Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent Signature Model
The concept of a signature guitar relies heavily on a unique design, innovation and communication with the artist at hand. If any of these three components are found wanting, there’s every chance you end up with an instrument that merely mimics the makers’ stock model. Ernie Ball Music Man’s St. Vincent signature guitar, thankfully, avoids falling into this trap; from design, to construction and playing experience, it’s a shining example of a signature model bringing something entirely new to the table.
Ormsby Guitars 8-String HypeGTR Multiscale - Exotic
After following Ormsby Guitars online for so long and attending a few informal Ormsby get-togethers, it’s been great to see the company go from strength to strength in 2016. Beginning with a successful appearance at Winter NAMM in January, this year has brought us to a point where you can stroll into a store like GH Music in Melbourne and see a selection of Ormsby multiscale guitars right alongside brands like Ibanez and Schecter. The guitar reviewed in this issue is at GH Music at the time of writing. It’s an 8-string HypeGTR Exotic model with a sexy-as-f walnut burl top on an alder body (swamp ash bodied versions are available too, distinguishable at a glance because the alder has a black forearm cut while swamp as has a plain wood one).
Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Signature Series JP16 Guitar
For 17 years now Music Man has teamed up with John Petrucci to create guitars that shred. Together the bona fide metal guitar god and the player-driven manufacturer are a formidable guitar-making force. First it was the original JP6 and its floating tremolo that altered pitch seamlessly, all the way through to 2014’s Majesty, equipped with digital pickup switching, and the African mahogany body of last year’s JP15. It’s only right that in 2016 we have a new Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci signature guitar – the JP16. This model harks back to the original and the Ball Family Reserve models, but thanks to some fresh new features, brings to the fore its own tonal personality.
Ernie Ball Music Man James Valentine Signature Guitar
Ernie Ball Music Man has long been regarded for making ‘players’ guitars. They are a guitar manufacturer that never shies away from breaking new ground and always tapped into the way people play. With a history of pioneering, player-endorsed design that spans over 40 years, EBMM has developed signature models for the likes of Steve Morse, Eddie Van Halen, Albert Lee, John Petrucci and St. Vincent. With the James Valentine ‘Valentine’ guitar – an instrument made to meet the playing demands and design brief of the modern Maroon Five guitarist – this proud lineage of Ernie Ball Music Man signature guitars continues.
Fican Guitars Tornado
Stuart Monk’s Fican Guitars is a new brand driven by a unique vision. Monk’s guitars aren’t based on those 50s-derived legends we all know and love: instead he follows his own path. He began building guitars after an injury to his finger made it difficult to play C-shaped necks. He built a D-shaped neck that felt more ergonomic.
Ormsby TX GTR Eaton Special
We’ve already reviewed the Ormsby Hypemachine and SX models in both their custom and production GTR forms. This month we’re taking a peek at another Ormsby design, the TX. Imagine a Telecaster or an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis fed through a warp in spacetime and you’ll get the basic idea. It’s a single-cutaway offset design with great ergonomics and that’s before you even take into account the fretting-hand-friendly multiscale design, which presents a 27.8” scale length on the lowest string and a 25.5” scale on the highest (a 6-string version is also available with a 25.5”-27.5” scale). The benefits of this are many; in terms of how it angles your fretting hand, how it presents a more even tension from string to string and how it intonates better. But we’ve covered that before, so let’s get to the guts of what makes this particular guitar what it is.
VOX Starstream Type 1 Guitar
Vox are certainly known for classic looks and classic tones when it comes to their amplifiers. They are also known for straying from the classic when it comes to their guitars. So, it comes as no surprise that their latest release – the Starstream Type 1 – looks the way it does. This instrument certainly is different, yet it looks so intriguing, you simply have to pick it up and see what it’s all about.
Ernie Ball Music Man Luke III Electric Guitar
Picture yourself back when you first started playing. You’d picked up your first electric guitar 6 months earlier; some cheap Strat copy that came in a package deal with a 10w practice amp and all the accessories necessary for your parents to feel like they were getting a bargain. You walk into the room at the back of your teacher’s house where you’ve been learning all the barre chords and even had a crack at a few Hendrix solos over the course of the last year, and there it is. Hanging on the wall all shiny and new like it was plucked straight out of that Guns N’ Roses video you’d taped off Rage. The youthful awe, one day you’ll have an axe like that! The EBMM Luke III looks and feels like it was designed to have that very appeal.