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A lot of you might not know this interesting fact, but Kurt Cobain played guitar and happened to be the lead singer for a band called Nirvana. Though Nirvana achieved a bit of success back in the early 90's, Cobain has now been commemorated with a reissue by Fender of his 1965 Jaguar, one of the few guitars he didn't smash up on stage.


Kurt Cobain bought his infamous left-handed '65 Jaguar second-hand and became his main guitar during the band’s “Nevermind” touring era. Kurt's guitar featured substantial modifications, carried out by its previous owner, which Fender has incorporated on the tribute model.


These include DiMarzio PAF and DiMarzio Super Distortion humbuckers in the neck and bridge positions respectively, as well as a second volume control, a black three-position toggle switch and black chrome Gotoh bridge.


The combination of the DiMarzio humbuckers and the unusual wiring setup gives the Fender a completely unique sound especially when compared to other Fender models. The DiMarzio humbuckers give the Jag a touch of added sustain in comparison to Fender’s usual signature axes but you can really push out some other distortion types other than grunge. In the style of Cobain himself, the Fender Jaguar gives an abrasive, aggressive and unapologetically raw sound.


Personally, my favourite feature is the Cobain inspired Stratocaster-esque headstock, complete with 'spaghetti' Fender logo, which was not in commission back in ‘65 but further adding to the authenticity to Kurt's Jaguar. Due to it being a tribute guitar, the Road-Worn aged finish and hardware treatment have been knocked up a notch.


Fender isn’t new to artificially aging it’s guitars but the Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar is particularly impressive. The level of detail is impeccable on almost every aspect, to the point of jamming dirt into the dents in the pickup screws. Regardless of your thoughts of artificial aging on guitars, Fender has done this so well that every bump, groove and scratch looks authentic.


The fact that the Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar is Mexican made is probably the only real “unauthentic” attribute of the tribute. With a great sound, an impressively aged body and a truly unique playing experience, Fender have done a fantastic job of commemorating Generation X’s most missed rock legend.

 

Gibson have a great story about Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction, where a young Slash was getting frustrated when trying to achieve the right “tone” with a range of contemporary electric guitars. “Then someone handed him a reissue-style Les Paul Standard, and that was all she wrote.”

With the Les Paul in hand, Slash laid down a host of riffs powered the biggest-selling debut album of all time and propelling songs like “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City”, into the hearts and minds of musicians everywhere.

With the rock legend offering his valuable input, the Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul model focuses on maintaining the impeccable styling of the original first sold in 1952 as well as tweaking the sound to fit Slash’s playing style.

Just like Slash’s original guitar he used for “Appetite for Destruction”, the Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul mimics a lot of the most admired features of the original Les Paul Standards from the late 50’s and early 60’s, such as a slim neck profile and a body based on a 1959 Les Paul.

Gibson have done a brilliant job in the authentic finish that gives the Slash Appetite Les Paul the look of a gently aged vintage guitar and features like a traditional Les Paul carved maple top and mahogany back and a one-piece mahogany neck give this axe tremendous character.

The Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul model features Slash inspired hardware in two Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Slash signature humbucker pickups at both the neck and bridge positions, which offer players an incredible selection of sounds with a mini-toggle switch inserted between the iconic volume control knobs to help regulate acoustic and hybrid acoustic/electric tones.

From the second I plugged this thing into my Marshall Amp, the classic-rock sound I had been hoping for just exploded out of the speakers. The sound is exactly what you’d expect from a Les Paul/Marshall combo with chords giving a nice thick, chunky, deep tone, and lengthy, howling notes when soloing.

With features and characteristics that inspire Slash, Gibson Custom has created one of its most distinct and best sounding Les Paul models ever, and quite possible the perfect axe for any Slash fans.

 

 

Joey Kramer, one of the most famous drummers of all time, has been drumming with Aerosmith for over 40 years. His reward? His very own signature Ludwig Joey Kramer Model snare.

 

A limited production, the Joey Kramer snare is very similar to the Corey Miller signature model and Ludwig's other new snare, The Brick. With nylon washers under the tension rods, it features almost exactly the same conventional throw-off. The main difference between the models, to me anyway, is that each Joey Kramer drum is hand-signed by Joey himself on an internal paper slip.

 

The black nickel over 1.5mm gauge brass shell looks impressive with impeccably engraved Asian style dragons lacing the sides. The dragons are encased by 5mm die-cast hoops and 10 black nickel-plated brass tube lugs.

 

Despite their similarities the  Joey Kramer's brass shell drum is much heavier than Corey Miller's steel counterpart, and plays with a deep, dark fundamental. One potential stick-splitting danger is the die-cast hoops, but if you are careful, they are worth having as they really enfold sound really well, making the Joey Kramer snare loud but less unruly than the steel Corey Miller. It has a fat and warm tone making it sound exceptionally refined, and is capable of a wide tuning and dynamic range.

 

Now before you rush out and buy this fantastic snare, I’m afraid there is a bit of a drawback. Firstly, I was a little disappointed that Ludwig didn’t put their name anywhere on the Joey Kramer signature. It’s not a big deal but it would of been the icing on the cake to have a superior brand listed on a superior product.

 

The second and more financially damaging drawback is the price. At the time of writing, Ludwig are shipping these bad boys out at about £700. That’s a full £250 more than the Corey Miller model. Although it is probably worth every penny, this is definitely one for hardcore drummers, leaving the amateurs in their dust...unless of course, they can find it cheap on Instrumania.

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