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New Steven Wilson Album - 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.'
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
journeyman wrote:
I for one am going to get the GG Charvel. It is exactly what I would have spec'd out for a custom build. I haven't played the thing yet and probably won't have the chance until its mine. I plan on getting it early next year, since I've promised myself that I'd pay cash. Goals, we all need 'em. I'm actually glad Guthrie is with Charvel now. Recently spending some time on the gear page, its pretty evident that folks are very curious as to why the move from Suhr to Charvel. I for one am perfectly satisfied with Guthrie's answer, but I get the distinct impression that folks champion their guitar brand, and in doing so, feel the need to figure out why "their" company isn't the "choice". I hope that the relationship between GG and Charvel continues for a long time and bears much fruit. His current model had better be available for at least another year Very Happy


I'd surely be getting it too if I weren't a young Slovak (a third-world country, in my books anyway) doctoral student with a family to feed! Smile

On a more serious note: I think—and this is purely my speculation, as it's all between GG and the company—that Guthrie's relationship with Fender/Charvel has very good chances to be very much a long term thing. I mean, look at the fantastic care and attention the production of his signature model was getting. Amazing how attentive they were to all the changes even after the model was officially announced at the last year's NAMM.


As I just posted in a reply to journeyman, yes, the relationship between Guthrie and Charvel/Fender is great. I have to admit that I wondered if such a large organization as Fender could be responsive but they have totally exceeded my (and Guthrie's) expectations.

I certainly wasn't expecting Fender to develop and manufacture a completely new bridge from the ground-up. It's a great bridge. Fender really went all-out with that. They also took the initiative to develop new ideas and present them to Guthrie and get his feedback - obviously, the caramelized body is one of 'em.

I'm sure more things are in the works - like different color stains, new knobs, a three single-coil version, etc. We'll see but I'm quite certain the current GG sig guitar will stay as is for a long time to come. It's Guthrie's bread-and-butter guitar. He needs versatility but also something that is simple.

I also envision Guthrie playing Fender Strats and Teles more in the future. Not sure what will develop out of that but, as mentioned earlier, he's using single-coil sounds quite a bit these days.
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petros



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fender in particular has been very attentive to some less publicly glowing masters as of late. I was particularly pleased about how they treated Mike Landau (another favourite musician of mine) with two signature models and an amp. Kudos, Fender, maybe it's time to return to the mainline guitar manufacturers? Smile
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
Fender in particular has been very attentive to some less publicly glowing masters as of late. I was particularly pleased about how they treated Mike Landau (another favourite musician of mine) with two signature models and an amp. Kudos, Fender, maybe it's time to return to the mainline guitar manufacturers? Smile


Yes, it does seem like that although I really don't pay attention to what Fender is doing overall. My plate is quite full with all the different things I'm doing now.

Obviously, I've been aware of Mike Landau's working relationship with Fender for a while. I ran into Mike at NAMM and a pleasant short chat with him. He seemed quite happy with his relationship with Fender as well.

I always thought Fender suited him best because he really loves vintage Fender guitars. He likes old stuff. He's the type who will seek out various things (not just guitar-related stuff) at pawn shops and he drives an old car.

Also, he always preferred the Fender headstocks as well. Like me and many others, I don't think he could ever warm up to different headstocks on Strat and Tele bodies.

I'm not really a pure Strat guy (I've owned many different Fender Strats since my days at Fender but could never bond with them totally) but if I could get just one, the ML signature model based on his '63 Fiesta Red would be it. I've seen Mike live many times and that guitar just sounds huge and warm. His '69 is cool as well but that '63 is really amazing.
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petros



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
petros wrote:
Fender in particular has been very attentive to some less publicly glowing masters as of late. I was particularly pleased about how they treated Mike Landau (another favourite musician of mine) with two signature models and an amp. Kudos, Fender, maybe it's time to return to the mainline guitar manufacturers? Smile


Yes, it does seem like that although I really don't pay attention to what Fender is doing overall. My plate is quite full with all the different things I'm doing now.

Obviously, I've been aware of Mike Landau's working relationship with Fender for a while. I ran into Mike at NAMM and a pleasant short chat with him. He seemed quite happy with his relationship with Fender as well.

I always thought Fender suited him best because he really loves vintage Fender guitars. He likes old stuff. He's the type who will seek out various things (not just guitar-related stuff) at pawn shops and he drives an old car.

Also, he always preferred the Fender headstocks as well. Like me and many others, I don't think he could ever warm up to different headstocks on Strat and Tele bodies.

I'm not really a pure Strat guy (I've owned many different Fender Strats since my days at Fender but could never bond with them totally) but if I could get just one, the ML signature model based on his '63 Fiesta Red would be it. I've seen Mike live many times and that guitar just sounds huge and warm. His '69 is cool as well but that '63 is really amazing.


Again, amen on all accounts. If I could, I'd definitely go for the '63 Fiesta Red. Having said that, I own a custom-made Tele (chambered body, butterscotch blonde swamp ash body + maple neck) which, however, has a "non-Vintage" compound radius (I think it's 10–16'') and I love its playability. But I think the good old 7.25" goes fantastic with the 63 Strat. Do you fancy the antique/relic finishes, though? For some reason, I've never really been a fan of making a new guitar more expensive based on aged lacquer! Although I do understand the rationale if it's a replica, like the ML model.

P.S. Speaking of headstocks, I also really dig Mr. Leo's G&L design!
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:


Again, amen on all accounts. If I could, I'd definitely go for the '63 Fiesta Red. Having said that, I own a custom-made Tele (chambered body, butterscotch blonde swamp ash body + maple neck) which, however, has a "non-Vintage" compound radius (I think it's 10–16'') and I love its playability. But I think the good old 7.25" goes fantastic with the 63 Strat. Do you fancy the antique/relic finishes, though? For some reason, I've never really been a fan of making a new guitar more expensive based on aged lacquer! Although I do understand the rationale if it's a replica, like the ML model.



I'm not a fan of the whole Relic thing, overall, but that ML '63 looks right as it's a replica of his prized vintage Strat. What looks the worst are non-Fender knockoffs that are artificially aged. It's bad enough to have pointy or other unattractive headstocks on Strat and Tele bodies. Then to beat those guitars up to look like they're from the 50's and 60's that have been through many world tours is just so goofy to me. But, hey, whatever floats people's boats.

I get that many people are nostalgic and want to own something that allows them to relive the "glory" years gone by. Fender and Gibson defined rock history because all the players we loved during the golden age of rock played their instruments. That's just a fact and can't be changed. Various small boutique makers to off-brand copycat importers can make all the knockoffs they want but that's all those guitars will ever be - knockoffs of the real things.

So, no, I'm not a fan of the Relics and knockoffs no matter how good the guitars are. But Mike's signature '63 Relic is the one Strat I'd love to own someday. Well, for one, as Guthrie likes to say during his clinics when describing his Charvel GG, it has the "proper" headstock. There's a timeless look to it. It's history, it's Americana, it's iconic, it's American culture and it's the look that defined rock during the 60's and 70's. No other headstock looks even remotely right on the Strat.

Ditto for the Fender Telecaster and the Gibson Les Paul. I'd love to own a 50's reissue butterscotch Tele and a '57 Reissue Goldtop Les Paul someday as well. I prefer "modern" guitars for playing but it'd be good to have replicas of the '63 Strat, '52 Tele, and the '57 LP Goldtop (although '58 or '59 Historic would be awesome as well). For me, it'd be more about just owning them as cultural artifacts to look at and to pick up and play for nostalgia sake every now and then to evoke some old classic sounds.

Marco Minnemann recently purchased a '57 Goldtop Reissue (not sure what the exact name is as there seems to be so many different versions of the same thing) at a local GC store (Marco lives 15 mins away from me). He and I went into the Platinum Room and checked out a bunch of high-end Les Pauls and that Goldtop just stood out over the rest. It had the magic - just a beautiful sounding and playing guitar and everything just looked right.

That's the thing about the Les Paul. No other guitar looks quite like it and any attempts to make a similar version just does not look right. Even Gibson can't top it despite their various efforts. Then I'd look at all these attempts by other guitar makers to make an LP-like guitar and they all look wrong to me. Most often, a typical set-neck guitar based on the LP design looks like the designer took a Tele body and an LP body and then melded them together into something wholly unappealing. But, again, some people do like these alternative designs so it's all good. Me? I'll look around and find that magical Les Paul when I decide I want one.

The next guitar that I may end up getting is that Charvel "Strat" that Guthrie has been using and which he is most pleased with. It's basically the same spec as the GG sig guitar but with Swamp Ash body, 22 frets and three single-coils. It still has the new Charvel locking bridge, neck shape, super jumbo SS frets, F/B radius, etc. so it's essentially a "Strat" version of his sig model and, of course, it has the "proper" headstock. Wink Now this would be a real "Strat" that I'd play a lot. Sure, the ML '63 Strat would have the cooler vintage vibe but this GG Strat would definitely be something I'd pick up more often to play the kinds of stuff I like to play. Like Guthrie, I much prefer the much flatter 12-16" compound radius, the huge SS frets, the super sleek oil finish, and the new Charvel locking bridge. I do hope that this one becomes a new sig guitar in the not-too-distant future, especially considering how much more often Guthrie is calling on authentic single-coil sounds these days. Smile
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petros



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
The next guitar that I may end up getting is that Charvel "Strat" that Guthrie has been using and which he is most pleased with. It's basically the same spec as the GG sig guitar but with Swamp Ash body, 22 frets and three single-coils. It still has the new Charvel locking bridge, neck shape, super jumbo SS frets, F/B radius, etc. so it's essentially a "Strat" version of his sig model and, of course, it has the "proper" headstock. Wink Now this would be a real "Strat" that I'd play a lot. Sure, the ML '63 Strat would have the cooler vintage vibe but this GG Strat would definitely be something I'd pick up more often to play the kinds of stuff I like to play. Like Guthrie, I much prefer the much flatter 12-16" compound radius, the huge SS frets, the super sleek oil finish, and the new Charvel locking bridge. I do hope that this one becomes a new sig guitar in the not-too-distant future, especially considering how much more often Guthrie is calling on authentic single-coil sounds these days. Smile


Have you got this vibe regarding such a Strat-like signature model from Guthrie or is that just your informed guesswork (which, with your experience, may be more like forecast Very Happy)?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
The next guitar that I may end up getting is that Charvel "Strat" that Guthrie has been using and which he is most pleased with. It's basically the same spec as the GG sig guitar but with Swamp Ash body, 22 frets and three single-coils. It still has the new Charvel locking bridge, neck shape, super jumbo SS frets, F/B radius, etc. so it's essentially a "Strat" version of his sig model and, of course, it has the "proper" headstock. Wink Now this would be a real "Strat" that I'd play a lot. Sure, the ML '63 Strat would have the cooler vintage vibe but this GG Strat would definitely be something I'd pick up more often to play the kinds of stuff I like to play. Like Guthrie, I much prefer the much flatter 12-16" compound radius, the huge SS frets, the super sleek oil finish, and the new Charvel locking bridge. I do hope that this one becomes a new sig guitar in the not-too-distant future, especially considering how much more often Guthrie is calling on authentic single-coil sounds these days. Smile


Have you got this vibe regarding such a Strat-like signature model from Guthrie or is that just your informed guesswork (which, with your experience, may be more like forecast Very Happy)?


More of an informed guesswork at this point in time. Well, the most important factor is that Guthrie really, really likes the guitar. He doesn't say things like "most pleasing" very often. I think it makes perfect sense for Charvel to offer it as a second GG sig guitar but that's not for me to decide.

Although it looks very similar to the current GG sig model it'd sound completely different with the Swamp Ash body and the three single-coils. BTW, that reminds me to check with Guthrie on what those single-coils are. Guthrie is definitely taking this prototype "Strat" on the road for the Steven Wilson tour.

And now the more I hear about it from Guthrie about how much he likes the guitar, the more I want it. Haha. The guitar is a no-brainer - a very modern incarnation of the venerable '54 Strat. And then there could be a '63 version with Alder body and RW board in a few years. Wink
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petros



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
And then there could be a '63 version with Alder body and RW board in a few years. Wink


Amen, preach it brother! I think I'd definitely get the '63 version with Alder body Smile By then, I hopefully won't be a student anymore!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
And then there could be a '63 version with Alder body and RW board in a few years. Wink


Amen, preach it brother! I think I'd definitely get the '63 version with Alder body Smile By then, I hopefully won't be a student anymore!


This is just the beginning, my friend. There are so many possibilities in what Guthrie could do with Fender/Charvel. As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect matchup and Guthrie belongs in the realm of legends such as Jimi, Clapton, Jeff Beck, SRV, Yngwie, EJ and other Fender legends. And Guthrie is only now at the start of his peak years. Very Happy
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petros



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
And then there could be a '63 version with Alder body and RW board in a few years. Wink


Amen, preach it brother! I think I'd definitely get the '63 version with Alder body Smile By then, I hopefully won't be a student anymore!


This is just the beginning, my friend. There are so many possibilities in what Guthrie could do with Fender/Charvel. As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect matchup and Guthrie belongs in the realm of legends such as Jimi, Clapton, Jeff Beck, SRV, Yngwie, EJ and other Fender legends. And Guthrie is only now at the start of his peak years. Very Happy


So true. That's a great feature of time-proven companies like Fender: resources, longevity, flexibility, and stability. I wonder whether his guitars will solely be made under the auspices of Charvel or whether we'll see some "pure" Fender guitars bearing his signature? Like you say, possibilities are endless.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
And then there could be a '63 version with Alder body and RW board in a few years. Wink


Amen, preach it brother! I think I'd definitely get the '63 version with Alder body Smile By then, I hopefully won't be a student anymore!


This is just the beginning, my friend. There are so many possibilities in what Guthrie could do with Fender/Charvel. As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect matchup and Guthrie belongs in the realm of legends such as Jimi, Clapton, Jeff Beck, SRV, Yngwie, EJ and other Fender legends. And Guthrie is only now at the start of his peak years. Very Happy


So true. That's a great feature of time-proven companies like Fender: resources, longevity, flexibility, and stability. I wonder whether his guitars will solely be made under the auspices of Charvel or whether we'll see some "pure" Fender guitars bearing his signature? Like you say, possibilities are endless.


It's about now and the future with Guthrie. I think that's what makes all of this so interesting and exciting. History is being made right now and we can look forward to an even greater future. We are not re-living the past or waxing nostalgic about the glory days gone by.

Looking around on the Internet it seems so many guitar players and music fans are stuck in the past with no interest in the present or the future - well, mainly the old-and-gray crowd who grew up on the music of the 60's through the 80's. Personally, I just can't relate to that kind of thinking and mindset. Don't get me wrong; I love great music of the past as anyone else (and I'm also quite the classical music buff) but I just find the present and the future much more interesting and much prefer being involved in shaping what happens now and tomorrow. The past is gone and there's nothing that can be done about it but we can all make contributions to shape the era we're in now.

You listen to Guthrie and he's all about defining the state of guitar playing now in this era that we're living in and which will continue to evolve in the future. He doesn't sound like anyone from the past anymore. I understand that some want to continue trying to replicate the sounds of Jimi or EVH or SRV, etc. You have that in classical (using period instruments to get the "proper" sounds of Bach or Mozart, etc.) and jazz as well.

It's all good but I've always been more interested in musicians throughout history who pushed the envelope to take the music to new places and do things that hadn't been done before. In the classical world, Beethoven and Wagner were revolutionaries. In jazz, the likes of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis broke new ground during their respective eras. They all encountered resistance and even derision from their conservative contemporaries but they didn't care, just followed their muse, and pushed ahead to create new kinds of music.

What I really don't care for, personally, are musicians who constantly repeat themselves or just re-live the past gone by. The trend of tribute bands is something I just could never get into. But, hey, we're all different and I guess there's room for all that stuff. I just don't have any interest in that or people trying to nail the old sounds of Jimi, EVH, SRV, etc. It's much harder to come up with one's own sound and style than mimicking others.

And Guthrie has certainly taken the latter route of honing and defining his own. That's what sets the great ones apart from the merely good or proficient ones. Great ones develop their own thing and continue to evolve. They're never satisfied with the status quo. And I firmly believe that applies to any field of discipline, art, craft, profession, etc. I certainly follow that principle in whatever I do. I'll never get even close to being in Guthrie's level as a player even if I could live a thousand years and practice 10 hours a day but I try to be as good within the line of work I do in this industry. That's the kind of inspiration I draw from him and similar musicians as well as standouts in other disciplines.

As for Fender, we'll see what develops. As mentioned earlier, Guthrie played a Fender Strat and Tele quite a bit on the upcoming Aristocrats' album. I'm sure that he'll get to try and play many more over the years ahead and then some ideas may develop. I don't envision a Fender-branded sig model developing anytime soon, but who knows what can happen over the next 3~5 or 10 years down the road?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here's Guthrie's solo on 'Regret #9' - definitely one of the musical highlights of the album. Cool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaH2C2Qe97Y
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
And here's Guthrie's solo on 'Regret #9' - definitely one of the musical highlights of the album. Cool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaH2C2Qe97Y


I've enjoyed that one (among many other moments on the record). So soulful.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the noiseless pickups in the Fender Strats and Charvel GG "Strat" prototype are called N3. I'm assuming the "3" stands for their 3rd version but I could be wrong. I remember I had an Am Dlx Strat in the late-90's that had the Noiseless single-coils and I didn't really care for 'em. But Guthrie likes these pickups a lot so they must be very good. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
So the noiseless pickups in the Fender Strats and Charvel GG "Strat" prototype are called N3. I'm assuming the "3" stands for their 3rd version but I could be wrong. I remember I had an Am Dlx Strat in the late-90's that had the Noiseless single-coils and I didn't really care for 'em. But Guthrie likes these pickups a lot so they must be very good. Very Happy


I think you're right. I heard that the 2nd generation of those pickups wasn't too great either, but the 3rd marked a true change. My friend Dean Brown had them replaced as well and he loves 'em.

See http://www.deanbrown.com/gear/
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