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Even the King started as a Prince

Christian Schulze

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Nov 11, 2019
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Whaddup Fam?!

Just remembered that I saw a video where Syn used a Les Paul Custom:

Just curious. That many revolutuionary guitarist start with a classical model, like Steve Vai having a Strat..and then because the instrument has limitations they end up having a signature model...The Jem in Vai's case....or The modified Avenger of Syn. Same with Eddie Van Halen...The Wolfgang...or rather FrankenStrat.

Just curious.
 
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Ed Seith

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    In the late 70s and early 80s, that was the ONLY way. Fender and Gibson were the only major "rock" guitar manufacturers, and as a player, you fell into one of the two camps. As guys like Eddie were gaining popularity and more players were seeing how he butchered his guitars to do what he wanted them to, guys like Vai were starting to go to boutique builders to hand-make guitars to their specs. From out of that, you started getting more interest in the after-market pickup business. Larry Dimarzio started his shop in the early 70s, mostly hand-winding pickups to order. As the 80s hit and guitar heroes were happening, his business blossomed big-time and others had followed suit.

    Lots of small guitar builders were starting to look at mass-production and advertising and ENDORSEMENTS, and that's when even long-time builders like Ibanez (who had pretty much ONLY been making Gibson and Fender knock-offs up to that point) started wanting to branch out. When Ibanez approached Vai, he was skeptical, but they wanted to make him EXACTLY what he wanted. They were desperate to work with him and agreed, with the caveat that they would create a "template" with him, and THEN customize it personally. Thus became the Jem 777 and it's "template," the RG550, itself now a true icon of rock guitar and the metal of the 80s and 90s. I still have my 1990 and it has never been less than awesome. I bought it new in August 1990 for $550, with included the hardshell case and my trade-in, a Takamine GX100, like this one:

    1599607343546.png

    Anyway, that was what really kicked off the "super-strat" as a mass-market model - by then, you already had Charvel and Kramer, and Hamer and others making "hotter" Strats, but none of them went really radical with it until the Vaibanez collaboration - they almost all LOOKED exactly like a Strat that had been hot-rodded, where the RG550 offered an entirely different and more ergonomic take on the basic shape.

    As for Syn, I think he cut his teeth on his Dad's guitars and that was mostly "fine" until Schecter said, "Hey bud, let's party."
     

    Christian Schulze

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend
    Nov 11, 2019
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    In the late 70s and early 80s, that was the ONLY way. Fender and Gibson were the only major "rock" guitar manufacturers, and as a player, you fell into one of the two camps. As guys like Eddie were gaining popularity and more players were seeing how he butchered his guitars to do what he wanted them to, guys like Vai were starting to go to boutique builders to hand-make guitars to their specs. From out of that, you started getting more interest in the after-market pickup business. Larry Dimarzio started his shop in the early 70s, mostly hand-winding pickups to order. As the 80s hit and guitar heroes were happening, his business blossomed big-time and others had followed suit.

    Lots of small guitar builders were starting to look at mass-production and advertising and ENDORSEMENTS, and that's when even long-time builders like Ibanez (who had pretty much ONLY been making Gibson and Fender knock-offs up to that point) started wanting to branch out. When Ibanez approached Vai, he was skeptical, but they wanted to make him EXACTLY what he wanted. They were desperate to work with him and agreed, with the caveat that they would create a "template" with him, and THEN customize it personally. Thus became the Jem 777 and it's "template," the RG550, itself now a true icon of rock guitar and the metal of the 80s and 90s. I still have my 1990 and it has never been less than awesome. I bought it new in August 1990 for $550, with included the hardshell case and my trade-in, a Takamine GX100, like this one:

    View attachment 953

    Anyway, that was what really kicked off the "super-strat" as a mass-market model - by then, you already had Charvel and Kramer, and Hamer and others making "hotter" Strats, but none of them went really radical with it until the Vaibanez collaboration - they almost all LOOKED exactly like a Strat that had been hot-rodded, where the RG550 offered an entirely different and more ergonomic take on the basic shape.

    As for Syn, I think he cut his teeth on his Dad's guitars and that was mostly "fine" until Schecter said, "Hey bud, let's party."
    Captain Ed Always with a good story.
     
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    Jesse Salmons

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
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    Id like to add to Eds story with an anecdote of Randy Rhoads. The guy who built his Polka Dot V, Karl sandoval, actually started out as a luthier for Charvel in the early 70s. Randy had him build his Polka Dot V while he was still in quiet riot (later 70s) and is yet another reason why Randy and EvH were always compared to each other lol. But Randy also used 2 Jackson V’s (what became the rhoads models) and his ‘74 Les Paul custom. So yeah man, Les pauls are still around for a reason. Fantastic instruments