GUITAR: Gibson SG Special (1998 special edition)
Other than my 2002 Gibson SG Standard that I’ve been using for the last 13 years, it almost always felt impossible for any other guitars to feel right in my hands. For any reason, it seems like I always slip back into my old comfy shoes. For that reason, the few other guitars that I own suffer from severe lack of love (actually exchanging embarrassing eye contact with my Gibson Nighthawk…).
However, being an SG fan, I’ve bought that 1998 SG Special on ebay years ago. I was looking for new gear and fell on that vintage white SG. What I first noticed when I received it was an ebony fretboard instead of the regular rosewood fretboard you’d find on any average SGs. I think the seller didn’t even notice it in his ad. It ended up being a limited edition made from 1998 to 1999. This higher-end version also features gold hardware. I remember paying it 800 USD + shipping fees back then. Great bargain right?
However, the original pickups were swapped out for EMGs by the previous owner. It didn’t take long before I swap that crap out for a pair of Dimarzio Tone Zone which better enhanced this solid body’s natural sound. That’s probably the only modification ever made on this guitar on my behalf.
I don’t use it as often as my main axe but it always feels good moving back to that one. Like my other guitars, it’s wired with D’addario’s 12-52 jazz light gauge. It has a sharp and tight tone when paired up with my Mesa single rectifier head + JCM 800 (Bass 1984) cabinet. I think I’ve used it to record my lead parts just for one song called Welcome Tomorrow which we covered from The Matchups and released a couple of years ago. Otherwise, My main axe handled the duty on both C&C and Part of the Game recordings. I will definitely give it more air time on the next record.
GUITAR: Gibson LesPaul Custom (1978)
I’ve always loved vintage gear. I made the mistake of selling my 85’ JCM800 4212 combo for a Mesa Single Rectifier thinking I might need more gain and that would be more appropriate for my needs to have a head plus cabinet at the moment of starting Fullcount. The rectifier was finally replaced by an Orange Rockerverb 100 mk I white limited edition (2009). I’m able to get an interesting sound out of it but I’m not totally in love and it may be kicked out someday. The head, not the cab. Orange cabs are true keepers, built as tanks.
As opposed to JP, I really love all the axes I own and I try to give love to all of them. I am a Gibson and Fender guy. Since Fullcount’s beginning in 2011, I played a 2006 walnut brown SG Standard, a 2012 candy red ES-335 Custom which I used to call the lollypop, a 2008 sandburst Traditional Lespaul, a sunburst American Vintage Custom 62’ Telecaster which I don’t remember the production year (the feel of that guitar is just amazing), a vintage black Ltd EC1000 Deluxe (Seymour Duncans loaded. Like JP and most of our band, I’m not really into EMG and active pickups) and the last but not the least, a 1978 tobacco burst Lespaul Custom (Valentine’s Day guitar; 1978-02-14). From all of those, I only still own the Telecaster, the Lespaul Custom and the Ltd.
All those guitars were left with factory specs, which is amazing especially for the 78’ Lespaul (factory Tim Shaw pickups). Fun fact, I bought the old Lespaul from the original owner and this was heart melting to see him let it go. Damn I love that guitar. I will turn 34 in a couple of weeks and my Lespaul just turned 40 this year. Amazing to see how in great shape it still is after all those years of rock n roll. This is my main studio and live guitar. You may also see the Ltd soon since I plan to use it for touring.
For those interested, you can hear the Traditional Lespaul on Concessions & Compromises and the Custom Lespaul on Part of the Game.