Few guitar players of the world merit as much respect as Alex Skolnick. Originally gaining fame as the teenage phenomenon holding down guitar duties for Bay Area thrashers Testament, Alex has gone on to tackle multiple musical genres, including sophisticated jazz playing in his Alex Skolnick Trio. With the LTD AS-1, guitarists of all styles will appreciate this amazing single-cutaway design that’s surprisingly affordable considering its feature set that was created for professional players. Its contemporary set of tools include a set-neck, U-shaped three-piece maple neck for smooth access all the way up and down the fingerboard to the full thickness Eclipse body made of mahogany with maple cap. It comes with an excellent set of Seymour Duncan ’59 (neck) and JB (bridge) pickups. Its flexible controls include individual volume knobs for each pickup, a tone control with push-pull access to spilt the pickup coils, and a pickup selector toggle. Its high-end components include a bone nut, TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, Dunlop straplok, and Grover tuners. The LTD AS-1 comes in an amazing-looking Lemon Burst translucent finish over its figured flamed maple top.
SEYMOUR DUNCAN ’59
The ’59 Model neck pickup is one of their most popular pickups because it’s so versatile. It’s designed in the spirit of the original P.A.F. humbuckers of the 1950s, with sweet sustain, full-sounding chords, clear and bright attack, but they made a few refinements to slightly modernize the design and make it more adaptable to different styles. The ’59 has a full low end which is great for adding character to your clean sounds and sustain to your leads. The high end is slightly boosted for improved pick-attack clarity and the mids are a little scooped for an open, smooth sound that’s great for preserving the clarity of the individual notes in a chord. Play softly and the mids and highs seem to fade back, but pick hard and the note will be confident and clear. There isn’t a genre that the ’59 can’t work within.
SEYMOUR DUNCAN JB
The JB Model humbucker is their most popular pickup of all time. Blues, country, fusion, punk, hard rock, grunge, thrash; the JB has always sounded just right, even as new genres emerged around it. The low end is full and powerful, the highs are crisp and detailed and there’s an upper-midrange bump that adds crunch and chunk to heavy chords but translates to a singing, vocal-like quality when you play single notes or solos. Meanwhile the hot output pushes your amp just that little bit harder for more sustain and harmonics.
ESP Company, Limited is a Japanese guitar manufacturer, primarily focused on the production of electric guitars and basses. They are based in both Tokyo, Japan and Los Angeles, California, United States, with two distinct product lines for each respective market. ESP Company manufactures instruments under several names, including “ESP Standard”, “ESP Custom Shop”, “LTD Guitars and Basses”, “Navigator”, “Edwards Guitar and Basses”, and “Grassroots”. www.espguitars.com