Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dream Guitar Musings

Thinking about Steve Hackett's guitars got me dreaming about the ideal guitar, or at least the ideal counterpart to the Hagstrom Swede that I already own. The Swede is an LP type guitar with a stop-tail, twin Alnico V humbuckers, and a 24.75" scale length. I love the smooth, warm sound of its neck pup and the extra sizzle of the in-between setting, but I'd like to see what I could do with a trem equipped guitar as well.

So...in order to keep the important things constant we'll keep the scale length but start to mix things up from there.

Let's start by making it a 7-string to extend the lower end down to B without killing the tension on all the other strings to keep the intervals consistent with standard tuning. I know that I already struggle with one fewer strings, but I figure that if I'm already comfortable playing between the low E and the G strings and muting the low E when I'm playing barre chords with a root on the A that adding a low B will only really give me one more iteration of a pattern I already know. Having the extra string will allow me to cover songs from bands that tune down to D or C in addition to those that use standard tuning. The riffs will need some refiguring, but it should reduce the need for retuning.

Which is a good thing because, as I noted above, I'm wanting to have a trem on this guitar. That means either a Wilkinson or a locking trem if I want to keep anything like tuning stability, and since I want to be able to palm mute all those chunky low chords I'm getting with the extra low string I'm thinking that a Kahler is the way to go. I know that a Floyd is more popular for seven string shredders, but I think that a Kahler is better for extreme metal riffage, and I do love to chunk away.

Final bits of sonic versatility -- I love the way that Parker Flys are wired for both magnetic and piezo run together or to separate channels, so we'll say that the electronics are wired that way with piezo saddles on the Kahler running through a built in preamp to balance the signals. And, for the icing on the cake, let's make the neck pickup a Sustainiac so that we can get that awesome, singing sustain for as long as we want.

A guy can dream.

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