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W I N ! A S u pr o Ja m e s p or t e l e c t r ic wor t h £ 7 9 9 Issue 416

February 2017





NEW BREED Taking care of business with the new American Professional Strat & Tele

classic gear

STEVE VAI Gets a grip on 30 years of the Ibanez JEM p78




10 Licks

t h at


Give your blues-rock soloing more finesse p74

v i n tage ton e

worth the Hype?

Exploring the tone of a unique Dumble Overdrive Special p54


Future Publishing Limited, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA Telephone 01225 442244   Email   Online

Unchained Melody Welcome to another issue of Guitarist. This month, we were lucky enough to catch up with a man who’s fast becoming the proverbial ‘guitarist’s guitarist’, Andy Timmons (see p60). If you’ve not come across this American player’s superb playing before, he comes from that powerfully melodic tradition of instrumental electric guitar that Jeff Beck pioneered. Like a good story, the human ear tunes in on melody, following it wherever it leads if the thread of notes is strong enough. So why do we guitarists so frequently focus on learning set-piece ‘chops’ that we then try to shoe-horn into various musical scenarios, rather than trying to just work out a melody in our minds and replicate it on the fretboard? Well, like using the phrase ‘over the moon’ instead of working out an original way to say that you’re really happy, sometimes it’s just convenient to bolt together ready-made phrases rather than try to say something wholly new. But making that attempt is what marks out a true artist on the instrument. The same goes for guitar designs, as our interview with Steve Vai on the 30th anniversary of the JEM demonstrates – who could forget the first time they laid eyes on one: a razor-edged outrage clad in hot neon colours previously reserved for ski jackets. But lest we forget, that design came about because Vai needed a guitar built from the ground up to give him free rein for new techniques. Those ’87 original JEMs we took a look at on p78 still play beautifully, by the way, so their progressive design remains formidably effective today. We hear that Vai is a big fan of Andy Timmons, so here’s to guitar’s original thinkers as we go into a New Year that will hopefully see fewer musical heroes take a bow for the last time – and more fresh ideas from the rest of us! Enjoy the issue.

Jamie Dickson Editor

Editor’s Highlights Animal Magnetism

Mick Taylor’s test-play of a unique Dumble Overdrive Special granted us a rare handson insight into the tone behind the much-hyped myth p54

Supersonic Style

Top Los Angeles tutor Doug Rappoport has some lifeenhacing playing advice and ultra-classy blues licks for you to learn from p68

Bobby Please...

…Don’t go! Our long-serving art editor, Rob Antonello, bids a final farewell as he leaves for pastures new with his longterm Gretsch test finale p128

February 2017  Guitarist


Future Publishing Limited, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA Telephone 01225 442244   Email   Online

Editorial Editor 

Jamie Dickson

Art Editor

Reviews Editor

Rob Antonello

Dave Burrluck

Deputy Editor

Managing Editor

Senior Music Editor

Global Editor-In-Chief

David Mead

Lucy Rice

Jason Sidwell

Daniel Griffiths

Contributors Michael Astley-Brown, Richard Barrett, Adrian Clark, Trevor Curwen, Chris Francis, Adam Goldsmith, Nicky Gotobed, Nick Guppy, Martin Holmes, Richard Hood, Rob Laing, Neville Marten, Ed Mitchell, Roger Newell, Tanya Oliver, Elliott Randall, Davina Rungasamy, Mick Taylor, Henry Yates In-House Photography Joseph Branston, Olly Curtis, Neil Godwin, Laura Howlett, Joby Sessions, Jesse Wild Advertising commercial sales director  Clare Dove director of agency sales  Matt Downs senior advertising sales manager  Lara Jaggon account sales director  Leon Stephens account sales director  Alison Watson advertising sales manager  Simon Rawle head of strategic partnerships  Clare Jonik 

Marketing marketing manager  Kristianne Stanton marketing executive  Emma Clapp marketing director  Sascha Kimmel 

Print & Production production controller  Frances Twentyman senior ad production coordinator  Gemma O’Riordan head of production uk & us  Mark Constance 

head of licensing 

Licensing Matt Ellis Circulation

trade marketing manager  Michelle Brock 

0207 429 3683

Future Publishing Limited Joe McEvoy editorial director  Paul Newman group art director  Graham Dalzell chief executive  Zillah Byng-Thorne   Future Media Store  online  email

managing director, magazines division 


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cover feature

Fender pro series


Fender’s branddefining American Standards step aside as a new line-up of American Professional Series instruments get set to make their mark in 2017


Guitarist  February 2017

Contents ISSUE 416  FEBRUARY 2017

Regulars 003.......... Editor’s Welcome 027.......... The Lineup 032.......... Opinion 034 ......... Substitute 036.......... Perfect 10 038.......... Readers’ Letters 042.......... New Music 044.......... One For The Road 046.......... Start Me Up 108.......... Subscribe 124.......... Workshop 128.......... Longterm Test 133.......... Gear Q&A 138.......... Next Month 140.......... Old Gold 152.......... Reader Ads


050.......... Headstock: Julian Lage 054.......... Dumble Overdrive Special 060.......... Andy Timmons 068.......... D  oug Rappoport 078.......... Historic Hardware: Ibanez JEM

New Gear

010........... Teye Super Coyote 016........... Patrick James Eggle The 96 Carved Top 020........... Schecter Diamond Series Solo II Special & Axl USA Bel Air 086........... Fender American Professional Stratocaster, Telecaster, Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker & Stratocaster HH Shawbucker 098........... Supro 1610RT Comet 104........... Boss GT-1 112........... Ernic Ball Expression Overdrive & Ambient Delay 114........... Strymon Riverside 116........... W  alrus Audio Ascent, Bellwether, Messner & Mayflower 120........... Alvarez Delta 00E & AG80EFM 122........... Cort Sunset Nylectric 123........... Bohemian Oil Can Guitar


143.......... Martin Taylor: The Major 3rd 147.......... Blues Headlines: Swinging Chords

VIDEO & AUDIO cover photography by

Neil Godwin

To enjoy all of the video and audio content in this month’s issue, simply type the following link into your browser and follow the instructions on-screen:

February 2017  Guitarist


f i r st p l ay

Teye Super Coyote £4,320 approx WHAT IS IT? Small ’shop USA‑made solidbody inspired by Brit luthier Tony Zemaitis


Dave Burrluck 


Joseph Branston

Receiving rave reviews in the USA, Teye guitars are now becoming available in the UK. We listen to the howls of the Super Coyote


eye Guitars is named after the brand’s founder, Teije Wijnterp (aka Teye), whose claim to fame as a guitar player is his association with Joe Ely in the 90s. He started building guitars a decade ago and now aims to produce 150 guitars a year in the company’s new Nashville-based facility, where it relocated to, from Austin, early in 2016. The Super Coyote is part of a limited run that begun in 2015 at the company’s previous Austin base and, despite its price, comes from the start-up TMF (Teye Music Factory) level. The Artisan models, with hand-engraved plates, are the next ‘level’ up, topped by the very limited Master guitars, which are handmade and engraved by Teye himself. Zemaitis style abounds here: a similar headstock with its curved rear tip; the neck joint where the full width neck slots into the body like a bolt-on, but is glued, leaving a noticeable edge in the treble cutaway; the 24-fret single-cut style with its more waisted outline. Then there are those aluminium plates on the headstock, top and treble side which are


Guitarist  February 2017

first play

Teye Super Coyote


1 acid-etched not engraved, the rear cover plate is plain – and the aluminium bridge, like an enlarged tune-o-matic, with big saddles, while the thumb wheels look like small circular saw blades. The string anchor is quite low on the body, with an additional and sharply-pointed etched plate. Even the pickup rings are etched aluminium. Decoration aside, it’s made of wood with a Zemaitis-like three-piece mahogany neck, two-piece mahogany body, thin 3.2mm centrejoined maple cap, and overall body depth of 40mm. While the top has a classic Cherry Sunburst and single white edge binding like the ebony fingerboard, flip the guitar over and it appears to be some kind of exotic wood. In fact, its ‘Shipwreck’ finish is an effect with very wood-like dark striping, for the most part, that’s echoed around the sides. The actual low-sheen finish is classed as ‘luthier’s oil’ and, again, matches the low-tech vibe of original Zemaitis guitars. With a pair of custom Lollar humbuckers on the hotter vintage side of the tracks, and


Guitarist  February 2017


a four-control layout, this would be a more than credible single-cut. But augmenting the dual-pickup volumes, instead of two tones we have a master tone and a proprietary passive Mojo ‘analog spectrum modeller’ control, to give it its full name. It’s all very industrial, with domed aluminium knobs and a single rubber ‘O’ ring grip. Then we have a five-way lever pickup switch that expands the usual bridge, neck and both pickup selections with, in position two, bridge humbucker plus tapped neck pickup and, in position four, both humbuckers but out-of-phase.

Feel & Sounds

The Mojo is a passive circuit that gives surprising scope to this guitar’s potential sounds. The tricks lie primarily in the master Mojo control (placed fully clockwise, you feel a little notch and it’s effectively out of circuit). Listening clean with volumes and tone full on and gradually moving the Mojo back on the neck pickup, it’s quite subtle, thinning out and softening the upper mid peak, making the

Guitarist 416 (Sampler)  

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