Martin Titanium Core strings deliver the ultimate player’s experience with patented technology from Martin!
With Titanium Core strings, you will find the most superior intonation and tuning stability of any string you’ve ever played. And, titanium is naturally more flexible than steel, but just as strong, so the strings are easier to press down thus reducing finger fatigue. Even more amazing, the combination of titanium and pure nickel used in our Titanium Core strings provides natural corrosion resistance, meaning they will last a really, really long time under normal circumstances! Find a dealer stocking Titanium strings here. Or get even more information on Titanium Core strings in our product spotlight here.
Vernon Reid is one of my favourite guitarists, and a damn nice guy as well. He’s been playing PRS Guitars for a few years now and has solidified his partnership with the company via a new limited edition signature model, the S2 VR Vela. I love so many things about this guitar, from the Floyd Rose to the pickguard to the choice of colours. And I can’t wait to hear it in action on Living Colour’s new record, Shade, out next month. Here’s the press release.
(STEVENSVILLE, MD) August 8, 2017 – PRS Guitars is pleased to announce a new limited edition model in the S2 series of US made electric guitars: The S2 VR Vela. Developed with Living Colour founder, Vernon Reid, the VR Vela is a commanding instrument with a cult personality and tons of tonal textures.
Initially attracted by the Vela’s offset body shape, Vernon took the S2 Vela to another level through a unique set of appointments. Loaded with two HFS pickups, the S2 VR Vela has an aggressive sound with clear highs and strong mids and bass. The Floyd Rose 1000 Series tremolo adds new sonic options for players and provides the confidence to dive bomb without going out of tune. The S2 VR Vela also features a “V-shape” neck that feels full and strong in your hand and a unique pickguard designed by Vernon himself.
“I love the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it sounds. I think it’s really meant for the player that is prepared to go all different kinds of places. It’s the kind of instrument that invites people to experiment and just have a good time. Whatever kind of music you want to play…whatever you want to plug the guitar into.” Vernon Reid
There is no limit to the number of S2 VR Vela guitars that will be made, but the order window is open from August 8 – September 30, 2017 only through authorized PRS Dealers.
To explore the S2 Series and to see the new S2 VR Vela, please visit www.prsguitars.com.
About PRS Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Guitars is a leading manufacturer of high quality instruments in Stevensville, Maryland and has provided some of the world’s most renowned musicians with instruments since 1985. The PRS team of highly skilled craftspeople design and build a wide variety of musical instruments and gear for worldwide distribution, including electric, acoustic, and bass guitars as well as boutique-style guitar amplifiers. The PRS SE line of products complements the Maryland-made PRS line by offering highly approachable and more affordable electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, John McLaughlin, John Mayer, Linkin Park, Orianthi, Blake Shelton, Mark Tremonti, Zach Myers of Shinedown, Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, David Grissom, Martin Simpson, Tony McManus, and Derek Trucks are among the artists currently playing PRS instruments and/or amplifiers.
PRS Guitars Info: www.prsguitars.com
The Squier Bullet Strat project has been coming along nicely. With the aid of the Wilkinson bridge’s full size sustain block, Hantug Custom Guitars brass saddles and titanium spring claw, the guitar sounds great unplugged. The DiMarzio made IBZ/USA stacked single coil, in conjunction with the stock Squier pickups are sounding pretty sweet, and the upgrade to the Graphtech Black TUSQ XL nut means the guitar is staying in tune better than it previously did. The next step was to get the bridge mounted properly on all six screws, and shield the pickup and control cavity.
Filling and drilling holes to mount a vintage-style 6 screw Strat bridge is a bit of a daunting piece of DIY work, even when there’s only two of the six holes that need to be taken care of. The holes need to be lined up perfectly, and drilled perfectly level, a job best done with a bench drill. I don’t have one of these, but I decided to give it a go with my hand drill, using a clever trick to try and get the hole drilled as accurately as possible. But first off, the original outer holes needed to be filled.
To take care of the holes I picked up a dowel joining kit, as well as some wood glue from my local hardware store. I measured the existing hole depth using a bamboo skewer, marking the depth on the side of the skewer. I then lined up the guide on the dowel kit drill bit to ensure I didn’t drill too far. I then drilled out the holes, ready for the dowels to be inserted.
After cleaning out the holes I placed a bit of wood glue into holes, followed by the dowels. Once the glue started to set I realised that I stupidly forgot to trim the dowels to suit the hole depth, making my life a lot harder than I really needed to. Upon the glue setting, I had to cut the dowels close to body level, taking care not to accidentally mess the body up. I then taped of the body around the dowels and started sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper, until the dowels were level with the body. A Dremel would have been super handy to take care of cutting and sanding the dowels, but unfortunately I didn’t have one on hand.
I got onto shielding the pickup and control cavities while I had the pickguard off. I used aluminium foil tape to take care of the shielding duties since it’s easy to cut to size and apply, and you don’t have wait anything to dry, as you would if you applied shielding paint. I also put some tape on the pickguard so I could minimise any interference.
Once all of this was done I was ready to properly install the bridge. I put the bridge back in place, using the four inside screws to line it up. I then carefully marked where the new holes were to be drilled with a small tipped hole punch. I removed the bridge and got ready to drill the starter holes for the screws.
I wanted to see if I could find a way to accurately drill the holes with a hand drill since I didn’t have a drill press on hand. A quick google search found a good hack to getting a hole drilled as straight as possible, by using a CD or DVD. Basically You sit the disk on the surface to be drilled, data side down, and use the reflection to line the drill bit up. Since I was drilling into fairly soft timber, and the Strat bridge uses wood screws, I just drilled starter holes, and then used my electric screwdriver to drive the screws in. I brought the strings back to tune and stretched them again, and was pleasantly surprised by how well the guitar stayed in tune after a bit of work on the whammy bar. Even with the stock tuners, the guitar was capable of staying in relative tune.
It was great to see that I could install the bridge properly with only the most basic of hand tools, and a bit of clever life-hacking. The shielding will help with noise-related issues, and is a cheap upgrade that anyone can do at home. The next upgrades will be replacing the nasty stock tuners with some better quality units, string trees, and finishing off the white to black transformation.
Kenosuke Hayakawa, Japanese wood worker.
Friday is the only day I get to be in the workshop. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to take a day job to cover our bills and with this job I have to work four ten hour days, thus Friday is really the only day I get to myself. Weekends are just that, trying to catch up on yard and house work along with having some fun.
Don't worry, by mid-November I will be back in the studio workshop cranking out guitars and capos/cejillas!
My studio workshop is a bit of a mess because I have no proper storage for the likes of fretting tools, sandpaper, wood cauls, etc., etc., many of these things make up an organized chaotic mess on the floor underneath the window, or are cached away in cardboard boxes.
To remedy this situation and help make the studio workshop look like a real studio workshop, on Fridays I have been making two sets of drawers that will support a work surface.
You won't find any dovetails in these drawers, twenty five years ago I discovered that I find cutting squashed triangles a very, very boring task. Rectangles and squares really don't excite me, either. Curves and circles, the shape of a guitar, are much more pleasing to me.
A trim nail gun, a router, a table saw and some glue helped me put this very basic, rough and tumble set together.
The nail holes were filled, now the set awaits primer and paint. I still need to build a base and the work top.
Yesterday, I was able to do some work on a guitar neck that I made about four years ago. It is Spanish cedar with an East Indian rosewood face plate and it is for a guitar with about a 25 5/16" string length or 643mm. When I first made it I tried a different technique for carving the heel, that was using a short knife on a long handle instead of chisels. I almost ruined the neck because of a slip of the knife.
The headstock crest started out in the style of Santos Hernandez, but since I am focusing on making near bench copies of guitars by Hernandez y Aguado, and that there was enough wood left, I cut a HyA style crest. The field between the tuning machine slots will get rabbeted and stippled just like some of the original HyA guitars.
It is nice work to do and a bit of a challenge.
We have had over ten days of thunderstorms and rain here in this part of Colorado, a very soggy start to August. It's been so damp that I had to fire up the furnace! Lots of mushrooms are popping up and in the above photo you can see that the woodland pinedrops are growing at a phenomenal rate! This is less than one week's worth of growth!
This photo shows the saw filer for the Sierra Lumber Company at Lyonsville, California, circa 1900. This was an important job in a logging camp, as you can well imagine, especially for the men who worked as buckers. This photo is from the Digital Collections at CSU Chico.
This flume carried rough cut lumber from the Champion Mill in Lyonsville to a planing mill in Red Bluff, California, a distance of over 30 miles. The flume was abandoned in 1914, this photo shows a crew of men dismantling the flume. I was told that my grandfather, Rufus Wilson, helped dismantle this flume, I like to think that he is somewhere in this photo. Photo from the Digital Collections, CSU Chico.
You still have this weekend to come visit us at Musikfest!
In the last 34 years, Musikfest has grown to be the largest and most diverse music festival in the nation with 500+ shows on 14 stages over 10 days. It's a bonus that it is right in Martin Guitar's backyard!
Come visit us the day four nights of the festival (10th, 11th, 12th, & 13th) at Lagerplatz to catch performances, play on our jam stage, and possibly win a Martin guitar. We also sponsor Martin Guitar Lyricplatz which features singers and songwriters through out the duration of the festival.
You can learn more about Musikfest here.
Sheik Yerbouti next February, 2018 as the legendary music of Frank Zappa is celebrated live on stage by the man’s prodigiously talented son Dweezil Zappa and his band The Others of Intention.
Freak Out to some of the most inventive and wildly original music ever committed to tape! Discover Who Are The Brain Police as Dweezil conducts immaculate explorations and excavations of Frank’s 50 year old debut album. Take a drive with the Muffin Man along the Inca Roads in the Orange County Lumber Truck as Dweezil digs in for a suite mined from one of Frank Zappa’s most acclaimed albums, Joe’s Garage.
Dweezil will be whippin’ up a G-Spot Tornado, as he explores everything from the deepest album cuts through to the cult favourites that have made Frank Zappa and his music such an indelible influence on our musical culture.
Before you ask Is That All There Is? Dweezil will be holding exclusive and strictly limited guitar master classes and Q&A session before each show, exploring exciting new approaches to guitar that he has employed to play his dad’s most sophisticated and challenging melodies. So you can Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar, and take a step closer to mastering The Black Page, these masterclasses provide theories that destroy the boundaries that confine music creativity.
So don’t be a Zomby Woof, move like the Teen-Age Wind and grab a ticket before they are all gone, as The Son Of Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar shows you how it’s done.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF FRANK
Pre- Sale 16th August 12pm until 10am 17th
General sale 17th August 10am
TUESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY AUCKLAND BRUCE MASON CENTRE
THURSDAY 22ND FEBRUARY BRISBANE TIVOLI THEATRE
FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY SYDNEY ENMORE THEATRE
SATURDAY 24TH FEBRUARY MELBOURNE FORUM THEATRE
SUNDAY 25TH FEBRUARY ADELAIDE THE GOV
TUESDAY 27TH FEBRUARY PERTH ASTOR THEATRE
For tickets visit:
ESP Guitars has announced its plans for moving toward sustainable materials in guitar/bass design and manufacturing in response to the changes to CITES regulations, and while their various manufacturing facilities gradually begin the switch to new materials, they are far enough along in the process that they have made their first public statement about the new materials to be used, on a series-by-series basis.
Here’s the statement.
ESP Guitars has always been a company who takes seriously our responsibility as a manufacturer of wood-based instruments. With the most recent amendments to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), all instrument manufacturers face increased scrutiny to ensure that the raw materials used in their products meet the requirements as designated under this international treaty.
Particular to the current version of CITES is the use of the wood genus Dalbergia, with several species known commonly as rosewood, which has been overexploited in the wild. To remain compliant with CITES, ESP has researched a number of replacement materials for use in some of our products’ fingerboards. Note that in some cases, the replacement materials are a running change via our various manufacturing facilities, and as stock is depleted on earlier versions, the use of new materials will go into effect.
LTD “200 SERIES” & “400 SERIES” INSTRUMENTS
Moving ahead, fingerboards on this series of instruments will use jatoba to replace rosewood. Jatoba is a wood found in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America that is commonly called “Brazilian cherry” due to its appearance. Some of the current 200 Series instruments have replaced rosewood with Blackwood, an engineered wood made from sustainable pine. Both materials have been tested by ESP’s specialists for tone and aesthetic appearance, and meet all of our standards for high-quality instruments.
LTD DELUXE “1000 SERIES” and LTD SIGNATURE “600 SERIES” INSTRUMENTS
ESP is making two changes to these instrument series. First, most of the guitars in these series formerly offered with rosewood fingerboards will soon be manufactured with Pau Ferro. While Pau Ferro is colloquially referred to as Bolivian rosewood, it is not actually part of the rosewood genus that is restricted via CITIES regulations, and is an excellent, high-quality substitute for rosewood on guitar and bass fingerboards. Second, on certain models that had been previously offered with rosewood fingerboards, we are making a design change to offer them with Macassar ebony. We are also changing current models in these series being offered with African ebony to using Macassar ebony instead. This is a wood native to Indonesia, and is much less vulnerable than true Rosewood or African ebony as a sustainable material.
LTD ACOUSTIC GUITARS (AVAILABLE ONLY OUTSIDE THE USA)
For all LTD acoustic models that previous used rosewood for fingerboards and bridges, the guitars have been manufactured since January 2017 using Blackwood, and beginning in July we have started to produce them with jatoba as described above. Any model that previously used rosewood for its back and/or sides will now make use of black walnut.
LTD “10 SERIES” INSTRUMENTS
For our instruments designed for beginning musicians and to be made available at the lowest possible cost, the fingerboards of LTD 10 Series has been switched to a manufactured wood material that will act as an acceptable rosewood substitute. This is a running change that is still in progress, and we will announce the specific material at the earliest opportunity.
We are sure that you share ESP’s commitment toward staying in compliance with the current CITES regulations, as well as our enthusiasm for helping to conserve these important natural resources for the planet.