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Sheptone Jimmy Page inspired Heartbreaker Pickups

Sheptone Heartbreaker
Sheptone has created a set of pickups designed to capture the coveted tone of Jimmy Page, aptly named the ‘Heartbreakers’. These pickups have distinguishing characteristics that are great for classic rock tones, especially those Page style riffs.

“The Heartbreaker Set is built with degaussed Alnico 5 magnets, wound for a woody yet sharp, clear tone, perfectly suited to work together in the middle position. The humbucker pickups are not wound to duplicate any particular Page guitar, but to emulate his classic sound. Still in the PAF range, they’re great for playing all classic rock styles. To achieve that classic Led Zeppelin sound, simply dial the neck volume to 10 and the bridge at 6-7 with the three way toggle set in the middle position.”

To learn more about Sheptone and the new Heartbreaker Set, please visit
Retail: $199 USD per set.

Check out this demo of the Sheptone Heartbreaker pickups in action. The guitar is a Gibson 58RI Les Paul recorded directly through a Carr Vincent amp, no pedals.

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Bohemian Guitars Seatbelt Guitar Straps

bohemian guitars seatbelt straps
I’ve been a fan of Bohemian Guitars ever since they launched their crowdfunding campaign to get their super cool recycled Oil Can guitars into production. In fact I like what they do so much I asked Santa to get me a Bohemian Moonshine guitar for Christmas but more of that soon… Now aside from the Boho Series of Oil Can guitars Bohemian also make guitar straps made from recycled seat belts. There are two Bohemian Seatbelt Straps currently available, pictured above, Red Stars and Retro Silver both costing $55 and available to purchase directly from the Bohemian Guitars website.

Repurposed seatbelt for backing material
Silver rivets & loops to match chrome Boho Guitars
Dark brown leather end tabs
Ink Color: Charcoal or American Red
Fabric: Organic cotton off-white
Screen printed by hand.

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The Grover Jackson Story – IndieGoGo Campaign

This looks like an interesting IndieGoGo campaign, Jon Gold former VP of Fender Guitars and co-owner of GJ2 Guitars with Grover Jackson, is making a film about the legendary guitar builder. From Grover’s humble beginnings in the Charvel repair shop to building Edward Van Halen’s Black/Yellow Charvel and the Randy Rhoads Concord Series to creating his own brand Jackson Guitars which has dominated among rock and metal guitar players since the 80’s and now GJ2 Guitars.

“This film will immortalize the legacy of Grover Jackson and inspire musicians/entrepreneur of the future and keeping the american dream.”

As with all crowdfunding campaigns there are a number of perks depending on how much you want to contribute, from signed Movie posters, DVDs and T-shirts to lunch with Grover and a shop tour. Find out more by clicking on the widget below:

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Seymour Duncan Dino Cazares Signature Retribution Active Pickups

Seymour Duncan Retribution
You may have seen the new Dino Cazares (Fear Factory, Divine Heresy) signature Ibanez DCM100 here on Guitar Noize last week that featured a video where Dino not only talks about his new signature guitar but also his new signature Seymour Duncan pickups, the Retribution active 7 and 8 string humbuckers. Dino says that these new pickups provide the essential attack, clarity and increased headroom that 7 and 8-string guitars that he wanted.

The Seymour Duncan Retribution pickups feature a specially tuned preamp with “just the right amount of gain, enhanced attack definition and maximum string clarity. Like the standard Blackouts series and Mick Thomson EMTY Blackouts, they maintain an organic open sound that isn’t sterile but instead is huge and powerful with a lower noise level and an increased dynamic response compared to other active pickups.”

Dino Cazares says of the Retribution, “It has a richer tone that’s more evenly voiced so the low string is not fighting with the high string. It’s a very crunchy sound, great for low tunings. It has more articulation in the pick attack and the distortion has less unwanted noise and compression.”

These pickups were designed with extended range players in mind by maintaining definition on the low B and F# strings. The Retribution is the same pickup that is featured on the new Dino Cazares signature Ibanez DCM100 7-string.

Like the Blackouts active pickups series, Retribution comes with wiring schematics and all necessary mounting hardware including pots, stereo jack, and battery clip. They are available separately as neck and bridge models or as a complete calibrated set for 7 string guitars (passive and soapbar sized) and 8 string guitars (soapbar sized). Each Retribution is wound and assembled at the Seymour Duncan factory in Santa Barbara, California.

For more information, visit:

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Sterling By Music Man JP170D Ruby Redburst 7 String

Sterling By Music Man JP170D
As you can see Music Man Guitars have announced a new guitar for 2015 under their budget line Sterling By Music Man. The JP170D in Ruby Redburst is a 7 string version of the John Petrucci model – the JP100D.

You may wonder what is the difference between the Sterling JP70 and the JP170D so let me just quickly outline the differences. So yes there are already 3 existing John Petrucci signature model guitars in the Sterling by Music Man range, the JP60, JP70 and JP100D. The JP60 being the most basic 6 string model, the JP70 being the 7 string version of the JP60 and then the JP100D which is “Based on the “Ball Family Reserve” Model JP6. The slightly larger body is capped with a highly figured, quilted maple top, and is available in three exquisite ‘burst’ finishes for 2014″. The JP100D also comes equipped with John Petrucci’s favourite combination of DiMarzio LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers. The JP170D is essentially just a 7 string version of the JP100D.

Expect to see more pictures and videos appear in just over a month at NAMM 2015!

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Stephan Forte’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists

Stephan Forte
I’m very excited to add yet another exceptional talent to my series of ‘Top 5 Influential Guitarists‘ series, Stephan Forte. Check out the top 5 guitarists that influenced Stephan over the years:

1: Marty Friedman
Marty Friedman
Even though I knew Cacophony of course, and was already a big fan of the speed Metal Symphony album (especially the song Concerto at that time) I think I really discovered Marty’s genius with Megadeth’s Rust In Peace. As soon as I heard the classical guitar break in Holy Wars, I knew something was happening. Then, main Holy Wars solo, Hangar 18’s solo, Take No Prisoners solo, and so on…. all those amazing and twisted bends, those uber exotic scales. That was love at first sound! My favorite of all on this album is definitely Lucretia, for the inventive way of choosing such wonderful and unexpected notes. The whole construction and feeling of those solos is unbelievable. Today, Marty is still one of my major influences, and I am still learning a lot from him.

2: Jason Becker
Jason Becker
Jason is without any doubt THE absolute Metal virtuoso. A perfect combination of flawless technique and sensibility.
I’ve been heavily influenced by his use of the whammy bar, his neverending and ultra clean arpeggios, the way he used to shred his scales, always faster, always more aggressive..and in the meantime, this very subtle Jeff Beck touch when he plays with the clean tone, letting his senisbility fully express. Still today, he is untouchable.

3: Yngwie Malmsteen
yngwie malmsteen
I was 14 when my brother gave me the Rising Force vinyl. I still remember the effect the acoustic intro of Black Star had on me at that time. I knew something was going on, but at that time, couldn’t really say, I was just fascinated. Months later, after listening to it over and over, I finally understood that this blend of classical elements and dramatic edge to the sound was definitely about to be a turning point in my life. That’s when I started to spend countless hours on the guitar, practicing every single lick. That’s pretty much at that point that I knew I wanted to do this with my life. Yngwie’s influence is still very present in my playing, especially in the way I’m doing my vibratos. Above all those incredible lines, diminished arpeggios etc..I think Yngwie’s vibrato is still one of the best in metal today. My favorite albums: Rising Force, Trilogy, Fire & Ice.

4: Shawn Lane
shawn lane
Another genius gone too soon. He was a TRUE genius, the kind of musician who cannot be categorized as a player…To me, what defines a genius, is when subhuman skills meets ultra deep sensibility in interpretation. Everything in Shawn Lane’s playing was perfect: The technique, the phrasing, the tone, the control…His use of the whammy bar also had a huge influence on my playing. Definitely one of the greatest musicians of all time.

5: Derek Taylor

There are unfortunately very few who know who Derek Taylor is. But he is one hell of a shredder and one of my other huge influences. He pushed the concept of legato and tapping very far. I love the ambiguous dissonances in his bendings, his incredible legato chops, his three note per string pentatonic licks, and of course his amazing three fingers tapping extension. One of the most outstanding player out there!

Check out the title track from Stephan Forte’s album Enigma Opera Black featuring Andy James:

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Zoltan Bathory Signature Model Diamond Guitars Halcyon ZB


Diamond Guitars have teamed up with Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory to create a signature Halcyon guitar loaded with Seymour Duncan’s Sentient/Pegasus set humbuckers.

The Halcyon ZB models will come in two colors with slightly different configurations. The first, the Halcyon ZB-FR Black Moonrise model, is a Flamed Maple over Maple body, Maple set neck with Ebony fingerboard, 24 fret, 25.5” scale length, Floyd Rose bridge and Seymour Duncan Pegasus/Sentient pickup set, allowing players to use the thickest string gauge they want but retain clarity and ferocious tonality. The Halcyon ZB-FR Kona Brown model features a Flame Maple over Mahogany body, for a completely different and warmer feel, with Mahogany set neck and Ebony fingerboard with the aforementioned pickups and hardware configuration. The custom inlay on both models, spanning the first to third frets, is a Tibetan Flame encompassing a Double Dorje, which is also a tattoo on Zoltan Barthory’s forearms.

Diamond Guitars

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Dino Cazares signature Ibanez DCM100

Ibanez DCM100
Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares is the latest artist to be added to Ibanez’s ever growing lineup of signature guitar models, the Ibanez DCM100. This is a simple, stripped back metal machine with a long scale length to help add tension to the strings and allow a lower gauge to be used, although this 7 string does come from the factory tuned a whole step down. There is no tone control just a single volume and with just a bridge humbucker there is no need for a pickup selector switch. Here are the rest of the specs and a video from Dino himself talking about the new signature model.

DCM100 Features:
Neck: DCM 3pc Maple/Bubinga neck w/KTS™ TITANIUM rods
Fretboard: Rosewood fretboard w/Off-set Mother of Pearl dot inlay with 16″ radius
Fret: Jumbo frets w/Prestige fret edge treatment
Scale length: 673mm/26.5″
Body: Mahogany body
Bridge: Lo-Pro Edge 7 tremolo bridge
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan® Retribution (H) bridge pickup (Active)
Factory tuning: 1D, 2A, 3F, 4C, 5G, 6D, 7A
Hardware color Cosmo black

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Flatline Telecaster Switch Review

byline picBy Pappy

Flatline Guitars is a company out of Washington that has been specializing in high-quality guitars for years, but has recently expanded its offerings by selling custom parts to help customize your guitar to a higher level. Examples include pre-wired pickguards for your Strat or Strat-inspired guitars, custom neck plates, and (my favorite) Telecaster control plates.

See, Flatline is known for tweaking the classic recipes of guitars to make them better for the modern player, but my favorite tweak belongs to the Delta guitar – their Tele-inspired guitar. It features volume and tone knobs like you know and love, but Rick and co. at Flatline swapped out the blade switch for a toggle and the world suddenly made more sense. As much as I love the Tele, I would argue that the blade switch wasn’t the best choice because it goes against your hand’s normal motion when you’re playing guitar. Instead of easily flicking your fingers and switching to the bridge or reaching a bit to pull up and move to the neck you have to run perpendicular to the motion that you were already doing when you were playing. I know that it’s tradition and all that, but there has to a come a time when we throw off the shackles of tradition just because that is how it’s always been done. The toggle makes sense, I got used to it VERY quickly, and moving back to a blade switch seems inefficient and cumbersome.

Photo Nov 27, 4 27 06 PM

Because of this, I was pretty excited when Flatline announced these control plates and was even MORE excited when they said they were offering pre-wired control plates. I don’t mind wiring Telecasters – it’s not that hard – but I was excited at the idea of just a couple of solder points, a couple of screws and then I can go right to playing.

Photo Nov 27, 4 28 17 PMFlatline sent me two control plates: one was blank, drilled for two knobs, a toggle, and two mounting screws, and the other control plate was all wired up and ready to go. The blank one is made for the people that want to choose/buy/install their own preferred parts, while the pre-wired one is made for folks like me who just want to play as soon as possible. If you choose the blank one to use your own parts in it, Flatline has free wiring plans on their website to show you where each wire goes. They even have two wiring options so you can choose which one strikes your fancy more (I like the Delta 90 wiring). If you order the pre-wired one, it’s as easy as looking at the same wiring diagram and soldering your positive and negative pickup leads and bolting in your new (included) output jack.

That’s it.

Photo Nov 27, 4 27 52 PMI did have a slight issue with my installation where I had to modify my pickguard, but this was because Fender drilled the control plate holes way off-center, not because of anything Flatline did. Other than that, installation was a breeze and I was playing in under ten minutes.

The blank control plate costs $15.00 and the pre-wired control plate will set you back $75.00, but I definitely think it’s worth it. The only thing the pre-wired control plate DOESN’T come with are knobs, but I think it’s a smart move since everyone has their own preference in knobs so why bother increasing the price for knobs you may or may not dig?

Overall, I think it’s a brilliant way to upgrade your Tele and give it that boutique feel without having to give up your favorite guitar or spend the same amount you would on a boutique guitar.  The toggle not only makes more sense, is more efficient, and clean-looking, but it’s an easy way to set your guitar apart from the sea of similar-looking Teles out there.

Photo Nov 27, 4 28 41 PMFor more information or to order yours, be sure to click HERE.


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The Fender Archives by Tom Wheeler

the fender archives
Tom Wheeler was Editor in Chief of Guitar Player and the founding Editorial Director of Bass Player until 1991. Tom has published a number of books including ‘The Soul Of Tone: Celebrating 60 years of Fender Amps’ which I reviewed back in 2009, other books include ‘The Stratocaster Chronicles’ and ‘The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop’.

Tom Wheeler has created another Fender themed book called ‘The Fender Archives’ which he describes as “a scrapbook of artifacts, treasures, and inside information”. The book includes handwritten letters, production totals, personal logbooks, in-house memos, Leo Fender’s drawing board sketches and financial reports.

The Fender Archives sheds new light on the inspirations for revolutionary instruments and amplifiers, their sometimes difficult births and growing pains, the environment into which they were unleashed upon the world, and the motivations and personalities of key players.

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