You know that despite the august title of this blog there has been previous little about guitars on here lately. Actually I've consider starting a new blog with the title "None the bloody wiser frankly" given that is often how I feel as I get older.
Anyway - some guitar stuff...
I was reading this months copy of Guitarist. They had a review of some new Yamaha Pacifica models - namely the Pacifica 611HFM, the 510V and the 311H. Now the 611 and 311 are very similar just the 611 has Semour Duncan pickups, better h/w and a flame maple veneer top. I've played one or two Pacifica's over the years and always been impressed with them, also I'm a Yamaha steel string acoustic nut owning currently three different models! I'd love an old SG as well (don't start Colin I know yours is for sale but just because I'd love to buy your beauty doens't mean I can justify it either to myself or the wealth distribution management oversight committee of Mrs F and Daugther-of-Furtheron who always have conflicting priorities).
What I like about these models is that they are a bit different from the norm. 611 is fixed bridge with a tapped humbucker in the bridge and a P90 at the neck. Cool. I did have a Les Paul Special for a while with P90s having determined I needed a P90 loaded guitar but found I never settled with it and it went when the PRS joined the stable.
However the 510v that I really like the look of. Single humbucker stratalike shape with a vibrato... hmm remind you of the 80s? Indeed but the pickup is the very cleaver Semour Duncan p-rails one which attempts (quite well by all accounts) to capture a humbucker, single coil and P90 sound all in one humbucker sized unit. Yamaha claim in the review that they have exclusive OEM rights to the trembucker sized variant of this now - i.e. the pole pieces are in the right place for Fender like trem string spacing at the bridge position.
Here's a very seductive picture of one in a little red number... they have a nice looking all black number available too...
Also in review was the new Fret King Jerry Donahue signature guitar. A Tele derivative obviously but with some interesting electrics, slightly modified shape on the bottom and the top horn and clever Trev Wilkinson hardware, just look at those bridge saddles - neat. I read the review of this and wasn't surprised that the guitar came out well I've played some Fret Kings and been impressed and JD wouldn't put his name on any old tat. However I assumed this would be in the expensive Fret King range, you know £1,200plus, competing with Fender Standards and Deluxes from the USA. But... £600!!! WHAT! Bargain surely - ok it is Korean assembled but I think today we can all dismiss those fears and ESPs ltd series which are throughly superb guitars are Korean made but now appearing around the £1000 mark.
It got me thinking... I have a collection of axes but it has in it ... a Strat, A Les Paul, a PRS CE22 - all a bit bloody predicatble isn't it. Ok the Peter Cook is out in the left field and the Gordon Smith is slightly pushing against the norm a little... although it is the single cut varient - trust me when I say that search started with the intention of buying a double cut "classic" GS shape but when I played the "60" I now own I feel in love - even my wife who suffered that buying expedition said she knew in seconds of me noddling on it that I'd buy that one. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't try out something like these guys and dispense with the obvious options.