Monday, May 31, 2010

1982 Ibanez Rocket Roll Formerly Owned By Joe Satriani on eBay!

Here's an interesting listing for a 1982 Ibanez Rocket Roll II  Flying V on eBay, formerly owned by Joe Satriani!

The documentation that comes with this guitar states that it was consigned to Real Guitars in San Francisco by Satriani himself, although according to the seller Satriani could not remember if the guitar was used on any of his recordings.  Modifications to the instrument, including the addition of two Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickups were also done at Real Guitars.

Produced for a short time between 1982 and 1983, the Rocket Roll II came a couple of years after the Destroyer II, Ibanez's variation on the Gibson Explorer.  Together with the Ibanez Iceman, the Rocket Roll II and Destroyer II were Ibanez's early forays into the hard rock and heavy metal markets and precursors to the shred axes that Ibanez has become so well known for.

Do the necessary research if you're getting this guitar for the owned-by-Satriani mojo aspect.

(eBay Item #: 190399406612)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eric Johnson Talks About His New Signature Stratocaster

Fender has just released this great video of Eric Johnson talking about his new signature Stratocaster

According to Eric, the bound rosewood fingerboard on this signature model was inspired by a run of Stratocasters in 1965 that appeared briefly with fingerboard binding. 

I'm not sure if I could get used to seeing a Strat with fingerboard binding, but if the body edges were squared off and bound as well that would be a different story -- Strat-in-a-tuxedo territory baby!

Other player friendly features on the EJ RW include a 12 inch fingerboard radius, jumbo frets, pickups wound a littler hotter and custom voiced by Eric Johnson himself and staggered tuners that eliminate the need for string-trees and potential tuning hangups.  Interestingly also, the neck was modelled after Johnson's favorite vintage '62 rosewood neck Strat.  Finish the two-piece alder body and neck in Fender's thin-skin nitrocellulose finish and you have one serious tone machine!

It's always a joy to watch Eric play, and if we are to believe what we're seeing, Johnson is getting his trademark 100 lb violin tone out of what looks a little vintage tweed 'narrow panel' Fender Champ -- after being routed through his extensive pedalboard offscreen at left of course!

Check out this link for Eric Johnson's Guitar Setup Secrets Part 2!

Joe Satriani's Experience Hendrix 2010 Guitars Revealed!

The folks at Premier Guitar have detailed Joe Satriani's pedalboard and amp setup as well the single-coil equipped prototype Ibanez JS custom axes he used for the recent Experience Hendrix 2010 tour!

Satch also talks about his switch to Marshall heads from his signature Peavey JSX's for both Chickenfoot and Experience Hendrix.

“At the start of the Chickenfoot tour, I noticed that my Peavey JSX rig sounded more specialized for someone playing lead guitar all night.  I had Marshall send me some different stuff to try out in Vienna, and I ended up using a JVM410 for the rest of the tour. It made such a profound difference, because I’m playing rhythm guitar most of the time in that band.  I was shocked to find that using a Vox Satchurator into a Marshall 6100 Anniversary head’s clean channel was really the best sound." 

Satriani tonehounds take note.

But it doesn't stop there!  Those resourceful PG folks also give us a great all access view of  the guitars and gear of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph and Vernon Reid. 

And not forgetting of course Eric Johnson's particularly quirky setup complete with specific wooden folding chair on which he places his Marshall head for the ultimate in tone!

(Pic and Quote Source:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pristine 1964 Fender Vibroverb on eBay!

From the folks at LA Vintage Gear comes this eBay listing for an immaculate Fender Vibroverb from 1964! 

According to the seller, a few caps and resistors on this amp have been replaced over its lifetime --perfectly normal as capacitors are prone to leaks or drying out after a decade -- and a JBL speaker swapped out for the original Oxford 15-inch speaker.  As a bonus the seller is also including the original Oxford speaker. 

And every tonehound knows that a 15-inch speaker is the key to that elusive Stevie Ray sound!   Crank up that Strat neck pickup because that 15 is going to make your guitar sound like you went up two string gauges.  At least!

Seriously, the condition of this amp is unbelievable -- even the grille cloth is a perfect, just-out-of-the-factory silver and light grey.  Not bad for an amp that is 46 years old! 

Originally released in 1963, the first year of production saw this amp as a 'brownface' -- brown faceplate, brown knobs, light brown grille cloth and a cabinet clad in brown tolex. Fender switched to the classic blackface and silver grille cloth for the Vibroverb in 1964 and upped the wattage to 40W from the previous 35W on the brownface with some modifications to the tube layout. 

The Vibroverb was also the first amp in the Fender line to incorporate a built in spring reverb.  These spring reverb tanks which Fender procured from Hammond helped define the Fender sound and indeed the guitar sounds used in pop music in general in the 60's.  And it still stands that if you want a defined, ballsy reverb that doesn't wash out your guitar tones at more extreme settings, a spring reverb is still the way to go!

(eBay Item #: 200475280868)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fender Custom Shop 1960 Relic Stratocaster Owned by Michael Landau on eBay!

Here's an eBay listing for a Relic 1960 Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster owned by Michael Landau

According to the seller LA Vintage Gear, this Sonic Blue Strat was specially built for Landau by the Fender Custom Shop in 2002.   And for many big name pros that usually means a visit to the custom shop to hand-pick choice bodies and necks out of the batch.  A privilege for the lucky few! 

And if there's anybody that knows what he wants in a Strat, it's Mike.

Weighing in at 7.8lbs, this axe comes with all accessories and a Certificate of Authenticity.

(eBay Item #:  270581947272)

And here's a link to a Mike Landau-owned Tyler Studio Elite!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guitar Recovery In Nashville After Floods

Chris Leuzinger's 1952 Les Paul after the flood
Nashville is still picking up the pieces after flash floods early this month poured about a foot of rain over the city.

And not spared was Soundcheck Nashville, the town's largest music storage warehouse, and as it turns out, the storage facility of choice for three quarters of Nashville's artists and musicians.

It is estimated that 1,000 guitars and 2,000 amplifiers were damaged at Soundcheck, many of which were vintage instruments and irreplaceable -- Chris Leuzinger's 1952 Les Paul Gold Top was rescued from under 3 1/2 feet of water that flooded the warehouse.

Sadly also, Soundcheck seems to have been under-insured given the extent of this calamity.

Meanwhile Nashville's own George Gruhn, Joe Glaser and Ed Beaver, together with 20 other volunteers have begun the task of assessing the damage and sending out the more valuable instruments for repair in neighbouring states.

Said Glaser, "We're all just motivated by one thing here: We want to save Nashville's guitars. This is our history here."

(Pic and Quote Source:

1979 Dumble Overdrive Deluxe Demo!

Here's one for all the Dumble freaks, umm.. afficionados out there!   The basic Dumble amplifier design is based around the Fender Deluxe circuit but modified to achieve much higher gain, more harmonic complexity at the top-end and more low-end on the bass.

Dumbles are hand-built from the ground up but this video features what is said to be a Dumble-modified Fender Deluxe amp -- a real rarity.  Alexander Dumble retained the tremelo and reverb circuit on this amp, and it also sounds like he goosed up the intensity of the tremelo a fair bit -- warm, lush, pulsating and downright hypnotic!

And dig the '2001: Space Odyssey'-style amp face lettering -- another Dumble hallmark.

Head over to this YouTube link for more:

You can also check out my earlier article on Dumble amps with a great video demo of the Overdrive Special by guitarist Gregor Hilden here:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Schecter YM-1 Yngwie Malmsteen Signature on eBay

Here's a rare Schecter YM-1 Yngwie Malmsteen signature model on eBay. 

Both Schecter and Aria Guitars were quick to sign up Yngwie when he landed in the US in the early 80's and started making a name for himself as rock guitar's new wunderkind.  Both endorsements were short-lived however, and Yngwie continued to play his Fender Stratocasters exclusively, right up until the time when Fender decided it made good commercial sense to produce an Yngwie signature model themselves.

The Schecter YM-1 featured an ash body, fully scalloped rosewood fretboard and a two-point fulcrum-style bridge, likely made by Trev Wilkinson.  Ash-bodied Schecters from this era are noticeably heavy -- think 80's era Les Paul-type weight in a Strat-shaped body!  

The Schecter YM-1 is also the very first example of a production model guitar with a scalloped fingerboard and is probably one of the reasons so few were made.  1986 was pre-CNC, and scalloping fingerboards was still an arduous, time-consuming, blister-inducing affair.

Electronically, the YM-1 takes the cake!  Since Yngwie never used the middle pickup on his Strats, the middle pickup on the YM-1 is wired as a hum-cancelling coil for the front and bridge pickups while the 3-way selector switch allowed for classic out-phase Strat tones in the middle position.  The single-coils on this axe bear former Schecter employee Tom Anderson's large-polepiece, cover-less bobbin design. 

Also unique are the three control knobs on the YM-1 which are wired for master volume, treble and bass!

Just under 5 hours to go on this auction! 

(eBay Item No:  220601401779 )

And here's a link to a rare Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Double Neck Stratocaster!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ceriatone JTM45 with VVR Mod, Demo I

I was looking through old footage on the videocam the other day and came across a couple of clips from my Ceriatone factory visit in September 2009 -- clips which I was telling myself to post up ages ago but never got around to.

In this vid I'm playing Ceriatone's in-house tester guitar, a Fender American Standard Stratocaster, which I might add, was really well set up. 

I used the rhythm pickup with the guitar straight into the amp, in this case a Ceriatone JTM45 head into a Ceriatone 1 x 12 cabinet.  The EQ was set flat, more or less, with no reverb or additional pedals.

This is all I could want in a clean tone, really.  This thing sounded really juicy with glassy overtones and the Variable Voltage Regulator (VVR) mod added a natural compression to the notes.  This amp had a lot of 'sponginess' or 'give' to the tone, and the notes seemed to get bigger after the initial pick attack.  Really easy to play through.

Stay tuned for a couple more Ceriatone clips soon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Does Body-Painting Have to Do With The 2010 International Adelaide Guitar Festival?

What does body painting have to do with the 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival?

Lots it seems.

While my previous post on the Splato-caster featured paint in a guitar body, this one features a guitar painted on a body.  How about that for interesting parallels.. 

The work of Australian body-paint artist Emma Hack, this breathtaking work took more than ten hours to complete and is being used to promote the 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival that will run from 25th - 28th November.  

Apparently, the piece will be displayed throughout the duration of the festival and will be auctioned off at the end.  Although it is not entirely clear if the winning bidder gets to take the actual work of art home. 

(Pic and story source:


Friday, May 7, 2010

Fender Splatocaster by Scott Buehl

If you can think it, the Fender Custom Shop can probably build it.

Based on Jimmy Stout's winning entry to Guitar World's 2004 'Design Your Dream Guitar' contest, the Splatocaster was realised by Fender Custom Shop veteran builder Scott Buehl who took up the task of creating the aluminum-framed, fluid-filled instrument. 

Wait a minute.. fluid-filled? 

Buehl chose to go with bullet-proof, clear Lexan polycarbonate, formed into a hollow Stratocaster body to fit into the aluminum body frame.  The hollow Lexan body was then filled with a fluid made up primarily of paraffin oil, distilled water and food coloring to form a swirl-a-licious ever changing pattern of colors!  

Jimi woulda been proud.

(Pic Source:


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