today we are going to check out the 2017 Standard T model. There are several more tricked out versions of SG out there, but sticking with the Standard is a good way to see what this guitar is capable of in its default state. Lets get started.

Feature Pick

Gibson Usa Sg Standard T 2017 Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry

Buy On Amazon

John Mayer is most commonly associated with Fender Stratocaster guitars, and for a good reason. On any given concert, this is the ax you will see him playing the most. That doesn’t mean that Mayer’s palette includes nothing but Strats. On the contrary, he has one of the most diverse collections of guitars among all top tier performers today. As you have probably guessed by now, Gibson SG is in there as well. The fact of the matter is that Strat’s single coils aren’t capable of everything. There comes a time when two beefy humbuckers are simply necessary.

Design

What sets aside SG series from the Les Paul is the body shape. Gibson wanted to do a double cutaway design that increases comfort but also has unique character. That is exactly what SG represents. Compared to Les Paul, it is a much faster body shape that sits more comfortably in your hands. Gibson SG Standard T brings that exact same body with no modifications. Tonewood of choice is naturally mahogany. Gibson’s source of mahogany yields great sustain and adds a bit of a bite to the tone.

Neck is also a mahogany piece that features a classic slim taper profile and sports a historic 1 11/16″ neck width. The fretboard comes in form of a rosewood board with trapezoid inlays and cream binding. Overall, everything about this model matches the specs of the ’57 original. Last but not least, we have the dark stain finish that really adds a whole new dimension to the way this guitar looks.

Hardware

Hardware wise, Gibson tried to stick to the original as much as possible. Needless to say, they have managed to achieve this in most of the important areas. Starting with the bridge, we have an aluminum Tune-O-Matic piece that leads to an aluminum tail piece. Both of these components are chrome plated like the rest of the hardware. On the other end of the guitar at the headstock, we see a set Grover kidney-button locking tuners. This is the first piece of hardware that isn’t quite up to spec. Unless you are a diehard purist, chances are you will appreciate these tuners as they offer a much better key retention. Nut is also one place where we find alternative materials being used. To be more specific, the nut is made of Tektoid.

Electronics are where things get interesting. Gibson went with a set of ’57 Classic humbuckers, which is a huge upgrade compared to the last year’s model. We are looking at Alnico II magnets packed inside a nickel plated steel covers. The control complement is a standard one. In other words, there is a set of two volume knobs and two tone knobs, each volume/tone pair being assigned to an individual humbucker. Lastly, there is also the pickup select switch.

Performance

When it comes to performance, things are pretty great. The inclusion of ’57 Classic humbuckers has really brought the SG Standard back on track. Compared to the 490R/T set found on the 2016 model, these vintage humbuckers tend give the SG a lot of classic grunt. After all, that is what most of us really wanted in the first place. Straight out of the box, Gibson SG Standard 2017 T packs a mean punch. Cleans are massive, wide but ultimately crisp. Once you punch that overdrive button, you basically being sent back in time. The tone is gritty, full of girth and great sustain. This year’s SG is made to play classic rock or blues. With that said, it definitely handles heavier distortion if that is your jam

We’ve paired it with a vintage Plexi and got some pretty amazing results without tweaking the sound all too much. Pushing it through a busy signal chain also delivers great tone as the guitar is fairly forgiving to all kinds of effects. At the end of the day, Gibson SG Standard T comes across as a true workhorse that is fairly flexible but always ready to deliver a pure, vintage tone should you need it.

In terms of playability, Gibson has made a few minor changes that improve things quite a bit. As we have mentioned earlier, the neck features a classic profile. However, Gibson went ahead and reshaped the binding on the fretboard. Instead of a 90 degrees angle compared to the fretboard surface, the binding on this new model is slightly tapered inwards. In theory, this small change should make the guitar more comfortable to play and give you that worn in feel. On paper, the results are mixed. In our opinion, that worn in effect will take a bit of playing to achieve, but not nearly as much as it would if the binding was stock.

Conclusion

Gibson SG Standard 2017 T is an awesome guitar. There is no other way to describe it. The fact that Gibson has added ’57 Classic humbuckers and a set of locking tuners adds to its value and brings the guitar into the modern age. With that said, Gibson SG was never meant to be an edgy ax. Instead, it is a source of vintage vibes and good old classic tone. That hasn’t changed with this year’s model. If you need a proper workhorse with great pedigree and plenty of head space in terms of performance, definitely check this bad boy out.