September 2, 2012

Guitars

Guitars to a guitarist are like friends, tools, children, wives, mistresses, girlfriends. They can be soothsayers, they can allow you express your innermost emotions in the most subtle to rude manner… and they never complain. The guitars we guitarists own and use are essentially extensions of our personality and we put a lot of time and effort to personalize them to our own unique uses.

Guitars:

My main guitars are all very special to me. My ‘favorite’ or “#1” can change from day-to-day and I am a strong believer in ‘horses for courses’.

PRS Custom 22

The PRS Custom 22 has been a favorite of mine since I first discovered PRS guitars in the early 90’s. I’ve owned over 30+ PRS guitars over the years; yes that’s excessive. The feel, the tone, the quality are all right in my wheelhouse.

My Custom 22 is a 1995; as for aesthetics, it is as plain Jane as you can go with a PRS. It’s a beat-up player; it’s not some pristine collector guitar. It was beat-up when I got it; I’ve played the snot out of it since I’ve owned it.

This is a monster player, killer tone machine of a guitar. She is feather-weight – it’s just over 7lbs. Plays like a dream. I had it re-fretted by my luthier Tom Pellerito and he did a fantastic job. I’ve dropped Motorcity Afwayu and Black Belt II pickups into it and added Tone-Pro’s locking studs to the bridge. The headstock features the gorgeous Ron Thorn PRS Forum 5th Anniversary truss rod cover.


Featuring the PRS Forum 5 Year Anniversary TRC from Ron Thorn

My PRS Singlecut
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This is a 2001 that just was too good to pass up and it’s become a very fast favorite. Featuring the same TRC (5th Anniversary PRS Forum) as my Custom 22, has the iconic ‘old school’ PRS bird fretboard inlays  and sporting a killer flame “10” top this thing plays and sounds just fantastic. The pickups are stock (PRS #7) but I kind of like them. I dropped Tone Pros locking studs on it and it just plays great.
This guitar is rock and roll. But with the ability to mix/match both the bridge and neck pickups (much like a Gibson Les Paul) you can do all sorts of different genres of music. I love this guitar!
My Tyler USA Variax
This one is the workhorse. Made in the USA, it was a prototype that I acquired after the beta program with it. I’ve swapped out the pickups for the Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz pickups I prefer and it was setup (fretwork crowning) by Tom Pellerito to my specs. I freaking LOVE this guitar; it is like the 8lb Les Paul that I always dreamed of having. The modeling aspect is what makes this an indispensable live performance guitar though. I can switch from acoustic and any number of electric guitar tones in a variety of tunings with just a button push… on the fly. With the range and number of cues I have to hit with the Laura Wilkie band in particular… this is the guitar you’ll most often see slung across my shoulder on the gig. This guitar is beautiful – and USA made – but I play it like a player. I don’t baby guitars and this one gets worked.

Melancon Custom Artist

I custom ordered this direct from Gerard Melancon in 2004. It’s been a constant companion since and one of my all-time favorite guitars. It’s top is Koa; I chose the wood used.. and I love it. It’s chambered Swamp Ash and Gerard gets the best swamp ash on the planet. I have WCR Custom Pickups (Goodwood/SRV/SRV) in it and it sings like a dream and rings like a bell.

 

Taylor K16

This is the pinnacle of acoustic guitars for me – Koa side and back with a Sitka Spruce top – it’s gorgeous beyond belief; it’s a tone MACHINE, it drips character. It’s like angels singing when you play it; but dig in and it’ll blow Martin guitars out of the water. You can make this guitar really ring…. and oh yea… it is gorgeous.

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