Gear Factor Host Squiggy’s Guide to Spring’s Best New Guitar Gear
This weekend marks the kickoff of the rock festival season, with Florida's Welcome To Rockville, featuring Foo Fighters, Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol and Ozzy Osbourne. Loudwire's Gear Factor Host Squiggy will be at all of the biggest and best rock festivals in the next few months with The Music Experience, interviewing some of the biggest and best guitarists, bassists and drummers, as well as fans about their favorite instruments. Here, Squiggy geeks out over some of his favorite new gear.
"I narrowed this list down to my top twelve most anticipated pieces of gear and I'm also going to tell you why each of the below gear screams metal!" Squiggy says. "The dirty dozen items will be on display all festival season long at the Music Experience, so come and say hi and feel free to test it all out at full volume. Better yet, follow the links below to our partners at American Musical Supply and buy some metal machinery of your own!"
Fender / Squier Contemporary Strat Reverse Headstock.
What Makes It Metal: Dual Active Humbuckers, Reverse Headstock, C Shape Neck, Satin Finish, Floyd Rose Double Locking Tremolo
Squiggy Says: “Fender just kicked down the door with this Strat. Dual active humbuckers and a reverse headstock, WHAT!!!!! Heck Dang Yeah.”
Guild T-BIRD S200
What Makes it Metal: It's sexy AF, the Little Bucker pickups can scream, the amount of unique controls on the guitar
Squiggy Says: “The Guild T-BIRD is back! Originally made in the mid-late 1960’s, this iconic guitar has finally been brought back to life. Between all the knobs and switches on this guitar, just about any tone can be found here; especially metal!"
PRS SE Standard 24 Multi Foil
What Makes it Metal: The Multi-Foil finish is stunning, the 85/15 “S” pickups are brutal and there are 24 frets
Squiggy Says: “I miss cool paint jobs on guitars. This guitar brings me back to watching Riki Rachtman on Headbanger’s Ball. This guitar has so much swagger and attitude. I love everything about this guitar.”
PRS Tremonti MT15 & Cab
What Makes it Metal: The head has eight tubes and two channels; it is switchable from 15/7 watts.
Squiggy Says: “The MT15 head and cab were both designed by the Rock God, Mark Tremonti himself. Mr. Tremonti has proven over and over again that not only is he one of the best shredders of all time but he continues to have a keen design sense, overseeing this amazing gear.”
Seymour Duncan Power Stage 170
What Makes it Metal: Metal has never played by the rules. This pedal continues that tradition; it’s not just power in a pedal, it’s a guitar amp in a pedal. Also, it’s small but will punch you in the face. Finally, Seymour Duncan is one of the fathers of metal tone
Squiggy Says: “The game has just changed! The Seymour Duncan is the engine for the 'Guitar Rig of the Future.' This piece of gear opens up so many options for your mind's wildest guitar rigs. The PowerStage 170, plus your favorite pedal, plugged right into a cab can be your full rig. Your favorite software based guitar rig can run into the PowerStage 170 and then into a cab. Think about that. Just absorb that for a second!”
IKMultimedia iRig HD2 Guitar Interface
What Makes It Metal: It combines the "software world" and the "real world," it comes with a free download of AmpliTube which has a vast collection of metal amps and cabs you can tweak and really find your metal voice
Squiggy Says: “I am not quite sure why everyone on the planet doesn’t own a iRig HD2. This was given to us by the gods to easily bring software into the musician’s everyday life. Try it, it’ll change your life. It changed mine!”
What Makes It Metal: The Quantum Pickups are great for modern metal, it’s hard to find a guitar that screams like this for the price, and, finally, the Wizard III Maple Neck
Squiggy Says: “Stunning, gorgeous, a nice thin neck and sparkling highs with a thunderous beefy low, and no, I am not talking about your ex-! I am talking about the unbelievable RGA470AHM. Don’t be intimidated by its looks, this guitar is most certainly metal!”
Dean Dave Mustaine Vic Rattlehead
What Makes It Metal: It is the Signature guitar of one of the most iconic metal dudes to ever walk the planet, Mr. Dave Mustaine, it has 24 Frets, Graphics Guitars are metal, it's loaded with Seymour Duncan Pickups. And, hey, did we mention Dave Mustaine?!
Squiggy Says: “I love instruments that are unapologetically metal. I am not even sure if this guitar would allow you to play Jazz or a nice R&B tune. Dean sells, and I’m buying!”
Yamaha RS620 Snake Eye Green
What Makes It Metal: Number one: Squiggy says so! Number two: the Alnico Pickups are super high output. Number three: it has the Belly-Cut Contour.
Squiggy Says: "The Belly-Cut Contour is great for us fat guys. Hell yeah, fat guys! Also: Yamaha and Metal? Yamaha has made a huge impact with the Revstar Series of guitars. I know you're probably saying, 'Dude, WTF?' All I can say is try it and you’ll be blown away.”
D'Angelico Premier Bedford Black with MN & Tort
What Makes It Metal: It’s not your mother’s guitar...unless your mom is awesome! It's loaded with Seymour Duncan pickups. Oh, and they have a bar at their office in NYC
Squiggy Says: “Yep, another 'WTF?' here right? D’Angelico only makes Jazz boxes right? D’Angelico now makes solid body guitars and they slay. The guitars are gorgeous and they melt faces with the best of ‘em.”
ESP LTD Neil Westfall NW44 Electric Guitar
What Makes It Metal: It's the signature guitar of Neil Westfalll. Neil is in A Day To Remember. A Day to Remember is metal as f***. The guitar you purchase is the same exact guitar he plays on stage every night.
Squiggy Says: “When Gear Factor sat down with Neil Westfall, I asked him, point blank: 'Is the way this guitar comes out of the box, the same guitar you play on stage?' He said 'Yes,' without even hesitating. It’s based off of the 1974 Randy Rhoads LP Custom. Randy Rhoads = SUPER METAL”
Wylde Audio Blood Eagle Mahogany
What Makes It Metal: It is a signature product from Zakk f***in' Wylde. Zakk Wylde is one of the most metal shredders that have ever walked the planet. Zakk Wylde will beat you up if you don’t buy one now
Squiggy Says: “The Blood Eagle is a loud guitar. The EMG 81/85 active pickups will just slice you in half. The 24.65” scale length provides a lower tension and a more brutal tone. I heard about a dude that purchased one of these and tried to play Jazz at a coffee house. He immediately burst into flames. The guitar survived…”