Reviewed: Jackson San Dimas Adrian Smith
Jackson Guitars are a true testament to the needs of metal and rock guitar and bass players. Their instruments are well-built, trustworthy and solid, from the top-of-the-line products down to entry-level budget instruments. The USA Signature Adrian Smith San Dimas DK is a Strat-inspired shred machine built to the specs of Iron Maiden’s own axe-slinger. The Indonesian-built San Dimas Adrian Smith also plays beautifully, with a tinted satin urethane finished neck and classy flamed maple finish beneath the white pickguard. It’s comfortable like a Strat, but with the modern trimmings that Jackson has always provided.
Reviewed: Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum
Fender is a guitar company that needs no introduction, so let’s get straight into the specs. The Fender Performer Telecaster is a new model for 2019, with a DoubleTap humbucker in the neck position and a slanted Yosemite single pickup nestled into the vintage-style bridge.
Reviewed: Fender American Elite Telecaster Thinline
The Telecaster is known to all to be a workhorse guitar, capable of handling any musical situation imaginable. The American Elite Telecaster is no exception to this, and has become even more versatile with Fender’s latest iteration of updates. It’s impressive to see how far the humble Telecaster has come after all these years with all its stocky charm intact.
Reviewed: Fender American Elite Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker
For generations, the Fender Stratocaster has been at the forefront of the electric guitar world, with its instantly recognisable silhouette and gorgeous bell-like tones. 2016 saw the venerable American Deluxe series being replaced by the American Elite series, with many of its diverse features making a return. With a considerable number of modern tweaks and an entire arsenal of tonal combinations, the American Elite Stratocaster is an instrument truly comparable to a one-man army.
Reviewed: Fender American Performer Telecaster
Perhaps slightly overshadowed by the Stratocaster at times the mighty Telecaster is one serious tonal beast. Able to provide jangly rock, clean picking, warm round chords and bright rhythm and blues flavours amongst its arsenal it is a guitar that any budding axe slinger should acquaint themselves at some stage.
Reviewed: Framus Devin Townsend Stormbender Guitar
Devin Townsend is an absolute mastermind. Between Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend Project and numerous other projects, he has released a ridiculous amount of music over the last 25 years, as well as produced some of the most pivotal heavy bands from the last two decades (Lamb of God, Misery Signals, Darkest Hour to name a few). It seems absurd to me that it’s taken so long for the man to get the signature guitar treatment, but now there is no longer any need for such absurdity. After playing numerous custom shop Framus guitars for the last few years, Devin and the German guitar giants have teamed up to finally release a production model, the Stormbender. The perfect machine for the modern metal/prog guitarist.
Reviewed: Fender American Performer Stratocaster
The Fender/Gibson dichotomy has never been stranger than in 2019 -- with Gibson filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May of last year the brand’s focus has been financial restructuring. Fender have won the battle of the icons for now, but where do they go from here? A dizzying stream of rebrands of their signature models has arrived over the past year -- think Parallel Universe, Alternate Universe, Professional and Player series -- and now we can count the Performer series amongst their midst. Taking a look at the Stratocaster, it’s hard to know if this is a triumph or just a victory lap.
Reviewed: Gretsch G6228 Players Edition Jet
Gretsch may be fabled for their hollow body guitars, but their solid body offerings are certainly not to be overlooked. The ‘Jet’ has long embodied the Gretsch aesthetic, offering different tones to its bigger bodied family members. From the Players Edition line of guitars, the G6228 combines Gretsch handiwork in a solid body guitar that can handle more than a few styles of playing.