SMG Weekly Round Up: News From PRS, John 5, Gibson, and Slash

Welcome to the very first installment of the weekly guitar round-up. In this update we aim to bring you up to date with the week’s biggest guitar stories from around the world. For future articles, it would be great to get input from members of the SMG community, so please feel free to post links to any interesting guitar stories on my wall (just search Richard Beech and you should find me). Anyway, that’s the formalities over, lets get things moving.

It’s been a busy week in the world of Guitars, with some big news coming from two of the world’s biggest guitar companies. Probably the most exciting new product of this week is a guitar that 99% of us will never be able to afford, we are musicians after all, so we can barely even pay our rent.


PRS Release New Private Stock 

The PRS Collection Series II DGT is a new $15,000 guitar from Mr Smith’s enterprise. It actually looks like the sun; the finish on the quilted maple top is just beautiful and works really well with the gold hardware. I’ve met Paul Miles a couple of times, Paul is the chap responsible for the PRS Private Stock, and when you witness how much care is taken in the smallest of details, it really comes as no surprise that the DGT can somehow achieve decadence and tastefulness at the same time.

You can see from the spec (below) that there has been no expense spared, especially when you look half-way down the list and spot that Mammoth ivory was used in the fingerboard inlays. Really? Mammoth ivory? I don’t even know how you would go about procuring such a material, did they genetically engineer a herd of Mammoth and harvest the tusks? Probably not, but it’s still pretty cool.

The natural tone of PRS’s quilted maple top usually makes for a clear tone in the low-end, and due to the thinner bodies of the company’s guitars, you will always get a good response right up to the high-mids and treble frequencies. Check it out for yourself by clicking here.


One-Piece Quilted Maple Top
Mahogany Back
22 Frets
25″ Scale Length
Pernambuco “DGT” Neck
Honduran Rosewood Fingerboard
Mammoth Ivory Fingerboard, Headstock Veneer and Truss Rod Cover Purfling
DGT Tuners with Faux Bone Buttons
PRS Tremolo
DGT Pickups with Scuffed Gold Covers and Nickel Screws
Two Volume Controls (One for Each Pickup)
Push/Pull Tone Control and 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector


John 5’s Godly Album

We’ll come back to posh guitars later in this round-up, but another hot topic from this week is the news of a new album from John 5.

The new album is titled ‘God Told Me To’, and we are promised that it will be a genre transcending collection of songs. Part of the album will be acoustic, and the rest will be electric, so it should be a great chance to hear Mr 5’s impressively extensive playing.

Here is what John has to say about it:

“I’m so proud of this record, I’ve put more time into this release than any other! It’s half acoustic and the other half electric with a tribute to Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen with ‘Beat It’. The DVD shows me actually recording the songs as well as behind the scenes of a “day in the life” of JOHN 5! This album will take you on a musical journey designed to show more diversity in my playing than in the past. Enjoy!”

The album won’t be released until May 8th 2012, so we’re all going to have to wait a little while, but hopefully some previews will be posted online. In the meantime John 5 is about to embark on tour with Rob Zombie and Megadeth. The cover art for the album was actually designed by Rob Zombie!


Free Gibson

So if the new PRS II DGT is the most expensive guitar released this week, then a new Les Paul from Gibson might just be the second most expensive. The new Les Paul is a Paul Kossoff signature, Paul was the guitarist for legendary blues-rock band, Free. Paul died at the age of 25, but left behind a musical legacy inspiring a generation of guitarists, including Queen’s Brian May.

The new guitar costs $10,000, but you can actually get an aged version of the guitar which will set you back an extra $5000. Our advice is just to let it age by itself!


One-piece Mahogany body with unique figured Maple top
Rosewood fingerboard with aged acrylic trapezoid inlays
Aged Custom Bucker humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge
ABR-1 bridge with wrap-around tailpiece
Gold plated Grover® kidney button tuners with 12:1 tuning ratio

The guitar has been lovingly recreated by the guys at Gibson, and here’s what they have to say about the Paul Kossoff signature Les Paul:

“The ‘Patent Applied For’ humbucking pickups on Paul Kossoff’s Les Paul were a big part of his mammoth, searing tone. Gibson Custom has carefully measured these outstanding PAFs to produce detail-accurate recreations for the Paul Kossoff 1959 Les Paul Standard. Each guitar carries a set of Custom Buckers wound with the characteristic mismatched, potted coils of 42-AWG plain-enamel coated wire, with genuine Alnico III magnets for a rich response with outstanding articulation.

“The sonic results are heard in the thick, creamy blues-rock tone at the neck position, the crispy snarl and bite at the bridge, and the snappy, round, slightly funky tones in between. The guitar carries Gibson’s classic pairing of ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and wraparound tailpiece, along with the gold-plated Grover™ tuners that Paul added as a modification to his own guitar.

“On the 100 Murphy Aged examples, all are meticulously distressed to match the wear of the hardware on the original guitar, while those on the 250 VOS guitars have the gently aged patina that that process brings. From look, to feel, to tone, the Paul Kossoff 1959 Les Paul Standard is as close as you can come to owning one of the greatest-ever vintage ‘Bursts, and it is available in strictly limited numbers. ”

That’s some serious guitar going on right there! I can see a lot of Gibson collectors and Free fans going for this one, especially considering that with some clever word play you can tell people that it’s a Free guitar from Gibson… or not.

Slash Song Preview

Right, if you’re a Slash fan then we’ve left the best until last. Slash has been posting more updates on YouTube than a teenage cover artist, but this week he has posted the first preview of a song from his forthcoming album, ‘Apocalyptic Love’. The song, titled ‘You’re A Lie’, is as hard-rocking as you’d expect from the legendary guitarist, and will hit the radio stations next Monday. Until then you can listen to the preview.

The full album will be available from May 22nd of this year. In other Slash related news, the guitarist has also discussed a potentially awkward moment on the horizon this year. Guns n’ Roses are due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, and all members are said to have confirmed their attendance. Slash has simply stated that he does not know what will happen, and has cast major doubts over the already doubtful chance of the original line-up performing together at the ceremony.

So there’s your round-up of the week’s top stories in the world of guitars. Thanks for reading, you can find me on SMG (as Richard Beech) if you have any questions or wish to hurl abuse at me!

In case your thirst for guitar news has not been quenched, then here are some links to other big stories from this week:

New Freak Kitchen Album

Lars On Lou’s Lulu Blues

Guitar For The Folkies

Gallagher Won’t Miss ‘Madchester’ Heroes

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