Tuesday, January 24, 2017

JEM it one more time

Winter NAMM 2017 is over by now. The dust has settled & we move on. Ibanez JEM fans are moving on with this 30th Anniversary commemorative model. Over at the manufacturer's social media feed, it's touted as Steve Vai's 'new' guitar. I must say that I'm offended by this claim because it's nothing new. The volute under the locking nut disqualifies it from being a true re-issue as well, compounded by the anniversary neck bolt plate. Despite being drawn to Ibanez all the time, I have zero interest in JEMs largely due to my disinterest in signature models. This is no different- still averse to JEMs. However, we have the JEM to thank for when it comes to the countless RG permutations out there. It was a successful endeavour & looks like it's gonna last for many more years to come. 

Monday, January 23, 2017


The official release of Fredrik Thordendal's Ibanez baritone FTM33. Affectionately dubbed as the Stoneman by the endorser himself, this one was in the making since 2012 at the LACS. We note that it's not a Japenese model & it's not true to the custom specs when it was in proto version. Acquired taste, definitely but it may be your thing.

Bridge of sighs (yes, that one)

This is the highlight of the moment, the star player for Ibanez at Namm 2017, if you will- Ibanez's Premium RG6. I have nothing against this guitar.

In fact, I feel they did a good job in reinforcing the neck & moved away from the maple dominance.

I'm wondering why the bridge in this gorgeous piece has to be the EZ-II. If they had given this some considerations & maybe include an Edge at the very least, it would have been a winner with me. The manufacturer might be keeping costs down this way or letting it get away in a gorgeous looking guitar. Subconsciously, you'd be paying good money (that's right, this series isn't gonna be on the lighter side of the price bracket despite not being a Japanese model) for something with a less favourable feature which would be largely ignored or 'accepted'. If there's a fixed bridge variant in time to come, maybe I'd consider. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Don't forget (to play)

All the latest NAMM feeds in social media will make many of us rooted to screens everywhere, fixed on some serious new gear out there. Let's not forget to play, seriously. I'm taking a break from gear updates just to hear myself in action which we sometimes take for granted. 

The whole of yesterday saw me playing this Edwards E-MA on & off trying to figure out some ideas ringing in my head & it went past midnight. I rained for the most part anyway so staying indoors & hearing myself in action was the wisest thing to do. These days it's not about keep my technicalities up there but it's about proficiency; the ability to translate what one's thinking about immediately onto the instrument. I'm moving onto this focus because it's more gratifying than being frustrated trying to learn someone else's music or ideas & making a tremendous amount of mistakes along the way. However, this approach is not exclusive & might take a back seat once I have some other needs to attend to. It's about addressing the immediate concern. How long do I spend doing this? As long as it takes until the objective is met. 

Here's wishing you a good Sunday ahead & enjoying every guitar moment that comes your way 😸

Friedman Monarch

Finally, the return-to-Jackson Marty Friedman model based on the Monarkh series. Fans won't get to see this in stores till May 2017. I'm wondering why a model with a strong endorser backing gets relegated to the X-series but this isn't the first time it happened to a Marty Friedman guitar. Remember the PRS MF model? That was in the SE camp. 😑

Anniversary in black

No rubbing of eyes, please, this BOSS DS-1 is indeed the limited edition version of the manufacturer's 40th anniversary celebrations which would take place throughout the year. Expect more commemorative goodies along the way but keep in mind of the novelty & prices, some regurgitations (without fresh inputs) are not worth buying.