From Around The Web 01.27.2014

by | Jan 27, 2014 | Good Finds, News


NAMM 2014 just went down around LA and Daft Paragon…didn’t go.  However, I watched about 12 days worth of videos, which completely annoyed my wife.  So, you can waste your time this Monday morning…


Oh, and a full Arch Enemy performance.  Because every metal concert ends up on YouTube and YouTube suggests that I watch every metal concert.

Richard “I No Longer Have My Hair Styled In That Unfortunate Way That Makes Me Look Exactly Like Tin Tin” Beech of Sonic State talks with former Sonic State guitar reviewer Robert Chapman about the new Chapman guitars which look really nice.

A little over a decade ago there was a BMX bike company called Nerve.  Nerve’s two big items of note were that they were Stephen Murray’s first US sponsor and that they were direct sales only. Unfortunately the world was not ready for Internet direct sales, so Nerve slowly started selling via shops and then became a beach bike company, then disappeared all together.

Simultaneously a new (to the US) company called Felt launched in the US using bikes which were identical in spec and name to Nerve.  Felt soon hooked its star to a young Scotty Cranmer who would go on to win a bunch of X-Games and Dew Tour hardware.  They also were the first company to give my buddy Devon Smillie1 a full pro sponsorship deal.

I tell this story mostly because it was the first time I’d ever seen a company so totally and completely re-brand itself without anyone noticing2.

So, yeah, Michael Kelly Guitars used to have a guitar called the Vex.  I thought it was a relatively unique take on the whole super strat thing and figured I’d grab one one day.


This year, corporate sibling, B.C. Rich introduced the Villain, which looks strangely identical:

If you haven’t seen every. single. guitar outlet posting videos about Guthrie Govan’s Charvel signature prototype, here’s the production model.  Oddly, it may be the perfect guitar for me.  I’m not a Guthrie fan3 but this guitar is exactly what I’d build if I could build a guitar.  If the other Charvel signature models are any guide this will cost half as much as I’ve budgeted for a track car, so this is never going to happen.

Oh, also Dean is looking into releasing the guitar Michael Angelo used in the “Freight Train” video

Because why wouldn’t they?

Joe “Joejira” Duplantier of Gojira gets his own signature Charvel.  Due to my newfound love of Telecasters, this pushes almost all of my buttons.  Due to the fact that I can never figure out where to put my picking hand on a Tune-o-matic bridge it doesn’t push all of them.

Speaking of Teles and calling back to Michael Kelly, their 1950s guitars make my pants feel funny.

Seriously the 1952 and 1954 models.  I must have.  I must have

Next up, Paul Reed Smith thoroughly cheezballing it up with Emil Werstler.  I giggled, I’ll admit it.

Because this is confusing (confusing enough that got it wrong):

ESP USA guitars are made in the new ESP USA custom shop.  ESP guitars are made in Japan.  E-II guitars replace the old LTD Elite guitars as well as the low-end ESP guitars (sitting roughly where the Ibanez Premium line does) and are also made in Japan.  LTD guitars are made in the non-Japan parts of Asia.


Apparently there was a Sonic State/Kempler party that we weren’t invited to

Paul Gilbert has had a signature model from Ibanez for 25 years.  Instead of re-issuing one of the hundred variations of the RG that he’s played over the years4 or the violin guitar or the Iceman, they hot rodded his current Fireman, called it the “250” and went on about their business.

Now with humbuckers.

The actual, most interesting thing I saw in the NAMM videos was from Fender.

Solderless pickups is something that the industry should standardize on a decade ago.  The personality card thing is just really, really cool

On the one hand, I’m very excited that Keith Merrow has a signature model from a major manufacturer based solely on being huge on YouTube.  On the other hand, his guitar is so close to Jeff Loomis’ new hard tail model, that I can’t see their not being a lot of sales cannibalization going on.

And now, for no reason, Helmet at a radio station

  1. BMX name drop on a guitar blog, yes.  But I’ve known Devon and his parents since he was 13 and I’m super proud of that kid
  2. Not that BMXers notice much of anything besides screaming which companies are “core”
  3. I don’t dislike him, I’m just entirely neutral
  4. Like the PGM 10th, that guitar was so limited edition it was more a rumor than an actual guitar